The 9 Best Lightweight Jackets of 2022

The North Face Women's Thermoball delivers insulation without the bulk

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TripSavvy's Pick

The North Face Women's Thermoball uses high-tech insulation that keeps you warm without overheating and packs down in a zippered pocket. For men, we recommend the Columbia Men's Watertight II Jacket.

It's no secret that some seasons are harder to dress for than others. While winter and summer have their apparel down pat, fall and spring can swing wildly regarding temperature. If you're traveling to a destination with such seasonal variance, it can be hard to know what to pack. That's where one key piece of clothing comes in handy: the lightweight jacket. It will protect against those moderate elements but isn't cumbersome to carry if it gets a little too toasty. Since it's such a versatile option, plenty of companies make versions that will suit every need, budget, and style.

But with so many from which to choose, it can be hard to narrow down the best ones. Good news: we've researched for you. Consider this, a lightweight jacket should weigh under a pound. And, while nylon or polyester can handle light rain, a fully waterproof jacket will feature a special coating.

Here are the 9 best lightweight jackets.

Best Overall for Women: The North Face Women's Thermoball Full-Zip Jacket

4.9
The North Face Women's Thermoball Full-Zip Jacket

Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

What We Like
  • Packs small

  • Warm

  • Easy folding

What We Don't Like
  • Price point

Looking for something to keep you warm but won't take up a ton of room? The North Face has you covered with this water-resistant, insulated lightweight jacket. This high-tech insulation mimics down warmth (equivalent to 600 fill goose down) without the bulk—you can easily fold it into the hand pocket. Even though it will hold in the heat, reviewers said they didn't sweat. No wonder buyers described it as "amazing" and "perfect." The only downside is it's on the pricier side.

Weight: 10.56 ounces | Material: Nylon | Available Sizes: XS to 2X

Best Overall for Men: Columbia Men's Watertight II Jacket

Columbia Men's Watertight II Jacket

Courtesy of Columbia

What We Like
  • Waterproof

  • Stain-resistant

  • Range of colors

What We Don't Like
  • Not super warm

Columbia is known for making performance gear, so you know they pack a lot into even the most streamlined of jackets. This one features a waterproof nylon shell, zippered side pockets, and elastic cuffs to ensure the weather stays out and you stay dry. It's also ideal for travel, as it packs into the hand pocket. And though it comes in a range of sizes from small to 6X, you can customize the fit even more, thanks to the adjustable velcro cuffs and a drawcord hem.

Weight: 12 ounces | Material: Nylon and polyester | Available Sizes: S to 6X

Best Budget for Women: JTANIB Women's Raincoat Windbreaker

JTANIB Women's Raincoat Windbreaker

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Versatile

  • Variety of hues

  • Travel pouch included

What We Don't Like
  • Not great for long periods of heavy rain

It will feel like nothing while you're wearing it, but the JTANIB windbreaker provides excellent protection from the elements. It can handle light rain or damp outdoor activities, making it ideal for hiking, fishing, riding, camping, or simply exploring a new city. The lightweight fabric packs easily into a carrier bag, while the drawstring hood and hem allow for a more sleek fit. Bonus: it comes in more than 20 colors and designs.

Weight: 8.4 ounces | Material: Polyester | Available Sizes: XS to XL

Best Budget for Men: Amazon Essentials Men's Lightweight Water-Resistant Packable Puffer Jacket

Packable Puffer Jacket

Amazon

What We Like
  • Color options

  • Machine washable

  • Packable

What We Don't Like
  • Some complaints about fit

Some buyers might shy away from AmazonBasics for quality concerns, but this lightweight jacket is a solid choice. It features a water-resistant nylon exterior, a stand-up collar for extra warmth, and elastic cuffs for a tailored fit. While some people complained that the fit was a little off, most raved about how comfortable the jacket was and loved that it came with a carrying bag with drawstring closure. Plus, it has a lot of versatility, functioning as a jacket in a more moderate climate or a base layer for much colder days. And you get all of that for a reasonable price.

Weight: 12.63 ounces | Material: Nylon and polyester | Available Sizes: XS to XXL

Best Waterproof for Women: The North Face Women's Arrowood Triclimate Jacket

The North Face Women's Arrowood Triclimate Jacket

Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

What We Like
  • Durable

  • Handles extreme conditions

What We Don't Like
  • Heavier

The North Face apparel is known for handling the most extreme conditions. So you know a waterproof jacket from the iconic outdoors brand will hold up against more than a drizzle. It comes with two jackets that zip together, making it 100 percent water- and windproof. A single jacket will still hold up against moisture if you separate the two, but pairing them allows you to adjust to a variety of temperatures. The only downside? It's a bit heavier than other lightweight jacket options.

