When it comes to picking clothes to take with me on my travels, my favorite gear always have some similar traits. Typically, those garments perform at a high level, are versatile enough to wear in a number of different settings, and are of course comfortable to wear. It doesn’t hurt if they look good too, and are highly packable so as to not take up too much room in my bags.
Recently, I’ve discovered a new jacket that fits that description nicely, and while I haven’t had a chance to use it as much as I’d like just yet, I can already tell that is will now take its place amongst my “must bring” travel gear for colder destinations.
The new Nat Geo Response Compresslite Travel Jacket from Craghoppers is a fantastic addition to any frequent traveler’s closet. Not only is it windproof and water-resistant, it is also incredibly lightweight, which makes it a great option whether you’re heading out on the town with friends or flying to the far side of the world. As if that wasn’t enough, it also compresses down and conveniently stores in its own pocket, making it super easy to pack and take with you on all of your adventures.
The first time I slipped this jacket on I was immediately impressed with how comfortable it was to wear. It features a trim cut that hugs the body nicely, without interfering with movement or preventing you from adding layers underneath. Often times a puffy jacket can feel a bit bulky and overstuffed, but that isn’t the case here. Quite the opposite in fact.
If warmth is what you need, the Response Jacket provides plenty of that as well. While it isn’t on par with some of the heavier, more performance oriented downy jackets that I have in my wardrobe, it offers an excellent weight to warmth ratio that makes it a good choice for all but the harshest weather conditions. Add some baselayers underneath, and you have the perfect jacket for traveling in cold-weather destinations where a larger puffy isn’t needed.
Craghppers has outfitted the Response with three pockets, all of which have zippers. Two of those are incredibly large and serve to warm the hands, while the third is located on the chest and is perfect for holding a passport or smartphone. Just how big are the hand warming pockets? One of them is the actual pocket that the jacket stuffs itself into for fast and easy packing.
Speaking of which, when the jacket is packed in that pocket, it actually resembles a travel pillow in both size and shape. Craghoppers doesn’t market it as such, but I can tell you that I would have no problems using it in that capacity in a pinch. The soft, cushy Response would work great as a pillow when you don’t have another one with you or are just trying to save more room in your pack.
Personally, I happen to like the look and cut of the jacket as well, and apparently I’m not alone. On the times that I have worn it around town I’ve had more than a few comments on it, with several people asking me about the brand. Craghoppers isn’t especially well known here in the U.S., but when tell others that they are a U.K. based travel apparel company, they usually want to know more. It is clear from one look at this jacket that is is a great choice for travelers.
As yo may have noticed, the official name of the Response Jacket also includes “Nat Geo.” That’s because National Geographic has been working with Craghoppers for sometime now to help develop great garments for use on our adventures. That partnership has worked well for both companies, brining the clothing manufacturer a bit of extra recognition in the states, and giving Nat Geo the ability to jump into the apparel market with a credible partner. If this jacket is any indication, we’l hopefully continue to see more co-branded gear coming in the future.
As you can probably tell, I’m extremely enthusiastic about this jacket and getting the chance to use it more this winter. But, I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet, and that’s the price! Craghoppers sells the Response for just $95, which is a real bargain considering how good it looks, how well it performs, and how light it is.
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or looking for the perfect gift for the adventure traveler on your holiday list, this is a fantastic option for sure. It is an unbeatable combination of all the things that travelers look for in their clothing, and priced to be affordable for everyone too. Add the to your gear closet, and you’ll be a very happy traveler indeed.