Jackets..too hot…too cool?

Our mission to find the appropriate jackets for our adventure is yet another challenge.  Here in Minnesota, a heavy winter coat is appropriate from November to May.

Tired of wearing coats all winter, I have preferred to bundle up with sweaters the remainder of the year, currently not owning any lightweight jackets suitable for travel.  Tom, on the other hand, has a few older lightweight jackets and, although still in reasonable condition are not ideal for our upcoming long term travel.

Buying clothing while still here in Minnesota has been a vital aspect of our preparations for our three plus years on the road.  Minnesota has no tax on clothing and shoes, saving us as much as 8%.  Also, buying online with deep discounts and/or free shipping has also saved us a bundle.

A perfect example of these savings came as a result of my getting “points” from the company Earndit, only yesterday when I redeemed 1000 points I accrued from wearing the BodyMedia exercise armband for the past 18 months, now to be replaced by my new “wear on body” exercise device, FitBit which also accumulates Earndit points.

Both of these devices have kept track of my activity levels, steps, calories, burned, and quality of sleep.  (I discussed this device in a prior post).  Recently, I replaced the BodyMedia with the FitBit with the goal of eliminating the $6.95 monthly membership fee required by BodyMedia.

Sure, I spent $75 on eBay to buy the FitBit but, in less than 11 months, it will pay for itself.  Also, I must admit that convenience played a role in this decision. The BodyMedia is worn on the upper arm often eliciting annoying inquiries as to its purpose. FitBit is worn inside one’s clothing attached to undergarments, making it entirely invisible.

Yesterday, while we were sitting in our comfy chairs, taking a short respite from the heat outside, I redeemed 1000 of my 2500 points at Earndit for a $100 gift card to RailRiders to be redeemed with a $175 or more purchase.

I purchased the Men’s Insect Shield Pants for $98 and the Women’s Insect Shield Pants for $89 for a total of $187 plus $7.95 shipping for a grand total of  $194.95.  Using the $100 coupon, I paid $94.95 for an average price per pair of $47.48.

Women’s Insect Shield PantsPrice: $89.00

Men’s Insect Shield Pants, Price: $98.00  
Thrilled that my daily exercise monitors afforded us each an additional pair of pants, I am now ready to commence my search for jackets now we otherwise  have enough clothing for the upcoming eight months in Africa. 

Since we plan to bring only one jacket each they must serve us well throughout the world. The requirements for jackets include:

    • Lightweight, comfortable
    • Attractive
    • Waterproof
    • Lots of pockets
    • Hood
    • Removable sleeves, if possible
Sound easy.  However, I’ve spent no less than four hours researching online to find only one manufacturer, Scottevest that may fit the bill, except for this fact: the lightweight jackets are not so attractive. Tom wants a jacket that has a safari look and I agree. We love all the pockets in their jackets but, the look, not so much.  

Most would say, “who cares about looks when function is the key?”  If one is going to be wearing the same clothes, day after day, month after month, year after year, it’s not a bad idea to like it!  (Not too dissimilar from our “liking” one another).

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