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Packable Rain Jacket

I'm looking for a packable rain jacket for our upcoming UK trip (late September, early October). I've narrowed my search down to three options, after doing some searching here and elsewhere. I'd appreciate some thoughts from any women who have any of these.
1. LLBean Trail Model Rain Jacket
2. Columbia Arcadia II Jacket
3. Trespass Qikpac jacket

I'll mostly be wearing merino wool dresses over leggings.

Posted by
407 posts

Good question, Maryellen, I'm curious to see the answers.

One of my tasks this weekend is to stand in the shower with the two new jackets I have at home to see how repellant they are. They are both a longer length than the ones you've listed, but I'm looking at options. I just got a Columbia when passing the outlet store and the other is from Costco. Actually, my favorite is a longer Eddie Bauer I've had for years, although it wouldn't be as packable. Alas! It does not have a hood! I've wondered if a seamstress could attach one that would look decent.
Cheryl

Posted by
2457 posts

I have previously owned the Columbia jacket, but it had to be retired. I liked it fine but it was a bit slim fitting for me. My choice for replacement (not yet road tested, will use this fall) is this 33,000ft jacket. It weighs 16.4 ounces (size M). I like that it has pit vents and doesn't have a giant logo. I sized up so I have room for layers. I got the color listed as blue, but it's really more of a dark teal.

Posted by
4420 posts

CNN recommended the Patagonia Torrent but it doesn't have a front pocket for phone, so I bought a jacket from REI. I have an old Bean Goretex that I used in Wales when it poured at St. Fagan's. I love that it covers my bottom, so I could sit on wet benches but the new Bean one is not las ong and didn't get good ratings from CNN. I love my old one so much(sentimental reasons-given to me by my inlaws at a time in my life when I would never have spent that much on a jacket) that I don't take it on trips and risk losing it. As you no doubt know, you want to have a really good rain jacket in the UK. And I would never buy a rain jacket that doesn't have a hood.

Posted by
848 posts

Mammut 2.5 layer goretex paclite. I know they’re expensive but I have had mine for 5 years now and it’s been worth every penny especially in some down pours in Ireland back in July. Most rain jackets repel sprinkles, downpours are a different matter.

Posted by
329 posts

I always buy Marmot rain jackets, excellent protection.

I did also for 15 years or better. The later version started sluffing off the inner liner about 5 years ago. I tried 3 different jackets (Precip) and they all did the same. I switched to REI brand & like it. Not a year in though

Posted by
97 posts

We have Black Diamond's Storm Line jackets, purchased for traveling in Scotland. I did test the jacket in the shower but the real test was in Scotland where the jackets kept us completely dry in heavy, sideways & blowing, rain. Pit zips helped the jackets to breathe as we walked about. I have the Ink Blue with subtle grey logo. DH has Kingfisher blue with dark grey logo that's not all that obtrusive.

Jackets are expensive but I was able to find them on sale.
https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/product/stormline-stretch-rain-shell-womens/

Good luck with your search!

Posted by
7380 posts

I’ve brought my black Columbia Arcadia II Jacket on trips to Europe for at least the last seven years. I always have it handy on the plane to stay warm besides wearing it during the trip. If you have a heavy rain, you will eventually get wet, but it serves my purpose.

I finally bought an aqua one on sale last year - same coat, because I like it so well but wanted a color that shows up better when I’m out walking at home.

Posted by
154 posts

Cheryl, Amazon has a bunch of packable rain hats. All sorts of styles. Maybe that could work for you?

Posted by
14151 posts

I have the Columbia model jacket that is one step down from the Arcadia. My Switchback does not have an adjustable hood which I didn’t notice when I bought it so it was constantly flopping forward over my face in windy conditions. The Arcadia is listed as an adjustable hood so that is something to look for.

Depending on where you’re going in UK you may want to layer a puffy vest or jacket under the rain shell so size accordingly. I’m currently in UK….but very far north. Even though it’s not really cold (temps in the 50’s to low 60’s) it’s windy and about half the days I’ve worn my puffy vest under my old Cabelas waterproof jacket. I’m on Shetland, yesterday went to the northernmost inhabited island and have had a lot of rain and wind. My old Cabelas is a bit heavier fabric than the Switchback and I’m needing that weight right now.

You may be able to try on the Columbia jacket locally. If you have an REI they should have the Arcadia. I’m not familiar with the Trespass brand to know if it’s sold in stores. LLBean, obviously not.

@Cheryl - As to attaching an aftermarket hood…I’d say no. Any stitching is going to impact the integrity of the waterproof membrane and you may leak, lol.

Posted by
15510 posts

Columbia also makes a packable rain jacket called the Watertight.

Stay away from it. You will be soaked in anything but a light drizzle.

Posted by
4171 posts

I have this Eddie Bauer Packable Rainfoil Jacket in 3 colors. I was all set to use one of them on my trip to Ireland (RS tour, July) and Wales last summer. Then I remembered the sideways rain in England and Scotland (May-June 2016) and decided that getting a longer rain jacket (similar to the EB one I had then) would be a better idea. I did and it was.

I took and used the Women's Girl On The Go Trench Coat consistently on my trip. It is not packable, but I was willing to forsake that for the butt coverage. And it was cold and wet enough that I wore it a lot, especially in Ireland.

Both these jackets have hoods. That's a necessity for me. But I've learned that I need to wear a ball cap or a watch cap under the hood to keep it from sliding around and to help keep the rain off my face and glasses. I took both last summer. I used the watch cap when it was cold and the ball cap when it wasn't quite so cold.

BTW, waterproof shoes or boots would probably be good idea, too.

