Brand: Columbia Gear Reviews
Model: OutDry Ex Reign
Our take When the forecast looks biblical, consider this shell your ark. Columbia’s OutDry Ex material, which earned a 2016 Editors’ Choice Award, places the waterproof/breathable membrane on the outside, eliminating the need for a DWR (similar to Gore-Tex Shakedry, but OutDry Ex is heavier and much more durable). This means even pounding precip won’t soak into the face fabric (a more common problem these days as more brands switch to greener DWR formulas that need more frequent reapplication). The material kept us dry in everything from steamy summer rain in Peru to sideways sleet in Germany’s Berchtesgaden National Park. The adjustable waist and cuffs snugged up tightly to defy a wintry mix on New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington. Tradeoff: We got sweaty on a fast ridge climb in the 50s in Colorado’s Gore Range.
The details Fit is loose, with plenty of layering room. Ding: The hood adjusts clumsily via a Velcro tab at the back of the head and hard-to-grab cinch cords at the neck, making face protection tricky in high winds. But at this price, we didn’t mind much.
Trail cred “On Peru’s Choquequirao trek, I tunneled through brambles of pepper trees and climbed over rock walls,” notes a tester. “The outer membrane brushed it all off.”