Best Columbia Jackets

Everyone already knows that Columbia is a company that makes high-quality outdoor gear, but what you might not know about this company is that they were originally founded by a couple that had founded a humble hat company in Portland after fleeing Nazi Germany in 1938. Today, they are one of the leading manufacturers in the outdoor apparel market, and they know a thing or two about the materials needed to stay warm when the temperature starts to plunge. With such an overwhelming catalog of great designs, it can be hard to pinpoint the right one for you. In this guide, you will find some of the selections of the best Columbia jackets to keep you warm, dry, and comfortable in the colder months out of the year.

Standout Picks

Mighty Lite
The thing that we liked the most about this option is that it has a very long length that we don’t see in a lot of other options, plus it is- as the name implies- very lightweight. Plus, it is made from the same high-quality materials that you come to expect from this brand.
Amazon Link
$140.00
Benton Springs
If you live somewhere that has winters that are a little less harsh, this is going to be one of your better options. What users like about this fleece design are that it has a stiff and structured feel to it that you often don’t get with the type of material.
Amazon Link
$39.99
Crested Butte II
The Crested Butte II is going to be a great in-between point from the big puffy insulated options, and the lighter designs made for milder climates. It boasts the smartly designed Omni-Heat silver lining that users the heat your body expels to keep you warm in cold climates.
Amazon Link
Bugaboo
The Bugaboo is great for users that want something that is going to keep them incredibly warm in harsh winter conditions, but it just doesn’t have the same bulk as some of the other puffy options. This design uses smart layers of fabric that hold in the heat your body creates to keep you dry and warm.
Amazon Link
Kaleidaslope II
The Kaleidaslope II is great because it is made from well-crafted materials that are designed to keep you warm in cold climates, but it has a few unique features that make it stand out from some of the other designs, and is worth checking out.
Amazon Link
$140.00
Frost Fighter
While many of the options so far on our list have set out to tackle low temperatures with materials that won’t add a lot of additional bulk and weight, the Frost Fighter is made for those that want a lot of puff to their winter wear. This option uses down materials to hold in body heat while being nice and soft and comfortable.
Amazon Link
Watertight II
If you are looking for something that is going to be lightweight that will keep the rain off of your back while hiking or fishing during the rainy season, the Watertight II is going to be one of your better options. Plus, it has panels of the Omni-Heat tech on the inside to keep you warm, but not too hot making it one of the best Columbia jackets.
Amazon Link
$47.99
Ascender
We liked the Ascender because it has a structured slim design that makes it a great choice to wear during mild winters, or during the spring or fall months. Users love it because it is lightweight and it keeps when dry when conditions outside are pretty wet.
Amazon Link
$79.99
Glennaker Lake
The most notable feature about the Glennaker Lake is it is thin enough that it can be rolled up into a compact carrying case and thrown into a backpack. It’s not going to have any lining on the inside to keep you warm, but it is going to do an excellent job at keeping the rain off of your back!
Amazon Link
$39.99
Morning Light II
Upon first glance, you might think that this design is a lot similar to the Mighty Lite options, but there are a few key differences that set it apart and make help it make it on a list of best Columbia jackets. What we liked most about this design was how long it is, and also the bulky materials that make it incredibly warm on cold winter days. Also read about kids winter jacket
Amazon Link

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Style

For those that live in a part of the world that has some pretty harsh winters, you coat is going to be your main fashion attraction for much of the year.

That’s why we wanted to make sure that we selected designs that were not only going to look good but were also going to be timeless so they won’t be going out of style any time soon. The great thing about this particular line of outdoor apparel is that almost every garment sports a very simple design as well as a simple and low key silhouette. What that means for you is that you will be able to wear each design for years without worrying about if it has gone out of style. Plus, simple silhouettes also means that it is going to be able to be something that is going to work with almost any wintertime outfit, whether you are wearing it to go skiing or hiking, or if you just plan on spending the day shopping at the mall or going to a movie with some friends.

Materials

What type of materials used will determine two things: how long it is going to last, and how warm it is going to keep you when the temperature start to plunge.

