I love to travel in the Spring, even though it can be a wet season for many destinations. While it’s always a good idea to pack a travel umbrella, you may want to consider including some lightweight water-resistant outerwear.
My packing suggestion is to leave heavy outerwear at home, and use layers for warmth underneath a weatherproof shell. That way, you aren’t stuck shlepping around a bulky, heavy coat when the sun comes out or your sightseeing takes you to museums or other indoor venues.
I also find that simple styles without a lot of hardware, volume, or extraneous details (ruffles, flaps, ties) and in solid fabrics are most versatile and work best for travel. Bonus points for a removable hood (or one that folds away into the collar) and a double zip closure (so you can unzip from the bottom).
Travel Raincoats: Neutrals
Here are a few selections that will rise to the level of Smart Casual and should be easy to pack:
Many of you have recommended this Girl-On-The-Go trench. It’s available in several neutral shades, and in Regular, Petite, Plus, and Tall size ranges.
This packable raincoat has a nice streamlined shape, and comes with a pouch for packing. I like this “Champagne” color, but there are other colors as well. Offered up to size XXL. (Plus size in Black.)
Olive is always a nice choice, as it can function as either a neutral or color, and plays well with so many other colors. Misses / Tall
You may remember Mycra Pac raincoats. While a bit spendy, they are truly lightweight and the reversible design adds to their versatility. Sadly, they no longer seem to be as widely available. The company was purchased in 2017, and the new owners have either not continued to manufacture them, or have reduced distribution.
2½ Week Spring Travel Wardrobe
This year I plan to replace my travel raincoat, and see this as an opportunity to add some color to my travel wardrobe.
I’ve posted this rain jacket before because it’s just so darn cute in person. It’s now offered in lots more colors, up to size 3x in many of them, and is also in Petite and Tall sizes.
If you don’t shy away from a bright color, this pretty “lavender cloud” jacket has some nice features like a double zip fastening and pockets that zip closed. Offered in Regular and Petite sizes, as well as Plus.
This style is budget-friendly, comes in stripes (with lobsters!) plus some other fun colors. Offered up to size 16.
This plus-size hooded raincoat is offered in four colors, including “Canyon Rose” shown above.
This jacket has a cute bow in the back and comes in several different colors. And here’s a longer Mackintosh style, available in four other colors.
This coat, which blocks both wind and rain, gets great reviews. The red is fun and classic, but there are softer colors and neutrals too.
Finally, another packable style with an adjustable waist that ties in back. This barely-there pale pink color would also work as a neutral, and be compatible with just about any other color in your travel wardrobe. In sizes XS to XL.
What outerwear do you usually travel with?
I’m with you 100% on the hood and the zipper. I also like pockets.
I have a microfiber raincoat (with hood) that I bought eons ago in Paris during a downpour. It’s rather thin, but it’s a swing coat, so I can easily put it on over a warmer jacket. Something else to keep in mind–that you are comfortable in the coat with a couple of layers underneath.
I bought the Reversible Mycro PAC for my first Paris trip and while I love how it looks and wears, I found it to be not very rain resistant. Definitely not good in a down pour and not warm. I now have an REI raincoat that is totally rain proof and wind resistant too. It looks good , too. But not as fashion forward as the Mycro PAC. But I’d rather be dry and warm!
I second the vote for REI raincoats. I have had a black one for many years, knee length with hood, and it traveled with me to Italy last fall. I specifically bought it big enough to wear layers for warmth, and have been very glad for the investment in this item. Agree with Susan’s suggestions for spring/fall travel where heavy winter wear is not needed.
I have the Uniqlo Blocktech coat and it is fabulous. It is light and easy to pack, and great for wind and/or rain.
I bought the LLBean H2Off raincoat for my trip to London last week. It has a zip out warmth liner and adjustable elastic drawstrings for customizing the waist fit and hood. Good value at this time of year, too. Offered in petite size, which was crucial for sleeve length. It is waterproof, not water resistant, which can make a big difference! Very pleased.
I agree with Marguerite. I’m about to take the same coat to France and England for its fifth trip. I might add that it has a double zipper and an interior pocket large enough to hold my mini umbrella. I’m 5’2″, and the medium works over anything I’ve so far wished to wear beneath. Here it is: LLBean H2Off Rain Jacket, which also comes in 2 other lengths:
DGW, I forgot to add the double zipper was an absolute must have. I’m planning to donate all my coats that don’t have one!
