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Not Shoes, Not Purses, Not Suitcases - Jackets and Sweaters!

#1
I'm 66 yrs old, and I've been traveling for quite a while now, so you'd think I'd have most of these pressing issues settled, but I still struggle - just not with the stuff everyone else is talking about.

Regarding shoes: I have high arches, wear custom orthotics in my shoes, and don't give a fig about fashion, so I never worry about shoes for vacation. New pair of running shoes and a pair of sandals and I'm good to go.

Regarding purses: I'm not really a purse person. As long as it has enough room for what want/need, in the right combination of zippers and pockets, I'm pretty easy to please. Now I usually take a 'real' purse when flying, but use a backpack purse during our vacations. I have a black one and a tan one that are the right size, so I'm set for quite a while.

Regarding suitcases: I'm still mixing and matching suitcases, having not yet found 'the' perfect one, but I'm not on a quest, and think I may now actually possess the right number and sizes of suitcases to last me for the rest of my life.

Regarding jackets and sweaters: It never, ever fails, even after all these years: I have to buy at least one new jacket/sweater every single time we travel. I never seem to have the right combination of warmth/breathability/packability/comfort/versatility - never!

This year has been very challenging. Yes, we're going to Ireland in July, followed by Yorkshire - but what does that mean? Will I need a jacket in the morning and then have to drag it around with me for the majority of the day? Or will I wish for MORE layers as I stand on the windswept cliffs of western Ireland or in the moors of Yorkshire? Yes, I know how to layer, but I'm still not certain I have the right combination of t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, jackets, rain parka and insulated vest! Is it just me?
 

Colo

500+ Posts
#2
We have a routine to prepare for a trip. The destination or time of year does not matter. About a week before the trip we will notify the credit card companies, get some cash, and pack our suitcases with everything we think we will need. Let all items sit in suitcase for 48 hours. Then take out half of the items in the suitcase and repack in a smaller suitcase. When that task is completed, I go to the bank and double the amount of cash. Over the years no matter how well we planned we always packed too much and never had enough cash. Now we just make the realization before we leave, compensate for our poor planning, and travel lighter. ;)
 
#3
I have a hard time getting Art to cut down on his clothes! Last year we took waaay too much, but it didn't matter because we cruised both ways. This year, OTOH, we'll have to lug our stuff all over Europe - and we'll be gone for 5 months. It'll be interesting to reassess once we get home.
 
#4
For our mid-April through mid-July European trip, I take a packable vest and packable jacket. So far this year, I have used the vest and jacket separately but have had no need to layer them.

For our mid-October through mid-January Venice visit, I take my a packable vest and a packable coat. I have worn them separately and also together when it has gotten very cold. I also pack some cotton turtlenecks.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
#6
We are in Brittany now. We were packed and ready to go when I ran back into the house and grabbed my light fleece and a windbreaker style jacket. I needed both the first day!!

I bring a cotton sweater and a very thin wool sweater that I can use as a warm layer. This worked fine on our May Italy trip. For the northern countries I would add a light fleece and a light jacket.

Rain jackets are always a question. We hardly ever wear our good rain jackets in England - never in the summer. Now we have very light weight ones that we travel with.
 

Colo

500+ Posts
#7
When it comes to a rain jacket that is something that will always makes the suitcase. NorthFace makes a Men's Allproof Stretch Jacket that is waterproof and great in the wind - it also has a hood. But the material it is made from allows it to folded and roll to where it is not much bigger than a coffee mug. It knocks the wind down well enough that I have used it in the Netherlands with a heavy sweater as a coat. Pretty good product with lots of zip up pockets. A little pricey for a what my father would have called a windbreaker, but a good product. (oh yeah they have the same jacket for ladies)

NDS051.jpg

(ok.... a male model - I am not! But I like the jacket ;)
 
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#8
Rain ponchos were a last minute addition. I've waterproofed both our jackets, but having a poncho will allow me to wear - and protect! - my backpack, and will give me a hood. I'll need the hood because my sunhat it woven, and therefore not waterproof.
 
#11
On our trip to Ireland in July 2016, I had brought both a rain coat and a warmer coat, but I was so cold I ended up buying a wool scarf. In July! A year earlier I bought a hoodie at Plitvice lake in September. Usually though I don't have enough hot weather clothes. This year we'll be in Berlin in earlier September and end up in Sicily in October, so I have no idea what I'll be bringing with me. I feel your pain, artnbarb!
 

