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Jackets...possibly waterproof/resistant...for Italy in October

What sort of jacket works best for Italy in mid to late October? Down vest? What have other women used?

Posted by
7992 posts

I always pack my Marmot jacket, wherever, whenever I travel. This is my second Precip and I usually buy them at REI. On a recent trip to Asia, it seemed everyone on our tour had a Marmot Precip.
We had perfect weather in Italy last October. Not hot but no need for fleece or down either. Perhaps you would need those hiking in the Dolomites but you didn't say what regions you are visiting in Italy.

Posted by
451 posts

My "go-to" waterproof black travel jacket is by ExOfficio. It is extremely lightweight, not very "noisy." I can roll it up quite small and tuck it into my small backpack. It hasn't been to Italy...yet, but it has proven itself in rainy weather in Scotland and England. Coupled with a lightweight jacket, it's all I have ever needed.

Posted by
5789 posts

Style aside, the solution is layering. See: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/layering-basics.html

For fall weather, some kind of weather barrier outer layer, and insulation middle layer over a base layer.

Depending on your activities and outdoor exposure (e.g. late season all day walks in the Dolomite foothills vs. museums and churches) your outer layer can be storm-proof hooded jackets to water/wind resistant shells supplemented by a hotel loaner umbrella.

Depending on you cold sensitivity, your insulation layer could be a fleece sweater to a down jacket.

And if you are doing high energy activities (trekking the foothills), a body moisture wicking base layer may be called for. If just walking around, your base layer can be your walking around inside the museum clothing.

And avoid red ball caps.

Posted by
358 posts

Layering, layering, layering...

That aside, these are my go-to, when traveling and rain is possible; the women's versions are also available and come in a variety of colors.
Marmot Minimalist Jtk, best priced and most popular women's Gore-Tex Jkt, simple waterproof jacket that works. REI usually has these on sale during their Anniversary Sale in May.
ExOfficio Storm Logic Jkt, Lightly insulated, packs up into a neck pillow, has plenty of pockets. This always comes with me when traveling and I can wear it underneath my Gore jkt. Also works well on the airplane as a blanket when the airplane AC is freezing.

Marmot PreCip Jkt, best value for a waterproof jacket if the Gore jkt is too expensive, packs into it's pocket, lots & lots of colors

Posted by
5789 posts

If you are concerned with staying in fashion do not buy a Patagonia Women's Waterproof Rain Jacket. The problem that I have with my Patagonia weather proof jacket and other Patagonia products is that they don't seem to wear out. And if wear or damage occurs, Patagonia is very liberal in repairing their products. The result is the color of your jacket will be very dated 10 and 20 years from now.

Unfortunately, the above observation also applies to quality outdoor wear companies, Columbia and Marmot to name a few. If fashion is important, buy the cheaper stuff and you can replace them more often as they wear.

Posted by
943 posts

I also have used a Marmot pre-cip for several years along with a fleece jacket, but this year I've switched to wearing a Scottevest Tropiformer jacket ( 26 pockets & sleeves come off) and a Patagonia Micro D fleece jacket. This allows many different combinations and I wear the Tropiformer on the plane because it contains everything I might want on the long flight over to Europe. I love travel equipment that does multiple jobs.

Posted by
823 posts

Over the course of 2 trips, I have a total of 6 weeks in northern Italy from Mid-October through Mid-November. I was quite comfortable and weather-protected with a rain-proof windbreaker and a micro-fleece jacket for layering. Both can be used independently as needed and layer well together. They are also lightweight and easy to pack both in a suitcase and a daypack.

Posted by
23 posts

Thanks for the tips.....what brand of weatherproof windbreaker & micro fleece jacket did you use in Italy?

Posted by
103 posts

I love love love my REI Kyoto rain jacket. I really like that it is waterPROOF and looks like a normal jacket, and it has one of those visor hoods so that when it's raining the water doesn't drip right onto your face. It has very nice pockets that all zip, including a hidden one as well. The only thing that is a bummer is that since it is waterproof it doesn't breathe fantastically well, so it's not a good choice for a summer.

