Columbia Outdry jackets

Discussion in 'Clothing & Footwear' started by KVerb, May 3, 2018.

  1. KVerb

    KVerb Trail Blazer

    I'm in the market for a new hardshell, so what better place to ask for advice than a forum with mostly UK-based members? :)

    After a lot of reading, I came across the Columbia Outdry technology. There's not a lot of long-term reviews I could find, but all of the reviews were really positive about the waterproofness and the durability of the jackets. Opinions about breathability were divided, but when aren't they? If they really stay waterproof for a long time under the abrasion of a backpack, then they are amazing value, starting at €125.

    Does anybody have any experience with these jackets? Or any other suggestions for an affordable rain jacket that holds up decently to the abrasion of a backpack and isn't too heavy?

  2. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

  3. Scottk

    Scottk Trail Blazer

    Alpkit Gravitas gets good reviews for a lightweight waterproof but the price has jumped quite a bit. I was going to get one but have gone for a Mountain Equipment Impellor from go outdoors which came in at £153 delivered with their price match. (Climbers shop has it for £170). Haven't got it yet but 3 layer gore active at 170g must be better than my current gore paclite at 380g. (The paclite is like wearing a plastic bag)
  4. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    Thasts on my list ...but if I find an eVent at similar weight or neoshell...if go that route.
  5. Arne L.

    Arne L. Section Hiker

    I’ve been using the Hyperair (using similar technology) by TNF for the last year or so and would never go back to jackets with a DWR.

    They do not wet out, even after hours of pouring rain.
  6. Scottk

    Scottk Trail Blazer

    Trouble is there aren't many jackets with eVent unfortunately and less that are reasonably light.
    I am tempted by the outdry or hyperair but would like to know how it will last with a pack on. Probably OK for occasional wear.
    Chiseller likes this.
  7. KVerb

    KVerb Trail Blazer

    @theoctagon, you've got (or had) an Outdry jacket according to the other thread, would you mind sharing your two cents?
  8. KVerb

    KVerb Trail Blazer

    @Arne L. , how's the longer-term durability of this type of jacket? I read that the GTX active jackets are more breathable but less durable compared to the Columbia Outdry jackets.
  9. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Saw this in a review
    Excellent Material, Design Flaw

    · Review provided by Columbia · 20 April 2018
    This is the second Outdry jacket I've owned. The first one delaminated and started flaking off in under two years.

    The Outdry material is an excellent ... More.

    A durable, truly wp <300g jacket for under £100 would be nice
  10. KVerb

    KVerb Trail Blazer

    So far that's the only account of delamination I've seen, let's hope that it's an issue they've solved by now on the newer models... The fact that the guy bought a new Outdry jacket even when his first one started delaminating is probably a good sign, right?
    Chiseller likes this.
  11. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Two years isn't so bad IMHO, as long as the shoulders don't wear thru fast
  12. Arne L.

    Arne L. Section Hiker

    I wrote some fairly extended reviews about the shell over on Reddit Ultralight, my first impressions & my thoughts after using it for over a year.

    Although I still love the jacket for it's inability to wet out and it's breathability, I don't think I'll use it for extended backpacking anymore.

    After my recent walk along the Eifelsteig (where I also used the jacket as windshirt) I discovered 3 pinhole-sized holes at the back of my jacket, basically where my pack rubs the shell.

    However, during long downpours the jacket kept me totally dry but I can't trust it anymore for trips where long rain and no easy shelter-possibilities are likely, say Scotland and/or Scandinavia.

    I've just ordered the Colombia Outdry Ex Featherweight, mostly because the manufacturer claims it's backpack-compatible. My TNF Hyperair is by no means sold as a backpacking-jacket; it's mostly aimed at trailrunners.

    The jacket will be slightly heavier (Columbia claims 249 grams for size M) but it sports pitzips which could make up for the (supposed) lack of breathability. And the extra durability/not having to worry as much will be nice.

    I hope. :)
    Enzo and Shewie like this.
  13. KVerb

    KVerb Trail Blazer

    Thanks for the extra info, I'd already read the preview but missed the review.

    I just ordered that one too together with the Outdry eco tech shell (on Zalando BE, they had a 15% sale + 10% for subscribing to the newsletter). I'll try them both on and send one back.
    Unfortunately, according to some accounts I've read, the Columbia website seems to give wrong info with respect to the pit zips, as in: there are none in the featherweight while the website claims there are.
    Clare and Arne L. like this.
  14. theoctagon

    theoctagon Thru Hiker

    From reading around I don't think all the Columbia Outdry jackets are equal. I've got the same one @Arne L. mentioned above, the Ex Featherweight, which is supposedly armoured in some way to resist wear from a backpack. The BPL thread is worth a read if you haven't seen it already.

    Can't really comment much as I haven't had it out in any sustained downpours as yet but so far so good. The hood is a bit **** but I knew that when I ordered it and it seems fine when worn with a cap which I pretty much always wear anyway. As mentioned it doesn't have what most people would consider to be pit zips. More that the front pockets are a kind of vent/pocket, or pocket/vent. I think my medium weighs 205g.
    Arne L. likes this.
  15. oreocereus

    oreocereus Thru Hiker

    I’m curious to how breathable the outdry stuff is. Arnes reviews nearly convinced me to get the TNF jacket, but the concerns of durability made it too expensive to justify. I wonder if it’s the fabric itself that is less durable, or if a more backpack suitable design could exist. Sounds like the outdry stuff is a lot less breathable? How would it compare to options with more emphasis on mechanical venting?
  16. Arne L.

