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The Barbour International Jacket--possibly THE best jacket for travel?

Although the International jacket was originally designed as a submariner jacket--and then was adopted as a motorcycle jacket--I've found that it's true calling reflects its name, as it's (almost) the perfect jacket for wear while travelling.


First, it's packed with pockets all of which serve distinct purposes. The zipped breast pocket on the front (whose zip is covered by the "Barbour International" flap) is perfect for holding cell phone and camera--and for holding your change and watch while going through airport security. The angled flare pocket on the other side studs securely shut, and is perfect for passport (in holder) and wallet. The lower two bellows pockets--which not only stud shut, but which have "sleeves" built into the flaps for additional security--are *just* large enough to accept an Amazon Fire or smaller tablet, and are robust enough to store plug adapters and cell-phone chargers. (This makes it very easy to pull out your tablet for security, instead of having to rifle through your luggage--and it also means that your device is ready to hand!) This couldn't have been better designed for modern-day travel if Barbour had tried.

The jacket itself is cut from Barbour's heavyweight waxed cotton which resists creasing--so there's no problem with folding this coat up for an overhead compartment or placing under the seat in front of you while on a 'plane. This also means that this coat is wonderfully waterproof, shedding English showers or tropical downpours with aplomb.

Travelling somewhere cold? Just add in the stud- or zip-in "teddy bear" lining and you'll be fine.

And, finally, the coat just looks incredibly cool--and only gets better with wear!

Now, the International does have a drawback.... It wasn't intended to breathe well at all, and the underarm grommets aren't really up to the job. (So, while this will shed rain in a tropical downpour, frankly you might as well have taken it off and got wet, as the heat doesn't dissipate, and so you'll likely end up soaking anyway!) So, if you need to run for a 'plane you're best served by taking this off.

Having said that, the International's younger brother, the Beacon, is medium-weight cotton--and far more comfortable in warmer weather! It does have two disadvantages of its own, though--the lower pockets lack the security flaps, and its leather collar isn't as comfortable as the cord of the International. Plus, it's discontinued, so you'll need to find one on the secondary market.

And now here are a couple of pictures of the International in action last week--on a London - New York international flight, and visiting the Cube Houses in Rotterdam!

Plus, a windmill.

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