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Gear Review

5 5

Sooo Shiny and Sooo Warm

Do the letters on the front of my jacket really spell out "Columbia"? I hate to play the name brand game but I was never fond of Columbia because they have been known to use stupid clothing materials (pvc rain jackets, or cotton hiking pants) and the fit of their clothes always sucked. However! This jacket's materials, the weight, and especially the fit all resemble wonderful craftsmanship that would be expected from brands like Marmot or Patagonia.

Why I bought this jacket: I was looking for a synthetic fill jacket to replace my down fill Marmot Ama Dablam jacket for winter backpacking but I did not want to spend over $150.

Warmth: WOW was I surprised by this jacket. Two mornings ago I crawled out of my tent and it was five degrees out. I had on a midweight baselayer, a hooded nylon wind shirt, and this jacket. I pulled the hood up over my stocking cap and I was warm as a button! I brought a down vest for extra core insulation but I never needed it.

Materials: The outershell is a very thin ripstop nylon. The insulation feels like a good quality synthetic and it is very compressible for a synthetic (100 grams). The inner is a light polyester fabric with little silver speckles on it. I originally hated the idea of a sparkly interior because in my eyes it was just extra weight but maybe it has something to do with the surprising warmth of this jacket.

Weight: I read somewhere that it weighs 22 ounces but because I can not find the source of this information I will just say that it feels very light and it compresses into the pack very easy.

Fit: This is where I was really impressed. I am 6'2" - 175 lbs and I bought a large. Usually jackets are either too wide or too short. This jacket fits close to my body and the arm/waist length is perfect. But the thing that most stuck out was that I can raise my arms above my head without the jacket riding up to my nipples.

Overall: I love it. If you are looking for a light synthetic fill jacket with an awesome fit that won't break your wallet this is it.