In a previous post that covered the best Europe winter travel tips I mentioned that having a quality coat, along with a good pair of boots, is an effective and practical way to stay warm and comfortable on those cold, frigid winter days.
Well, in this post I’m going to reveal what I believe to be the 3 best winter jacket for travel options for both men and women.
- 1 The Best Winter Jacket for Travel
- 2 The Best Winter Jacket For Men
- 3 The Best Winter Jacket For Women
- 4 My Personal Recommendation’s
The Best Winter Jacket for Travel
There are a few features you want to look for in a winter coat that you plan to use for travelling:
- Is it waterproof?
A waterproof winter jacket isn’t a necessity but it’s definitely going to be helpful if you’re heading somewhere where it’s going to snow or rain a lot. A waterproof coat will also be useful if you plan on participating in some winter sports like skiing, snowboarding or ice skating when you’re abroad.
- Is it durable/reliable enough for travelling?
Your coat is one of the most important items you’ll use to keep warm. You’ll also likely be wearing it every day so you want a jacket that’s going to stand up to the rigors of travel and moving around a lot on a regular basis.
- Will it keep me warm?
Finally, there are a few factors that determine whether or not a jacket will keep you warm. Is it down filled? Is there a fleece liner? Is the synthetic material going to be warm enough? Keep these in mind when you’re looking at different coats.
The Best Winter Jacket For Men
The North Face Thermoball Full Zip Jacket Review
The North Face is one of my favorite travel gear companies and I find that their jackets are some of the highest quality you can buy.
Their North Face Thermoball Full Zip is a great choice if you’re looking for the best winter jacket for travel and will definitely last you many years of regular use.
Let’s take a look at some of the features:
- Elastic cuffs
- Fully waterproof
- Packs down very small
- Synthetic insulated
One of my favorite things about the North Face Thermoball is how small you can pack it down. It doesn’t come with its own bag but if you’re using a packing cube or you have your own stuff sack you can really shove it in there and it’s actually hilarious how small it can get inside your backpack or suitcase.
It’s a lightweight jacket but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to keep you warm. The North Face takes advantage of the latest Thermoball technology in their puff-style jackets so whether it’s snowing or pouring rain you’ll still be warm and cozy.
This coat also isn’t as heavy as many other winter coats since it uses a synthetic, polyester design to stay light, portable and comfortable.
The cuffs at the end of the sleeves have an elastic built into the jacket. Any time you put it on the cuffs will grip to your wrist and there won’t be any snow or wind flying up your sleeves.
The only problem I have with this jacket is that there isn’t a hood. It’s not a problem if you have a winter hat but some people might prefer a hood instead.
The North Face has consistently delivered high quality, reliable and durable gear and it’s no different with their Thermoball Full Zip. If you want a great winter jacket that you’ll be able to use for travelling as well as at home then I recommend you check out the Thermoball.
Where to Buy?
Columbia Sportswear Men’s Alpine Action Jacket Review
Columbia is one of the most popular companies when it comes to quality and reliable winter jackets and winter gear.
I’ve been using Columbia gear for as long as I can remember and it’s a company I fully support.
Here are some of the features of their Alpine Action jacket:
- Waterproof outer shell
- Removable hood
- Adjustable bottom
- Plenty of pockets
The Columbia Alpine Action jacket is a solid choice if you’re looking for a winter coat for traveling throughout Europe.
It’s not that heavy so it’s portable enough to toss in your backpack or carry around without too much effort.
With a waterproof outer shell you’ll definitely stay dry during and serious snowfall or heavy rain you might experience. If the forecast doesn’t call for rain you can take off the hood and leave it at home if that’s more comfortable for you.
What I love about the Alpine Action is that the bottom can be quickly adjusted depending on how windy it is or if you’ll be participating in any winter sports.
If it’s too windy you can catch some gusts up the back of your coat but with this one you can quickly pull tight the bottom around your waist so wind can no longer fly up the coat. It’s also great if you’ll be skiing or snowboarding to prevent snow from going up your back.
This jacket is functional, practical for travel and it zips right up to your neck so you can keep your neck and face warm throughout the day. There are plenty of pockets to store your hat, gloves or anything else if it’s too warm or if you’re heading indoors and don’t need them.
Overall, the Columbia Alpine Action jacket is a solid choice for winter travel in Europe. I find it to be a great value and it’s comfortable, warm and well suited for walking around all day in cold weather.
Where to Buy?
Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket Review
Without a doubt the Arc’teryx Beta AR is, in my opinion, the best winter jacket for travel you can buy. It’s rugged, breathable and will keep you protected from any of the harsh winter elements that you could experience abroad.
Whether you plan on skiing in the Swiss Alps or you’re going to be walking through the lovely city streets of Central Europe, this jacket will keep you warm, dry and comfortable.
