The Best Travel Jacket for Europe (Women’s & Men’s)

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by Maggie Turansky


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If you’re planning on visiting the European continent during the colder months, it’s likely that you’re on the hunt for the best travel jacket for Europe.

While travelling in Europe in winter can have its benefits — tourist crowds can be far fewer, accommodation and entry fees can be cheaper — because of the weather, it can be hard to pack light or appropriately to ensure that you stay warm and toasty while traipsing through the cobbled streets of a charming European town.

Whether you’re travelling to Norway in February or wandering through Italy in December, you’re going to need one of these jackets or coats for travel in Europe.

Travel Jacket for Europe Comparison

JacketDescriptionPrices
North Face Thermoball Eco
THE NORTH FACE ThermoBall™ Eco Jacket Tnf Black Matte MD
Best Lightweight Jacket
Type: Packable Lightweight Jacket
Sex: Male/Female
Season: Spring/Autumn
Check on Amazon (Women’s)

Check on Amazon (Men’s)

Check on REI (Women’s)

Check on REI (Men’s)
Wantdo Ultra-light Down Jacket
Wantdo Women's Hooded Packable Ultra Light Weight Short Down Jacket Black 2XL
Best Down Jacket
Type: Packable Down Jacket
Sex: Male/Female
Season: Spring/Autumn
Check on Amazon (Women’s)

Check on Amazon (Men’s)
Tommy Hilfiger Ultra Loft Puffer Jacket
Tommy Hilfiger Men's Water Resistant Ultra Loft Down Alternative Puffer Jacket, Black, Medium
Best Puffer Jacket
Type: Packable Puffer Jacket
Sex: Male
Season: Winter
Check on Amazon
North Face Antora Jacket
THE NORTH FACE Women's Waterproof Antora Jacket
Best Rain Jacket
Type: Waterproof Rain Jacket
Sex: Male/Female
Season: All
Check on Amazon (Women’s)

Check on Amazon (Men’s)

Check on REI (Women’s)

Check on REI (Men’s)
North Face Glacier
THE NORTH FACE Women's TKA Glacier ¼ Zip Fleece Jacket, Fuschia Pink/TNF Black, Medium
Best Fleece
Type: Fleece Jacket
Sex: Male/Female
Season: All
Check on Amazon (Women’s)

Check on Amazon (Men’s)
Columbia Mighty Lite
Columbia Women's Mighty Lite Hooded Jacket, Nocturnal, Medium
Best Lightweight Coat
Type: Lightweight Travel Coat
Sex: Female
Season: Winter
Check on Amazon

Check on Columbia
North Face Gotham Jacket
THE NORTH FACE Women's Gotham Insulated Jacket, Meld Grey/Shine, Medium
Best Down Coat
Type: Waterproof Down Coat
Sex : Male/Female
Season: Winter
Check on Amazon (Women’s)

Check on Amazon (Men’s)

Check on REI
Columbia Chatfield Hill
Columbia Women's Chatfield Hill Jacket, Dark Nocturnal, Large
Best Fleece Coat
Type: Lightweight Fleece Coat
Sex: Female
Season: Winter
Check on Amazon

Check on Columbia

Choosing a Travel Jacket

Depending on the season you’re visiting Europe or the regions you’re travelling in, you’re going to have different needs for jackets or coats.

As I’m sure you’re already aware, Europe isn’t one homogenous country with the same climate and there are going to be varying things that you need to look out for depending on when and where you are visiting.

However, there are a few key aspects that are going to be vital in any coat or travel jacket for Europe that you need to look out for. First and foremost is warmth. You want a jacket or coat that’s going to be as warm as possible to ensure that you keep nice and toasty in chilly weather.

You’re also going to want to check for durability and how lightweight and packable the jacket is. If you’re visiting a warmer climate or travelling in spring or autumn rather than in the depths of winter, this is going to be easier to account for as you won’t need a bulky jacket. However, it still is always a good idea to look for something that can pack down small and not add extra weight.

If you’re visiting a very cold climate in winter, you’re likely going to want to find a more heavy-duty coat rather than a light jacket. While it’s always a good idea to dress in layers, it’s still going to make or break your holiday if you’re too cold to go outside and do anything because your coat is too light.

Make sure to double-check the weather averages of the places you’re travelling to see what weight of coat or jacket you may need. Quite obviously, you’re going to need quite different things for winter in Southern Spain than you would need in Finnish Lapland, for instance.

