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Best travel jacket?

ikebod

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I am going to be traveling for the next several months throughout South and Central America and want a light weight, all-purpose jacket for when it rains, I am at cooler elevations or stuck overnight in an overly air conditioned airport lounge. My budget is $250, but could be expanded to $400 for something worthwhile. My colour preference is black and my first idea was a Barbour Bedale jacket, but I would value the benefit of the members' experience.
 

JTA

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I was about to suggest safari jacket but then again it doesn't help when it is pouring. Barbour is a good start nevertheless in my view it may be too hot on South (exception if you are going to Argentina in winter time) and Central America. Perhaps lightweight safari ventile jacket (old Willis Geiger safari jacket)?
 

nicelynice

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Patagonia softshell? Lightweight, breatable, waterproof, durable
Skip fashion and get something technical but not ugly looking when travelling
 

dunelly

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i'd also like a nice jacket for tropical weather for southeast asia mainly to combat rain. a 34 chest is hard to find
 

juuceman

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buy cheap. this isn't the time to spend a ton of money and be concerned about where your jacket is, whether you should wear it out in bush, or anything of the sort. NorthFace and Patagonia both make sub-$100 waterproof shells.
 

CityHunter

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Speaking of Patagonia, I believe Apolis did a reasonably priced collaboration with them...and it was lightweight.
 

chris lewis

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Originally Posted by dunelly
i'd also like a nice jacket for tropical weather for southeast asia
mainly to combat rain. a 34 chest is hard to find


Buy when you get there. You'll find plenty of smaller sized stuff, and it'll be cheap.
 

randomkoreandude

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Originally Posted by CityHunter
Speaking of Patagonia, I believe Apolis did a reasonably priced collaboration with them...and it was lightweight.

http://store.apolisglobal.com/event/...-bc374d15f79e/

it is slightly overpriced then the original one from patagonia. they didnt do anything different other than change the inner label and add their signature red cross at the back. i think the normal patagonia torrentshell runs for 99 and its nice cuz it rolls up into a little ball.

sounds exactly what you need
 

suzuka

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Westcomb makes the lightest backpacking waterproof jacket in the world. It's made of eVent which is similar to Goretex but more breathable. Check out their website: www.westcomb.com I wear a bunch of westcomb stuff and love it. It's very similar to Arc'Teryx, made in Canada and awesome warranty.
 

wrongturnsteve

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when it comes to travelling and travelling light, layers are key.

A minimal combination would be:
a waterproof outer shell with a hood, a down vest, and a midweight wool sweater.
 

uNiCoRnPriNcEsSx

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I would look into a softshell, and layer accordingly to the climate. Otte gear has gotten good reviews, as have TAD gear when it comes to outdoorsy stuff. Patagonia and Arc'teryx are good brands as well. Might want to go to an small outdoors specialty store and pick the brains of the specialist\\enthusiast.
 

captainfunk

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There is no best travel jacket. Layers are key. And forget about fashion.

Find any quality, but cheap shell like a Marmot PreCip jacket and layer it with a super light and compressible insulated layer like the Patagonia Nanopuff Pullover. That's a deadly combo, and only just over 200 bucks.
 

ysc

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I went on several trips through central and south america, and in fact a bunch of other places, using a lightweight German army jacket I made water-resistant. Military surplus might not be a bad place to start looking, cheap, hard wearing and can look ok too.

Bear in mind if you get caught in serious tropical rain all a waist length jacket, even a totally waterproof one, is going to do is make your legs soaking wet. You might even be better of with a packable poncho.
When I had to be in that kind of rain for an extended period of time (working) I wore sandals, swimming trunks and maybe a t-shirt and just got wet. Further south where it was cold as well as wet I had a full, technical, waterproof jacket and trousers suit. It wasn't something you would wear around town though.

You might find one jacket can't cover all the eventualities, and have to either get a couple of options or work out what you really need it for.
 

impolyt_one

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Originally Posted by chris lewis
Buy when you get there. You'll find plenty of smaller sized stuff, and it'll be cheap.
good advice. Unless you are Golden Corral/Ponderosa huge, the best part about being interested in your clothing + traveling is being able to get out of the country and buy clothes elsewhere. You save on luggage to your destination, have something to do when you get there by shopping for clothes, and then you get functional souvenirs to take home, win for all. p.s. if you are not white, you should still take a suitcase and throw your underwear and toothbrush in there at least, lest you end up on the no-fly list.
 

ikebod

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Many thanks for all of your sage advice. I have opted to go with a Nau Succinct trench coat that I found on sale for $150. Waterproof with a zip away hood and knee length for real weather protection, warm enough for most situations with a light sweater underneath, well made and tough enough to handle lots of wear, compresses into the size of a hardcover book and it will look good on the street when I get back.
 

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