Here are some of the features:
- GORETEX outer shell
- Hood that rotates with your head
- Laminated internal pocket
- Watertight pit-zippers
The Arc’teryx Beta AR is a versatile and near indestructible winter jacket. The GORE-TEX outer shell is one of the highest quality shells you’ll find on a coat and it’s perfect for alpine or urban use.
It might seem like a heavy coat but it’s actually surprisingly lightweight and, if you get too warm when you’re wearing it, you can take advantage of the pit zips to increase air-flow to your body.
Additionally, the front and pocket zippers are watertight as well so you can keep your phone, camera or mp3 in them without worrying about them getting wet from snow or rain.
When you’re wearing this coat you’ll find that the length is just perfect and doesn’t restrict any of your movements. It’s not too long that it gets in the way and it’s not so short that you can feel wind on your back.
If you’re looking for the all-around best winter jacket for travel that’s perfectly suited for walking through cities or using for skiing or snow-based sports then I highly recommend the Arc’teryx Beta AR.
Where to Buy?
The Best Winter Jacket For Women
The North Face Aconcagua Jacket Review
The North Face Aconcagua jacket is one of the top choices for women when it comes to winter coats for travel. The North Face is a reliable brand and their gear is some of the highest quality you can get.
Some of the features of this jacket include:
- 550 fill goose down insulation
- Elastic cuffs
- Lightweight and portable
Since the Aconcagua is down-filled you can expect to stay warm even in the most frigid of European winter temperatures. The down fill also helps to cut the wind so you won’t feel those biting cold drafts against your body when you’re walking around.
The coat itself is extremely lightweight making it very portable and easy to travel with. If it’s going to be extra cold outside I’d suggest layering it with a fleece or warm sweater. It’s not as technical as some of the mens coats and you might get a bit chilly if it’s one of those really cold, windy days.
There isn’t a built-in hood so there’s nothing to mess with your hair and it comes in a variety of colors so you can easily pair it with any of your travel outfits. It’s not that bulky and the diamond-pattern gives it a stylish and sleek appearance.
The only thing I found unusual about this coat is the North Face tag that’s awkwardly positioned near where your neck and face would be when it’s zipped up. I suggest cutting off the little tag and you’ll be good to go!
Where to Buy?
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Review
The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer is a down jacket that seems like it has been designed with travel in mind. It’s not fully waterproof, so you’ll want an outer shell if its going to be raining or heavily snowing, but it’s still a perfect choice for your winter trip abroad.
Here are some of the features:
- Quilted, lightweight construction
- Can stow in its own pocket
- Elastic waist and cuffs
From what I hear, the most favorite aspect of this jacket is the fact that it’s ultralight while still providing a lot of warmth. Not only is it great for layering but it can be used on its own for a fashionable and stylish winter jacket choice.
If you’re doing a lot of travelling then you’ll love how the Ghost Whisperer packs right down into its own pocket. The size of it when its packed is not much bigger than your hand so it will easily slip into your backpack or suitcase if you don’t need to use it.
Both the waist and the cuffs are elastic so you won’t feel any of those nasty drafts coming up your back or up the sleeves. It will definitely keep you warm during cold winter weather but it’s not that heavy so you’ll stay comfortable and won’t get too hot when you’re wearing it.
Other than black there are a variety of colors you can choose from depending on your preferences and personal style.
The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer is definitely one of my top recommendations if you’re looking for a reliable, durable and portable jacket to take along with you on your winter trip to Europe.
The North Face Apex Elevation Jacket Review
The North Face Apex Elevation is another solid choice if you need a winter jacket to travel in Europe with.
Check out some of the features:
- Detachable hood
- Fully windproof
- Comfortable and stylish
Made of polyester, the North Face Apex Elevation is definitely going to keep you warm, dry and fully protected from the elements.
The hood can be easily removed, depending on the weather, and there is a brushed collar for even more comfort.
It’s not as packable as some of the other options for women but it still uses the Primaloft insulation by The North Face so it will pack down quite small without compromising its quality.
There is actually more insulation around the core which helps to keep your body warm while giving your arms and neck more room to breathe.
If you’re going to be doing a lot of walking, or even skiing and other winter sports, then you’ll want to consider The North Face Apex Elevation. One of its best features is that its completely windproof and you’ll stay dry and warm any time you’re outdoors in harsh elements.
My Personal Recommendation’s
For men, I personally recommend the Arcteryx Beta AR. It’s actually the jacket I use during the winter and I’ve had the same one for three years without any issues.
Even in Canadian winters, where it’s regularly 30-below, i’ve stayed toasty warm and dry in the Arcteryx. For all the features and the high quality build of the jacket itself you can’t go wrong.
For women, I recommend the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer. It’s a down jacket, which will help you stay warm, and it’s portable and lightweight which is ideal for travelling.
Obviously I’ve never used this coat but I’ve only heard good things from my friends who have. If you want something that’s waterproof and going to keep you warm then I suggest you take a look at the North Face Apex Elevation instead.