If you are a cold skier or boarder, aka you get cold easy, then you need to check out this combination. On a ski day where the temperatures had a high of 4F; I was able to wear the Columbia CSC Mogul Jacket and Zip Down Insulated Pant with simple lightweight base-layer on top and bottom and never was chilled. I typically would need to have layered a merino t-shirt, wicking mid-layer, insulating layer with either down or Primaloft, and then a hardshell over top to reach the same level of warmth that the Columbia CSC Mogul packs in an easy on/off, one jacket package.
When I think of Columbia, I think of my old Bugaboo Jacket from the 1980s (and get a bit nostalgic), but don’t think of it as a serious outdoor brand. The Columbia CSC Mogul Jacket retails for $300 and the Zip Down Insulated Pant retails for $250; you can get an entire ski outfit for the price of a jacket from some other brands. This jacket and ski pant combination knocked my socks off.
Performance and Fabric
The Columbia CSC Mogul Jacket features Omni-Heat™ reflective lining, a breathable material that uses little silver dots to reflect trapped body heat. The end result is an extremely warm jacket without all the heft or weight of other insulating layers. On the outside, the jacket features fully seam sealed Omni-Tech™, which is a waterproof and breathable outer layer composed of 87% nylon and 13% elastane. The elastane keeps the jacket from feeling stiff, even when cold and makes the outer feel more like a soft shell then a hard shell. The jacket is durable and hasn’t developed any snags despite some close encounters with tree branches and ski tips.
If you do warm up, Columbia has integrated pit zips to help you dump heat. The pit zips feature two way zippers and are easy to grasp with the pull loop; the zipper track measures. Waterproof center zip with fleece lining along top and separate collar from hood to seal out the elements, rounds out the attentive weather details by Columbia.
Columbia thought of everything with this jacket, really. Here is a list of the features that I used on a regular basis:
- The integrated powder skirt is stretchy and adjustable, a major plus as we are not all the same shape. The powder skirt can also be snapped to the side when not in use to avoid the hassle of it getting in the way when you are wearing this jacket off the slopes. There is also 2 snaps to allow you to attach the powder skirt to your pants to eliminate any air or snow getting down your back side.
- Removable, insulated hood. The hood is also ski helmet compatible and can be cinched down in the back for a close fit. I did find it hard to adjust the helmet when wearing mittens or gloves, so you may need to ask a ski buddy for a hand. I wouldn’t mind if Columbia made it a permanent hood, as I never remove the hoods on jackets because you never know what mother nature may have in store.
- Pockets and more pockets. There are so many pockets that you don’t need to ski with a pack because this jacket likely has space for it. At the left chest there is an internal vertical zip pocket ideal for your phone and features a media port at the top. On the inside right there is a stash pocket to add a sandwich or an extra Buff. Moving to the outside of the CSC Mogul jacket there are two zippered fleece lined hand pockets with an overlapping velcro closure pocket. There is small pocket on the left front chest that blends in and has a low profile zipper. And lastly, there is a pass pocket along the left sleeve.
- The cuffs were one of my favorite features. There is a large thumb loop opening that allows you to wear the thumb loop over or under a pair of gloves or mittens. The fabric is soft, stretchy, and dries quickly. This added layer was great on the wet-deep powder days to help keep your skin warm and dry. The outer cuff is stretchy and easy to adjust with the velcro closure. If you like to place your gloves or mittens under the cuff, this can easily be accomplished with one hand.