Why We Chose The Columbia OutDry Extreme Reign: Extremely waterproof, surprisingly breathable, and forward-thinking
Unless you’ve been living under a rock since birth, you’re probably aware of OutDry technology. Ever since it dropped on the outdoor scene, it’s been a head turner at trade shows, on trails, and whichever wild corner of nature it finds itself being worn in. OutDry Extreme, which features on Columbia’s Reign Jacket is like OutDry but better; OutDry, but in its most evolved form yet.
Allow us to explain. 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. If you’ll pardon the sandwich analogy for a moment, this one here is very much an open-faced number.
“This concept puts the most important part of a rain jacket (the bit that keeps you dry) front and centre”
Arguably the coolest thing about this tech, apart from the fact it makes you look a bit like a crime scene investigator from the future, is that it doesn’t require the use of a DWR water repellency treatment on an outer fabric. Why? Because there isn’t one. Also, for something that looks so waterproof you’d be surprised by how breathable it is. Meaning you can walk for hours in wet conditions, and not feel like your torso’s suffocating inside a glorified bin bag.
The well-implemented seam sealing on this product (which is on the outside) takes its waterproof level up a further notch, while the adjustable storm hood means you can really lock yourself into this thing and batten down the hatches when the heavens open and the howling winds start blowing. The PU coated main zip and mesh pocket zips (with zipper garages) shows that no stone has been left unturned in making this item as waterproof as it can be.
Featuring underarm venting to aid breathability when the downpours stop, and available in “Desert Sun” orange, “Charcoal” grey, and “Collegiate Navy” blue, it might not be the lightest of jackets out there, but still, we think the Columbia OutDry Ex Reign Jacket is a quality offering and at a decent price. We’ve been impressed by all of the OutDry jackets we’ve tested in the past (like the OutDry Ex Featherweight) and this one certainly hasn’t let us down either.