Coat for Europe in December/January

Sep 29th, 2019, 04:43 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Did I miss something? Is there a reason you can't take both coats? Pack one and wear the other.

I have puffer jackets that can be stuffed into small nylon sacks that came with the jackets. Even long puffer coats are often sold here with accompanying stuff sacks or are designed to stuff entirely into one of the pockets of the coat. Stuff sacks are also sold separately at camping or travel stores.


https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/1178...4735-GN3&csp=f

Just don't stuff jackets when wet...
Jean is online now  
Sep 29th, 2019, 05:29 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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>> Is there a reason you can't take both coats? Pack one and wear the other.<<

and . . . if you use a Space Bag, the puffer jacket will take absolutely no space at all, and it will have room for a couple of sweaters too.
janisj is offline  
Sep 29th, 2019, 06:33 PM
  #23  
 
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Another thought. The puffer jacket can make a great pillow if traveling economy.
historytraveler is online now  
Sep 30th, 2019, 12:37 AM
  #24  
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Thanks everyone. Lots of good suggestions. Thanks Traveler_Nick for the link to the ponchos. The prospect of anything other than economy airfares is a complete pipe dream so good idea, historytraveler. Lavandula and missdonkey, I buy quite a lot of Kathmandu and Uniqlo stuff - it's all very practical stuff. I've never used space bags so will check that out too.
dreamon is offline  
Sep 30th, 2019, 12:51 AM
  #25  
 
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Boots, socks,puffer jacket (in stuff bag) and buy an umbrella in Europe from a street vendor if needed.
bilboburgler is offline  
Sep 30th, 2019, 01:54 AM
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
>> Is there a reason you can't take both coats? Pack one and wear the other.<<

and . . . if you use a Space Bag, the puffer jacket will take absolutely no space at all, and it will have room for a couple of sweaters too.
Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
Boots, socks,puffer jacket (in stuff bag) and buy an umbrella in Europe from a street vendor if needed.
Those expensive, gimmicky, plastic-y Space Bags require a vacuum cleaner for any real significant improvement in volume reduction. So you can pack it but as soon as you use it, you'll not be able to repack it with the same benefit. My puffer came with a bag (strong but tiny in volume - nylon i guess) to scrunch it down as many do. I think that's a more practical solution than using gimmicky Space Bags and I'm sure you can get a similar nylon drawstring bag from an outdoor shop if your jacket didn't come with one (check all the pockets for it). Just my opinion. Also beware that if the jacket is down filled, Space Bags are not recommended as the extreme compaction will ruin the feathers, destroying your jacket.

It's likely that you'll need an umbrella so I would recommend that you bring a compact one that you buy at home. Mine takes up very little room. I think that's a better idea than planning to buy one from a street vendor who rolls them out on rainy days for unprepared people needing to make distress purchases. Likely you'll get much better quality, better price, better choice (e.g. if you want a very compact one) than you'll get from a street vendor selling poor quality disposable umbrellas designed to get through the rain when you've forgotten your real one. Just my opinion.
walkinaround is offline  
Sep 30th, 2019, 03:12 AM
  #27  
 
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I bought one of those Space Bags once. I wish someone had taken a video of me trying to use it. Put stuff on bed, sit on it, fold it, roll it, sit on it again, try to squish it into the Space bag. Sit on the Space Bag, stand on the Space Bag, throw hands up in despair. Sit on it again, stand on it again. Give up and put the damn clothes in the suitcase.

Do bring a compact umbrella from home, a small, sturdy one. The ones you buy on the street are meant to turn inside out and make you look foolish.
StCirq is offline  
Sep 30th, 2019, 08:14 AM
  #28  
 
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Not a Space Bag. Look for a stuff bag. Just a nylon (or mesh) cylindrical bag with a draw string.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Outdoor-P...ll&athena=true

https://www.amazon.com.au/Keyboxing-...-goods&sr=1-24
Jean is online now  
Sep 30th, 2019, 09:37 AM
  #29  
 
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I never needed a space saver bag for a puffy coat. I just packed everything I needed into the suitcase, bunched the darn thing as much as possible, and then held it while my husband zipped the lid. No problem.