A waterproof jacket is a must when travelling in Europe!
A waterproof jacket is a must when travelling in Europe!

Best Jackets for Europe

If you’re travelling to Europe in the summer or autumn or only plan to visit southern European regions like southern Italy, Spain, Greece, Malta or Cyprus, then all you may need is a jacket.

These jackets will keep you warm through chilly days and nights and can also be used effectively as a base layer in colder climates.

North Face Thermoball Eco – Best Lightweight Jacket

If you’re looking for a fantastic jacket that is lightweight, compactable and incredibly warm, then you may find that the North Face Thermoball Eco (also available on REI here) is the perfect lightweight travel jacket for women.

Incredibly lightweight and packable down to the size of a pocket, this may well be the absolute best jacket for Europe travel.

The North Face Thermoball Eco is also a great option if you’re looking for an environmentally-friendly option, as well.

The insulation (a great alternative to lightweight goose down) is actually made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester! The jacket is also fully water-resistant, meaning it’s great if you get caught out in the rain and can seamlessly transition from the city to the hiking trail.

This jacket probably isn’t the best option if you’re visiting a very cold climate, however, it is great for southern European winters and Central and Northern European springs and autumns.

Because it is so lightweight and packable, it is also just one of the best jackets to bring with you for travel as it is unlikely to take up too much valuable luggage space and isn’t the reason you’ll go over the airline’s weight requirement.

This jacket is also available in a men’s version on Amazon here or on REI here.

THE NORTH FACE ThermoBall™ Eco Jacket Tnf Black Matte MD

Wantdo Ultra-Light Down Jacket – Best Down Jacket

If you’re on the hunt for a basic, ultra-light down jacket for Europe that’s perfect for spring or autumn travel (or as a base layer in the winter), then the Wantdo Ultra-Light Down Jacket is a solid choice for you.

This packable jacket is warm and lightweight and comes in both men’s and women’s versions, meaning that it’s perfect for everyone.

The jacket comes in a number of different styles and colours for both men and women, including hooded, with a removable hood, or without a hood completely.

It is also wind-resistant, incredibly lightweight, packable down to just a few centimetres in diameter and takes up next to no room in a suitcase or backpack.

Though the Wantdo Ultra-Light Down Jacket isn’t completely water-resistant and it isn’t going to keep you dry for long if you’re stuck in a torrential rainstorm, it is water-repellant meaning that it can protect you from splashed and a bit of mild rain and snow if you find yourself caught out without an umbrella.

It is also available in a men’s version here.

wantdo Men's Light Down Jacket Lightweight Bubble Coat for Travel (Navy, Medium)

Tommy Hilfiger Ultra Loft Puffer Jacket – Best Puffer Jacket

If you’re looking for a stylish, lightweight and super warm jacket for your winter trip to Europe, then you can’t go wrong with the Tommy Hilfiger Ultra Loft Puffer Jacket.

This men’s lightweight jacket is an ideal option for guys who want to have a sleek and stylish look without sacrificing warmth or practicality.

Filled with a super light down filling that keeps you warm while weighing next to nothing, this super stylish jacket also comes in a number of different colours and sizes to suit all kinds of body types and styles.

What makes the jacket so fantastic for travelling to Europe, however, is the fact that it is packable down to the size of a very small stuff sack, meaning that it won’t take up valuable luggage space.

You can also easily stash it in a day pack for days where you may need a jacket, but don’t need to wear it for an extended period of time.

Tommy Hilfiger Men's Water Resistant Ultra Loft Down Alternative Puffer Jacket, Black, Medium

North Face Antora – Best Rain Jacket

If you’re on the hunt for an ideal rain jacket for travelling to Europe, especially if you’re visiting in the wet and dreary spring months, then you really can’t go wrong with North Face Antora (also available on REI here).

You may find a theme here that I keep recommending North Face jackets, but that is only because they are well-made, durable and perfect for travel. The Resolve is no different.

Though this jacket isn’t going to do much in order to keep you warm in the cold — it very well will keep you dry.

Lightweight and easily packable, the North Face Antora is completely waterproof and windproof, meaning that it is the perfect outer layer if you’re out on the trail hiking in a rainstorm or stranded out in the city without an umbrella.

This insulated jacket comes in a number of different colours, has good quality zippers and is available in both men’s and women’s styles, meaning that you will find something for everyone.

