Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The 10 Best Packable Jackets That Every Serious Outdoorsman Should Own

A great packable and lightweight jacket can be one of the best items in your backpack for a number of reasons. From unexpected rain showers and a drop in cooler temperatures to a makeshift pack cover or even a pillow in a pinch, packable jackets are always good to have on hand. That’s why you should have several different kinds of packable jackets in your closet waiting to be packed for your next adventure.

Depending on where you live or when you plan to explore the outdoors, there are three kinds of jackets you should pick from. The first is a packable shell that is lightweight and just right to keep you dry during wet weather. The second is a down jacket with some sort of stuff sack to keep you warm when the temperature dips. Finally, the last kind of jacket that is nice to own and keep on hand is a combination of the two — a thermal waterproof packable jacket. Fortunately, we’ve rounded up the best options on the market at the moment all of which are worth taking along on any adventure.

Related Guides

Marmot Men’s Minimalist Component 3-in-1 Jacket

Marmot’s Minimalist 3-in-1 jacket is a packable workhorse. Made with Gortex-Paclite, two and a half layers of taped seams, and sealed zippers, you are guaranteed to stay dry in this waterproof and windproof jacket. The jacket also includes a second liner jacket that is insulating to keep you warm in cold, wet weather. However, when things start warming up, you can simply unzip the liner and remove it from the shell to cool off while staying dry. Though pricier, this jacket can be your all-in-one go-to for any trip or outdoor adventure you take off on.

The North Face Men’s Thermoball Triclimate Jacket

The Triclimate jacket by The North Face is another great all-in-one jacket to pack everywhere you go. The waterproof shell is insulated with a Thermoball synthetic material to keep you warm when you need it. With zippered pockets, a chest pocket, and water-tight seals on all of the zippers, you can rest assured that water will not leak in whether you are crossing a ridge or walking across town.

Patagonia Men’s Down Sweater Jacket

Patagonia’s Down Sweater jacket is a classic packable staple for anyone. The 800-fill down jacket is not waterproof, but it can be layered with a shell if need be. The level of warmth this jacket provides is suitable to myriad climates and is an incredibly versatile jacket. The lightweight and windproof jacket will keep you warm under almost any circumstance. Other features include an internal chest pocket, zippered pockets, and an adjustable cord to fit the jacket to your hips if need be. The jacket also comes with its own bag that it easily packs into so you can easily toss it into your backpack.

The North Face Men’s Apex Bionic 2 Jacket

The Apex Bionic jacket is another great option to face many kinds of weather with. Though this soft-shell jacket won’t be the best pick for places with a lot of rain, it can certainly handle a passing shower. The water-resistant, windproof jacket is also breathable and stretches with your movements. It’s also made with a hem cinch cord. Together, the soft shell’s features are great for hiking or climbing among other activities in mild weather. It’s a great value option for a jacket under $200.

Patagonia Men’s Torentshell 3L Jacket

Patagonia’s Torentshell rain jackets are another classic staple. These basic raincoats work hard to keep you dry, but they can also be used as perfect layering pieces. The jacket consists of three layers of Patagonia’s most advanced waterproof fabric to last a long time. Though very waterproof, the jacket is also very breathable and includes two sealed-zipper underarm vents as well as a hem cinch cord. This allows you to control how much air is moving through the jacket so you can stay as cool as you need to. Naturally, the lightweight jacket also packs into its own bag as well.

REI Co-op Men’s XeroDry GTX Jacket

REI’s Co-op gear is worth noting for this spring season. REI’s XeroDry jacket uses two layers Gore-tex Paclite material to create this durable yet very lightweight shell. The breathable jacket will keep you dry when you need it most and easily packs down. Another added bonus is that the material of this jacket makes less noise than most rain jackets, which is a must when looking for wildlife. Like Patagonia’s Torentshell jacket, this raincoat is also designed with two core vents to let you cool off when you need to.

Outdoor Research Men’s Helium Rain Jacket

Like the other rain jackets, Outdoor Research’s Helium jacket is made to be very waterproof, windproof, and quite durable. Though the jacket is made with two and a half layers of material, the jacket is lighter than ever. It features elastic at the wrists and a hem cord to seal the water out as well. Other details include a carabiner loop and key clip as well as reflective logos which are never a bad addition. The rain jacket ultimately stuffs into its own chest pocket.

Patagonia Men’s Storm Racer Jacket

The Storm Racer jacket is one of the most advanced yet simple technical garments that Patagonia makes. The simple raincoat is designed to keep you and your gear dry when you are hiking or trail running. Designed to fit over a running vest outfitted with water bottles or a backpack, the jacket easily slips over either. The pull-on style features two zippers that angle down from the neckline. These allow you to access your water or your backpack anytime you need to. The jacket fits slim to keep you dry and is incredibly lightweight. When you are done using it, the jacket simply packs into its own pocket for easy storage.

The North Face Men’s Class V Fanorak

We’re convinced that anoraks are the biggest trend in jackets this year, and it is easy to see why. The North Face’s version is very lightweight, water-repellant, and made to dry very quickly if it does get wet. Another great feature is that the jacket blocks harmful ultraviolet rays up to 50+ for added sun protection. It’s a particularly helpful feature for those in sunny destinations such as coastal or desert trips. When you are not using it, the anorak packs down into a small pouch for easy storage. It really is a well-designed packable jacket for casual use that doesn’t require too many technical details.