    Arne L. Section Hiker

    If you have a few more months of patience, I’ll be able to do a detailed comparison of my Hyperair (Shakedry) & the Featherweight (Outdry Ex).

    I’ll probably receive the Columbia at the end of this week or next week.

    FWIW, I’m taking the Featherweight to Norway this august.
    theoctagon likes this.
  17. oreocereus

    oreocereus Thru Hiker

    Ahh, I’m looking at picking one up soonish before I head down to France next month (and doing the HRP in July). Since I gave up on breathable fabrics a couple years back I’ve been using a packa which I’ve been enjoying for the great ventilation. But the amount of exposure in the high pyrénées means I’d probably need to add a wind shirt to my pack. Would be hoping a theoretically more breathable shell could do well enough when I’d really want a wine jacket (this is likely asking too much).
  18. Arne L.

    Arne L. Section Hiker

    Ah, I saw your post on Reddit UL.

    I always take a rain jacket & wind jacket on alpine trips. To me it’s a much more versatile setup because no matter what the marketing departement wants you te believe, no rain shell is as breathable as a wind jacket with a decent CFM.

    Wind shells are also a lot more durable then your average rain jacket.

    Sounds like a good trip. Good memories!
  19. oreocereus

    oreocereus Thru Hiker

    Yeh, I've always gotten away without using a windshirt in alpine trips (95% of my trips are alpine, but they're usually short and I've been outrageously lucky with weather over the last few years), by just throwing a rain jacket over my fleece if wind is particularly bitter. Current packweight is higher than ideal, so trying to simplify the clothing system.

    /thread drift.
  20. KVerb

    KVerb Trail Blazer

    The Ex Featherweight and Ex Eco Tech Shell arrived yesterday. The Featherweight XLarge is huge so I ordered a Large to compare. The sleeve length is fine and it's ok around the shoulders, but I could probably gain 50kg and it would still fit me. The Eco Tech is nice and more feature-rich but also 35% heavier, the XLarge fits nicely.
    While I was at it I also ordered the Gold Tech Shell (the only one of the three with pit zips) just to compare, Zalando has an amazing return policy and I haven't even had to pay any of these up front.
    oreocereus and Arne L. like this.
  21. oreocereus

    oreocereus Thru Hiker

    Well I ordered one a small anyway. Just arrived. Initial impressions are quite positive.

    The cut is not super short like a lot of jackets - not exactly generous either (covers my crotch). It feels like its cut for layering - shoulders fit well but it's quite voluminous, and fits well with my Rab Nimbus puffy underneath. Hood is minimalist but holds its shape and fits much better than the Rab Spark I owned (at least in a bedroom test, will see how it goes in the wind). Long zipper is generous and comfortable, giving a ninja hood/balaclava type close when zipped all the way up. Arms are long, which is nice for extension. The velcro cuffs are simple, but nice - allows you be tight to the wrist or pull up to your elbow for a bit of venting.

    Can't really tell how effective the front zips will be for venting (Nisley says as effective as pit zips) - the zip is stiff and the inside of the zip/pocket is designed in a way that water shouldn't get in if you do want to leave them open. The pockets are generously large and the placement makes sense for those carrying a pack with a hipbelt.

    Material feels quite nice. Bit shiny, but not as much as expected from images - aesthetically it looks much more like a "normal" jacket, and if you want to wear it round town it doesn't scream sport-tech-fashion-wear.

    Definitely not breathable enough for a windshirt replacement, but that's not unexpected.

    I'm not sure what makes this more backpack compatible than their slightly lighter running option. There doesn't seem to be any particular reinforcement of the shoulders or anything

    In short, it's appropriately minimalist but quite a well thought out design, in the theory of my bedroom.

    Hopefully will get some rain soon to give it more than a mirror test.
    KVerb and Arne L. like this.
  22. Arne L.

    Arne L. Section Hiker

    Having used the Outdry Ex Featherweight for a bit now...

    I really don't understand how Columbia labels this as backpacking-compatible; it does not feel a lot thicker or durable then my Hyperair. Slightly, but not much. Perhaps just enough.

    I had expected some thicker fabric at high-wear points, but with my pretty basic Touch Test ( :rolleyes: ) I can't feel a difference.

    It's definitely not as breathable as the GTX Shakedry although the 'breast zips' help.

    I'll probably have a better opinion about this jacket after my Jotunheimen-traverse.
  23. oreocereus

    oreocereus Thru Hiker

    Interesting Arne. I haven’t had my hands on a hyperair yet. I’d assumed the Columbia was notably stronger. Good data point to have.
    The Columbia feels pretty strong to me, but maybe I’m just too used to using frogg toggs and a thin silnylon poncho. I haven’t put 1000km under a pack into it yet to really know.

    I did wonder if backpack compatible was more about cut and pocket placement? As the cut feels like it’s designed to layer (compared to my running windshirt which is definitely not), longish sleeves etc.

    Agree on breathability, but wasn’t hugely surprised based on reviews.
    Arne L. likes this.
  24. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    Regarding waterproofs and breathability, I find my berghaus hyper 100 at least as breathable as my Patagonia Houdini windshirt. Definitely believing the 55000 g/m2 MVTR reported. I still use the windshirt because I'm still wary of durability in the berghaus jacket though. Fancy an EE Copperfield in 7D for a truly breathable windshirt.

    This is not at all helpful regarding the DWR-less fabric comparisons but maybe slightly helpful for superlight shells?
    Arne L. likes this.

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