It goes without saying you need to pack according to the weather. No one needs to show up in a summer dress when it’s pouring rain at your destination.
If uncertain of the weather or it’s expected to change (as the British weather frequently does), then you need to pack layers and maybe a thin waterproof jacket/coat.
The umbrella Vs Coat debate!
I’ll settle for you right here and now. Take a coat.
The umbrellas are not worth the money.
The really good decent sturdy ones are heavy and bulky, so if you are streamlining your packing, you wouldn’t want them on your packing list. The mini ones, well forget about it they just snap, turn inside out and give you grief when all you want is to enjoy your trip.
Now that we have settled that, let’s get on to which coat you’ll pack?
Know your waterproofs, water-resistant, and water repellents. It makes a massive difference to your trip if you’re warm and dry as opposed to soaking wet.
Not every raincoat is waterproof. Have a look at this guide to help you pick the level of protection you need for your trip.
I would stay away from ponchos, yes they are good in terms of being lightweight and easy to stuff in the bag but there’s nothing like wearing a poncho that makes you stand out as a tourist in a foreign city. You’ll put yourself at a high risk of pickpocketing. No one needs that.
These are the ones I use; you can see they range from lightweight to heavy and from casual to dressy.
You don’t need to have a range, invest in a good medium to light one, you can always layer underneath it to keep you warm.