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I'm looking for a good travel option for rain wear. Easy to pack and will keep me dry. Not really interested in the fold up poncho

Posted by
1294 posts

One of my travel mottos is layer, layer,layer. I find it much more useful to wear a base layer (short sleeve shirt), 1-2 warmth layers(a fleece, jacket, etc) and then a lightweight rain jacket in case of rain. When purchasing a rain jacket, I look for 3 things: breathable, windproof and water proof. Getting those 3 things may mean you are not purchasing the most inexpensive jacket in the store, but it is worth it. The windproof will really help keep you warm, even though the jacket is lightweight and thin. (I have tested mine at over 14,000 feet and it works). Breathable is important because it makes the jacket more comfortable. (nothing worse than feeling damp and moist under the jacket) and the water proof speaks for itself. I purchased my Marmot precip in 2006 and it is still in great shape. (I have taken it to the tops of mountains and all over the US and Europe) I tried a few "throwaway" rain coats before it, and that is exactly what I did with them: threw them away because they were not comfortable to wear. ( I felt moist and sweaty in them...even a breathable jacket is not perfect that way but a big improvement). I have seen jackets similar to the precip at Costco for much less, so you might start there.

Posted by
2261 posts

I paid a fair sum-about $140 I think-for my Patagonia rain shell, and I love it. Super light, folds up very small, has zipper opening under the arms (this is a big deal!) and..keeps me dry. There are men's and women's styles in several price ranges.

Posted by
7452 posts

Last year for our trip to Switzerland, the forecast was rain, so I quickly purchased this from Amazon: Columbia Women's Arcadia II Jacket, Black. Great coat that kept me dry; I layered an extremely thin micro-thermal top under it on the cold days.

Posted by
439 posts

I wear the EB rain jacket, where the hood folds into the collar for Ireland, layer it with a fleece for colder days/nights. Worked out perfectly.

Posted by
14250 posts

Second vote for the Marmot Precip! I like it in addition to the above reasons because it will fold up small enough to fit in my purse.

Posted by
986 posts

3rd Vote for Marmot Precip - my husband & I each have one . . . you can get them on Amazon, but we got a great deal on ours online at Sierra Trading Post.

Posted by
219 posts

LlBean, Marmot, EMS, Columbia, NorthFace plus others make nice light weight packable rain jackets. We use ours as an outer layer in colder weather(layered over fleece or a Primaloft packable jacket), as well as in rain. Handy item to travel with. We use ours for hiking and travel.

My husband and I have older versions this-
I love it.
There are others that aren't actual GoreTex but work just as well for less $$.
One of my daughters has an LLBean one-Tek2 and my other daughter has a NorthFace HyVent. Both nice and under $100

Posted by
692 posts

I'm going to jump in here.

I have a rain jacket made by North Face w/Gore Tex, that I bought in about '99 or 2000. Despite the claims that it's "breathable" I've always found myself rather sweaty in it and have avoided wearing it for that reason.

Please tell me: Has fabric technology improved in the past 15 years to the point where if I purchase a new jacket, I won't be sweaty in it?

Posted by
14250 posts

Yes, huge changes in breathability of the technical fabrics. They are also softer and less "crinkly" sounding altho my Marmot which is 2 years old is crinklier than the newer fabrics. I don't find myself sweaty in my older Marmot but the inside of the fabric feels cooler when it is raining or snowing if that in any way makes sense. I have a gortex parka from 1999 or 2000 but I wear it in winter so have several layers under it and dont notice any clamminess. I have worn the Marmot with a short sleeved Tee with no icky or sweaty feeling. It also has pit zips which I have used to ventilate in rain in warm climates like Italy.

If you have something like an REI where you live, go in and talk to them. Usually their sales folk wear the gear they sell and can give you an idea about it's properties other than what you can read on the label.