Why We Chose It: Eco-friendly, durable and innovative
We’ve always liked Columbia’s innovative OutDry waterproof membrane here at Outdoors Magic and now we like it a whole lot more. Why? Because they’ve made it all eco-friendly, using recycled materials and an effective method of waterproofing that requires none of those nasty PFCs that have been found to be harmful to the environment.
What’s It Best Suited To?
Although Columbia list this on their website as being made for trail running and training I’d actually say it’d be more suited to hiking. At 260g it’s a little on the heavy side for running in my opinion – I’d normally be looking for something sub 200g. It’s probably a touch too warm for running in UK-type conditions as well, unless it’s a very, very cold winter.
It’s worth addressing the waterproof system first. OutDry Extreme is the first ever waterproof and breathable rainwear that has a durable waterproof layer on the outside and soft, wicking fabric on the inside. Rather than hide the waterproof membrane beneath an outer fabric, this concept puts the most important part of a rain jacket (the bit that keeps you dry) front and centre. Arguably the best thing about this tech is that it doesn’t require the use of a DWR water repellency treatment on an outer fabric. Why? Because there isn’t an outer fabric. That ultimately means this thing will never wet out / it’ll bead away moisture forever. On the inside of the jacket there’s a cotton liner, presumably to make the jacket feel a little more comfortable against the skin.
The hood, which isn’t helmet-compatible by the way, has adjustment tabs around the chin for cinching in along with a Velcro tab at the back. There’s also a nice bonded visor to keep the rain off your face. Adjustment-wise, there are also Velcro tabs on the cuffs and a toggled cord around the hem.
As for pockets there are two very roomy zipped handwarmers, each big enough for an OS map and accessible even when you’re wearing a climbing harness or backpack hipbelt. These also double as ventilation options thanks to their internal mesh lining.
Why We Chose The Columbia OutDry Ex Eco For Our Green Gear Guide
I’ve already mentioned the fact that this contains none of those eco-hazardous PFCs that can often be found in technical waterproof clothing – that’s a big tick. On top of that, there’s also the fact that all of the jacket’s trims are made from recycled materials. That includes the zip, toggles, eyelets, washers, labels and threads.