6 Of The Best Packable Down Jackets

down jackets, packable down jackets

Nothing screams versatility like a great down jacket. Whether you are heading into the mountains, off on your travels or are looking for something light, warm and comfortable, we have taken a look at the best packable down jackets to save you the time.

And when we say packable, it is a pretty big understatement, as the heaviest jacket we feature weighs in at a feather-light 17 ounces. One of them even folds up into its own pocket. How cool is that?

And when we say packable, it is a pretty big understatement, as the heaviest jacket we feature weighs in at a feather-light 17 ounces. One of them even folds up into its own pocket. How cool is that?

Why do I need a down jacket?

If the weather is both dry and cold, these jackets make an excellent outer layer. Down is not actually the feathers of a duck or goose, but rather the soft, fluffy stuff up against the body. It provides excellent insulation while remaining breathable, so any perspiration that transpires under your jacket will find a way out.

Down jackets tend to be made with a nylon exterior, adding a certain protection against the elements, although they will never be completely waterproof. If you are heading out in cold, wet weather, the down jacket is compact and therefore perfect to downgrade to a mid-layer. In these instances, I would recommend a light base layer (maybe a merino thermal top), followed by the down jacket with a light Gore-Tex-clad outer shell over the lot.

The unbelievable warmth-to-weight ratio of these jackets make them an ideal companion for travel, or for those heading off to explore the great outdoors.

What to look for in a down jacket

  •  Down fill power: This is such a commonly misunderstood term. It has nothing to do with the weight of the down, but how fluffy it is. The higher the number, the stronger and larger the clusters of down, therefore allowing the jacket to trap more warm air through the combination of down and air voids. Jackets with a higher down fill number have better warmth-to-weight ratios.
  •  Weight: If you are planning on taking that jacket on an ultralight backcountry adventure, then weight is a massive thing to consider. The lightest jacket on this list is just 8 oz, and would blow away in a gentle breeze.
  •  Hooded: This is a personal preference of mine. I love a jacket with a hood, especially one that is filled with lovely soft down that feels divinely warm when wrapped around your head.

For can find all the information you could ever need on down fill by watching this YouTube video:

Should I buy a down or synthetic jacket?

I have mentioned that down jackets are not waterproof. I have not yet told you how much it sucks when they become wet all the way through. It sucks big time! All that aforementioned breathability goes out the window and you will be left with a heavy, cold and soggy jacket that firmly traps the moisture in. This is the only downside of the down jackets.

The synthetic insulated jackets do not represent the same warmth-to-weight ratio as their down counterparts, which means you need a lot more mass of the synthetic stuff to make it as warm as a down jacket. They do, however, breathe a lot better in wet weather conditions and dry a lot faster, too, but I would not base your choice on this. No jacket, whether down or synthetic, is designed for the wet weather.

Due to the durability and lightweight nature of down jackets, I would choose them over their synthetic rivals for any kind of trip.

Read more6 Of The Best Packable Down Jackets

Best 7 Packable Rain Jackets for Men

rain jacket for men FI

What’s worse than getting caught in a storm in the middle of vacation?

Not being prepared, of course!

No matter where you’re heading next, a rain jacket should definitely find a way onto your packing list.

This list of best packable rain jackets for men will help you find the most suitable one for you!

Best part? They’re compact and portable and won’t take up a lot of space in your luggage.

What to Look for in a Rain Jacket?

Aside from the overall style and design, there are plenty of other factors to consider when choosing the best rain jacket for yourself.

Some of the most important aspects include weather protection, the construction of the jacket, breathability, as well as additional features.

When speaking about weather protection, there are 2 crucial features to consider: water-protection and wind protection. It’s important to pay attention to the differences between waterproof jackets and water-resistant jackets, as well as windproof jackets and wind-resistant ones. While the differences might seem insignificant, they can greatly affect the performance of the garment.

Waterproof jackets are generally more favorable than water-resistant ones, as they offer protection in even the most severe conditions, while water-resistant jackets are more suited for drizzles and light showers.

We can spot a similar pattern with windproof and wind-resistant jackets. By rule, windproof jackets have good insulation and offer ultimate protection even in the harshest conditions, while wind-resistant ones don’t perform best in inclement weather.

