When traveling, one of the biggest variables you have to contend with is the weather. As much as I wish I could book the temperatures and cloud coverage like I do my seat on a plane, you just have to roll with whatever the weather Gods will give you. Most of the activities I do are outdoors which means I’m out there open to the elements… even the rain.
While preparing for my Kilimanjaro climb, I knew I had to have a good rain jacket on hand. The weather could change drastically on the mountain, even within a matter of hours. Columbia Sportswear sent me two rain jackets to try out and I put both of them through their paces during my climb. First up: the OutDry Extreme Jacket.
The OutDry Extreme jacket is the latest development in Columbia’s product line. It’s the first waterproof, ultra-breathable jacket with a waterproof membrane on the outside of the garment. Traditional rain jackets have the waterproof membrane sandwiched between other layers and run the risk of ‘wetting-out’. Additionally, the seam tape is also placed on the exterior of the jacket to ensure an uncompromised finish. The interior is lined with a moisture-wicking material than enables breathability, allowing you to stay dry and comfortable and underarm zippers allow for additional ventilation. Four pockets give you the added ability to keep valuables safe and dry.
The OutDry Extreme will be available as of Spring 2016 and will feature 19 styles of jackets and pants in a variety of colours and will retail from $150 to $400.
How Did it Perform?
- Lightweight & rolled up tightly taking up minimal room in my daypack and luggage
- Stylish and formfitting
- Underarm zippers gave me breathability
- Waterproof membrane also acted as an amazing windbreaker on the mountain
- Hood has a ridged brim so even when the draw strings are pulled tight, my face was still protected
- Draw strings around the hips
- Lots of pockets to stow away snacks and valuables
- Washed up nicely in the washing machine
- Front zipper was really finicky at times. Likely needs a few more wears to ‘break it in’.
- The interior lining wasn’t the most comfortable against my skin.
With a product name that includes ‘extreme’, the OutDry Extreme jacket was perfect for just that, extreme activities and weather. While I was lucky and didn’t encounter any rain on the mountain it meant that I couldn’t fully test out its waterproof capabilities. However, I heavily relied on this jacket to protect me from the harsh winds I experienced while climbing Kilimanjaro, and with a couple of layers underneath, I was warm and comfortable on the mountain.
SeeYouSoon Score: 4.5 out of 5
Thank you to Columbia Sportswear for providing me with the Extreme Outdry jacket. Opinions and views remain my own.