While this isn’t the ideal winter jacket for Europe on its own, if you pair it with one of the lightweight down jackets mentioned above with a fleece or sweater underneath (along with some other, lighter layers), you may find that you don’t need to bring a bulky coat with you even if you’re travelling to the continent in the depths of winter.

This jacket is also available in a men’s version on Amazon here or on REI here.

THE NORTH FACE Women's Waterproof Antora Jacket

North Face TKA Glacier – Best Fleece Jacket

If you’re looking for a cosy fleece jacket to bring to Europe, either as a base layer or as an option for spring or autumn, then please consider the North Face TKA Glacier.

This fleece jacket is one of the best on the market as it is small, incredibly lightweight and surprisingly toasty and warm, meaning that it makes the absolute perfect base layer for colder days but it is also soft and comfortable enough to wear on the plane while flying to Europe.

This jacket comes in both men’s and women’s versions and a myriad of different colours so that you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking out the perfect one for you.

It also has a number of different styles to choose from, from a 1/4 zip, a classic pullover and a proper fully zipped jacket with pockets. Regardless of which one you choose, you’re sure not to be disappointed!

Made from an ultra-soft microfibre material, this fleece is so incredibly warm and comfortable that you won’t want to leave home without it!

A men’s version of this jacket is available here.

THE NORTH FACE Women's TKA Glacier ¼ Zip Fleece Jacket, Fuschia Pink/TNF Black, Medium

Best Coats for Europe

If you’re visiting Northern or Central Europe in winter, then you’re likely going to want to find a travel coat for Europe rather than simply a jacket.

Unless you want to be adding and removing layers all day as you flit in and out of doors, having a heavy puter layer can be preferable while travelling.

Columbia Mighty Lite – Best Lightweight Coat

If you’re looking for a very warm, lightweight and flattering winter coat for women, then you really should consider the Columbia Mighty Lite (also available direct from Columbia).

This coat is a great option if you don’t need a super heavy coat (i.e., you’re not visiting the Nordics or Baltics in winter) but still need to be warmer than you would be in just a jacket.

This coat only comes in a women’s version, however, it is cut to be feminine and flattering, rather than boxy. It comes in a number of colours and it is lightweight but still incredibly warm and well-insulated, meaning that it’s perfect for bringing with you on a trip to Europe.

The Columbia Mighty Lite has a longer coverage that hits a few inches above the knee and is insulated with an Omni-Heat thermal reflective lining — meaning that the jacket keeps you very warm while staying so lightweight.

It also comes with a hood, adding an extra layer of warmth on chilly days. There are numerous pockets, as well, including an interior security pocket which is perfect for Europe travel.

Columbia Women's Mighty Lite Hooded Jacket, Nocturnal, Medium

North Face Gotham – Best Down Coat

If you’re looking for the perfect winter coat that has both men’s and women’s versions, then you absolutely cannot overlook the North Face Gotham (also available from REI here)

This parka has a number of different iterations and it is perfect for those looking for something that is stylish looking but will keep you super toasty warm even in the coldest of European climates.

No freezing to death while traipsing through that Bavarian Christmas market in this winter coat!

The North Face Gotham comes in a few different kinds of styles and colours that are on the market for both men and women.

It is fully water-resistant meaning that you will stay warm and dry in a snowstorm and it features DryVent fabric to ensure that it is also breathable. It is insulated with goose down, keeping you very warm, and even has a fully adjustable hood if you need it.

A men’s version of this jacket is available on Amazon here.

THE NORTH FACE Men's Gotham Jacket III, TNF Black, Large

Columbia Chatfield Hill – Best Fleece Coat

If you’re looking for a lightweight and breathable women’s coat that doesn’t sacrifice style, then look no further than the Columbia Chatfield Hill (also direct from Columbia). This coat is perfect for both city and nature travel as it’s both cute and practical and great for travel.

The jacket is made from 100% polyester, making it a great option for those who are uncomfortable wearing down jackets but don’t want to sacrifice warmth.

It comes in a variety of colours to choose from and has a flattering, modern classic fit that can be dressed up or down depending on the situation.

It is lined with ultra-warm and cosy sherpa fleece that will keep you toasty while not weighing you or your luggage down and has a longer style to cover more of your body than a traditional jacket.

Columbia Women's Chatfield Hill Jacket, Dark Nocturnal, Large

Finding the best jackets for travel in Europe doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Just think about what you would be most comfortable wearing at home that suits the climate you’re visiting. The above jackets and coats are all great examples of that.

Are you looking for a jacket or coat to take to Europe? Have any other recommendations? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie

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