Columbia Loch Lomand Jacket Review
I think I got my first Columbia Powder Keg ski jacket somewhere around 1991. As a Chicago kid with more ego than ability on the slopes, my stylish teal and purple stunner was sure to fool the folks in Colorado into believing that I belonged! I knew zippo about skiing, but what I did know was that I was wearing a killer jacket! Since that time both I and Columbia have grown, but one thing is still true; Columbia is still a major player in the outerwear market and turns out some great products. The Columbia Loch Lomand jacket is another great addition to their lineup.
Columbia Loch Lomand Jacket Anatomy
The Columbia Loch Lomand jacket is described as an “ultra-breatheable, seam-sealed, fully waterproof parka.” The shell is 100% nylon rip stop, sealed with Sealon Overlay Film of 100% polyurethane. The lining is 87% nylon and 13% elastane mesh.
There is ample venting throughout the jacket. The chest pockets double as vents with mesh on the inside which is really a nice feature. Obviously, you don’t want to have a whole lot in there as you are ‘venting’ to keep stuff from falling out. There are 2-way zipper underarm vents as well which act just like ski jackets in that you can easily ‘dump’ heat when working hard. As you hit the shade, the wind picks up, or a weather front moves in, you can quickly zip back up and be all buttoned up to face the day and the trail.
The hood and chin-guard are abrasion resistant, and also reminded me somewhat of a ski jacket in their ability to seal around the face with drawcords. This, in addition to adjustable velcro cuffs and a drawcord adjustable hem, allow the wearer to batten down the hatches in the face of wind or rain. The jacket weighs in at just 16.4 ounces, is easily packable, and comes with a storage bag. There are also reflective details for visibility.
Loch Lomand Jacket Fit
The Loch Lomand jacket fits pretty much true to size without a lot of extra room; more of an athletic fit. I generally wear a men’s medium-large and found that the medium fit great, but did not leave much room for layering on colder days. Therefore I bumped up to a large, which gave me more room for layering, but still fit well.
Columbia Loch Lomand Jacket Wind and Waterproof
One of the things that impressed me most about this jacket was the waterproofing. Both the polyurethane coating and the PU Vision zippers make it virtually impossible to get wet. Although early February in Colorado is not the ideal time to test a jacket better suited for hiking than snowstorms, I was able to test it on several hikes and short excursions, as well as a few warmer ski days in the mountains. Both wind and moisture are kept out very well. Riding up the lifts on a blustery day, I was not bothered at all by the wind. As a further test of the waterproofing, I poured water over the Columbia Loch Lomand Jacket and left it to sit (see photo below). After 30 minutes there was no penetration and the fabric was dry to the touch after pouring off the liquid.
Columbia Loch Lomand Jacket Breathability
On several of my hikes as well as a beautiful Spring ski day, I began to quickly warm up in the jacket. This was easily remedied, as the Columbia Loch Lomand Jacket is quite breathable when the vents are opened. The two lateral chest vents allowed for some airflow aside from their utilitarian purpose of holding my snacks and phone. The underarm vents are large and allow a lot of air flow when opened. This jacket scores high marks on versatility and comfort, and I’ve been very happy with its performance. Although, this isn’t necessarily a summer jacket. Here in the high altitude Alpine environments of Colorado, a freak storm can come out of nowhere, and being prepared is always a good thing. I think the Loch Lomand will definitely be an item in my pack as I hit the trails.
Final Thoughts on the Columbia Loch Lomand Jacket
The Columbia Loch Lomand jacket continues the company’s great line of outerwear. It is comfortable, packable, and extremely well made. The jacket is best suited for Spring or Fall hiking weather, and also makes an excellent shell for Spring skiing. The ability to really keep you dry is a huge feature for this integral piece of outerwear that will make or break your day out in the great outdoors. And if you are out and about around town, this makes for a perfect rain jacket to keep you dry as you go about your day. Yes, at $275 this is a pretty penny to pay, but durability and quality means you only need to buy one very versatile jacket that will last you for years to come.
Further information can be found on Columbia’s website: www.columbia.com
Price: MSRP $275.00