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Gear Review - Columbia Peak 2 Peak Jacket

Gear Review - Columbia Peak 2 Peak Jacket

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Columbia Peak 2 Peak Jacket Disclaimer: Columbia sent me a free jacket for me to field test. Their purpose was for me to take a survey after I used it out in the field. But I also wanted to write about it here.

When I received the Columbia Peak 2 Peak Jacket in the mail, the first thing I noticed that it was pretty light. It's not as light as my other super-thin rain shell, but it sure felt more durable. The other thing was the color. Columbia calls it Compass Blue and it is a really nice color. Most of everything else I have is forest green, black, khaki, or white.

I examined the seals and zippers and the pockets all seemed waterproof. The fit was nice and it wasn't as noisy as some other waterproof clothing I have.

I appreciated the Velcro cuffs and the wire-supported hood and the overall feeling of durability that the jacket offered.

Here are the specs:

FEATURES:

  • Cost: $199.93 - $350.00 (Depending on size)
  • Weight: 15 oz.
  • Winner of Outside Magazine's Gear of the Year award, Shell Category
  • Fabric: 100% polyester 3L 50 denier plain weave
  • Omni-Dry ultrabreathable waterproof and fully taped seams
  • Attached adjustable storm hood
  • Vented underarm zips
  • Pockets feature Invizzip
  • Articulated elbows
  • Security pocket
  • Center back length: 30”

Columbia appears to be introducing some new Omni-Dry technology, and this is what they have to say about it:

Omni-Dry is the science behind our Peak Power Jacket.  An ultra-light laminate membrane thats over 50-percent air makes this jacket insanely breathable and lighter than other 3-layer shells like it. The most breathable waterproof technology, designed to keep you dry during highly aerobic activity, whatever the weather.

When packing for my Chicago Basin trip, I noticed how compact it got. It took very little room in my backpack and I knew I wouldn't be feeling the weight. At the end of the first day, it started getting a little chilly, so I broke it out over my ExOfficio shirt. Even at temperatures near 40F, all I wore were those two lightweight layers and I was fine. If my hands got a little cold, I would put them into the pockets at the front of the jacket. I looked at my extra layers and wondered why I had brought them.

It was also light enough to stuff into my REI Flash 18 Pack, that I use for summiting peaks and day hikes when backpacking, but that will be another review later (I love that pack!). Although I didn't ended up using it during my hikes up to Windom Peak and around Chicago Basin, it started raining our third day there, and I stayed completely dry in the jacket.

I filtered about 7 liters of water while I was sitting out in the rain for about half an hour and the only reason I went inside the tent was because my pants were getting wet. My top half didn't even notice the rain. I did some walking around the area, and climbed down to the creek and back and didn't overheat at all.

The price is a little high, although it was free for me. However, if you have to get one lightweight rain shell that you could use in a variety of conditions and last you a long time, this would make a great choice.

Proof that I used it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj70sAz7FPA

Yellowstone National Park - A huge park with many personalities

Chicago Basin Backpacking - A Fourteener (Windom Peak) and a day off

Chicago Basin Backpacking - A Fourteener (Windom Peak) and a day off