One of my favorite travel accessories is a scarf. It is super handy whether you are in long haul flights, road tripping, or out and about exploring. Throughout the years, I have tried many varieties of scarves, from budget to designer ones, and have picked up my favorites in this list of best travel scarves for women.
Here, you will find scarves that are pretty for photos, as well as those that are super functional in cold weather or to store travel documents to all seasonal material options. So let’s get started.
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10 Best Travel Scarves for Women
My Top picks – Comparison Chart
Burberry Classic Cashmere Scarf in Check
Who doesn’t LOVE a little luxury on the go? The Burberry Classic Cashmere Scarf is an iconic scarf made in Scotland at their traditional 200 year old mill. Burberry is a well-known luxury brand, and their scarves are meant to last a lifetime.
My favorite one is this classic brown color that looks amazing in the fall and winter weather. It is super soft, and not itchy at all. This scarf is in a rectangular shape, measuring 168 x 30cm (66.1 x 11.8 in), so it is not huge in size.
The color and the size is perfect for styling with a bomber jacket, or a wool coat in the winter. You can definitely style it up or down, depending on the occasion. The brushed teasels/fringes on both ends look super luxurious.
As the scarf is made up of cashmere, it requires dry cleaning. Because I only use it in fall/winter seasons, I dry clean it once a year. And it becomes as good as new. The only con for this piece is that it is pricey at $470 USD+ (with prices increasing each year with most luxury brands). But if you are thinking of a luxury scarf, choose Burberry.
- Measure: 66.1 in x 11.8 in
- Material: 100% cashmere
- Shape: Rectangular
- Price: $$$
Coach Signature Stole
This is a popular Coach item – the Signature Stole. It is made up of silk and cotton blend, which is perfect for all season wear, especially in the spring and summer in nice bright colors.
The scarf is super smooth, and silky and it looks lovely on any plain jacket, cardigan or a dress. Wear it over a jacket, or twist it to make it shorter and cover your neck for warmth – it looks great and can be worn in different ways.
It is a versatile piece and I love the finely fringed design, with that perfect hint of shimmer, which is great for business parties too. This stole comes in a variety of colors too.
As compared to the Burberry scarf, this is an affordable piece at less than $200. Coach also runs sales every now and then, and you can score this scarf for less than $100 during annual sales.
- Measure: 84 in x 25 in
- Material: 55% silk, 45% cotton
- Shape: Oversized oblong
- Price: $$
Plaid Blanket Scarf
If you are looking for something affordable and carefree scarf, then here is a good option for you. This beige plaid travel blanket scarf is my favorite, and I usually wear it during winters because it is super warm and chunky.
Canadian winters are brutal, especially with the wind chill out. Because of the chunky wrap layers, you can cover your ears and face with the scarf too. This plaid scarf is made up of synthetic cashmere like material, it is soft to touch and not itchy.
It does keep you warm, and due to the color it doesn’t show much wear and tear. The scarf is truly a worry-free one, as you don’t have to dry clean (although I prefer to dry clean it to keep it looking like new). It is washable in cold water.
The plaid scarf is available in many colors, and you can use it as an infinity scarf, a blanket during BBQ/camp nights, or picnics. I have also worn it as a vest with an oversized belt in the fall months.
- Measure: 59 in x 59 in
- Material: Cashmere-like Acrylic
- Shape: Square, blanket size
- Price: $
Lululemon Rulu Scarf
I love Lululemon items, they are a Canadian brand and one of my favorites. I have been using their products since 2011, and enjoy their leggings, rain jackets, and scuba hoodies. Their soft rulu scarf is perfect for spring, fall, and winter. You can also pair it during cool summer months if you like.
Most of the Rulu scarf colors are sporty bright colors, and they look nicer in the warmer months. They are great for everyday travel or commutes, walking trails or outdoorsy trips. They have a more casual vibe to it, as compared to the plaid or the Burberry/cashmere style scarves.
If you plan to wear it in an office setting, opt for dark colors.
The scarf is SUPER soft and versatile. You can wear it as an infinity scarf, warm wrap or a vest/cardigan. The snap buttons at the end makes it easier to wear like a wrap and I love wearing it that way – so cool!
You can machine wash this scarf, which is a great plus. I have machine washed it many times, and then hung it to dry, the scarf has stayed in good condition.
