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11 Warm, Lightweight Jackets and Coats for Travelers

Bulky jackets are the bane of cold-weather travelers. If your coat isn’t taking up precious space in your carry-on, you’ll have to lug it around the airport to avoid sweating profusely and looking like a nervous security risk. Here are 11 of the best packable, lightweight winter jackets for travelers that will keep you feeling warm and looking stylish on the road.

Patagonia Women’s Vosque 3-in-1 Parka

Looking for a packable jacket that works for every part of your trip, from the mountains to the city? Patagonia’s Vosque 3-in-1 Parka has it all. The outer shell looks like a stylish tweed jacket, and can be worn alone or paired with the insulated liner for really cold days. The liner can be worn alone and works well when you’re active.  The parka uses 100-g THERMOLITE eco insulation, an environmentally friendly material (it’s 92 percent recycled) that’s lightweight but still super warm.

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Arc’teryx Men’s Atom LT Hoody

The Arc’teryx Men’s Atom LT Hoody is a packable jacket that delivers the warmth needed in a whole host of situations and environments. Insulated with 60 grams of lightweight, water-resistant Coreloft™, this hoody maintains thermal performance if exposed to moisture, and compresses into the tiny nooks of your backpack when not in use.

L.L.Bean Quilted Riding Jacket

L.L.Bean quilted riding jacket

Most easy-to-pack winter jackets look like activewear and are tough to pull off on a city trip, but L.L.Bean’s Quilted Riding Jacket is the ultimate winter coat that can do both. Its classic design goes with any outfit and won’t make you look like a tourist who just wandered into town off a hike. Thanks to the insulated synthetic lining, it will keep you warm in -15 degrees F (with moderate activity). Want to layer this jacket? It has adjustable waist tabs that let you customize the fit based on what you’re wearing.

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The North Face ThermoBall Eco Hoodie

The north face thermoball eco hoodie

The ThermoBall Eco Hoodie, available for women and men, packs down incredibly small thanks to PrimaLoft technology that traps heat within small air pockets. This winter jacket is water-resistant and made of recycled polyester and nylon.

Columbia Women’s Mighty Lite Hooded Jacket

Omni-Heat lining and insulation give Columbia’s Mighty Lite Jacket plenty of warmth. It comes in a range of colors and can be found for a surprisingly low price when on sale. This lightweight coat won’t add much bulk to your bag and has a handy interior security pocket to stow valuables.

Uniqlo Men’s Ultra Light Down Parka

If you’re looking for an affordable and packable down jacket, try Uniqlo’s Ultra Light Down Parka, which folds up into its own handy carrying pouch so you can easily slip it into your suitcase. The hood and water-repellent fabric will protect you in rain or snow showers, and the range of colors will suit any style.

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Obermeyer Women’s Tuscany II Jacket

Based in the snow sports mecca of Aspen, Colorado, since 1947, Obermeyer knows a thing or two about cold and wet weather. It’s developed a patented HydroBlock Sport fabric tested to resist nearly 400 inches of rain (and roll stain-causing liquids right off). Find it in the Tuscany II Jacket, which also uses another unique Obermeyer material: Thermore Classic insulation, which is thin and light but still warm. The hood is removable and adjustable, as is the faux fur trim.

Patagonia PrimaLoft Nano Puff Coat

Patagonia’s PrimaLoft Nano Puff Hoody (available for men and women) is the lightest jacket I’ve ever owned. The women’s version weighs just 10 ounces (the men’s is 12.8 ounces), yet is ultra-warm and waterproof. Unlike some other methods of insulation, you can feel good about this jacket: Its 60-g PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco is more than 50 percent recycled material.

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The North Face Arrowood Triclimate Jacket

The north face arrowood triclimate jacket

The North Face’s versatile Arrowood Triclimate Jacket (available for women and men) is a three-in-one coat that’s perfect for travel: You can wear the waterproof, windproof shell or comfy inner fleece liner by themselves, or combine them to make a warm winter jacket. The hood, wrist cuffs, and hem cinch cord are all adjustable for a better fit. This breathable coat is designed for hiking and other outdoor activities.

Lululemon Pack It Down Jacket

The Pack It Down Jacket can be folded up into the right-hand pocket, making it one of the best packable down jackets for women. The fabric is weather-resistant, and the 700-fill-power goose down is certified to the Responsible Down Standard. You can remove the hood to further cut down on weight and space.

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Arc’teryx Men’s Cerium LT Hoody

The Cerium LT Hoody from Arcteryx is incredibly lightweight—just 10.8 ounces—yet it’s surprisingly warm thanks to its combination of goose down and synthetic insulation. (Note that on rainy or extremely cold days, it’s best combined with a weatherproof shell.) The Cerium LT Hoody compresses into its own stuff sack for easy packing.

For more options, see The Best Winter Coats on Amazon.

More from SmarterTravel:

Caroline Morse always packs lightweight winter jackets for travel to cold destinations. Follow Caroline on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline for style and travel photos from around the world.

Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information. Sarah Schlichter contributed to this story.

By Caroline Morse Teel

Unfortunately for her bank account, Principal Editor Caroline Morse Teel is powerless to resist a good flight deal. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Caroline joined Boston-based SmarterTravel in 2011 after living in Ireland, London, and Manhattan. She's traveled to all seven continents, jumped out of planes, and bungeed off bridges in the pursuit of a good story. She loves exploring off-the-beaten path destinations, anything outdoorsy, and all things adventure.

Her stories have also appeared online at USA Today, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Yahoo, Boston.com, TripAdvisor, Buzzfeed, Jetsetter, Oyster, Airfarewatchdog, and others.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Earplugs. A good pair has saved my sleep and sanity many times!"

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.

Travel Motto: "Don't be boring."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle (when the first class private suite isn't available)."

E-mail her at cmorse@smartertravel.com.

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