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One afternoon, on a mindless scroll through my Instagram feed, something caught my eye: an ad for a Baubax travel jacket with more than 20 special features designed specifically for travelers. Finally, a sponsored post that was relevant to me.
I clicked through to the Baubax website and was intrigued by the bomber jacket, which came in six sizes, three colors and claimed to have the following travel features:
- A passport pocket
- A drink pocket (wait, what?)
- A bottle opener
- A whistle
- Hand-warming pockets
- Glasses pocket
- Tablet pocket
- Pen pocket
- Top secret pocket (also, huh?)
- Microfiber cloth
- Power bank pocket
- Earbuds pocket
- Zipper pen and stylus
- Earbuds holder
- Phone pocket
- Travel water bottle
- Inflatable footrest
- Travel blanket
- Built-in eye mask
- Inflatable neck pillow (with in-hood storage)
- Detachable gloves
- Earplugs and case
Basically, the jacket promises to be the only travel accessory you need. So, of course, we needed to see if it fits the bill.
The bomber jacket is black and the outer shell is 100% polyester. It arrived in a sleek bag, and the presentation was nice. It’s not designed to be waterproof, but repels light splashes of water. The windbreaker option, though lighter, is the one to pick if you need something truly waterproof. You can machine wash the jacket, but you’ll need to take out some of the travel accessories first. The hood is detachable, and the recommended temperature to wear the bomber jacket is between 45 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. I think that claim is a bit of a stretch because I was cold wearing the jacket in 45- and 50-degree weather, and would definitely not recommend it for use in snow, rain or other severe weather.
It’s stylish, though basic, and coordinates with most outfits. Its travel features are well-disguised. It isn’t super lightweight, but it can be rolled up small or packed for travel. When many of the accessories (think: travel blanket and footrest) are stored in the pockets, it gets considerably heavier.
The jacket feels comfortable and relatively warm. I bought a medium, and it fits true to size. However, it’s not super soft or luxurious, like a leather, down or fur coat might be. In general, the jacket successfully balances practicality and stylishness.
In terms of durability and quality, the jacket seems well-made, especially the outer polyester shell — though some of the stitches on the inside pockets had a number of loose threads. The zippers all worked easily, as did the snaps connected to the hood.
I ordered the women’s bomber jacket (they also have products for men) online through a quick and painless process. I paid $159 for the jacket (I used a promo code I found online for $20 off the sale price of $179, originally $300). I was relieved to get the sale price, because $300 seemed too much to pay for a polyester travel jacket, especially one more suited for fall or spring and not really warm enough for winter.
My order was tracked by email from confirmation, to shipping and delivery within a few days of my order. I was pleased at the delivery speed, because the holidays were right around the corner and I expected things to take longer.
I tested the jacket on flights from Tucson International (TUS) to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), from Dallas to Cancún International (CUN) and from Cancún to Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (MAD). I also wore the jacket around Madrid on warmer winter days to see how it fared as a “normal” jacket. After all, a travel jacket should be ideal for wear on planes, trains and automobiles, but it also needs to be comfortable and practical once you’ve arrived in your destination.
It’s clear the jacket holds up well as its primary function (being a jacket). But what about those special travel features? Do they work? Are they handy? Would I actually use them?
The Passport Pocket: This feature was helpful, especially if you’re someone who misplaces your passport. However, I’m the kind of person who tosses my jacket carelessly somewhere and forgets about it, so I think I’ll keep storing my passport in my purse or tote while traveling, just in case I get hot and take off my jacket.
The Drink Pocket: The odds that I would ever walk around with a drink in here are slim to none. It is a fun feature, but far more appropriate for a frat party than a plane.
Bottle Opener: I distinctly recall a moment at the Madrid airport Sala VIP lounge when I couldn’t find a bottle opener for my glass bottle. This really could have come in handy then. Although I don’t really frequent campgrounds, it could be useful for camping or hiking.
Safety Whistle: This is an amazing feature that’s actually part of the bottle opener. Although I haven’t had to use it and, hopefully never will, having a safety whistle makes me feel better when traveling, especially since I am a woman who frequently travels solo. It could also be used to scare animals away when hiking, or even when in a country where a lot of stray dogs roam around.
Hand-Warming Pockets: These are just regular pockets. I repeat: just REGULAR POCKETS. I would not consider this a special feature.