One thing that we discovered about this line is that they use a type of fabric that they call Omni-Heat. This plastic but breathable material works the same way a space blanket (or emergency blanket) would work at maintaining body heat. The only difference between a space blanket and the Omni-Heat fabric is that Omni-Heat has little holes on the surface that will promote airflow while still holding in the heat so that you will be warm, but you won’t be as sweaty, and you won’t run the risk of overheating. Another thing that we looked at was what the outside shell was made from. We liked shells that have a waterproof and windproof exterior shell because keeping dry is one of the most important ingredients when it comes to staying warm. Insulation is another key factor when it comes to these products, which is why we make sure to select designs that used recycled polyester insulation, or their high-quality synthetic down that keeps heat high and costs low.

Fit

Due to the fact that for a few months out of the year this garment is going to be the only thing that people will see you wear when outside- we wanted to make sure that it fits the way that it should.

One thing that we did to ensure that each design had a good fit was to check if there was a sizing chart offered. Many of the options that we selected for our list had very detailed sizing charts that not only took into consideration the size of your waist, but that also took into consideration length, arm size, and hips. This way, you will be able to prioritize where you would prefer your coat to fit better if there isn’t a size that fits like it was tailored to your body. We also took into consideration what previous users had to say about each option because the proof is always in the pudding. If there was an overwhelming number of users that felt that it either fit too tight or too loose, we typically selected a different style or made note of it in the product description.

Color

Winter is long and it can be rather bleak, so selecting a style that would offer users a lot of different colors to select from was something that we felt was important.

The great thing about this brand is that they don’t hold back when it comes to colors. Other brands may just offer the staple color options such as black, red, blue, gray, and white- but Columbia offers customers with color choices that they might not have seen anywhere else. We found that this is important because these coats are going to be something that you are going to wear every single day. Unlike pants and shirts that you change often, this is going to be the color that you are going to be seen in by everyone outdoors for an entire season- so you want to pick something that you love. Overall, we are big fans of companies that offer the customer a wide assortment of colors when it comes to their gear, and this company does not disappoint.

Value

We want to save you money when we can, but we don’t want to leave you out in the cold.

What we discovered is that designs that were made for spring and fall, or places with mild winters were generally a lot more affordable. Designs that have a simple fleece layer, or that don’t utilize the Omni-heat tech are typically priced to be pretty affordable. When you start to add higher end materials, details in the stitching and designs, multiple removable layers and plush insulation is when you are going to run into pretty high price points. While we find that these details are worth it in the long run, we also wanted to include options such as the Frost Fighter that comes in at a very affordable price point but uses materials that are going to warm even in some pretty cold temperatures.

Top 10 Picks

1. Mighty Lite

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$140.00
Mighty Lite
Amazon Link

The thing that we liked the most about this option is that it has a very long length that we don’t see in a lot of other options, plus it is- as the name implies- very lightweight. Plus, it is made from the same high-quality materials that you come to expect from this brand.

Read more

Style

As we mentioned earlier, one of the things that we liked about this design is that it is made to come down to about the bottom of your back jean pockets, ensuring that not only your upper half insulated, but part of your lower half is as well. It has cuffed sleeves to keep cold and snow from blowing up your arm, and a compact hood.

Materials

The outer shell of this design is made from a waterproof polyester material that sports flatter seamlines. It boasts the patented Omni-Dry insulation which is a blend of half polyester, half recycled polyester for the padding.

Fit

Almost 3 out of every 4 users felt that this design fit them as they thought it would. It comes in sizes that start with extra small and run all the way up to 2XL.

Color

There are quite a few colors that users can select from and they range from subtle and muted to bright and cheery. Colors include black, white, gray, olive green, pink, and purple.

Value

The cost of this option is not one of the more affordable options from this brand, but we felt that the price was very reasonable considering how long it is as well as what others had to say about it.

Overall

Users love this design because it feels incredibly lightweight and has the power of keeping them incredibly warm, even when the temperatures really plunge this winter.

Amazon Link
$140.00

2. Benton Springs

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$39.99
Benton Springs
Amazon Link

If you live somewhere that has winters that are a little less harsh, this is going to be one of your better options. What users like about this fleece design are that it has a stiff and structured feel to it that you often don’t get with the type of material.

Read more

Style

Simplicity and comfort is the name of the game when it comes to the Benton Springs. It has a simple silhouette that comes down just to the top of your jeans. The simple sleeves are cuffed at the base to keep cold air from blowing in, and the hoodless high collar can be worn flipped up or flipped down.

