I’d been hiking in the Peruvian Andes for hours. Days, in fact. After a lunch-break beside a beautiful lake, reflecting the looming mountains on its sheer surface, I desperately needed a nap. Who knew such a simple feature as a hood with a built-in eye mask could be such a gift! After a short reflection on how lucky I was to be where I was, and in such comfort no less, I drifted off into a blissful sleep.
My introduction to Global Travel Clothing, and specifically to the Women’s Soft Shell Travel Jacket, was serendipitous. Although I didn’t feel like I actually needed a new jacket at the time, it became a reliable friend and go-to for all kinds of travel and life.
My jacket sailed into my world while I was living in the Sacred Valley of Peru, tucked away in the Andes at almost 3,500 metres (11,000+ feet) above sea level. In this climate, layers are crucial, with a bigger temperature difference between day and night than there is between summer and winter. Thus, I also ordered the optional Polar Fleece Zip-In Liner, which, when temperatures dropped, kept me significantly warmer than I had predicted.
And when the daytime temperatures soared or I was in the midst of a sweaty steep hike, I removed (and later replaced) the zip-in liner with considerably more ease than I’ve experienced before with similar jackets. In fact, Global Travel Clothing’s quality and workmanship is among the best I’ve seen in a while. Quickly, I understood why this jacket costs as much as it does; you get what you pay for.
Thus, for my Andean trek (and many many more in Peru), I was able to replace two jackets I’d formerly taken with me: my down jacket (for warmth) and my rain jacket (for the rainy season’s frequent and unpredictable showers).
The next acid test was to take my jacket to other countries and climates. It came with me on an ultralight month-long excursion to Canada and Ireland in March/April – a time of year renowned for its unpredictable and erratic weather in both countries. Again, I wasn’t disappointed. It kept me warm and dry, and it fit the “fashion code” in all scenarios urban and otherwise. I even wore it proudly while staying in a swanky Irish castle!
A note about fashion. I never expected runway style from the Women’s Soft Shell Travel Jacket. I expected a technical jacket – which is what it is. Not only is it water resistant and warm, with nifty features like a built-in eye mask and removable hood, but it is also loaded with pockets. And I mean loaded. There are pockets inside of pockets, zippered pockets, inside pockets, outside pockets, and hidden pockets. For me personally, there are entirely too many pockets. I just don’t use them, for a few reasons; as a woman, pockets aren’t standard on clothing, and thus I’m used to carrying a purse with me. And I prefer it that way, because in my experience, a jacket stuffed to the gills is far from flattering, especially on women.
However with the variety of pockets on offer, I was able to selectively fill certain pockets for ease of accessibility without looking 20 pounds heavier. For some people, the prevalence of pockets in Global Travel Clothing’s repertoire is the number one attraction. For me, it’s an added benefit to a jacket full of useful features for travel, outdoorsy activities, and even a castle stay or two.
Carry-on Packing Tip: If you’re traveling with carry-on luggage only, but wrestling with too much weight or bulk, Global Travel Clothing’s pockets are even more handy; fill those pockets with your extra items, and not only will they be accessible during your flight, but you can avoid extra charges or being forced to check your bag.
Nora Dunn is The Professional Hobo: a woman who sold everything she owned in 2006 (including a busy financial planning practice) to embrace her dreams of world travel. She has been on the road ever since, teaching people how to travel full-time in a financially sustainable way.