In terms of construction, we measure the quality of the jacket by the number of layers. 3-layer jackets generally offer the most protection and warmth and are suitable for even the most adventurous expeditions. On the other hand, 2-layer and 2.5-layer jackets might be a good fit for slightly calmer conditions and moderate weather.

Breathability in winter jackets is one of the most important factors, as it directly affects the comfort levels, as well as the functionality of the jacket itself. A good rain jacket must offer good breathability, as you want the air to circulate, allowing your body to stay warm without trapping in moisture. This will help regulate sweating and allow you to move around freely without feeling like a walking sauna.

You’ll also want to pay attention to any additional features such as zippers, pockets, hoods, and straps. All of these factors can greatly affect the functionality of the jacket, so it’s best to ensure that your jacket features high-quality materials, strong zippers, adjustable straps, and drawstrings as well as plenty of functional pouches for easier access to your belongings.

Compactness is another crucial aspect, as you’ll want to choose something practical which you can easily store in your luggage. Fortunately, all the rain jackets featured in this list are entirely packable and portable for increased convenience.

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7 of the Best Men’s Travel Pants

Men's travel pants

Travel pants are those versatile things you buy for a more comfortable travel experience, but end up wearing almost every possible waking moment. You’d even wear them to your own wedding if you would not get into trouble.

If you do not yet own a pair of these miraculously comfortable pants, or even if you are looking for an upgrade, then I have selected the best men’s travel pants out there, and brought them in here for you to see.

Are they that comfortable?

Yes, yes and yes! You would even wear them to work if your boss would not send you home to change.  Now, if you could get a job like mine, you can wear your travel pants all day. I’m wearing mine right now. I even sleep in them. I have a spare pair for that regrettable time of the week when I have to take them off to wash. They are that good.

Can I use them for anything else?

Good travel pants usually make for excellent adventure pants as well. They are ultralight, as travelers look to cut down on unnecessary extra weight. It naturally makes for useful additions to your hiking, fishing, hunting and mountain climbing inventories. They look great worn casually on the weekend, and double up perfectly as your non-competition golfing pants.

Will I have to sacrifice comfort for fashion?

Absolutely not. When we chose the pants on this list, we were sure to include something for the fashion-minded man as well. We have a stylish set of chinos, as well as a pair of pants with a choice of 37 different colors and styles.

It enables you to travel in clothing that does not make you stand out as a traveler, which in turn makes you far less of a target for unwanted attention.

How do I choose a pair?

Okay, so first things first. Every pair of pants we feature are divinely comfortable, so there is no need to worry about that. You can forget about tight waist bands digging into your skin and fabric that wrinkles up after hours of travel. These pants are immune to that stuff.

They also all contain useful travel pockets, with either a velcro or zipped opening that allows you to seal your passport and valuables off from would-be pick-pocketers.

If you want a pair with a little bit more movement, then you will want to look at the choice of fabrics used to construct the pants. If the manufacturers have used either spandex or elastane then there is a good chance that they will be stretchy, and therefore will be better suited to those needing to reach and lunge (climbers and hunters).

For the serious hikers out there, look for the pants that are predominantly nylon-based and have been given some kind of water-resistance treatment. It is always good to go hiking with an outer waterproof shell, but these treated travel pants will repel light rain and are fast-drying.

Here are 7 of the Best Men’s Travel Pants:

1. prAna Stretch Zion Pant

These pants – which feature a handy inbuilt adjustable waist belt – come in 12 different colors and are made of mostly nylon, meaning that they both repel water and are quick-to-dry. You will find that they are stretchy and abrasion resistant too, making them useful for hiking and outdoor adventure-related activities.

With that in mind, the manufacturers have slapped a UPF 50+ sun protection rating on them, providing a greater safeguard for your skin than most sun creams. You will find front mesh pockets, one on the rear and a cargo pocket on the left leg, while the roll-up leg snaps allow your body to breathe

Pros:
  • Great for use in the outdoors
Cons:
  • Mesh pockets were a poor choice of material

2. Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo

If you are particular about the shade of your future travel pants, then Columbia have you covered with a whopping 18 different trendy variations to choose from. These lightweight pants are done in the cargo design with six pockets, including two pockets on the legs, one of which is zippered.

