Women’s Zenell™ Trench:

shell: 100% polyester; knit lining: 87% polyester, 13% elastane; mesh lining: 83% nylon, 17% elastane Made inThailand

Mountain Hard Wear Trench Coat

Mountain Hard Wear Trench Coat

Two button-down front pockets, one inside zip breast pocket, stand up collar, hood, bottom hem drawstring, inside knit cuffs with thumb hole.

“A packable urban windshell in the classic trench coat style. Lightweight, warm, and stylish, the Zenell Trench is a versatile jacket that makes packing a snap. A traveler’s dream, the memory-woven fabric will resist wrinkling even after being balled up. Stow it in a bag until the weather turns, then put it on and be thankful for its water-resistant finish.” ( an accurate description from the Mountain HardWear website)

I love wearing this jacket because it fits so well, the fabric is comfortable and the sleeve cuffs protect my arms from wind and rain.  The stand up collar in addition to the hood is a huge plus for me.  I don’t wear a hood unless it’s pouring, but I like my neck protected.  The inside zip pocket is a nice feature.  The outside pockets are difficult to access, not only because of the buttons, but also because the top of the pocket is narrower than the pocket itself.  I can’t slip a sketchbook into the pocket easily, nor can pull it out easily.

This is perfect for San Francisco weather, but it is a bit too bulky for me to pack when I’m taking public transportation (plane, train, bus).  Though I could have used it this May in Paris, I survived without it.  I definitely bring it with me when I travel by car.

Link to listing on Mountain HardWear website (could become a bad link when styles change).

Merrell Water and Wind Resistant Zip and Snap Jacket:

90% Polyester,  10% Spandex; Made in China

Merrell Wind & Rain Resistant Shell

Merrell Wind & Rain Resistant Shell

Two Front Zip Pockets that double as inside pockets, stand up collar

Great coat!  This is the first water resistant, wind resistant shell I’ve had that isn’t just ugly and feels awful against my skin.  The inside of the fabric is soft to the touch.  This is perfect for boating and works well in San Francisco in place of my bulkier black trench coat.  It’s a bit heavier than I would like, but it’s not bulky, so packs easily for air travel.  Zip pockets keep my transportation cards safe and handy. On cold days, I layer this over my lolë middle layer and my Ghost Whisperer.  

Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket by Mountain Hard Wear: (Listed also in Middle Layers)

Shell and Lining, 100% nylon; Down and Feathers,  90% goose down 10% feather; Made in China, quick drying.

Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket by Mountain Hard Wear

Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket by Mountain Hard Wear

“The world’s lightest full-featured down jacket. The sub-eight-ounce Ghost Whisperer Down can be compressed into its own pocket for easy storage. It’s been designed with the essentials in mind: Q.Shield™ DOWN 800-fill insulation resists moisture and maintains warmth, elastic binding in cuffs seals out moisture, toggle hem adjusts easily.” (Mountain Hard Wear Website description)  and it is absolutely correct.  This jacket weighs next to nothing and fits into any bag, even when the bag is totally full. It also fits easily under another jacket.  On colder days I wear it between the lolë middle layer (see below) and the my outer jacket.

My down sleeping bag is not meant for extreme cold weather; saving on weight and size. I stay cozy camping in the mountains on cold nights by wearing my ghost whisperer over my “Cuddl Duds” that double as sleepwear and a super thin, lightweight under-layer for warmth during cold days.

The jacket is perfect for traveling between different climates, i.e. New Jersey in the winter to California.  It keeps me warm in New Jersey and doesn’t weigh me down in California.  This is not meant to be a winter snow parka.  This is meant to be a middle layer.  It doesn’t block the wind well.  It is meant to insulate, not to protect.

One of the many benefits of being Mike paragliding and being his Mum is that I get to take advantage of his access to the Mountain Hard Wear employees store.  Otherwise I would not be wearing this very costly jacket. It’s worth every penny.  I can’t imagine being without it.  It is far too versatile for the kind of diverse traveling I enjoy.

An added bonus are the two zip pockets and the high collar!

I’m not sure how long this link will work.  I’m sure they will change their styles and models. Link to Mountain Hard Wear page.