Long a favorite of skiers, hikers, and climbers, the ultra light goose down jacket has now gone main stream and high fashion at prices for every traveler.
I first saw this type of jacket earlier this week on “Live with Kelly and Michael”. The expert guest on the show presented holiday gift ideas and one of her items was one of these very light weight but extremely warm down jackets. She commented that the jackets only weigh about 7 oz, but I didn’t realize how practical these jackets were until I saw them in person at my local Costco. The jackets are so light weight and packable, they even come with a little pouch into which one can pack the entire coat. I knew immediately that these jackets are perfect for Alaska, South America, and European cruise travelers.
Many of us find ourselves wearing our heavy coats on our travel day, even when our starting point might be 95 degree Arizona. We do this to avoid having to pay extra fees at airlines which have many restrictions on the size and weights of the bags we can bring. Many cruisers visiting cool weather ports, like Alaska, find it hard to stay under those minimums with a packed coat because their jacket takes up so much room and ads so much weight in their suit case. With a great little compact jacket like this, the ladies will have room for their favorite shoes and evening wear, and the men will even be able to bring along a suit or tuxedo for formal night.
While the original sportsman’s version designed for hiking, climbing, or skiing, from companies like Patagonia and O’Neil, will set you back about $200 to $250, the fashion versions, from companies like Calvin Klein, are available at Costco for just $39 and at major retailers, like Nordstrom, and online for around $80. Outdoor gear giant Cabela’s sells men’s and women’s versions starting at around $50. To find a light weight packable down jacket, just use the search terms “Light Weight Down Jacket” or “Packable Down Jacket” or visit one of the retailers mentioned here.