For lightweight layers, I have found that a Uniqlo heattech top + a cashmere sweater under this jacket will keep me comfortable into the low 40s.

Posted by
6798 posts

I currently have a Marmot Precip too, although have used a wide variety of other brands, some anorak and some full-zip. Wife has an Eddie Bauer. I can't think of anywhere I would possibly go, at any time of the year, for which I would not pack a rain jacket.

Posted by
5789 posts

My "go to" Nordic Winter and UK Spring upper body outerwear and insulation mid-layers are Patagonia products about 15 or so years old models. The Patagonia outer jacket is a "hard shell" 2.5 layer with Goretex (Outer nylon layer + Goretex membrane + partial inner layer that protects membrane). Winter insulation layer is a Patagonia R3 fleece jacket. A UK spring rainstorm is a much more severe test of the outer shell than a Nordic wind over a treeless plateau.

My summer/fall rain shell is a lightweight (no Goretex type membrane) Columbia rain jacket. Mid-layer would be a light fleece pullover (Polartec 100 or 200 weight fleece). Wool sweater would be the more "going out at night" alternative to the fleece.

Columbia products (and REI branded products) are a lower cost alternative to Patagonia but if your are in high hazard environments, Patagonia stuff are worth the price.

PS My rain pants are Marmot Preclips. They work well, are economical but have a crinkle when I walk. The Preclip "crinkle" is more severe than that of Goretex multi-layer jackets and rain pants.

Posted by
158 posts

Last October in Istria - used to be Italy, level with Tuscany - I was glad of my down jacket (cheap, very compressible type) and my rainshell layer. I use an Eddie Bauer Weathertech for bad weather, and a Stormtech for light showers. It is the layers that matter.
A light Italian merino wool sweater - bought here or there - makes a lot of difference. Seems like everyone in Europe is wearing down jackets in Fall and winter. Black is inconspicuous and hides the dirt. A pocket umbrella keeps you from getting soaked.

Posted by
158 posts

Last October in Istria - used to be Italy, level with Tuscany - I was glad of my down jacket (cheap, very compressible type) and my rainshell layer. I use an Eddie Bauer Weathertech for bad weather, and a Stormtech for light showers. It is the layers that matter.
A light Italian merino wool sweater - bought here or there - makes a lot of difference. Seems like everyone in Europe is wearing down jackets in Fall and winter. Black is inconspicuous and hides the dirt. A pocket umbrella keeps you from getting soaked.

Posted by
21312 posts

I landed in Nice (southern France--probably warmer than Istria in the spring) on May 1 this year. It was by no means cold, but it remained coolish for at least a couple of weeks, with a possibility of some rain on many days. I was surprised to see quite a number of people on the street in down vests or jackets. I have no idea whether they were locals or toutists, but I had the impression that some of them were young locals. I'd have no hesitancy in wearing anything that afforded good weather-protection.

The advantage of down or an unlined jacket (to be worn with a warm layer only when necessary) is that those gaments can sometimes be jammed into an ordinary purse, which is really convenient on days with changeable weather. I hate having to carry outer layers in my hands as I'm walking down the street, and what else are you going to do with a full-length raincoat or bulky jacket if you aren't wearing it?

Posted by
490 posts

Last October it got damp and cold very early...with tons of rain..

I was in Campania for 6 nights, and Rome for 4 nights. I packed very lightly and many layers not knowing what could be happening weather wise. Two years earlier I was swimming at the same time of year....

Definitely pack a water proof jacket if you can. Water resistant will be okay with umbrella if you are going short distances in the rain.

I like Columbia for inexpensive packable water resistant ones...and I have a Northface for a water proof one.

Posted by
2 posts

I love my Columbia rain jacket, I got it at the outlet several years ago - closest one currently on their website it is now called "Pardon My Trench". It is stylish, and the longer length keeps me dry from the knees up. It folds up & packs very compactly. Lightweigh on it's own, it's easy to layer if you buy a size that is 'roomy' on you.