Columbia Jackets: 11 Questions Before Buying

Columbia Jackets things to know before buying

We have featured the Columbia brand many times here on this website, especially its jackets.

Columbia jackets are some of the most popular in the outdoor clothing market, as they come with innovative technologies while at the same time maintaining an accessible price.

Buying a jacket by this brand is a worthy investment in our opinion. We have said this many times and we have received many positive comments about Columbia jackets in our articles.

However, before making a purchase, there are a few questions to ask yourself. You have to make 100% sure you are making the right decision and you’ll actually use the jacket and not keep it in the closet after you’ve spent $200 for it.

And that’s what we’ll be doing in today’s article. We’ll ask 11 important questions on Columbia jackets and provide you with our answers based on our experience and the research we have done.

Questions like: “What types of use are Columbia jackets good for?”, “What type of weather conditions can they withstand?”, and “What are their available styles, colors, and fit?” will help you make an informed decision.

So, let’s get started!

1. Are Columbia Jackets Good?

Columbia jackets are known for their quality. They use advanced technologies and materials like Omni-Tech, a waterproof and breathable fabric, and down insulation.

When considering whether Columbia jackets are good, it’s also important to think about the activity you’ll be doing. Columbia offers jackets for different types of outdoor activities, from skiing to hiking to casual wear.

Columbia Sportswear official website
Columbia Sportswear’s official website

Another factor to consider is price. Columbia jackets are popular for having affordable prices when compared to similar brands like The North Face, Arc’teryx, and Patagonia.

Most of Columbia’s jackets are in the $100-$200 range which is not a lot if you consider the quality and innovative technologies of these jackets.

After making all these considerations, we think, yes, Columbia jackets are good!

Read also: 9 Outdoor Brands like Columbia that We Love and Why

2. Are Columbia Jackets Waterproof?

When it comes to outdoor gear, one of the most important factors to consider is whether or not it will keep you dry. Columbia jackets are known for their high-quality materials and construction, but are they waterproof?

The short answer is yes, many Columbia jackets are waterproof. In fact, the company offers a range of waterproof jackets designed for different activities and weather conditions.

However, you should keep in mind that not all Columbia jackets are created equal when it comes to waterproofing, and make sure to read all the jacket’s features before buying.

Columbia’s waterproof fabric technologies include Omni-Tech and OutDry. Omni-Tech is a breathable waterproof membrane that is designed to keep water out while allowing moisture to escape.

OutDry is a unique technology that bonds the waterproof membrane directly to the outer layer of the jacket, eliminating the need for a separate waterproof layer.

We have compared both of these technologies to Gore-Tex in these articles if you want to learn more: Omni-Tech vs Gore-Tex and OutDry vs Gore-Tex.

waterproof jacket fabric and zipper

Another thing to note is that not all Columbia jackets are fully waterproof. Some jackets may be water-resistant, which means they can withstand light rain or drizzle but may not hold up in heavy rain or extended periods of wet weather.

Again, carefully read the features before buying and consider your needs and the conditions you’ll be facing.

For extreme conditions, you’ll need a jacket with a higher level of waterproofing, while for light rain, a water-resistant jacket will be sufficient.

3. Are Columbia Jackets Warm?

Columbia offers a range of jackets with varying levels of warmth, from lightweight options for mild weather to heavy-duty parkas for extreme cold.

So, the answer is yes, Columbia jackets are warm if you choose the right jacket. Here are a few factors to consider to evaluate the jacket’s warmth:

  • Insulation Type: Columbia uses a variety of insulation materials, including down, synthetic fibers, and a combination of the two. Down insulation is typically warmer than synthetic but can be more expensive and may not perform as well if it gets wet. Synthetic insulation is often more affordable and water-resistant, making it a good choice for wet or humid climates.
  • Fill Power: For down jackets, fill power is a measure of the loft or fluffiness of the down. Higher fill power generally means more warmth, but also a higher price tag. Columbia offers down jackets with fill power ranging from 450 to 700.
  • Features: Columbia jackets may include features such as adjustable hoods, cuffs, and hemlines, as well as pockets for storing small items or warming hands. These features can help to trap heat and keep you warm.

4. What Technologies and Materials Does Columbia Use?

Here are some of the most common technologies and materials that Columbia uses in its jackets to provide the best performance and comfort for its customers:

Nylon and Polyester

Nylon and polyester are the main materials used in jackets not only by Columbia but by all the main jacket manufacturers in the outdoor gear market. They are used as standalone materials, combined with each other, as part of fabric technologies, or to create synthetic insulations in the case of polyester.

Read also: Polyamide (Nylon) vs Polyester: Differences and Comparison

Omni-Heat Reflective Technology

Columbia’s Omni-Heat Reflective technology is a thermal-reflective lining that reflects and retains body heat. This technology is used to provide warmth without adding bulk.

Omni-Tech Waterproof Technology

As we mentioned above, Columbia’s Omni-Tech technology is a breathable and waterproof membrane that is used to keep you dry in wet conditions. It is also windproof, which helps to keep you warm.

Omni-Tech™ Technology | Columbia Sportswear

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Omni-Shield Water and Stain Repellent

Columbia’s Omni-Shield technology is a water and stain repellent treatment that is applied to the outer layer of the jacket. This treatment helps to keep you dry in light rain and also helps to keep your jacket looking clean.

Down and Synthetic Insulation

Columbia uses both down and synthetic insulation in their jackets. Down insulation is sourced from ducks and geese and is known for its warmth and compressibility. Synthetic insulation is made from polyester fibers and is known for its durability and ability to retain warmth even when wet.

