Review by: Melissa Kurtin
A few months ago I received the Columbia Women’s Titanium Outdry Ex Eco Jacket and thought, oh great another rain jacket! You might think I’m being sarcastic, but I’m definitely not; I was so stoked! A good rain jacket is a hot ticket item for someone who works a lot of outdoor events. This year has been particularly horrible for weather; out of the 8 wakeboard events held in Ontario, it rained at 6 of them, which really sucks.
When I first opened the box, a plastic-looking white jacket was staring back at me. I pulled out the spec sheet and gave it quick once over. It covered all the typical things rain jackets promise you: “Breathability, fully sealed seams etc.” Unfortunately I was a little hesitant to believe it. I’ve read it all before and have still found myself soaked and sweaty within minutes of putting a jacket on.
THIS jacket however, really caught my attention with the Out Dry Technology and the Eco element. I like to think I am conscious of the products I buy and their impact on the environment, so upon reading that the textiles were made from 100% recycled polyester and the trims contain 100% recycled content and lastly the dye-free fabric saves over 13 gallons (51 liters) of water, I was ready to take this jacket for a test ride.
Well wouldn’t it be my luck that we went into 21 days of no rain? I stared at my brand new, alarmingly white jacket in my closet just asking to be worn. Well it finally happened, when the middle of May hit, so did the rain.
The jacket hit just around the hips, which worried me because “my hips, they don’t lie” and most jackets made for females don’t allow for hips. They are cut for 12-year-old boys. The Columbia jacket fits so comfortably and the “sealed zippers” are actually sealed. I have worn this for 5 different events in the rain and have stayed dry at every one. These events have been all over 8 hours in the miserable rain, and while my legs and feet were sloppy and wet, my upper body was dryer than my sense of humour.
The one thing that really sets this jacket apart for me is that it is actually breathable. I am a little sweatier than most ladies will admit (embrace it…everyone sweats) and combining that with the summer humidity typically means the last thing I want to do is put on a rain jacket. They stick to me and act as mini saunas. I need to wear a long sleeve shirt as a barrier to counter-act the sleeve arm sticking situation. The venting in the Eco jacket is placed in incredibly clever areas which totally eliminates the typical “sauna jacket scenario”.
I know as you’re reading this you probably think I was paid a ton to rave about this jacket, but sadly that is not the case. I was given this jacket as a tester and I highly recommend it to all of my fellow event life livers or anyone who knows they will be caught up in the rain.