Best Travel Jacket for Men
When you head overseas, you may know where you’re going. We didn’t, at least not beyond our first stop in Turkey. So, we needed reliable outerwear for all sorts of environments - couldn’t just plan for a single spot. Fortunately, our adventures confirmed our initial clothing research: the best travel jacket for men is the North Face Venture 2 Waterproof Hooded Rain Jacket.
Why Trust Our Men’s Travel Jacket Recommendation?
When we left to spend our first year traveling and working overseas, the world was, well, slightly in flux. As a result, we couldn’t confirm a solid itinerary. Instead, we booked a flight to Istanbul for the first leg, figuring we’d pick the next destination during our time there.
Fast forward a year, and we’d spent time all over the place: Turkey, Ukraine, Turkey again, Tanzania and Zanzibar, Namibia, and, eventually, back to southern Europe to wrap up our international time in Croatia. From swimming in the bath-tub-like waters of the Mediterranean to dips in the ice-bath-like southern Atlantic, we swam - and explored! - in tons of different climes. From hikes up desert dunes to open-roof drives through the Serengeti to beer crawls in Zagreb, we saw a little bit of every sort of weather (minus, fortunately, blizzards!).
During these travels, Chipp gave his North Face jacket a run for the money. Happily, it lived up to the best travel jacket standard!
Why We Love the North Face Men’s Venture 2 Waterproof Hooded Rain Jacket
Waterproof shell and hood for traveling on rainy days: When you’re living out of a single backpack for a year, space is limited. We didn’t want to waste precious room on an umbrella. So, for the days we were out and about in the rain, we needed reliable shells. This North Face travel jacket’s waterproof material and hood absolutely got the job done, keeping Chipp dry in all sorts of rainy environments.
Exterior zipper pockets help protect your things (and keep your hands dry!): Unfortunately, many of the rain jackets we looked into didn’t have reliable pockets - or any at all. This North Face one, on the other hand, has large zipper pockets on both sides, a huge plus when you want to keep things warm and secure (NOTE: For extra security, we used a travel money pouch). Whether walking through a city or on a hike in the mountains, Chipp could confidently put gear in these pockets, zip them up, and know that everything would be secure.
Wind-resistant shell great for top layer on cold days: Rain jacket doesn’t fully describe this garment. The wind-resistant material also makes for great cold weather gear. Limited on packing space, we didn’t want to jam big winter coats into our backpacks. But, when you throw a couple layers under this travel jacket, you effectively create cold weather protection - interior layers keep your core warm, and the outer jacket both blocks the wind and keeps that core heat locked inside.
Lightweight material rolls into nearly nothing to optimize packing: A huge bonus to traveling with a rain jacket like this - its thin, lightweight material barely takes up any space in a bag. If it was warm enough to not need a jacket when traveling from place to place, Chipp would jam this into the top of his pack last. Once everything else has been squeezed in, you stuff the jacket into the remaining tiny gaps. This technique has the added bonus of making the jacket super easy to grab quickly if the weather turns.
Here’s a full list of the Venture 2 travel rain jacket’s features published by REI:
Waterproof, breathable and seam-sealed DryVent™ 2.5-layer shell keeps you dry
100% windproof fabric
Attached, fully adjustable hood
Pit zippers let you quickly dump excess heat
Stormflap with a VELCRO® brand closure covers the center front zip
Covered, secure-zip hand pockets; jacket can stow inside its own hand pocket for easy packability
Adjustable VELCRO brand cuff tabs
Hem cinch cord
Story from the Road
The southern tip of South Africa, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans merge, experiences some of the fiercest and most unpredictable winds in the world. Naturally, during a Valentine’s Day spent in South Africa’s Garden Route - in the heart of this wind vortex - we decided that a sailing trip through the Knysna Heads made sense…
We found a local charter company, made our way out to the boat, and ignored the ominous-looking clouds on the horizon. With a licensed skipper at the helm and a gin and tonic in hand, what could go wrong!?
As we sailed through the towering heads - and out of the relative protection of the Knysna Harbor - a massive squall came in off the horizon. For relatively inexperienced sailors, it’s a terrifying site watching the water kick up as a squall barrels down towards you. Fortunately, our skipper had been around the block, handling the massive gusts of wind like the crusty ol’ seadog that he was.
So yeah, we didn’t capsize, which is always nice… But, we were hit by an absolute wall of wind and rain. A) We were both thrilled to have life jackets on, with the hull at a strong, 45-degree angle; and, B) Chipp’s pants may have gotten soaked, but his North Face rain jacket kept his upper body bone dry!
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