Columbia normally means quality, and it is no different with these traveling pants, which can just as easily be used for hiking, fishing, hunting, or indeed any of your outdoor recreational hobbies.

The outer fabric of the pants is actually designed to absorb any water that it comes in contact with, and then spread rapidly across the material, allowing it to dry in record time. It is just one of the things we expect from these giants of the comfortable clothing industry

Pros:
  • Comfortable and versatile
Cons:
  • Waist sizes run a little small

3. ExOfficio Sol Cool Nomad Pant

These slim-designed pants come with a set of zippered side pockets and three different lengths to choose from. They are made completely from nylon, meaning they will have no problem whisking away a bit of moisture in a light shower, and will dry quickly if you get caught in a heavier one.

The pants come in road, walnut and cigar. And no, that is not a typo; those are the imaginatively named colors. The designers have incorporated something called ‘jade dust’ woven into the fabric which is meant to provide added UV protection, as well as providing odor resistance and breathability. They even claim it will make you feel 4°F cooler.

Pros:
  • Amazing for traveling in hot, humid weather
Cons:
  • Can require two hands to operate pocket zips

4. CQR Tactical Pants

There are good reasons why people are flocking to get their hands on a pair of these combat-oriented travel pants from CQR, and one of them is their cost-effective-yet-durable nature.

Coming in a crazy 37 different colors and styles, these cargo pants feature 8 different-styled pockets for a maximum range of uses. We are talking longer pockets for the army knives, and different variations for different tools and equipment.

The fabric is water, dirt, fade and wrinkle resistant, and comes with a comfortable multi-fit stretching waist band. There is an awesome tactical belt designed exclusively for these pants, but unfortunately, they do not come as a set.

Pros:
  • Great value for money
Cons:
  • Belt sold separately

5. Arcteryx Gamma LT Pants

These travel pants from Arcteryx will literally take you anywhere. They feature just the right amount of elastane to complement the nylon, meaning you get a pair of pants that are both highly water repellent and stretchy, making them another excellent hiking or even rock-climbing companion.

I love the gusseted crotch design that delivers the wearer a more mobile and active experience. Do you want to lunge in your pants? Show off your flexibility with a little bit of yoga? You will have no problem in these.

The effortless manoeuvrability available to you make these useful as a mid-layer in cooler climes, while the effortless breathability does not exclude them from use on your warmer weather forays either.

Pros:
  • Stretchy and mobile
Cons:
  • Expensive

6. UNIONBAY Rainier Travel Tech Chino Pants

These chino-style pants are mostly nylon with a bit of spandex, which dries quickly and provides at least UPF 50+ sun protection. It also gives them an added amount of stretchiness, something you may find endearing when on those long-haul flights.

Being made of nylon, they are going to pack a fair amount of water resistance and so they will be useful for those day hikes and when you are out exploring new cities. And they are chinos, so they are timeless, and you are going to look fashionable as well.

The range comes in 9 different colors and could be an excellent choice for those wanting to look trendy while traveling – without breaking the bank.

Pros:
  • Good for those on a budget
Cons:
  • Could use a couple more pockets

7. Camel Quick-Dry Travel Pants

Have we saved the best for last with these pants from Camel, that fold away compactly into their own back zipped-pocket? Perhaps we have. They come in three colors: black, grey and olive, and also feature two roomy pockets on the front.

These pants are ultra-lightweight – weighing in at 0.65 pounds – and as the name suggests, they are super-fast to dry (about 12.5% faster than their previous model, which in itself was pretty rapid). These two characteristics make these set of pants a great addition to you hiking inventory.

The 100D spandex makes these pants exceptionally comfortable, while the elastic waistband and drawcord design keeps them exactly where you want them.

Pros:
  • Ultra compact
Cons:
  • Sizes run a little large

Conclusion

It is hard to look past the Camel Quick-Dry Travel Pants as the best all-round product in this list. They are the most packable pants and therefore are the easiest to take with you. They are also quite affordable and therefore represent excellent value for money.

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If they are not your thing, then sitting in a close second place would be the Silver Ridge Cargo Pants by Columbia. Rounding out the list in third place is the pair from Arcteryx, just missing out on the top two because of its much higher price tag.

Best 9 Sun Hats for Men

man at pool, sun hats for men

You’re about to visit a sweltering hot place, so you’re looking for some kind of sun protection. 

