6 Best Travel Jacket Brands for Men on a Europe Trip

I’m a picky shopper when it comes to travel jackets – they have to look stylish, fit me well, keep me warm and dry, and have functional pockets. The weather in Europe can be cold, wet, windy, and snowy depending on how many places you are visiting. These are the top brands for adventurous travelers to consider.

Patagonia

patagonia mens down jacket
Patagonia

Pros: Patagonia jackets are super trendy and designed for a more stylish look. I like that they are warm, functional, good quality, and come with a good warranty. The jackets are also made with recyclable and sustainable materials in a supposedly responsible manufacturing process. Patagonia takes every opportunity to tout itself as a socially conscious brand.

Cons: The jackets are expensive. Patagonia’s brand perception is a bit yuppie and elitist. You see a lot of corporate types walking around with Patagonia vests over their dress shirts.

North Face

north face mens apex jacket
North Face

Pros: North Face deserves credit for popularizing the use of outdoor jackets as trendy casual wear. There was a time when it seemed like everyone owned a Denali jacket – students, business people, serious hikers, travelers, etc. Their jackets are warm, functional, good quality, so you can’t blame them.

Cons: North Face jackets are high end and expensive, though not as trendy as Patagonia at the moment. The North Face brand perception is more outdoorsy and less elitist though.

Marmot

marmot mens gravity jacket
Marmot

Pros: Marmot makes a good quality product. Their jackets are warm, functional, and generally long lasting. They are a good option for the serious athlete.

Cons: Marmot jackets can be even more expensive than Patagonia and North Face. They are a real investment, so you are more likely to find them on truly outdoorsy people rather than casual shoppers following the latest trends.

REI

REI zealand mens field jacket
REI

Pros: REI makes good quality jackets that are functional and versatile. The REI brand perception is for real outdoors adventurers who need gear for serious camping and sports.

Cons: REI is fairly pricey, though generally less expensive than North Face and Patagonia. They also have a more limited jacket selection because REI stores carry all the other major brands as well.

Arc’teryx

arcteryx mens jacket
Arc’teryx

Pros: Arc’teryx is a Canadian brand known for making high quality, functional jackets for law enforcement and military wear, but backpackers and climbers love their well-designed line of outdoors jackets.

Cons: This is the most expensive brand on this list and probably overkill for the casual traveler. If you are planning on scaling the Alps, on the other hand, this is a great option.

Mountain Hardwear

mountain hardwear mens parka
Mountain Hardwear

Pros: Mountain Hardwear makes good quality jackets that are functional and medium-priced. They are more affordable than Patagonia and North Face while carrying a lot of the same styles.

Cons: The brand tends to be more expensive than Columbia but offers little additional brand cache or style. The jacket designs are functional for outdoors wear but don’t look especially fashionable or fitted if that’s what you’re going for.

Columbia

columbia mens jacket
Columbia

Pros: Columbia jackets are the most affordably priced and easy to find. If you want a generic winter jacket that doesn’t cost too much, this brand is available at a lot of stores and a good starting point.

Cons: The quality is not as high as the more expensive brands, and there is clearly less focus on style and fit. This is at risk of becoming the brand of middle-aged dads who wear clothes that are two sizes too large. Find a style that fits you well, and you’ll be okay.

Looking for more gift ideas for men?

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10 Best Gifts for Your Sister in Law from Her Favorite Brands

20 Last Minute Anniversary Gifts Your Husband or Wife Will Love

Practical Luxury 101: Leather Anniversary Gifts for Your Husband or Wife

Sometimes the best anniversary gifts are what I call practical luxuries – items that look beautiful and well-made but are also very useful tools in your everyday life.

leatherology
leatherology

Have you ever seen a luxurious leather wallet or purse that just looked like a really expensive, high end product? High quality, soft leather looks elegant and classy but doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive. That’s why leather anniversary gifts can be a great idea for men or women.

Leather is traditionally the gift for your 3rd wedding anniversary, but it’s actually a fantastic gift for any year.

Classic traditional gift items could include monogrammed leather wallets, purses, cosmetic bags, tote bags, and messenger bags.

leatherology cosmetic bag
leatherology

But nowadays there are also more modern and creative leather gifts including jewelry organizers, iPhone or iPad cases, backpacks, laptop sleeves, cross-body iPhone bags, wine totes, weekender duffel bags, document cases, and other useful everyday items.

If you are looking for an anniversary gift idea that is both beautiful and practical, check out sites like Etsy or Leatherology for lovely, affordable leather products. We have no affiliation with either site. We are just fans.

For traditional wedding anniversary gifts such as paper, cotton, leather, linen/silk, and wood, check out our 10 Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Year for Urban Yuppies (Year 1-5).

Publish Your Own Books for Photos, Family Recipes, and Travel

The ability to publish your own professional-looking hardcover or softcover books these days is incredible.

It doesn’t just have to be a photo book anymore. It could be a family recipe book, a custom children’s book, a personal travel log, a book of poems, a personal memoir…. anything!

Anyone can use a number of publishing websites to design beautiful custom books. The most affordable options are Costco, Shutterfly, Walgreens, or CVS.

If you want to get a little fancier (which will be very tempting once you see how lovely these books are), your options include:

Blurb

An advanced publishing platform for anyone to publish books and magazines (and even sell them online)

blurb photo book
Photo Credit: http://www.blurb.com

MyPublisher

The publisher with the most customization options, for those who love to spend hours figuring out the perfect layout and design

mypublisher photo book
Photo Credit: http://www.mypublisher.com

Mixbook

A relatively new publishing site that allows you to throw together an elegant photo book quickly without having to make a lot of design decisions

mixbook photo book
Photo Credit: http://www.mixbook.com

Kolo

Kolo, the makers of perhaps the nicest physical photo albums you can find, offers these lovely custom options for publishing your own books online

kolo photo book
Photo Credit: http://www.kolo.com