Friday, October 24, 2014

Another Season of Trying Stuff with Columbia

Earlier in the year, around spring in fact (which tells you how overdue this story is,) I received a very sweet email from Columbia asking if I'd like to try some new gear for the upcoming season.  I thought about it for less than a second before responding that of course I would!  After all, like most people, I have a list of outdoor items that I've grown tired of or that I'd like to replace with something of better quality.

First Hike of the Season in my NEW Columbia Rain Jacket

Of the spring and summer gear that I dreamed of replacing this year, my old rain jacket was at the top of my list.   And I'm not sure how Columbia knew I wanted a new rain jacket, but included in my box of new gear to try out was a pretty new rain jacket - in purple (one of my favourite colors!)

Climbing in my Columbia EvaPOURation Jacket

Top Reasons I'm in Love with the EvaPOURation Rain Jacket from Columbia

The shape.  Unlike my previous rain jacket, this Columbia jacket is actually flattering to the female figure.  It doesn't just hang on me like an oversized plastic bag, and it is fitted so that I appear more slender.  While this isn't crucial or anything, it's definitely appreciated and I'm glad that Columbia cares about keeping me warn AND feeling attractive at the same time.

My jacket also matches my favourite head band.  :)

This rain jacket can be worn in ALL weather while doing any outdoor activity!   You'll see that I have photos of me wearing the jacket while climbing, hiking, paddling and playing outside in all kinds of weather.  I layer it with a short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, and sometimes a down vest underneath.  Then I remove layers as need be and I've found that I have seldom needed a warmer jacket over the past 5 months.  The jacket blocks wind, it keeps me dry, it keeps me warm, AND it never gets too hot because unlike my last rain jacket, this one has pit zips!! More technically known as underarm vents, the jacket features zippers under the arms so that if I start to overheat and don't want to stop and take off a layer, I simply go zip zip down my arms and voila, fresh air!

Safe, Protected and Dry in my Columbia Rain Jacket

What I Wore Under my EvaPOURation Jacket

Columbia also sent me a short sleeve shirt that is part of their Zero Rules collection.  Sweat Activated and designed to wick moisture away from the body to keep you cool, this shirt performed just as intended and quickly became my favourite base layer.  So much so, that I have few photos of me wearing the shirt.  It was always worn underneath at least one to two other layers and kept me dry, comfortable, and sweat-free. 

Zero Rules and Sweat-Free in my Columbia Hiking Shirt

I loved that the shirt was long enough to layer underneath other clothing and didn't ride up above my belly button (as my other hiking shirts tend to do.)  I loved that I could wear it back to back on multi-day hiking trips without it becoming super stinky (for real!) And, I loved that it was comfortable.  Most times I could hardly tell I had it on underneath my other layers.  It was kind of like second skin.  (and it was even peach colored like skin.)

My Peach Colored "Second Skin" worn all summer long as a base layer

Visit the following link to the Columbia website for more information on the EvaPOURation Jacket.

Summit shot this spring of me in my Zero Rules Columbia Shirt (peach, centre)

Visit the following link to the Columbia website for more information on the Columbia's Zero Rules and Omni-Freze Zero Clothing.  Unfortunately I couldn't find my exact shirt on the Columbia website but I would imagine any hiking shirt from their Zero Rules collection would be equally awesome. Next spring there should be more selection on the website as well in preparation for the 2015 hiking season.

And on to the next Season...

So far I haven't been approached by Columbia to "try stuff" for this winter season but last winter I received a couple amazing items that I am very excited to pull out for another season.  And actually, I've been wearing the shirt for the last month already!

Noah in his Columbia Fleece Jacket and Me in my Heavyweight Half Zip Base Layer Shirt
The Columbia Family

I've been wearing my purple Women's Heavyweight Half Zip Base Layer Shirt since September and continue to be very much in love with it!  I wear it under my down vest and it's perfect for fall hiking.  And then it's even stylish enough to wear out for dinner after.  (now I just need to replace my cheap Costco down vest with a Columbia one!)

To read my review on Columbia's base layers that I wrote last winter, click here to Fighting the Cold with Columbia Sportswear - Trying Stuff

And, while I haven't had to pull it out yet, I foresee the Fire Jacket making an appearance soon.  My "fire jacket" as it's been nicknamed kept me toasty warm all last winter snowshoeing, skiing, and hiking at the most insane of temperatures.

I'm happy to see that the Women's Whirlibird Interchange Jacket is still on the Columbia website because if you struggle with being cold, this is the jacket for you!  You can read all about it in my review, Fighting the Cold, above.

Warm and Toasty in my Whirlibird Columbia Jacket


Shopping Tips

The Whirlibird Jacket above is on sale right now on the Columbia website. Shop here. (You're welcome.)  There's also a short sleeve Total Zero hiking shirt on sale now in size small (in hot pink!!) that looks a lot like the one I have. I could continue with great sale items but you should likely just go to the website and check out the huge clearance section.  There's a ton of great deals - and Christmas is coming!!

The "Fire Jacket"


My Wish List

Turbodown Down Jacket

Want to see what's on the top of this mountain mom's Christmas list?  Check out the brand NEW Columbia Women's Platinum 860 Turbodown Down Jacket.  AND, can you guess the color I want?  (groovy pink, groovy pink, groovy pink...)  I have an old down jacket (probably ten years old) but it's grey and who wants to blend into the rocks when they're outside?  Not this girl. Hence, it's never worn.  Time for a new down jacket! 

I'm also coveting the new Women's Layer First Half Zip Knit Shirt - in groovy pink of course

And I'm kind of partial to the Women's Platinum 860 Turbodown Down Vest - in hyper purple of course.  (always bright colors with this girl!)

Turbodown Down Vest

Disclaimer:  While I have been given clothing to try out by Columbia, I was not paid for this review and as always, thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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