Do I really need a light down jacket for July?

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#21
Wisconsin
329 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Originally posted by ollienbertsmum
I was there during the same days and wished that I had brought my thick down jacket. Maybe not for Ketchikan, but certainly up to Skagway.
Hence, again--this question is nearly impossible to answer. Way too subjective. What is cold or warm to one is not to another.
#22
Colorful Colorado
203 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
We're sailing next week. We're from Colorado and used to extreme temps both high and low. I'm only taking light rain jackets, one long sleeve shirt and a beanie. Temps usually have to be in the single digits for me to put on gloves and a scarf. Temps in the 50s are still considered shorts weather where I'm from lol ....I too think temps are subjective. If you're from a climate where you are used to cold, take what you'd normally wear. If you're from a warmer climate and not used to lower temps, take more layers.
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#23
Sacramento, California
1,371 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by jenni belle
We're sailing next week. We're from Colorado and used to extreme temps both high and low. I'm only taking light rain jackets, one long sleeve shirt and a beanie. Temps usually have to be in the single digits for me to put on gloves and a scarf. Temps in the 50s are still considered shorts weather where I'm from lol ....I too think temps are subjective. If you're from a climate where you are used to cold, take what you'd normally wear. If you're from a warmer climate and not used to lower temps, take more layers.
Though another factor is wind & humidity. In Alaska, it is often a very wet 50 degrees. That makes it feel colder. There was a time when I had regular business trips to Colorado and it was routinely so dry there that I got in the habit of touching my car door first with the key because of the static electricity spark. It's dry enough that snow subliminates rather than waiting to melt first.

On the deck of a ship, it is often pretty windy too.

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#24
Tomball, Texas
613 Posts
Joined May 2007
We decided to go with layers for our upcoming trip in late August, when I believe it can be warmer or freezing! LOL who knows, we are going with tshirts short sleeve and long, hoodies/fleeces, fleece vest, rain jackets that fold up into small waterproof backpacks, along with gloves, North Face fleeced hat and scarf. and lots of socks! I have waterproof tennis shoes and regular tennis shoes.
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#25
Long Island, New York
327 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Thanks for the thread. We are cruising Alaska next week. I just ordered a packable down jacket while reading this thread. $49 from Am***n.

BTW, I’m also bringing a pair of Timberland black waterproof hiking boots. I’ll wear them on the ship if it’s raining, off the ship no matter what, maybe even the MDR with a smart pair of grey pants
#27
Tennessee
3 Posts
Joined Apr 2018
Buying one if needed is my decision (we're cruising in Sept). I'm in the market for a new one, anyway. A friend who cruised a few years ago said she bought the best coat she's ever had at one of the stops on her cruise. DH didn't think that was a great idea, but if $20 is accurate, that might change his mind!
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#28
400 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
countingmomma: I've bought a jacket on all three of my Alaskan cruises. The first one was on a clearance rack and I think I paid $15. The other two were $19.95. It's been a couple of years, so hopefully that hasn't changed.

A couple of caveats though; First there will be a logo of some kind. Usually the name of the town you are in, i.e. Juneau, Ketchikan, etc. Second, if you buy it in the first shop you see because it is raining harder then you thought it would, be prepared to see your jacket all over town. My sister had a great time all day long pointing at people and saying "Look, there's your jacket".
#29
Sacramento, California
1,371 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by countingmomma
Buying one if needed is my decision (we're cruising in Sept). I'm in the market for a new one, anyway. A friend who cruised a few years ago said she bought the best coat she's ever had at one of the stops on her cruise. DH didn't think that was a great idea, but if $20 is accurate, that might change his mind!
The $20 jackets are generally water-resistant with a fleece lining. They are jackets, not coats typically going to mid-thigh.

Don't expect a down jacket (or even synthetic equivalent), water-proof breathable or a winter coat for that price.
Generally most find them adequate for an Alaska summer though I prefer to have something that is water-proof, breathable rather than water-resistant. I also prefer to have the shell and fleece as two separate pieces so I can wear the water-proof layer with insulation when it is rainy but not that cold or wear just the fleece when it isn't rainy or windy and I just want a little insulation.
#30
17 Posts
Joined Feb 2018
We cruised July 1-8. We took packable down jackets and only wore them in Tracy Arm (scenic cruising) and on our helicopter ride and glacier walk in Skagway. We appreciated having them, but we also probably would have been fine without them as long as we had a couple good layers and a hat.