I have the full length version of this jacket in blue as well as an older knee length style in khaki. I brought along the zip-out liner for a recent trip to Seattle but didn’t need it, wearing multiple layers underneath. Daytime temps were in the mid 40s and no rain or snow.
Another vote for this coat. I have the unlined version in black. It kept me dry as a bone in a 2 hour downpour and toasty in the low 40’s with a Uniqlo down jacket underneath. It packs well, looks good enough for restaurants, and is comfortable to wear as a casual jacket. I just wish it had a removable hood — that’s the only thing that would get me to trade in this one.
I had this raincoat hanging in my closet for two months before I took its tags off, as I was so certain I wanted only a removable hood. I even tried tucking it inside the coat (which didn’t go well). What I later realized was that the hood was always available (not back in my hotel room), and very easily flipped up, AND it didn’t mess up my hair at all.
I was on the fence about the attached hood, but decided it would be ok. As it turned out, the weather in London last week was so wet and windy, neither hood or umbrella could keep my head dry. It was truly bad hair week.
I just got the Uniglo Blocktech for Europe this September and I love the lightweight aspect and great coverage! And affordable! Love your blog, thanks!
I have the short Mycra Pac donatella in bronze/oak that I use for domestic travel (it packs into its own bag) and for dressier occasions. For international trips I use a black Toad&Co coat that is light weight and kept me dry in an Irish down pour. Its clean lines look good whether in city or country. Around town in sunny Seattle I have an olive anorak that I can live in. ☔️
I always forget to pack a raincoat and end up borrowing one from my Mother in law (if we’re in Paris) or just using an umbrella. I have a shiny red slicker with a hood and pockets; why I always leave it at home, I’ll never know. I think packing for my son and organizing things for the rabbits and the dog, I forget all the stylish practicalities when I go away! Your post will remind me to plan a bit more when we go away for Easter.
I’m VERRRRRY tempted by the lavender one you featured above. What a cheerful spring colour. xx
Some great options! My DD sent me the Joules raincoat in navy polka dot for Christmas and it’s really cute. One thing the website doesn’t mention is that it folds into it’s pocket for compact travel.
I also have the Uniqlo Blocktech and I like a longer length to help keep the legs dry as well.
Sometimes I find it more practical to wear warm leggings under a skirt than to wear jeans in such weather, as the leggings dry so quickly even with our body heat (except around our privates fore and aft, and they are really covered by the coat).
On your recommendation last time, I bought the J Crew Perfect Rain Jacket (shown in pale pink above). Actually I bought 2 of them! Couldn’t decide between the dark moss and ivory so I justified my purchases by deciding to wear the dark moss in the fall and winter and ivory in spring and summer. Plus they were 40% off so I felt better about being a little frivolous. They look so good I even wear them when it isn’t raining. Get compliments on them regularly. Only complaint is that it’s more water resistant than waterproof. I’m going to buy some seam sealer from REI to fix the leaking at the shoulders. They will definitely keep you dry running errands in the rain just not walking the dog in a downpour.
I just received this in the Poppy Red and I love it! I bought it for travel but since we’ve had so much rain in So Cal I’ve been wearing it here too. It was a great price and fit.
For warm weather rain, I like RainCaper. Wrangling an umbrella is just a hassle/hazard. The cape style keeps you dry, but not hot. Lots of colors, many reversible, and size is irrelevant.
I have the Cole Haan packable raincoat in the Champagne color and highly recommend it. (I actually ordered it in black as well, but the champagne was way cuter so the black went back). I took it to Paris last spring and wore it on top of a long sleeve tee and merino wool sweater along with a scarf. It was cold and I was perfectly comfortable. Thank you for your helpful and stylish suggestions.
