The new tools of travel

Carry On

We Have Found a New Favorite Travel Jacket

Keep things cozy, classy, and dry with this old-school essential

Waxed cotton was one of the earliest water-resistant fabrics ever designed, and has been popular for over 200 years. (Courtesy Brixtol)
Photo: Courtesy Brixtol

Keep things cozy, classy, and dry with this old-school essential

I’d choose the Brixtol Curtis’ waxed cotton over any high-tech membrane, down layer, or water-repellant shell. Though it’s never been expedition tested, it remains my favorite jacket, capable of making travel easier by orders of magnitude—and even shielding me from bodily harm.

To the dismay of pickpockets across the globe, the pockets on the Curtis are an enigma to anyone but the wearer. Hip pockets are just the right size for a Penguin Classics volume, and hand pockets are perfectly angled so that nothing ever falls out, even when you plop the jacket into an airport X-ray scanner.

Did I mention that Brixtol lines these hand pockets—and, for that matter, the entire jacket—with brushed cotton flannel? While athletes and hikers like to refer to cotton as the death fabric, the rudimentary coziness of cotton flannel makes it the ideal jacket lining for fall or spring days and allows you to use this jacket as a blanket on cold flights or while sleeping on a train. Used for half a century in motorcycle jackets, waxed cotton is relatively abrasion-proof, unlike Gore-Tex or down layers, which are always susceptible to getting punctured or torn. I learned as much a few years ago after getting knocked off a bike and skidding across the street. Brushing myself off, I was relieved to see how little harm the collision had done to my person. Or to my jacket.

Filed To: Travel / Jackets / Gear