The Tablet Pocket: This came in handy on my flight when I was seated in the exit row and wanted to keep my Kindle with me, as I couldn’t have any items stored in the seat in front of me. However, the jacket felt bulkier with a tablet or e-reader stored there.
Top Secret Pocket: I can’t tell you where this is, it’s top secret. Just kidding. It has an RFID blocking feature, so it may be a good spot to store any credit cards.
Microfiber Cloth: Having this is really useful if you wear glasses or sunglasses, especially if you store them without a case in the glasses pocket.
Power Bank Pocket: Confession: I just used this pocket for tissues, and stored my power bank in one of the other pockets. Obviously, a lot of these pockets are interchangeable and you can put whatever you want in them. Now if only the jacket came with an actual attached power bank or charger — that would be a much more compelling feature.
Earbuds Pocket: You can store anything small in here, such as cough drops or lip balm. Or earbuds, as the instructions suggest.
Zipper Pen and Stylus: The stylus works better on phones without tempered glass screen covers, and I haven’t used the pen yet, but gone are the days I’ll need to flag down a flight attendant who will give me a disapproving stare for not having my own pen to fill out the custom forms. Now, I’ll always have one!
Earbuds Holder: I liked the concept, but in reality, the rubbery straps got stuck in my hair and tangled in my sweatshirt. They’d be much easier to use with just wireless earbuds, but then, what’s the point? The good news is, you can easily remove this rubber holder from the jacket, which I plan on doing.
The Phone Pocket: It’s always useful to have a coat with pockets large enough to store your phone. Again, this came in handy when I sat in the exit row and couldn’t have my bag in front of me during takeoff, but I don’t plan on making it a habit to store my phone in my coat for the same reason I don’t want to leave my passport in my jacket.
Inflatable Footrest: This is pretty awesome, though the coat does get bulky if you store this in the pocket. It inflates really quickly with just a few breaths. I’d like to inflate this and use it on my next long-haul economy flight. I also don’t plan on frequently napping in parks, but it did the trick. (Please know, I did this for the sake of journalism.)
Travel Blanket: I’m disappointed with the blanket, honestly. It’s extremely thin and poor quality. I was hoping it would be cashmere (a girl can dream) but tough luck! It’s more useful as a thin travel scarf.
Built-in Eye Mask: This feature is amazing. Not only does it do a fairly good job of blocking out light, but you’ll never lose it because it’s attached. Although you must have the hood up to use the eye mask, it’s sort of a whole mood: “I hate everyone, leave me alone, I’m in my personal cocoon.” Also, I don’t care that I look like a huge nerd.
Inflatable Neck Pillow: While this isn’t the greatest neck pillow I’ve ever used, it’s not bad for an inflatable one, and you really can’t feel it at all when it’s stored in the hood. I often forget to pack an inflatable neck pillow when I travel, so I love the idea of always having one with me.
Detachable Gloves: These are actually fingerless, thin hand warmers. While they definitely aren’t appropriate for really cold weather (though neither is the jacket) it’s a nice touch to have them on a chilly evening, and they can easily be stored in the jacket without making it bulky.
Earplugs and Case: These aren’t your average drugstore earplugs (they look like little rubber evergreen trees, with three tiers on a stem). In my experience, they didn’t block out the noise as well as the cheap foam ones did though. Still, you can use the little case to store them in the jacket, or swap them for ones that work better for you.
The Verdict: 8/10
While this isn’t the most luxurious or warmest jacket out there, many of the travel features are useful, and a few are pretty awesome, like the built-in eye mask, safety whistle, water bottle and the inflatable neck pillow stored in the hood. Plus, the jacket’s multiple pockets are great for traveling. However, if you can’t manage to find a promo code and the jacket is not on sale, I think $300 is simply too much to pay for this jacket.
Best For: Anyone traveling in economy or on a low-cost carrier (such as Spirit or Ryanair) who may need a little extra comfort and may not have as many options when it comes to checking bags.
Don’t Use: I don’t recommend this jacket for anyone who travels frequently to chilly destinations and needs a heavier coat. I’m a little sad I have to wait until spring to start using it because it’s just too cold at the moment. If you can manage to get the jacket on sale, it would be a great addition to your travel wardrobe for both men and women.
Buy: Baubax.com, currently on sale from $199
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