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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
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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

[bargain]
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.
Breathability
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; columbia.com

 

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