Materials

This unit is composed entirely of MTR filament fleece which means that you are going to get a lot of the same comfort and softness from a traditional fleece, but it is going to be just a little bit more structured and stiff to keep you warm.

Fit

An impressive 81 percent of users felt that this design fit them exactly as they expected. It offered in sizes that start out as extra small and run all the way to 2XL.

Color

The great thing about this option is that it comes in a wide variety of colors. In fact, it comes in pretty much any color that you could imagine, with some unique and different tones included that you might want to consider.

Value

Our favorite thing about the Benton Springs is that it comes in at an incredibly low price point that will set you back about the same amount that you would spend on a pepperoni pizza.

Overall

If you need something for a mild winter that is going to give you the softness of fleece, but it is going to be a bit more structured to keep you warm in cold temperature without breaking the bank, the Benton Springs is going to be one of your better options.

Amazon Link
$39.99

3. Crested Butte II

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Crested Butte II
Amazon Link

The Crested Butte II is going to be a great in-between point from the big puffy insulated options, and the lighter designs made for milder climates. It boasts the smartly designed Omni-Heat silver lining that users the heat your body expels to keep you warm in cold climates.

Read more

Style

Users like this option because it has a simple but smart design. While it is just a little bulky, it isn’t anywhere near close to being considered a puffer coat. While it has the stitching of a puffer, it doesn’t have a lot of the extra bulk. It has elastic on the cuffs and waist to keep cold air out, and a high hoodless collar.

Materials

The exterior of this option is composed of waterproof and windproof nylon materials, and the inside boasts their Omni-Heat silver lining. This lining is composed of little dots that are able to reflect heat and push it back towards you instead of out into the cold winter air.

Fit

An impressive 84 percent of users felt that this option fit them exactly as they expected. It is offered in sizes that start at small and run all the way up to extra large.

Color

While it doesn’t have a wide range of color options as some of the other designs, there are still a few really great colors to select from. Colors include red, gray, blue, green, and black.

Value

The cost of this coat is just a little bit more than the other designs out there on the market, but we feel that it is well worth the slightly elevated price tag, and many users tend to agree.

Overall

If you can’t decide if you want something big and puffy, or slim and understated this winter, we feel that the Crested Butte II is going to be a good marriage of both styles to keep you high and dry when the temperatures plunge.

Amazon Link

4. Bugaboo

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Bugaboo
Amazon Link

The Bugaboo is great for users that want something that is going to keep them incredibly warm in harsh winter conditions, but it just doesn’t have the same bulk as some of the other puffy options. This design uses smart layers of fabric that hold in the heat your body creates to keep you dry and warm.

Read more

Style

The style of this option is pretty simple. It runs down to about the top of your jeans and offers a double zippered layer for the top and bottom layer. While it doesn’t have cuffed sleeves, it has velcro straps that can be used to cinch the cuffs to your wrists to keep cold air out. It has a tall neckline and a low profile hood.

Materials

The top layer of this design is composed of a waterproof and windproof nylon material. The inside is composed of a very comfortable fleece lining that serves to maintain body heat while keeping you comfortable.

Fit

Sizes start out at extra small and run all the way up to 2XL. We like that they offer users a detailed sizing chart that uses the measurement of chest, arms, waist, and hips to ensure that you get the perfect size for your body type the first time.

Color

Color options are a little bit more limited with the Bugaboo than they are with most, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few great color choices to select from. Users can opt for more muted tones such as blacks and gray, or they can select brighter color options that include yellow and green, copper, blue, or red.

Value

The cost of the Bugaboo is going to be quite a bit more than some of the other options that we have seen out there on the market. However, considering that this is basically 2 coats built into one (fleece and a windbreaker) this is actually an incredible deal.

Overall

Due to its smart design and detachable layers, we feel that the Bugaboo is not only going to be a great design that will keep you want in those harsh winter months, but detachable layers mean that you can also wear it in the spring and fall as well.

Amazon Link

5. Kaleidaslope II

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$140.00
Kaleidaslope II
Amazon Link

The Kaleidaslope II is great because it is made from well-crafted materials that are designed to keep you warm in cold climates, but it has a few unique features that make it stand out from some of the other designs, and is worth checking out.