Further reading:
Down vs Synthetic Jacket: What’s the Difference? Which Insulation is Better?
Duck Down vs Goose Down Jacket: A Useful Guide

Sustainable Materials

Columbia is committed to sustainability and uses recycled materials in many of its products. They are also a bluesign® System partner which reduces environmental impact in the entire supply chain, and use down that follows the Responsible Down Standard which ensures better animal welfare practices. (source)

5. Are Columbia Jackets True To Size?

According to online reviews from both men and women, Columbia jackets tend to run true to size. However, some reviewers did mention that their jackets were a little on the too-big side. So, it’s always a good idea to check the size chart before making a purchase.

Columbia provides a comprehensive measuring and style guide on their website, which covers footwear, clothing, and accessories.

It’s also worth noting that different types of Columbia jackets may fit differently. For example, a softshell jacket may fit differently than a rain jacket.

So, it’s important to consider the type of jacket you are purchasing and read reviews from other customers to ensure you get the right fit. Better yet, try the jacket on in a physical store.

6. Are Columbia Jackets Unisex?

Usually, Columbia jackets are divided into men’s and women’s versions. But if the jacket fits you well and you like the style and colors, there’s no reason you can’t choose any gender’s version.

This is especially true for families with children where the jacket can be shared among brothers and sisters.

7. Are Columbia Jackets Expensive?

The answer to this question depends on various factors, including the type of jacket, the features it offers, and the materials used in its construction.

Generally, Columbia jackets are reasonably priced and affordable for most people, with only a few expensive options. The majority of Columbia jackets fall within the $100 to $200 range.

The price is determined by several factors, including the materials used in the jacket’s construction, the features it offers, and the technology incorporated into its design.

For example, jackets with advanced technologies like Omni-Heat Reflective lining or Omni-Tech waterproof and breathable technology tend to be more expensive.

The type of jacket can also affect its price. For instance, a lightweight jacket designed for mild weather conditions will be less expensive than a heavy-duty parka designed for extreme cold weather.

Another thing to note is that Columbia often offers discounts and sales, making its jackets even more affordable if you’re on a budget.

You might also like:
9 Best “Cheap” and Affordable Outdoor Clothing Brands
8 Best High-End Outdoor Clothing Brands for Your Adventures

8. Are Columbia Jackets Worth It?

Here are a few things to consider to answer this question:

  • Price: Columbia jackets are not the cheapest on the market, but in general they are affordable for most people, also knowing that they offer many advanced features and include the latest technologies.
  • Functionality: they are designed with the outdoors in mind. They offer features such as waterproofing, breathability, and insulation to keep you comfortable in various weather conditions.
  • Durability: they are made with high-quality materials that are designed to withstand wear and tear and last for a long time, so you won’t have to replace them frequently.
  • Style: they come in various styles and colors, so you can find one that suits your taste. They are also designed to be versatile, so you can wear them for various occasions.

In the end, Columbia jackets offer quality, durability, functionality, and style, all at a reasonable price. So, if you’re looking for a jacket that can keep up with your outdoor adventures, then a Columbia jacket is definitely worth considering.

Must read:
Columbia vs The North Face Jackets: Which Brand is Better?
Columbia vs Eddie Bauer Outdoor Gear: A Comparison

9. Are Columbia Jackets Washable?

Yes, Columbia jackets are washable. But, it’s important to follow the care instructions provided by the brand to ensure the longevity and performance of the jacket.

Columbia jackets come in a variety of materials and fabric technologies such as fleece, down, and waterproof fabrics. Each material requires specific care instructions to maintain its quality.

Because washing your jacket incorrectly can damage the fabric and decrease its performance. To learn more, we have previously written an in-depth guide on how to wash a Columbia jacket here.

10. Are Columbia Jackets Good For Winter?

Yes, Columbia jackets are good for winter. Here’s why:


They’re insulated with a variety of materials, such as down, synthetic insulation, and fleece. Down insulation is the warmest and lightest, while synthetic insulation is more affordable and easier to care for. Fleece insulation is soft, lightweight, and breathable.

All these materials are ideal for winter, as they provide excellent warmth and protection from the cold.


Columbia jackets are also designed to be waterproof or water-resistant by using technologies such as Omni-Tech and OutDry. This helps you stay dry no matter the weather.


The brand’s winter jackets include features such as adjustable hoods, cuffs, and hemlines, as well as multiple pockets. Some jackets also have reflective details for visibility in low-light conditions. These features make them great for winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and winter hiking.

A great example of a Columbia winter jacket is the Men’s Toyama Pass™ Down Parka made with Omni-Tech and Omni-Heat Infinity technologies and insulated with 700-fill-power down.

Columbia Mens Toyama Pass Down Parka
Check it out at

11. Where Can I Buy Columbia Jackets?

Columbia as a brand is widely available both in-store and online. Some popular retailers that carry Columbia jackets are:

The official Columbia website is a great place to start your search for jackets. You can browse their full collection of jackets and other outdoor gear. This is where we’d recommend you to buy your jacket as we always prefer to buy on official websites.

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Dick’s Sporting Goods is another popular retailer that carries a wide selection of Columbia jackets. You can shop in-store or online.


Amazon is a great place to find a wide variety of Columbia jackets, including some exclusive styles and colors. You can take advantage of their fast and free shipping options if you’re a Prime member, and read customer reviews to help you make an informed purchase.


REI is a popular outdoor retailer that carries a large selection of Columbia jackets. You can shop in-store or online, and take advantage of their membership program for added discounts and benefits.


Backcountry is an online retailer that specializes in outdoor gear, including a wide variety of Columbia jackets. You can take advantage of their free shipping and read customer reviews that can help you with your purchase.

No matter where you choose to buy your Columbia jacket, be sure to check for sales and discounts to get the best possible price. And don’t forget to check the retailer’s return policy in case you need to exchange or return your jacket for any reason.

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