Sunscreen is not an option, because let’s be honest: That stuff’s smelly and sticky.

Borrowing your wife’s sun hat isn’t an option either, because (1) It’s hers, and (2) It probably has the sort of frills that’d attract the wrong kind of attention. 

The good news is, you don’t have to look far to find the best sun hats for men. All you have to do is read our guide on choosing the best sun hats, browse through our recs, and decide which one suits you best. 

What to Look for in a Sun Hat for Men

Protection

You might be thinking “Duh, that’s what I’m buying a sun hat for!” But we think it’s important to dig a little deeper into how a sun hat can protect you, exactly.

The most obvious consideration is the brim of the hat. The wider the brim, the less likely you’ll burn your head. Seems straightforward, doesn’t it?

Of course, you don’t want a mini-UFO on your head. You also don’t want a brim that’s too small to provide any sort of protection, no matter how stylish the hat looks otherwise.

Many sun hats for men have neck flaps. They protect your nape from the heat, but they’re not exactly the best-looking accessories to wear. Plus, there’s the issue of ventilation (i.e. your nape overheating from getting covered), but we’ll get to that in a bit.

Another thing to look at when considering how much protection a sun hat can provide is the UPF factor. It’s basically like the SPF factor, except for clothes instead of human skin. The highest UPF factor is 50+, so if protection is your priority, look for a sun hat with “50+” on the label. 

Ventilation

You know how closed spaces heat up after being under the sun for too long? The same principle works with hats. If your hat doesn’t have any sort of ventilation, you’ll feel your head (and neck, if the hat has a neck flap) heat up from the inside. Obviously, that defeats the purpose of wearing a sun hat in the first place!

Luckily, sun hats with neck flaps usually come with mesh. That way, the heat won’t be trapped inside the hat, and any sweat your body produces will have room to evaporate. 

Comfort and Fit

A sun hat for men can have all the protection in the world, but if you’re not comfortable wearing it, you might as well not wear one at all.

Your hat should neither be too tight nor too loose. To get the right hat size for you, wrap a tape measure around the widest part of your head, write down the measurement in inches and centimeters, and match the result to a standard hat size chart. Make sure you’re looking at the right chart: There are separate ones for adults and youths.

Don’t forget the material your sun hat is made of. Does it feel nice around your head, or do you feel like your scalp barely has room to breathe? Does the hat feel like it’s barely there, or does the material scratch and irritate your skin?  

Durability

Most sun hats aren’t designed for durability, but they should at least emerge unscathed from being crammed into your backpack, or getting blown away by the wind. If the material looks like it’s going to tear if you so much as pull at it, it’s probably not the best sun hat for men you’re looking for. 

Style 

You’ll notice that “style” is at the bottom of our list. That’s because, if you have to choose between utility and beauty, we’d generally recommend the former.

That said, if you don’t want to look like a discount sheikh, there are sun hats for men that look great while still offering the protection you need. Granted, they’re a bit pricier than most, but hey: Better that than a nasty case of sunburn!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4i4spxP-H2U

These are the Best 9 Sun Hats for Men:

1. Home Prefer Mens UPF 50+ Sun Protection Cap Wide Brim Fishing Hat with Neck Flap

Don’t worry: If aqua blue isn’t your thing, this hat also comes in more masculine colors like army green, khaki, light gray and navy blue.

Colors aside, this one has just about everything you need in a sun hat. Brim that’s wide enough to shade your face? Check. Neck flap to protect your nape? Check. Mesh above the neck flap to aid ventilation? Check. A UPF factor of 50+? Check

Pros:
  • Provides all-around protection without sacrificing comfort
Cons:
  • Some of the available colors may not be for men

2. JFH Wide Brim Bora Booney Outdoor Safari Summer Hat

Despite its name, JFH’s outdoor safari hat isn’t just for safaris. Depending on the design you choose (and there are 24 of them), you can wear this hat at a backyard BBQ and not look out of place at all. 

Related: Best 9 Convertible Backpack Purses​

Compared to the last item on our list, this one’s made of tougher material. There’s a mesh wrapped around the crown, which makes it a one-size-fits-all hat, and provides ventilation to boot.

