You see, I have about as much enthusiasm for packing a sport coat on a trip as I have for 8-hour layovers and sitting in the middle seat on the plane.
On the occasions where I’ve needed to dress up on the other end, I’ve been known to buy half-price used blazers at Goodwill and “forget” them in my hotel room closet before coming home.
They’re for decoration more than function (though not quite as useless as a tie) and tend to come out not looking so hot after spending 20 hours in a suitcase. Yeah I know, you can carry a garment bag, but apart from traveling salesmen, who does?
This Voyager II Blazer from Eddie Bauer is cut from a different cloth, however. Literally. It’s made from what your typical travel pants are: nylon and spandex. It’s coated with a DWR finish that kept me dry in a surprise rainstorm.
And it’s loaded with pockets to carry far more than a phone or your wallet in a single inside breast pocket. In other words, this is a travel jacket that looks like a blazer, not a blazer you hope will hold up to your travels.
There are lots of features built in besides the obvious ones of being lightweight, wrinkle resistant, and water/stain resistant.
There’s a little strip of cloth that can button the two neck flaps together if you’re getting chilly. The pockets come in all shapes and sizes and include two front flap pockets on the side, a chest pocket, an outside zip pocket, plus a series of them on the inside that are enough for a phone, passport, and a pen.
And here’s something I appreciate a lot: you can just throw this baby in the washing machine when you come home from two weeks on the road. No trip to the dry cleaner.
Understand that this isn’t going to look like a tailored blazer from Milan: picture a Silicon Valley start-up worker in flip-flops maybe, not a Swiss banker. It’s also not going to fit everyone perfectly out of the box either.
I had to get the sleeves shortened on mine. But hey, it’s $149 in the regular size and $169 for tall versions, in four muted colors. Yeah, that’s more than my disposable thrift store blazers I left behind, but I’ll be bringing this one home to take on the next trip.