This concept came handy when we were doing freezing cold US to hot Canary Islands back to Christmas London.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Sep 30th, 2019, 09:50 AM
  #30  
 
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I think it depends what you are doing. If you are out hiking mountain trails in pouring rain you might need Gortex. But if you are touring around a city, ducking in and out of museums, restaurants, shops, etc. a puffer jacket (with a travel umbrella) would be my choice. Hat, gloves, scarf, good socks & boots go a long way to help with cold temps.
suze is offline  
Sep 30th, 2019, 11:25 AM
  #31  
 
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I generally agree that the puffer coat is the better choice, but I would caution that not all puffer coats are all that warm. I have at least one that is only comfortable in cool weather, another that will keep me warm if paired with a fleece or warm sweater if it's roughly freezing out (32F/0C) out and another two coats meant for truly cold temperatures, one more so than the other (Indiana sees some pretty radical tempature spreads in the winter). And only the first two really shrink down when packed; the third and fourth are pretty bulky. I'd want to know the fill and/or temperature rating of your coat to know how warm it will likely keep you.

We're headed to Paris for two weeks this winter and I'm torn about which coat to bring. I'd love to get by with my "middle" coat but if it's really going to be cold, then I may have to bring the big one because I really don't want to ruin my trip by being cold all the time. I don't know what temps you might encounter (I'd expect Austria and Prague to be pretty cold that time of year (but weather and climate is pretty wacky these days). So, If your coat is pretty light, I'd give some thought to getting a more substantial coat (or buying one there) that will keep you warmer.
indyhiker is offline  
Sep 30th, 2019, 11:48 AM
  #32  
 
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There are actually space bags where you put the item in, seal it, and then roll the air out (I don’t know if anyone mentioned it—I just saw the vacuum comment). I think I bought mine at the container store.

but I don’t see any need to pack it anyway—sit on it in the plane, wear it or stick it in your backpack when you’re out. I have a stuff bag but rarely use it.

It’s always better to think layers. A really heavy coat would only be useful on the coldest days. A medium coat is useful all the time with insulation.
marvelousmouse is online now  
Sep 30th, 2019, 03:09 PM
  #33  
 
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>>Those expensive, gimmicky, plastic-y Space Bags require a vacuum cleaner for any real significant improvement in volume reduction. <<

NOT the vacuum cleaner ones! That's would be really stoooopid. But then you seem to always misinterpret what I post -- likely on purpose so you can sound superior. I do have a few of the vacuum cleaner ones holding pillows and blankets under the bed in my guest room.

The ones I mentioned are TRAVEL bags that do NOT require a vacuum cleaner, and work better than mere zip loks because they have heavy duty seals AND a one way valve so the air escapes but can't re-enter.

And I've never had to go through the contortions StSirq seems to have performed. It takes about a minute and no sitting/standing/jumping required.

I take an empty space bag on just about every trip in case I over buy and need to squeeze a biy more into my small suitcase.

https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=...7c-gTQjJnoCg11

Or to watch an amateur . . .

janisj is offline  
Sep 30th, 2019, 03:14 PM
  #34  
 
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. . . and the ONLY reason I mentioned it (other than to give walkinaround a laugh) was IF you want to take both jackets. The puffer would squeeze down more so the better candidate for a space bag.

If you are taking just one coat/jacket then a space bag wouldn't be necessary.
janisj is offline  
Sep 30th, 2019, 03:41 PM
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
>>Those expensive, gimmicky, plastic-y Space Bags require a vacuum cleaner for any real significant improvement in volume reduction. <<

NOT the vacuum cleaner ones! That's would be really stoooopid. But then you seem to always misinterpret what I post -- likely on purpose so you can sound superior. I do have a few of the vacuum cleaner ones holding pillows and blankets under the bed in my guest room.

The ones I mentioned are TRAVEL bags that do NOT require a vacuum cleaner, and work better than mere zip loks because they have heavy duty seals AND a one way valve so the air escapes but can't re-enter.

And I've never had to go through the contortions StSirq seems to have performed. It takes about a minute and no sitting/standing/jumping required.