Pros:
  • Versatile
Cons:
  • Might be challenging to wash

3. DDYOUTDOOR Fishing Cap

Now, this one gives a whole new meaning to “all-around protection.” Aside from your head and nape, DDYOUTDOOR’s fishing cap also protects your face. The neck flap is detachable, so you can wear it like a traditional brim hat, like a fishing cap, or like someone who’s going on an undercover mission in the forest. If you have a lady in the family who’s into fishing, there’s a rose red version of this cap as well.

Pros:
  • Protects your face, as well as your head and neck
Cons:
  • Might not be suitable for small heads

4. EINSKEY Sun Hat for Men

EINSKEY’s sun hat for men and women is as traditional as it can get. It doesn’t have any neck or face flaps: Just a wide brim and an adjustable drawstring. Since it comes in neutral colors — dark gray, khaki, light gray and navy blue — it’s suitable for both sexes. The mesh is located on both sides of the crown, ensuring that you stay ventilated without trading off protection.

Pros:
  • Simple design makes it suitable for everyday use
Cons:
  • Lacks the additional protection provided by neck flaps

5. KeepSa Sun Hat for Men

What if there are days you need a hat, but not a hat’s brim? That must’ve been the thought process of whoever created this one. If, for whatever reason, you don’t need the brim, simply fasten the brim’s sides to their corresponding buttons on the crown. The hat comes in army green, black, coffee brown, grey and khaki — colors that make it easy to pair this hat with almost any outfit.

Pros:
  • Simple yet elegant design
Cons:
  • Brim is too short, even when fully extended

6. Home Prefer Men’s Sun Hat UPF 50+ Wide Brim Bucket Hat Windproof Fishing Hats

Don’t let its simple looks fool you. Although it looks like a run-of-the-mill fishing hat, Home Prefer’s sun hat for men comes with UPF 50+ rating. As we’ve explained earlier, 50+ is the highest possible rating for a hat that’s able to protect against UV rays. 

Related: 12 Of The Best Travel Purses for 2019

The hat has two drawstrings — one at the back of the crown, the other around the chin area — which means this one can go with almost any head size. Also, you can choose from 15 colors, including army green, black, dark gray and navy blue.

Pros:
  • High UPF factor
Cons:
  • Design may be too basic for some people

7. JOSENI Outdoor Quick Dry Sun Hat Folding Portable Unisex UV SPF 50+ Baseball Cap

If it’s not too hot outside, a simple baseball cap might suffice. Then again, why go for just any baseball cap, when you can cap it off (excuse the pun) with UPF 50+ protection? 

Being the simplest hat on this list by far, it’s also the easiest to clean. And if a black or gray cap is too drab for you, you can always go for one that’s light blue, khaki, or (if you’re adventurous enough) two shades of purple.

Pros:
  • Low maintenance
Cons:
  • May not provide enough protection for more extreme weather conditions

8. Home Prefer Outdoor UPF50+ Mesh Sun Hat Wide Brim Fishing Hat with Neck Flap

Like the first item on our list, this one has UPF 50+ protection, a neck flap, a wide brim, and an adjustable chin strap. Unlike the first item on our list, the mesh on this one covers more of the crown, and the neck flap can be detached if you want a simple hat instead. It also comes in fewer colors: army green, black, dark gray, khaki, light gray, navy blue, purple and rose red.

Pros:
  • Detachable neck flap makes for a versatile hat
Cons:
  • Comes in fewer colors

9. Extra Big Size Brushed Twill Aussie Hats

You don’t have to be an Aussie to pull off an Aussie hat. Whether you’re going to the Land Down Under or not, this hat is stylish enough to pair with any casual outfit. At the same time, it’s wide-brimmed enough to shade your face on hot days. It’s about as basic a sun hat as you can get, though, so don’t expect any added protection to your face and neck.

Pros:
  • Simple yet elegant design
Cons:
  • No extra protection for the face and neck

Conclusion

A sun hat isn’t just a fashion statement. It’s also a way to let you enjoy the outdoors even when the heat gets unbearable. As long as you know how to choose the right sun hat for you, you can have a hat that not only lowers your risk of sunburns, but also adds pizzazz to your overall getup.

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What’s your experience with sun hats? Do they help with the hot days, or do good old-fashioned hats work just as well? Let us know in the comments — and maybe drop some recs on sun hats for men while you’re at it!