- Measure: O/S
- Material: 91% Nylon, 9% Lycra® elastane
- Shape: Rectangular, with snap buttons at the end
- Price: $+
Infinity Scarf with hidden pocket
The Scarf with hidden pockets is a genius invention. It is a good travel accessory, wherein you can store and carry your passport and other ID’s, cash, etc. all wrapped inside an infinity scarf.
This scarf is lightweight and made up of polyester (jersey type material), so it is not super warm nor bulky. I like to wear this in the summer months when traveling or commuting for work.
The scarf patterns that I have are in check as well as in mint green, but you can choose from a variety of color combinations, like the pink or blue print one pictured here above, is super pretty.
The material is thick, but not super warm so I normally would not use it for heavy winter/snowy days. It is great for spring, summer months and because it is lightweight, I recommend only storing the essential documents (like passport, IDs, cash, etc).
I personally avoid overweighing it with electronics or lipsticks, as I prefer to keep a polished look of the scarf. If you plan on storing your keys, cell-phone, airpods plus travel documents, I recommend the next hidden scarf for you.
- Measure: 35 in x 9 in
- Material: Polyester
- Shape: Infinity Scarf, with hidden/zippered pocket
- Price: $+
Hidden pocket scarf/ like a wrap too
If you like the idea of hidden or secret pockets in a scarf, but do not like the bulkiness of it, then opt for this scarf that works like a vest and a travel wrap. The pockets inside this scarf are super generous so you can store a lot, without having to worry about items moving around.
The scarf is made up of a blend of viscose and polyester,with an interior fleece lining. It is warm, and perfect for long haul flights, fall camping trips or walks.
Because the scarf is a bit chunky, you just have to twist it twice to create an ‘infinity’ loop scarf. I also enjoy wearing it like a vest, and the two pockets on either side is super handy to store electronics and documents. You can also keep your Apple airpods, and a lip balm inside, it is that roomy.
Remember this scarf is super warm, but because you can wear it as a vest you can still be comfortable wearing this scarf in warmer months.
The material is soft to touch, and is machine washable. The giant button adds a little character to the scarf.
- Measure: 11 in x 57 in
- Material: Blend of viscose and polyester, fleece lining
- Shape: Rectangular
- Price: $
Patagonia Nano Puff Scarf
Although listed as a men’s scarf, the Patagonia Nano Puff can be worn by women too. I like to use it in heavy winter months when I am walking in snow, or waiting for public transportation in below freezing temperatures.
It belongs to the Nano Puff line-up of Patagonia which I adore, I love their short puffer jackets. So purchasing this for winters is no brainer.
The scarf is super warm, and cozy when tucked inside a parka jacket in winter. It is made up of a highly compressible 60g PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Eco, which is polyester, so it is not for fancy pictures but is very functional for winter activities and snowy days.
When in snowy wet weather, it also retains 98% of warmth.
This scarf is also super lightweight, and due to its generous size it can be worn in many different ways. I like to wear it as an infinity scarf to keep myself warm and cozy when it drops to – 30 degree celsius in Alberta (especially when heading to Banff).
All Patagonia travel gear items are made from sustainable (and recycled materials).
- Measure: 69 in x 6 in
- Material: Sustainable material/60g PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Eco
- Shape: Rectangular
- Price: $
Buff Multifunctional Headwear
The Buff deserves a mention in the list of best travel scarves because I have been using it so much lately. It is versatile as you can use it as a mask, or wear like a neck warmer/scarf.
The multifunctional Buff headwear is meant for hiking, mountain biking and other outdoorsy adventures, but you can use it like a discreet scarf to keep your neck warm. The material is super lightweight and not chunky at all, so you can wear it all year long, including summers.
It is made up of polyester with some elastane material. The fabric provides good sun protection as well (upto UPF 50).
The Buff can be worn in 10 different ways like a bandana, hairband, helmet liner, headband or as a scarf. It is definitely a MUST have outdoor travel accessory.
- Measure: 9 inches longer than the original here
- Material: 97% polyester/3% elastane; & Polartec fleece
- Shape: Circular/Cylindrical
- Price: $+
SmartWool Merino Scarf
SmartWool is a popular name in woolen items, and this merino wool blend scarf from them is no different. The scarf is very warm to wear, without being bulky or too chunky looking.
Because it has a blend of nylon, with merino wool, I feel that it is more durable than just merino or cashmere blend. I have worn this purple scarf at my workplace, while traveling or on light hikes and it has kept its shape and lustre, even when I was caught in the rain or light snow.