I take an empty space bag on just about every trip in case I over buy and need to squeeze a biy more into my small suitcase.

https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=...7c-gTQjJnoCg11

Or to watch an amateur . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgbfQy57OhQ
Not for me but if it works for you then go for it. Maybe it's just me but I always find that clothes compress themselves in my case. And when I have a shortage of room, I can always jam little things into the less dense spaces to distribute things as needed. I don't need a bunch of oversized, unwieldy plastic bags to try to arrange in my bag.

We have too many plastic bags in the world as it is. It's like the plastic bag people needed to find new markets. Maybe they thought that as long as people use little zip-lock bags for their liquid toiletries, etc, they can get people to put ALL their stuff in gigantic plastic zip-lock bags. And show them how much space air is taking up. But what they don't show you is how much air will be stuck between all these different shaped dense, cumbersome, and hard plastic bags full of stuff when you put them in your case. There's no way to magically create more space in a bag.

But some people like gimmicky things. They will get out their gigantic plastic bags when they are ready to pack. Smugly roll out the air and voila, half the size. Look at me, I can pack double the stuff. All in my carryon too!

Seems to me that it's a solution looking for a problem.
walkinaround is offline  
Sep 30th, 2019, 03:46 PM
  #36  
 
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Can you EVER just post without all the pontificating and showing contempt for others? Probably not.
janisj is offline  
Sep 30th, 2019, 04:07 PM
  #37  
 
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This has turned into such an interesting post. I think I will share.

I travel mostly at the beginning of winter to Europe almost every year. I am cold blooded so I take my down parka. Its waterproof and has kept me warm with just my gloves. No need for a hat or scarf so optional. I even have a smaller parka that I have used when traveling during March in Europe.

I also bring a fleece jacket which I can wear under my jacket if needed as I use it to layer. It needs to be warmer for just the fleece jacket in my opinion.

I also carry a large space saving bag. The kind that rolls up to release the air. Why do I have one? It is used for my bed pillow that I always take. It fits nicely and does save space if I don't feel like carrying it. I even used the bag to pack a huge coat I bought in Italy. I've probably had the bag for 10 yrs now. It stays in my suitcase and not always used but it has come in handy.
sassy27 is online now  
Sep 30th, 2019, 05:24 PM
  #38  
 
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I bought a full length puffer coat from Lands End, on the advice of a TA member, 6 years ago. It's done a couple of European Christmases since, and I'm never cold. It can fit a light fleecy top under it, if necessary, and I have hat, gloves, thick socks, etc.

It's also extremely useful as the wind whistles up the harbour when I wait for my commuter ferry in the winter mornings! The newly designed wharves are built so that you can be cold and wet, no matter in which direction the wind or rain comes!
margo_oz is offline  
Sep 30th, 2019, 05:24 PM
  #39  
 
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"I generally agree that the puffer coat is the better choice, but I would caution that not all puffer coats are all that warm. I have at least one that is only comfortable in cool weather, another that will keep me warm if paired with a fleece or warm sweater if it's roughly freezing out (32F/0C) out and another two coats meant for truly cold temperatures, one more so than the other..."

indy, the differences between the warmth of your coats may relate to how windproof each one is. Also, do any have a liner not attached to the quilt stitching? Sometimes, the quilt stitching is the source of heat loss.
Jean is online now  
Sep 30th, 2019, 10:22 PM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Dreamon, I am in north Italy at the moment and while I haven’t packed for a winter trip, I did take my Kathmandu brand down jacket, and raincoat. The down jacket is not waterproof, so I always carry the rain jacket with me.
It was wet and cold last week, and I did stay warm, but damp. Condensation, I guess, I found this article
https://mountaintrails.ie/waterproof...ot-waterproof/

My down does compress into its’ own pocket, so is pretty compact.

My concerns are about pants. I wore my Kathmandu water repellant pants, but they do get wet. I saw people in jeans! Yikes, heavy, and cold, and slow to dry, last thing I would wear. I had leggings on under my pants, so was warm, but did then get hot. Haven’t tried the silk leggings, they might be worth investing in.
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