I bought the Cole Hahn packable raincoat in eggplant last fall, and I love it! It is simple but flattering with the drawstring in the back to give it some shape. This winter I bought an Uber-lightweight packable down coat (also in eggplant), and found that I can layer the raincoat over the down coat to create a slightly warmer winter coat that is now also waterproof. Both came with their own pouch to pack into for travel. Susan, I love your blog! I stumbled on it when I was looking for ideas for travel capsule wardrobes, but now I follow you regularly and look forward to every post. I love your sense of style and have even purchased some of the clothing items you have featured. I wear them often and all now number among my favorite pieces. Many thanks for sharing yourself in such an honest and approachable way. Bonne journée!
Lole lolelife.com is a Montréal based, I guess you’d say athleisure line, originally yoga and similar disciplines, but also normal clothing for work, leisure or travel, often with technical fibres and features. They make several raincoats, including this one:
Piper rain jacket LUWO598 Sorry, they don’t allow copying any content so you’ll have to look up the article and photo at their site. This one is waterproof and seam sealed. It packs away into its little pouch.
I hesitated before because there wasn’t a 2-way zipper, but they do have that feature now. Important if you are cycling and doing other moderate activities during your travel.
There are several colours; dark, bright and pale.
I love my Orvis pack and go jacket raincoat, which I own in last year’s dark taupe color. The hood zips into the collar (I hate hoods unless they’re needed), the waist cinches for shape, there are useful pockets, and it folds down small for traveling. The sleeves are too long for my petite frame, but that’s true of most brands that don’t offer petite sizes. Living in Portland I own several raincoats and this is my favorite. Needed it this past week in LA when torrential rain crushed my dreams of CA sunshine!
I’ve wanted to buy a new raincoat for a few years now, simply because I’m tired of the one I have. I bought a rather expensive chocolate brain raincoat (similar to the RAINS one) 22 years ago and it’s just still so good! Hahaha the downside of sustainable shopping?
When I travel (anywhere), I bring a sun umbrella (lined in black inside) which I got on Amazon and a RainRap poncho which I stuff in my purse. Then I wear whatever is weather appropriate and don’t care if it’s or raining ☔️!
I have an Eddie Bauer packable raincoat in an eggplant color that seems to always work. It has a zip off hood and is great for travel. I also keep a Lands End rain/wind jacket with removable hood in my car at all times. In Florida there are lots of pop-ups and it is always there for me to grab. Its not really packable but is a cheerful yellow color so I won’t mind the rain too much. I don’t care for umbrellas. I will undoubtedly forget it somewhere and I never found them as effective as hoods for staying dry. If rain comes up, your head is covered with the flick of your hood. Plus your hands are free. I have one dress length raincoat without a hood and I rarely wear it. You featured some lovely raincoats today! So tempting!
I have a rain jacket and a longer rain coat from Travelsmith, when they used to make the great one with a hood and two-way zipper. They are both still in wonderful shape, but I think they could use water-proofing. Has anyone ever had that done on a coat at the cleaners? I never have and wonder if that works at all. The rain jacket is slightly shiny but I love its eggplant color and don’t want to give it up, but if it rains hard which it rarely does in Seattle (more drizzle here), my shoulders feel a little damp. I will be grateful to hear anything in regard to my question.
I have the LL Bean H2Off in two lengths, jacket length and mid-thigh. I loved the first one, but got the second to cover longer tunics. I’ve worn both of them in heavy rain and they are truly waterproof. They have all the features you could wish for, including a wonderful two-way zipper that never sticks. If I could think of any excuse to buy a third, I would!
Thanks for the round up. I like that the coats you featured do not have prominent logos showing. It’s just a no for me. Nice to see the LL Bean jacket everyone is recommending does not have their logo prominently displayed (so many of their items do).
Anyone remember the athletic line Lucy? I have one of their packables that is clean, simple, and works in actual rain!
When I travel I take a lightweight raincoat from CCC in champagne color. Good only for light rain, so always bring a travel umbrella. It does allow for layers under and was a great coat when I lived in San Francisco. Currently thinking about an upgrade to a more waterproof coat for travel to South America this year. I appreciate your suggestions and may order the Eddie Bauer to try at home.
While I agree with all your points, I’d like to add one more. The coat needs to be waterproof, not just water resistant. Bonus points for taped seams.
A water resistant coat can’t stand up to an all day rain. You’ll end up a soggy mess and back at your hotel room. What a waste of vacation time!
It’s better to pay a little more for a true waterproof coat.