The right jacket is always a dilemma for travelers. You want to be snug and dry, but you don’t want to lug around a heavy jacket. For a professional traveler like me who hauls around gear like a laptop, phone, a DSLR camera, digital recorder, and more, it’s especially problematic. I rarely check luggage so whatever jacket I take along has to be lightweight, multi-functional, and easy to pack. I found all that and more in Tilley Endurables Women’s Waterproof Jacket.
For those who regularly read realfoodtraveler.com, you know we’re big fans of Tilley Endurable hats. These are the hats that are so durable they come with a guarantee. We’ve reviewed a number of Tilley hats, including the Airflow with Insect Shield (LTM61 $95, Summer Hemp (TH9 $84), Tec-Wool (TTW2 $105), the Tec-Wool Cap (TTWC $84), the Plaid hat (T5CN $79), the Organic Cotton with 3-D Mesh (T7MO $82), and my all-time favorite and traveling sidekick, the Tilly Airflow (LTM5 $84). We love all of them for different reasons and, of course, treasure the fact that they are guaranteed for life not to wear out. But who knew this venerable made-in-Canada company also offers rugged travel clothes?
When I was planning a recent trip to Alaska, I knew I’d need a jacket that would keep me dry. Even in summer, the state is notorious for fast-changing weather than often includes rain. So I turned to my friends at Tilley Endurables. They suggested the Tilly Endurables Women’s Waterproof Jacket (WP08 $239). When my jacket arrived in the mail, it wasn’t what I expected. It was feather-light and I thought, “No way will this keep me warm and dry.”
Snug and Dry
I was wrong. The Women’s Waterproof jacket, though amazing light and packable, has sealed seams and a flat back waterproof YKK zipper with interior flap that keep out both wind and rain.
The first thing I discovered about my new Tilley Women’s Waterproof Jacket was that it was a snap to pack. I hate carrying a jacket, but my bag was packed tight. I rolled the jacket and slipped it easily into my bag. When I took it out later, I feared that it would be creased and wrinkled, but it was beautiful. A shake or two and it looked good as new.
I didn’t really need my Tilley jacket until we got to the seaport town of Seward, a place notorious for windy, rainy weather year round. We went out with Kenai Fjords Tour to check out the Northwestern Fjord, one of the wildest and most pristine glaciated fjords in Alaska. The day started out grey and cold and I was a bit worried because, in an effort to pack light, I’d only brought along one cotton long sleeve shirt, a lightweight long sleeve fleece, and my Tilley jacket. Then it began to rain, misting at first and, later, serious rain.
I wore my shirt and fleece underneath and my Tilley jacket over all of it and I was snug, warm, and, best of all, completely dry. At one point, the captain nosed the boat up to a sheer rock face with spectacular 1,000-foot waterfalls and we all scampered out to the bow to shoot photos. I unzipped the hidden hood in the collar and found it to be huge, falling down in front of my face. That is, until I realized the Tilley Waterproof Jacket’s hood is meant to be worn over a Tilley hat. I had my Tilly Airflow with Insect Shield with me and popped it on and then pulled the hood up. Perfect! The hat held the hood and the hood kept me and my head dry. When I didn’t need the hood, I simply rolled it and zipped it back into the collar—no muss no fuss.
The wind was also whipping up a storm. Not only did the Tilley keep me absolutely dry, it kept out the wind—completely. I didn’t even need to tighten the toggle drawstring on the bottom to keep out the wind. I did use the adjustable cuffs, snugging them down around my wrists.
The Women’s Waterproof Jacket comes with front slant pockets with waterproof zippers and a large interior Velcro secure pocket where you can stash valuables.
Later in my Alaska trip, I used the Tilley Endurables Women’s Waterproof Jacket on a muddy and misty ATV trip. Again, with my fleece underneath to provide warmth, my jacket kept me snug, dry, and, in this muddy case, clean. When I got back to my hotel room, I simply wiped the jacket down with a damp cloth and the mud came off easily.
The final thing I appreciate about my Tilley Women’s Waterproof Jacket is that it’s stylish and good looking. It’s got smart, clean lines that are slimming and the charcoal color of my jacket goes pretty much with everything. With this jacket, I could be dry and comfortable, yet not look like I’m camping.
Given this lightweight jacket’s packability, its amazing weather proofing, and great looks, my Tilley Endurables Women’s Waterproof Jacket is my go-to jacket for travel spring, summer, and fall. In fact, as I write this, that jacket is draped across my suitcase for a night flight I’m taking for another trip to Alaska. I don’t know what kind of whether I’m facing, but I’m not worried with my Tilley Endurables Waterproof Jacket. – Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor, Photos Anne Weaver, RFT Editor
Interested in some of the best gore tex jackets? Check out these reviews from gearwear.com.