Whether traveling for business or pleasure, packing for a trip is often people’s least favorite part of the ordeal. This is especially true when going somewhere with a climate that’s different at your destination than it is where you’re originating from. After all, if you’re headed from the Upper Midwest to Florida in the middle of winter, you will need a jacket that keeps you warm until you get on the plane. And if you’re driving, you’ll need a lightweight jacket to keep you warm in the car until you reach warmer weather.
Things can get even more complicated if you’re headed somewhere cold from a warm-weather destination, as you risk overheating in a bulky winter coat until you get there. Even then, storing your travel jacket is a consideration to keep in mind. That's why we're presenting a short guide below to ease you through those times when you need something that's not too light, not too warm, and that’s not difficult to travel with. These are the best men's travel jackets.
Layering is key when traveling, as each layer plays a role in comfort. The base layer can be worn on its own in warmer climates. The middle layer provides extra warmth over the base one when needed but can also be worn as an insulator under the third layer: a waterproof shell. Lightweight insulators, like men's fleece jackets, immediately come to mind when thinking about what the best men’s travel jackets are for layering. Something without the bulkiness or length that can come with a more heavy-duty jacket lets you pull it off and store it in an overhead compartment with ease. For an even more versatile option, consider a men's fleece vest: If your environment ever grows too toasty, you can simply zip it down the front and leave it on—so you don’t need to take it off and stow it away.
Even the most seasoned of travelers can find packing for winter travel a daunting experience. And no other object on your list will likely take up so much room as a winter jacket. This prompts a dilemma: Do you try and find space for it in your bag, tossing out other practicalities? Or do you wear it on your plane, train, or automobile, accepting the inevitable overheating? You can say no to both those scenarios by opting for a men's packable winter jacket. Wear it to your connection, zip it off before boarding, and stow it away with your other belongings—all without sacrificing your socks or breaking a sweat.
If you want something that’s lightweight but that offers a warmth factor that’s higher than what a packable down jacket provides, you do have options. Although men’s down jackets (/shop/mens-down-coats-jackets/S-xfi-xez-y5b-xoo-xhi-xec) can have a reputation for being bulky, Lands’ End offers lightweight down options that provide the warmth you need, without all the bulk. They will provide all the insulation that comes from down, but cut back on the bulk factor to ensure that they'll be more easily stored when the moment comes to peel back a layer.
Whether it’s your passport, wallet, cellphone, men’s face masks, or anything else you might need handy while traveling, you’ll need a place to store it all. And when carry-on space is limited, a men’s travel jacket with pockets can be a major convenience. A men’s waterproof commuter coat is great for this purpose, with both interior and exterior pockets that can be buttoned or zippered shut. Plus, you can ensure that whatever you put in there stays dry and stays put.
When traveling somewhere that’s particularly cold and/or wet, there’s no reason to sacrifice warmth. If you do, you’ll risk ruining your entire trip since you won’t be able to venture outside for fear of frostbite or hypothermia. Men’s winter parkas are great for this reason since you can purchase them in different temperature ratings and thicknesses. Look for a weatherproof shell with a three-layer, breathable, and water- and wind-repellent fabric that keeps you dry without weighing your luggage down. A removable hood offers even more versatility. Simply research the weather forecast for your destination so you’ll know in advance whether or not it will be necessary to take it with you. If there is any risk of precipitation, a hood is a lot more packable than an umbrella.
Imagine flying to a client meeting, trying to make an impression when you get there, and walking in wearing the same jacket you wear when shoveling snow or running errands. No matter how much you think your personality will shine through once you take off your coat, first impressions matter. And if their first impression of you is that you don’t professionally present yourself, you may be wasting your time taking the trip to begin with. When you really want to make a good impression, wear a travel jacket that’s not only warm and waterproof, but that also looks slick and professional. If you can get away with a blazer to keep you warm in mild climates, perfect. But if you’re headed somewhere cold, something like a long wool overcoat will keep you warm while looking sharp. Find one in a camel color or in black, so you can ensure that it will match everything you plan on wearing during your trip.
Overall, the secret to choosing the perfect winter coat is to consider the weather at your destination, the purpose of your trip, and the quality of your jacket. Starting your search at Lands’ End will ensure you find the best men’s travel jacket for your next trip.