The stripes add a little character to the warm scarf and I can also dress it up for work, or for travel photos.
The scarf is long to wear as an infinity, or as a triangle. It also looks nice if you have it slung on the shoulder or wrapped around the neck.
- Material: 50% merino wool/30% nylon/20% acrylic
- Shape: Square/ best worn as a triangle-shaped scarf
- Price: $+
I really enjoy my ‘affordable’ pashmina like scarves. They come in so many different colors and are easily available from Amazon to Claire’s or any department store. Now in all honesty, if a shawl is priced around $12 or so, it is not the ‘real’ pashmina, but they are durable.
I have this exact shawl, and I have worn it in the rain, wrapped it with my backpack on, and even used it as a cover-up. It serves its purpose and definitely worth it because it is durable and very cheap.
My engagement ring has been caught in the threads and fringes and it has been fine. I have machine washed it (with similar colors), and hang to dry. You can use iron as well, at a light setting, to straighten the creases, and it is as good as new!
My favorite color is red/orange/maroon patterns, and it is a very common pashmina scarf combination. It looks wonderful when worn with neutral colors.
The pashmina is lightweight to wear in the summers. And during warmer months, I prefer wearing yellow or sky blue colors. These shawls also take very little room when you are traveling, you can squeeze them inside a crossbody purse too.
- Measure: 28 in x 70 in
- Material: 55% Acrylic, 45% Viscose
- Shape: Rectangular
- Price: > $
How to choose the best travel scarf for your trip?
I have picked the BEST scarves that I love and always use. If you see my closet you will know how much I love scarves. Below I have highlighted some essential information when you are purchasing a scarf for your travels.
Material of travel scarves
Depending on the season (and your cold threshold) you can choose from wool, merino, cotton or cashmere travel scarf. Material is important so that you are comfortable, and ensure that it is hypoallergenic.
Here are some quick tips to keep in mind, about the scarf material or fabric.
- Merino wool: Merino wool is a natural fiber/material gained from Merino sheep. The wool is thinner and softer than regular wool, making it super easy to wear and comfortable on the skin. When I wear merino wool scarves or tops, they are also super soft and warm to touch.
- Wool: Regular wool is a thicker material, it is super warm no doubt, but depending on how sensitive your skin is you might find it to be itchy.
- Fleece: Fleece is warm, but I find it to be highly static-ky during winter months (when the skin/hands are dry)
- Cotton: During summer months, opt for cotton and airy fabric for your scarf.
- Cashmere: Cashmere is also a type of wool, and it is obtained from cashmere goats, pashmina goats, and some other breeds of goat. It is soft to touch, it is warm (without being chunky or overwhelming), and due to a blended texture it looks super sleek and soft to touch.
- Silk: Silk is a natural fabric, and it adds a shine to the material/scarf. Wearing 100% scarf may not be super comfortable for travel, but you can wear something that includes a blended material (like 50% silk, and 50% cotton blend)
- Many of the affordable brands of travel scarves will have synthetic material (like polyester and nylon with wool or cotton). Such synthetic materials are durable, and in many cases very care-free, and machine washable. I do recommend trying it (or purchasing from a company/brand that has an extended return policy so that you can try it out).
Packing & traveling
When you are traveling, consider how big or compact a scarf is. When I am traveling overseas, I prefer carrying something in rectangular or infinity style, which occupies very less packing space.
If camping during fall or early winter months, hands down I choose my heavy wool blanket scarves over cashmere rectangular ones.
On hiking and outdoor adventures, I opt for something like a lightweight infinity scarf or a headgear like the Buff.
Photography & Travel Tips
The MOST popular scarf for overseas travel is the infinity scarf with the zipper pocket. The hidden pocket is a game changer, you can store passports, ID’s and cash and forgo a money belt or fanny pack. The scarf is handy on overnight trains/buses and in busy touristy areas.
For casual sightseeing trips, consider the weather and wear a scarf accordingly. Choose a color, based on your main outfits and the attractions you are visiting. I prefer wearing neutral colors mostly, but when a city is rainy/gloomy I pull my brightest scarves to add a little glow to the photos!
I hope you found this post useful, and choose a travel scarf for your next trip! Happy shopping!
Additional travel resources
- Best travel blankets: Perfect blankets for airplanes, road trips
- Best anti-theft backpacks for travel: Backpack with anti-theft material
- Top sling bags to buy: One shoulder bags for travel
- Waterproof tents: Camping in the rain, top tents to buy