Looking for a thin, easy-to-pack jacket
September 3, 2011 6:13 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a thin, easy-to-pack jacket

I'm looking for a replacement for a women's jacket that I've had for years. Although the jacket itself folds out to a normal size (even including a hood!) it packs down to about the size of a pack of cigarettes. The material is really thin and light (thinner than cotton T-shirt material), but holds in heat well (it appears to be some sort of polyester). I love this jacket because I can keep it in my purse and pull it out in places with overly-agressive air conditioning (like the supermarket). However, after five years, it's getting somewhat worn.

The original is from Target, and appears to be designed for some type of sport (perhaps running). I haven't been able to find a replacement in local stores, and online stores don't seem to list the "pack size" of an item, just its weight.

Does anyone have any recommendations for where I can find a similar item?
posted by GraceCathedral to Shopping (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I believe I have the sort of jacket you're looking for. It's about a million years old (OK, actually let's see...I think it's 15 years old). It's from Old Navy, and I thought for sure it was the "Old Navy Anorak," but nothing that shows up on google looks like it. Not that they'd still have it so many years later, but I thought I'd give you a picture reference. It's a half-zip that folds up into the front kangaroo pocket and is a windbreaker-y material. I agree--it's awesome and convenient.

You're going to want to search for windbreaker or folding windbreaker or windbreaker pouch. Bass Pro Shops/Cabelas-type places should have plenty of inexpensive and unattractive options for you. LL Bean/REI will have better looking, more expensive ones. Here's one. Here's a better one.
posted by phunniemee at 6:25 PM on September 3, 2011

K-Way jackets are a classic now and even a little bit retro-chic. Here it is in its pouch.
posted by kmennie at 6:37 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the answers so far - these look great and will probably work for my purposes. However, they don't quite match the jacket I already have... my jacket is form-fitting, with a material that feels "soft" - more like polyester than nylon. The jacket is not water-proof, and is only slightly water-resistant. I feel like if I could figure out the name of the material I'm looking for I might have better luck googling, but unfortunately the tag fell out a while ago.

Thanks again for your help with this!
posted by GraceCathedral at 6:43 PM on September 3, 2011

phunniemee, you're not crazy. I had the same anorak from Old Navy for years. It wasn't the most glamorous item of clothing, but it was very handy in a pinch. OP, you might have more success searching for a "packable jacket", although you'll still have to filter out the sites showing you how to best fold your jacket into your suitcase. I found some on About.com, REI, and Amazon (just to give you an idea). They are not all cheap, so I'd also look into your local surplus store to see if they have any of the sort in stock or if they can point you in the right direction. Or if you're not worried about fit, Target does seem to have something like what you want for men in stock. Good luck!
posted by therewolf at 7:18 PM on September 3, 2011

Try googling the term cagoule (and its variations)? That seems to be the most precise term for this kind of jacket.
posted by gatorae at 7:30 PM on September 3, 2011

Just to clarify, I will purchase a windbreaker if I have to, but if possible, I'd prefer to find something like the jacket I already have, which is definitely not a windbreaker or anorak. It is MUCH less structured than the examples linked to so far - for instance, it does not have pockets, flaps to cover the zipper, or any extra fabric beyond the single layer of material of which it is constructed. It is not weatherproof at all - it is soft, like a cotton "hoodie", but it is much more lightweight than cotton. It really does fold down to take up less room than a pair of cotton socks.
posted by GraceCathedral at 7:39 PM on September 3, 2011

Pix maybe?
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:57 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

This looks kind of like what you're describing - folds up into a compact pouch and the material looks light. It used to be sold at Walmart according to Google.
posted by sunnychef88 at 9:34 PM on September 3, 2011

How about this lightweight merino hoodie? It would be more form-fitting and soft than a nylon windbreaker, and it looks like it would pack up pretty small. I bet if you called up one of MEC's brick and mortar stores that had it in stock, you could get a salesperson to check how small s/he can fold it up. In my experience, their customer service is pretty good.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:35 PM on September 3, 2011

Ah, here another listing with the name - the Danskin Now Womens Packable Jacket. Here's the old Walmart page for it.
posted by sunnychef88 at 9:48 PM on September 3, 2011

These sorts of jackets are often referred to as a "wind shirt" amongst hikers/climbers/outdoorsy types.

Mine sounds very similar to what you describe, and fits in a stuff sack about the size of a small apple.

Try adding "wind shirt" to your search terms, and you'll probably get a lot of hits that look more like what you're looking for.

Though your results will probably lean more toward the expensive side than a target windbreaker.
posted by zen_spider at 9:17 PM on September 4, 2011

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