Protection We like Columbia’s OutDry Extreme fabric so much that we gave it our highest award this year. Instead of a traditional three-layer construction, OutDry Extreme places the waterproof/breathable membrane on the outside of the shell, ditching the usual DWR-treated face fabric. The benefit? Even without DWR—which eventually wears off and needs to be reapplied with an aftermarket treatment—the shell’s face never wets out, preventing that clammy feeling. We trusted the Diamond in pounding New Zealand rain and emerged totally dry.
Features The Diamond is built for winter, with a powder skirt that snaps away; two fleece-lined, pack-accessible hand pockets; an extended hem; and a helmet-compatible hood. “It shielded my face from wicked winds while preserving peripheral vision,” says a tester. Caveat: The fabric is stiff and crinkly, “like a plastic bed sheet,” says one tester.
Fit Slimmer testers found the cut baggy in the arms and shoulders. m’s S-XXL, w’s XS-XL