Thursday, January 27, 2011

Red's Gear Review: Columbia Omni-Heat Jacket

The traditional puffy coat is not cute. You see people in puffy coats all over Utah. The person is so lost under all that fluff it inspires the line, "I can't put my arms down" from A Christmas Story and my urge to punch them just to see if they can feel it (and yes they can) kicks in. My number one complaint about puffy coats is that they are generally only attractive on a select few (myself not included). This is why a new non-traditional puffy has evolved, the down sweater. You won't struggle to lower your arms to their proper place at your sides. And amazingly you can still maintain some girlish curves (or masculine muscles) while staying comfortably warm, which is a big deal for a girl who is almost always cold.
Omni-Heat Reach the Peak Down Jacket
Columbia has hit the market with a down jacket of their own. Columbia's Omni-Heat jacket is stylish and it isn't puffy in the Christmas Story way. The 700 down fill Omni-Heat Reach the Peak jacket keeps you super warm. Adding a twist to their puffy jacket is the Omni-Heat technology. The heat comes from reflective cells on the inside of the coat. The idea is that these cells reflect your body heat keeping your warmer then a traditional winter coat. Blonde and I have been testing the jackets for over a month now and we can testify it is warm, even in below freezing temps (check out our frozen hair).
Blonde and I rocking Omni-Heat jackets
Columbia got it right with the design. Very slim and a great fit. The sleek design is really flattering and the technology makes sure you don't lose anything on warmth. A great jacket for hitting the resorts, backcountry adventures or just hanging around Salt Lake City. But nothing is perfect. My two complaints are both dealing with pockets. First, two snaps close the side pockets which is neither easy to open/close nor protective for any gear such as camera or phone you might put in them. Second, there is no internal pocket. In almost all my outdoor coats there is a internal chest pocket. I find this mandatory to keep my camera warm, prolonging the battery life and protecting the camera from unforeseen snow due to being tackled and whitewashed (which never happens to me).  Overall, I give the Omni-Heat a 4 out of 5.  Great style and very warm, but the pockets really dock you some points for outdoor functionality.

Slim design
Color (We tested grey)
Elastic sleeve cuffs
Stuff sack (it works)

The snap pockets
No internal chest pocket

Gear Tested - Women's Reach The PeakTM Down Jacket
Check out Columbia's Omni-Heat technology

1 comment:

jenni said...

The Columbia Omni-Heat jackets are really warm and I got one from Altrec which has amazing jackets and online discount… Omni-Heat Jackets is one of the best jackets were it not only keeps you warm from breezy and very cold weather but also its design is really amazing…