Somehow I've always missed being in the UK in the fall. I hope you experience a beautiful autumn while you're there.

Posted by
381 posts

Lands End has good options; you can shop their site and often some of their products are on Amazon and Kohls(which makes for easier returns).

Posted by
434 posts

I have LandsEnd packable rain jacket/coat. I’m very pleased with it being waterproof and I love having the hood. It is longer than the one you showed from Bean. I find having it covering your tush really helps when it’s raining. I will say that it does pack into a pocket but I found it was easier to put in suitcase folded and not as a fairly sizable lump. It was a pretty skinny addition when folded into my 20” carryon.

Posted by
774 posts

In late Sept - early October I would need a rain coat, with a puffer vest on colder days. This jacket says 'packable' but frankly it's not a super light weight one but does the job in a downpour. I see it's on sale now & it has a handy front breast zipper pocket big enough for a phone. (The bright blue coat is more of a medium royal blue.) https://www.landsend.com/products/womens-waterproof-rain-jacket/id_330103?attributes=8867,12520,43307,43398,44379,44967.

Posted by
4420 posts

My Marmot had the same problem as MarkMcG's. That's why I also bought one from REI.

Posted by
451 posts

I'm a self-admitted Eddie Bauer fan, especially when it comes to outerwear and lightweight bags. I bought an Eddie Bauer "Women's Rainfoil Utility Jacket" (this is not the same one that Lo mentioned a few posts earlier). It isn't listed as packable but in my test-packing for my trip to Europe in a couple of weeks, it packed up very small and doesn't seem to wrinkle. I haven't had the chance to try it out in the rain yet, but it is listed as having the second most waterproof finish (StormRepel DWR Plus) that Eddie Bauer carries. It has an adjustable hood and the jacket is long enough to cover my rear (I'm 5'4 and purchased an XL). It does seem to run a bit large but that is fine since I want room to layer another jacket underneath if I need to. Another feature that I know I will like is that it has four secure pockets on the front (two with zippers and two with snaps) as well as a zippered interior pocket. The jacket is on clearance right now (with the code Canoe50) and is $129.99 before the 50% discount.

Posted by
5632 posts

I bought one of the REI Co-op packable rain jackets last year and am happy with it. Many of them are on sale now.

Posted by
418 posts

I am now on my second Marmot. I got tired of the color of my last one. I used it for 12 years. I love the feature of an adjustable hood. I would never buy a rain jacket without that. I have a Columbia down jacket and It has performed well for me.

Posted by
6784 posts

Diane, I reallly like the look of the Black Diamond jacket. I saw the ones on sale, but then saw one on Amazon that was a bit cheaper in my size, so I ordered that one. I want to check the size and look on me, and it's easier (and cheaper) to return it to Amazon.

Posted by
407 posts

PandaBear and Pam, thanks for your comments. I'll take a look at the rain hats--to perhaps have one on hand for my EB coat, even if I do take a different coat on this trip.

Posted by
898 posts

I just got the Columbia Splash a Little II. They are on sale on their site though I bought mine thru Amazon for easy return if it wasn't what I wanted. Love it. Hooded, 3 zippered pockets including an interior security one, adjustable cuffs, longer length. I sized up so I can layer as needed.

Posted by
2134 posts

Mark--We have had the same experience with the Marmot Precip jacket.

I love the REI brand jackets, as well as OR and Arcteryx. My newest OR one has basically side zippers that go all the way up under the armpits, so basically one long pit zip. I love that I can unzip the bottom by 2-3 inches to sit down and not have it bunch up on me. I am very short waisted, so this happens with too many jackets.

Posted by
278 posts

Such great information, thank you all!

I happen to have a couple of hours to fill just up the street from REI today, so I'm going to check what they have. Their REI brand jackets look pretty good.

Posted by
278 posts

Reporting back:

I went with the REI Rainier Rain Jacket. It's very light, waterproof and windproof. Plus it was on sale!

While I was at REI I spotted a small, crossbody bag which I grabbed. It's called the High Coast Pocket by Fjall Raven. This should work well to hold my ID and phone, I can wear it over my dress and then my cardigan will cover it up. I think I'm done purchasing things for the trip!

Thank you all!

Posted by
407 posts

Thank, Maryellen. Those both look good. Does the hood have an cords? I'm especially like the looks of the longer Rainier.

Posted by
278 posts

Thank, Maryellen. Those both look good. Does the hood have an cords? I'm especially like the looks of the longer Rainier.

Yes, it does have cords.

Posted by
1532 posts

I bought a packable rain jacket at Costco pre-Covid. I live in CA and therefore seldom have the chance to test its waterproof claim. I only launder it with delicates.

Costco prices are low, though sometimes the quality of their clothing is so-so. I know you are choosing among the three listed, but I just wanna throw this one into the mix just in case.

Posted by
14 posts

Another handy item to add with your rain jacket is a Fitkicks foldable hat as it keeps your hood from creeping down when raining as well as keeps any eyeglasses dry. I store mine in one of the inside mesh pockets that my LLBean rainjacket has and use the other mesh pocket for my rainproof gloves. I try to save the zippered exterior pockets for ID/coin purse, lip gloss & other miscellaneous items rather than carrying a purse.
Another handy tip is one that I picked up on this website probably seven years ago: pack a cashmere cardigan as an additional warm layer beneath your coats. It has really kept me warm!
I'm only on my second LLBean foldable rain jacket that I've been using since our 2001 Alaska cruise. It's also been used consistently, folded up most of the time I hope, any time my husband & I are out on his motorcycle.
Enjoy your trip!