Read more

Style

While the outside silhouette is very similar to many of the other design in their outdoor line, what makes the Kaleidaslope II different lies in the sleeves. Instead of using elastic or velcro to cinch it shut, this design has cuffs that come down to the bottom of the fingers and has a hole cut out for the thumb to hold them in place. You won’t have to worry about your sleeves riding up with this design.

Materials

The exterior shell of this option is composed of waterproof and windproof nylon, and the interior uses a layer of their reflective Omni-Heat lining. What this means is that it is going to reflect the heat that your body expels back onto your skin to keep you nice and warm without a lot of extra bulk.

Fit

An impressive 81 percent of users felt that this option fit them just as they thought that it was going to. What we like is that users are provided with a size chart that uses detailed measurements to ensure that you get the right size for your build.

Color

Colors include subtle earth tones such as gray, black, brown, and white, as well as brighter and more fun colors that include red, pink, blue, and purple.

Value

The cost of this design seems to run just a little bit more expensive than some of the other options in their line. However, users feel that the slightly higher price point is worth it based upon the smart design and the superior warmth offered.

Overall

If you want something that is going to keep you incredibly warm in those harsh winter temperatures, and looks good while doing it, this is going to be well worth the slightly padded price tag.

Amazon Link
$140.00

6. Frost Fighter

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Frost Fighter
Amazon Link

While many of the options so far on our list have set out to tackle low temperatures with materials that won’t add a lot of additional bulk and weight, the Frost Fighter is made for those that want a lot of puff to their winter wear. This option uses down materials to hold in body heat while being nice and soft and comfortable.

Read more

Style

This is the quintessential puffer coat. It has that classic down-style baffling design on the body, and tighter stitching on the sleeves. There is a little bit of extra padding on the sleeves and waist to keep cold air from blowing without the need for uncomfortable straps or elastic bands.

Materials

The exterior of this coat is composed of materials that are incredibly waterproof and windproof. On the inside lies a reflective layer of the Omni-Heat material to keep body heat from escaping. It is also insulated by a thick layer of synthetic down materials that give it that classic puffy look.

Fit

About 3 out of every 4 users feel like this design fit them exactly as they had anticipated that it would. It is offered in sizes that start off at small and run up to extra large.

Color

Color options are going to be just a little bit more limited with this option. Users can select from neutral earth tones that include deep shades of black, brown, gray, blue, or green.

Value

While it might have a much larger silhouette than most, the price tag is actually a good deal lower than many of the other designs making our list.

Overall

If you live in an area that suffers from some really harsh winters and you want something that is going to feel like you are wrapped in a warm cloud, the Frost Fighter is going to serve you very well without putting any extra strain on your wallet.

Amazon Link

7. Watertight II

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$47.99
Watertight II
Amazon Link

If you are looking for something that is going to be lightweight that will keep the rain off of your back while hiking or fishing during the rainy season, the Watertight II is going to be one of your better options. Plus, it has panels of the Omni-Heat tech on the inside to keep you warm, but not too hot making it one of the best Columbia jackets.

Read more

Style

Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to this Watertight II. The cuffs are wide and unrestricted but offer a velcro strap if you find the need to cinch them closes. It has a high collar with a low profile hood that has an elastic band to cinch it tightly around your face in the instance of a blowing rain or snow.

Materials

You are going to worry about getting when wearing this design. The exterior shell is made from a high quality waterproof and windproof nylon that will wick water away and will not absorb into the material. There is no insulation with this option, and the lining is simply composed of a few panels of the Omni-Heat material.

Fit

While about 79 percent of past users felt that this unit fit them as expected, the other 20 percent felt that this design ran just a little bit too small for them. If you are someone that would rather your outerwear fit a little too loose than tight, we suggest buying one size up from normal on this design.

Color

What we love about this design is that there are tons of color options that users can select from. Colors include neutral tones such as black, brown, gray, blue, and tan, and also include bright and fun colors such as green, yellow, red, orange, and blue.

Value

The price tag on this design is a lot more affordable than many of the other options in their line. Keep in mind that the lack of insulation and limited lining means that it is not going to be ideal for very cold climates.

Overall

If you need something that is going to keep you high and dry when that rainy season rolls around, this is going to be one of your better options that aren’t going to break the bank.

Amazon Link
$47.99

8. Ascender

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$79.99
Ascender
Amazon Link

We liked the Ascender because it has a structured slim design that makes it a great choice to wear during mild winters, or during the spring or fall months. Users love it because it is lightweight and it keeps when dry when conditions outside are pretty wet.

