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3.9 / 5.0 backpacker rating

Gear Guide 2014

Columbia - Rainstormer

A bargain jacket with full amenities. Review by: Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan
Price: $120 Raves: Tough, solid protection at a bargain price Rants: So-so breathability; hood doesn't have much brim; pocket vents don't provide much venting Best Uses: Hiking and backpacking
Columbia Rainstormer (Courtesy Photo)

Columbia Rainstormer Shell Review

Why we like it
This workhorse is one of the best deals of the season, delivering solid protection and durability for a rock-bottom price.

Protection “Waterproofing is top-notch,” declared a tester who lived in the Rainstormer during last fall’s historic flooding in Colorado. Thank a fat storm flap, precisely cinching cuffs and hem, waterproof pocket zippers, and a butt-covering cut. The stowaway hood fits over a climbing helmet, but doesn’t have much of a brim.
Some testers loved Columbia’s Omni-Tech waterproof/breathable fabric with Omni-Wick EVAP (a lining technology that breaks up moisture molecules for speedy evaporation). One Wyoming climber wore it in all-day rain: “I stayed completely dry and not at all clammy,” she reports. But another wished for pit zips on sweaty, 50°F runs in the rain and found the pockets offered little venting (though they do sit above a hipbelt).

Durability The Rainstormer’s toughness-to-weight ratio drew praise: “I did my fair share of scraping on a multipitch route in the Tetons—but there were no abrasions whatsoever on the 50-denier nylon face fabric,” says one tester. “And the interior fabric feels silky-smooth on the skin.”

Fit The roomy cut let testers move and reach freely and layer up comfortably without being overly baggy when worn over just a baselayer. But it’s still a bit loose for anyone looking for an athletic fit.
$120; 12.2 oz.; m’s S-XXL, w’s XS-XL;


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