Weight: 1.6 pounds | Material: Polyester | Available Sizes: XS to XXL

Best Waterproof for Men: Marmot Men's Minimalist Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket

Marmot Men's Minimalist Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket

Courtesy Marmot

What We Like
  • Holds up in harsh conditions

  • Durable fabric

  • Temperature regulation

What We Don't Like
  • It doesn't pack as easily

While there are a few waterproof jackets on this list, this one reigns supreme. Buyers love how it keeps them dry even in the wettest conditions while still providing breathability. That's due to the "hydrophobic Gore-Tex membrane," which regulates temperature without adding weight to the jacket. Even if you're in snowy, wet conditions, the fully taped seams and front zipper covering flap will prevent leaks. But if you do get toasty, there are zippered ventilation openings under the arms to let air flow in.

Weight: 14.9 ounces | Material: Polyester | Available Sizes: S to XXL

Best Denim: Levi's Women's Original Trucker Jacket

Levi's Women's Original Trucker Jacket

Courtesy of Levi's

What We Like
  • Iconic design

  • Style options

  • Easy clean

What We Don't Like
  • Not great for warmth

If you're in the market for denim, the go-to brand has to be Levi's. The iconic apparel company is known for its quality construction and classic styles; the Premium Original Trucker Jacket lives up to the reputation. It's a great addition to nearly every outfit and is instantly recognizable thanks to the straight silhouette, double breast pockets, and button-up front. While it won't keep you particularly warm, the jacket is an ideal in-between layer. The men's version, simply called the Trucker Jacket, is available here.

Weight: 10.4 ounces | Material: Cotton and elastane (women's); 100% cotton (men's) | Available Sizes: XS to 4X (women's); XS to 3XL (men's)

Best Running for Women: Patagonia Women's Houdini Jacket

Patagonia

 Patagonia

What We Like
  • Practically weightless

  • Ethical brand

  • Easy folding

What We Don't Like
  • No reflective details

The last thing you want on a run is to feel weighed down. You absolutely won't with this feather-light jacket. At just 3.2 ounces, it still protects against wind and light rain or moderate snow. What's more, it packs so small it can fit into a pocket, making it easy to throw on or take off depending on temperature variations. So go ahead and take this jacket on a run out your front door or into the mountains. Bonus: It comes in five color options.

Weight: 3.2 ounces | Material: Recycled nylon | Available Sizes: XS to XXL

Best Running for Men: Wantdo Men's Biking Running Jacket

Wantdo Men's Biking Running Jacket

Courtesy of Wantdo

What We Like
  • Form-fitting

  • Safety details

  • Temperature range

What We Don't Like
  • No hood

When running in cooler conditions, you need something that will keep you warm but won't make you overheat. Enter the Wantdo jacket. It's both windproof and waterproof but has a breathable fabric lining that whisks moisture away and allows for ventilation. So, it can handle temperatures from 18 to 50℉. Of course, you need storage for your essentials as well. The jacket has a front chest zipper pocket for safe storage and a large back pocket to hold your gear. For safety, there are reflective print strips on the front, elbow, and back to make sure you're visible during those evening or early-morning runs.

Weight: 15.34 ounces | Material: Polyester and spandex | Available Sizes: S to XXL

What to Look for in a Lightweight Jacket

Weight

When talking about lightweight jackets, you should looks for a piece under 1 pound in order to ensure that bulkiness isn't a factor. If it's in the 1-2 pound range, you might get some added benefits to handle more extreme conditions while still not getting weighed down.

Material

Consider where and when you'll be using the jacket. If you need something to handle wet conditions, an exterior made from nylon or polyester is your best bet. For full waterproof capabilities, though, it will need to be coated with special materials. While many jackets will feature these lightweight materials, be sure to check what else is added. For example, cotton or fleece lining could add weight to the shell. 

Why Trust TripSavvy

Author Jordi Lippe-McGraw has researched and written about travel and lifestyle products for nearly a decade. When making this list, she researched dozens of products, looking at key specs like material and weight and the number of positive and negative reviews.

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