Read more

Style

The look of this design is simple and structured. It has panels on the front, sides, and arms, and it has very deep zippered pockets to keep your belongings dry. It has a neckline that when zipped up completely ends at the bottom of the chin and it also has a hood with a comfortable and soft lining.

Materials

The outside shell of this unit is made from a very durable polyester that will be able to wick away water and protect your skin from high winds. The lining is made from a very soft polyester material that feels like a lightweight fleece. This lining also lines the hood as well.

Fit

An impressive 83 percent of users found that this design fits them exactly as they expect. It is offered in sizes that start at small and run all the way up to XX-large.

Color

If you were looking for something that might be offered in bright colors, the Ascender is only offered in deep earth tones that include black, brown, navy, and two shades of gray.

Value

For being a thinner design that offers more protection from rain and wind than it does from cold, the price tag is a bit higher than one would expect from this design. Users seem to really love the fit and comfort of this design and feel that it is well worth the price point.

Overall

If you are in the market for something that is going to be a great addition for wet conditions that aren’t going to be as cold, this is going to be a great choice.

Amazon Link
$79.99

9. Glennaker Lake

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$39.99
Glennaker Lake
Amazon Link

The most notable feature about the Glennaker Lake is it is thin enough that it can be rolled up into a compact carrying case and thrown into a backpack. It’s not going to have any lining on the inside to keep you warm, but it is going to do an excellent job at keeping the rain off of your back!

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Style

What we liked about this option is that it has a few detailed flairs in the colored panels users on the shoulders. It offers users a high neckline that can be folded down if needed, and wide cuffs that have a velcro strap that can be cinched shut to keep the rain out.

Materials

This unit is made from 100 percent polyester inside and out. The outside shell is made of waterproof and water resistant polyester, and the interior has a mesh lining to promote breathability.

Fit

About 76 percent of users felt that this design fit them just as they thought it would. It is offered in sizes that start at small, and up all the way up to XX-large.

Color

What we really love about this design is that it comes in a wide variety of fun color choices. With most colors, the top shoulder panel is typically a lighter color than the bottom panel. Color options include black, red, blue, green, orange, yellow, and gray.

Value

Another thing that we really like about this design is that it is one of the most affordable options of this brand line that is currently on the market. If you wanted to test out the quality and reliability of one of these products, this is an excellent place to start.

Overall

If you are in the market for something that is going to be small and lightweight to keep the rain off of your head and the wind from piercing your back, the Glennaker Lake is going to be an excellent choice to bring along on your next camping trip.

Amazon Link
$39.99

10. Morning Light II

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Morning Light II
Amazon Link

Upon first glance, you might think that this design is a lot similar to the Mighty Lite options, but there are a few key differences that set it apart and make help it make it on a list of best Columbia jackets. What we liked most about this design was how long it is, and also the bulky materials that make it incredibly warm on cold winter days.

Also read about kids winter jacket

Read more

Style

Seams that are placed closer together give this design more of a puffer look and the addition of insulation gives it a heavier silhouette. In addition to the length, we really liked the addition of the cuffed sleeves to keep cold air out, and zippered pockets to keep personal belongings in.

Materials

The exterior shell of this design is made from waterproof and wind resistant material that will help keep you nice and dry. Polyester insulation will help retain heat, but the real star here is the Omni-Heat panels found on the inside that will reflect lost body heat back to you.

Fit

Three out of every four customers felt like this unit fit them exactly as they expected. Sizes are a little bit more limited than in most, offering sizes that start at small and run up to extra large.

Color

Color options are a little bit more limited as well. Users will be able to select from a handful of darker earth tones that include black, gray, teal, silver, and purple.

Value

The cost of this design is actually one of the more expensive options coming out of this line. However, users find that this unit is well worth the price tag if you want something that is going to keep you warm.

Overall

If you are in the market for something that is a little bit longer than many of the other options out there that come down just to the top of your jeans, and you want it to be made from materials that are going to keep you warm when the temperatures drop- the Morning Light II is going to be a great option.

Amazon Link

Sources

  1. Unknown, PRODUCT CARE, Brand page
  2. Unknown, COLUMBIA HISTORY, Blog