packing for our trip

Hi We are leaving in 4 days for trip to London and Italy. Just wanting to know what to pack with regards to rain. Is it worth packing a rain jacket? We will be in London for only 5 days and then in Italy from 25th June to 15th July. Will we need rain jackets in Italy at this time of the year and is it worth taking them for London. Don't want to take anything unnecessary but also don't want to be caught unawares.
Thanks for help.Jayne

Posted by Donald
Wichita, KS, United States
166 posts

When I'm in England and Scotland I always take a small travel umbrella and my Marmot Mica Jacket. The Mica is very lightweight yet is water-proof (most jackets are water resistant) and it folds into it's own pocket so it is easy to pack. When it rains in London it can get chilly so the jacket is nice, you could use a fleece but once they get damp they are miserable.

Posted by Karen (Leigh)
442 posts

I would take just a small umbrella at this time of year. I would bring something lightweight and long sleeved for warmth just in case, but not a rain jacket.

Posted by Wray
Boston, ma, usa
409 posts

I agree with Leigh. All you need is a small travel umbrella.

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
3276 posts

I don't usually take an umbrella as I don't want to take up the space. If you end up needing one there will be plenty for sale. Last trip to Paris I came home with a $5 umbrella, and while it was not an expensive umbrella, it worked fine. I never like taking anything that I 'might' need. In many trips to Europe that is the first time I really needed an umbrella, and it was late Nov. so it was cold as well as rainy.

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

A rain jacket wads up smaller than an umbrella, weighs less, and is multi-purpose.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8966 posts

I agree with Ed. A lightweight rain shell takes up no room and adds only a few ounces of weight.. it can be layered over a sweater to keep you warm and dry. I have been to London four times.. three of those times were in July or August. It rained all four times... ( and the time I went in March it sleeted and snowed)..

Posted by Rose
922 posts

Pat, my raincoat bit the dust on my last trip. As sad as I am to see it go because it's been perfect, it is bound for the bin. Do you mind sharing what type (brand / style) of jacket you like best?

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1759 posts

We take Eddie Bauer WeatherEdge rain coats or jackets on every trip. The coats for Scotland and northern western Europe, the jackets for where its usually warm. The have detachable hoods so can be used as regular travel jackets. Both of us prefer hoods over umbrellas because unbrellas take up a lot of space on streets and sidewalks. We pack our rain gear in compression bags.

Posted by Eileen
Texan in CA
4195 posts

After many recommendations here, I bought - and very much like! - my Marmot PreCip jacket. I waited for one of REI's sales ;-) It folds into its own pocket, is truly waterproof, and lightweight. It makes a good windbreaker, too, and subs for a heavier coat when worn with layers or a beefier top. (Maybe not so relevant here, but gloves go a loooong ways towards keeping you several degrees warmer, and don't take up much space nor weigh much; maybe add a small hat &/or muffler for really cold locales.) At this stage, just check the weather forecast for London and see what they are expecting; I never pack a jacket for Italy but I'm always prepared for rain anywhere with shoes that can handle being soaked, and maybe an umbrella. If it rains, and especially if you're in a larger tourist city, there will be umbrella vendors popping up everywhere! You could just buy one from them...

Posted by Pam
Troy, Idaho, USA
2050 posts

I just popped for the Marmot Precip as well. Trina, our guide on the Heart of Italy last month, had one and put it to good use in chilly weather in Volterra and in a couple of downpours in Florence. I am heading in to Yellowstone tomorrow and hope I dont have to use it, but it folds up pretty small as mentioned above and is a pretty light addition to my day pack. CampMor was having a sale and I just saw them in the Sierra Trading Post Outlet store in (they are online too.) Cody WY for ~$72 and change. To me it looks appropriate for city or outdoor wear. It does not appear to be sturdy enough for any major bushwhacking, though. (Not that I am planning on that!)