Roz

500+ Posts
#13
I have a packable rain jacket that I bought at Costco for only $20, but I admit I've never worn it. It does pack very small, and looks reasonably good, but we haven't had any rain since I bought it so I haven't really tested it. (It never rains here in summer, and since buying it I've only traveled to New Mexico, which is having terrible drought.)

Here's a link to the online version. Costco only has the men's online, but I often buy men's clothing there in a smaller size, and things usually fit fine. It is also for sale at Amazon, for a lot more money, but you can see the mostly favorable reviews there. 32 Degrees Rain Jacket.
 
#14
I have a packable rain jacket that I bought at Costco for only $20, but I admit I've never worn it. It does pack very small, and looks reasonably good, but we haven't had any rain since I bought it so I haven't really tested it. (It never rains here in summer, and since buying it I've only traveled to New Mexico, which is having terrible drought.)

Here's a link to the online version. Costco only has the men's online, but I often buy men's clothing there in a smaller size, and things usually fit fine. It is also for sale at Amazon, for a lot more money, but you can see the mostly favorable reviews there. 32 Degrees Rain Jacket.
We both have that jacket, but it's very fitted. I couldn't wear my purse-backpack with it, or even a 'regular' purse across my body, so I'm going to try the poncho. I bought a Coleman Rain Poncho. It got better reviews than the Totes poncho, and for $7, as long as it lasts thru this vacation, I'll be satisfied.
 
#15
Let all items sit in suitcase for 48 hours. Then take out half of the items in the suitcase and repack in a smaller suitcase.
My friend did that for our recent walking holiday. When she arrived she discovered she'd removed the bag with all the quick-dry walking T-shirts in it, so she wore a strange array of clothing for our walking days :) And I had to lend her a poncho because her jacket turned out not to be waterproof and it rained, a lot.
 
#16
For our recent trip, I bought a relatively cheap jacket with foldaway hood from Decathlon. I think it cost about 40 euros. It turned out to be much more waterproof then some people's more expensive jackets (and it was amply tested, since I lent my poncho to my friend, as mentioned above). I actually chose from the men's range because it was a bit longer (mid-thigh) and plenty roomy enough to wear at least two layers underneath (T-shirt plus light fleece). And not too heavy or bulky when stuffed into my rucksack.
 
#17
I always bring a raincoat (mid-thigh) that has a hood. I use it for cutting the wind, also. I have used it in fairly cold weather by just layering it over a wool sweater or jacket and using a warm scarf at the neck. It packs well, so it doesn't take up much space. Since I have the hood on the raincoat, I never bring an umbrella. The warm pieces I have been wearing under the coat have been Ibex. I am mourning the closure of Ibex and looking for new ideas.
 
#18
So many raincoats/jackets are water resistant, rather than waterproof. One must really read the labels, or you'll end up with wet shoulders, or rain coming through the seams. Gortex works.

I have a Cole Haan/Mountain Hardware featherweight, waterproof 3/4 jacket with hood. It served me well in the Cotswolds last year. It can crossover between city and country without looking specific to one or the other. It's for summer or warm weather, but I can easily wear a 3/4 length long sleeve cardigan beneath it for a layer.

I also have a heavier Cole Haan/Mountain Hardware low-hip length jacket without a hood. Waterproof. It serves well for windy situation, but does require carrying an umbrella. It looks nice enough for city-wear.

I have a 20 year-old NorthFace Mountain Hardware "Mountain Lite" Goretex jacket that still looks new. It has zippers beneath the arms to unzip when in warmer rains. It has a zip-out heavy fleece jacket that can be worn alone, too. That's a combo that I use for countryside wear, when the temperatures indicate it's needed.

None of my jackets are still available, so I'm glad I have these three!
 
#20
I always travel with my black, mid-thigh length Lands End (or LL Bean, I can never remember which) rain jacket. In the winter I bring the lining, in the summer I don't. I can't stand to be cold or, worse, cold and wet so I'd rather deal with the extra item in my bag than be without it. The bonus for me is that it has an inside zippered safety pocket where I can keep my money and passport. It wasn't inexpensive but I've only replaced the jacket once over the past 15 years, not bad.
 

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