Marmot Men’s PreCip Eco Anorak

Another great anorak option comes from Marmot. Made with two and a half layers of recycled waterproof, breathable fabric and taped seams, this anorak is designed to handle all kinds of weather well. The loose-fitting jacket is ultra-lightweight and stuffs into its own pocket for storage. The jacket includes an affixed hood, elastic cuffs, and a drawcord hem to seal water out when you need to. It’s a no-brainer to have on hand for unexpected showers or an added layer of warmth at the end of a hike.

Editors' Recommendations

Molly Harris
Molly Harris is a freelance journalist, cyclist and outdoor enthusiast. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Lonely…
This bundle saves you $300 on a lawn mower, string trimmer, and leaf blower
A man using a Greenworks lawn mower.

Looking for lawn mower deals? We can do better than that with Best Buy offering a great bundle including a Greenworks lawn mower, string trimmer, and a leaf blower for $700. You save $300 off the regular price of $1,000 plus you're going to score a much better maintained lawn than before. If you're serious about your lawn care, you need this bundle. It's unlikely to stick around for long but if you take a quick look below at what else you need to know, you can get straight to making an informed purchase.

Why you should buy the Greenworks Ultimate Outdoor Combo Kit
Learning how to mow a lawn is one thing but you really need to make sure you have the right equipment to do so. Greenworks is a reliable name in the business which is why this combo kit is worth checking out. The three-piece bundle includes a 21-inch self-propelled brushless lawn mower that's capable of tackling the toughest of lawns. Its SmartCut technology constantly monitors grass conditions, then automatically adapts to give you the perfect amount of power to get the lawn cut neatly. Its rear wheel drive system also has variable speed control to help you, while there are high-intensity LED headlights for mowing in all lighting conditions.

Read more
How to pack golf clubs the right way when traveling for play
How you pack your golf clubs is important
People loading their golf bags into the cart to start playing a round.

It may not seem like something to stress over, but if you're traveling with your golf clubs, how you pack them for transport is something to think about. After all, you spend a small fortune on your clubs, balls, and bag, so you want to protect that investment. We asked an expert about the best practice for packing clubs so they don’t break, what should and shouldn’t be in your bag when shipping golf clubs, how to manage weight, and some other tips and tricks so when you arrive at your destination your clubs are in the same condition as when you left.
Why should you ship your clubs?
"One of the best parts of golfing is exploring new courses, playing in different climates and terrains, and getting out of your comfort zone," said Audrey Kohout, co-CEO of Luggage Forward. "Renting can throw you off when you’re used to your own clubs," he continued, so why not ship your clubs ahead of time and have the experience you deserve?  This can eliminate the stress of logistics and oversized baggage fees, plus you don't have to lug your clubs into the airport or wait at baggage claim when you land. That means more time to play golf, right?
How to keep your gear safe
Whether you're shipping your clubs or bringing them on the plane with you, there are extra precautions you can take to keep your gear safe, said Kohout. "The simplest thing you can do is to use headcovers and wrap each club individually so they don’t get scratched." He also said to make sure you pay attention to is where the shaft meets the club head, as it takes the brunt of the weight during transit. "The key here is to provide a little extra stability; think of it like you would splint a broken finger and use bubble wrap around this 'joint' of the club," he explained. Once each club is wrapped and padded appropriately, Kohout said, you want to take time to bundle them all together. "By wrapping all of your clubs together, it gives them extra support so they won’t snap and minimizes movement inside the bag," he said.

Finally, because the longest club often gets the most wear and tear, adding a support rod inside your bag can help. "Support rods from brands like Club Glove are sold specifically for this purpose at most golf or sporting stores, but you can also throw in a broomstick or curtain rod," he said.
Other considerations
Obviously, if you are shipping your clubs, you want to think about the weight of them since that will impact the cost. But Kohout said not to stress too much because "while bubble wrap or air pockets may help lighten up your shipment a little versus using packing materials like paper, heavier fabrics, the reality is that it’s not a big enough difference to save you money." His company, Luggage Forward, has all-inclusive pricing so your quote is one flat rate. Designated sports equipment shipping services like this help save money over UPS or FedEx, which change by size and weight.

Read more
Layer up or strip off? What’s the right way to sleep in a sleeping bag?
Does sleeping naked in a sleeping bag really keep you warmer? We take a look
Four-season sleeping bag

It's one of the oldest camping debates around; do you layer up or strip off before climbing into your sleeping bag? Call it an old wives tale, call it camping folklore, call it what you want; there are strong opinions on both sides of the divide. For every believer in the benefits of being buck-naked, there will be someone who argues that layering up simply makes sense. Well, I'm not one to shy away from throwing my two cents into the debate, so here's my take on the old problem.

Remember, before we get too in-depth, that a sleeping bag is just one component of your camping sleep system. However you adorn yourself overnight, you're only going to remain warm by using an appropriate sleeping bag for the season, as well as an insulated sleeping pad. Without these, it won't matter whether you layer up or sleep naked; you'll still wake up cold and uncomfortable.

Read more