Columbia Peak 2 Peak Jacket

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Manufacturer Description

Lightweight and extremely proficient in any high-alpine situation, the Peak 2 Peak sports an innovative 3-layer fabric that’s completely waterproof, windproof, and ultrabreathable. And, it’s an Outside Gear of the Year winner!

Clean, thoughtfully engineered lines provide a striking framework for the technology inside this jacket: a sleek interior with a bonded liner, fully taped seams, and Omni-Dry—an extremely air-permeable waterproof fabric that diffuses the moisture vapors you generate while still shedding water in the worst of conditions. For times when your heart rate is really in the red, zip open the aptly placed underarm vents and let the fresh air flow in. Articulated elbows provide a natural fit and superior mobility. Hand pockets and a security pocket at left shoulder all but disappear thanks to our Invizzip technology.

Features

  • Fabric – 100% polyester 3L 50 denier plain weave
  • Omni-Dry ultrabreathable waterproof
  • Fully taped seams
  • Attached adjustable storm hood
  • Vented underarm zips – 31.5 cm (12.4 in)
  • Pockets feature Invizzip
  • Articulated elbows
  • Two Chest Pockets – 13.5 cm wide x 22 cm tall (5.3 in x 8.7 in)
  • Left Arm Pocket – 10.5 cm wide x 15.4 cm tall (4.1 in x 6.1 in)
  • Measured size medium
    • Weight – 428 g (15.1 oz)
    • Center back – 75.8 cm (29.8 in)
    • Pit to pit – 56.9 cm (22.4 in)
    • Sleeve length – 90.7 cm (35.7 in)
  • Retail – $350

YMMV Review

I have reviewed quite a few Columbia items now, and they have been doing a good job reinventing their brand. Columbia has been really trying to develop new technologies and become the innovator in the outdoor industry. This jacket is made with Columbia’s new Omni-Dry waterproof technology. While I might have been hesitant to get a Columbia jacket for technical activities a couple of years ago, things have changed, and they are making some top-notch gear.

Front View of the Jacket

Testing

I used this jacket for a wide range of activities. I took it on several hiking trips through the fall, most of which ended up being really nice weather. I also used it on some snowshoeing and cross-country skiing adventures as well as for casual use around town.

Design ★★★☆☆

Appearance (15%) ★★★☆☆

Construction (25%) ★★★★☆

Packability (15%) ★★½☆☆

Pockets (15%) ★★½☆☆

Sustainability (10%) ★★½☆☆

Weight (20%) ★★★☆☆

The Columbia Peak 2 Peak Jacket is an alpine inspired waterproof breathable jacket. I really like the streamlined look of this jacket. What sets this jacket apart is the use of Columbia’s new waterproof breathable membrane. Columbia’s new membrane technology is Omni-Dry; it is air permeable, ultrabreathable and very lightweight. It is made of a thin layer of polyethylene that has microscopic pores that allow air to exchange while keeping water out. Omni-Dry boasts a 100cc/minute of breathability while still being 100% waterproof. The membrane is much lighter than competitors, at only 7 grams per yard compared to competitions 40 grams per yard. If you would like to learn more about Omni-Dry or waterproof breathable membranes, click through to the knowledge base article.

Back View

The Peak 2 Peak Jacket is made of 100% polyester fabric. The jacket is made with 3-layer construction; a polyester face, polyethylene membrane, and polyester inner layer. The outer face has been treated with a DWR finish to prevent water from wetting the fabric. All the seams on this jacket have been seam sealed for full waterproofness. The jacket has alpine styling with streamlined features. There are three total pockets on the jacket. All the pockets feature invizzip for a low profile and waterproofness. The pockets have all been laminated on for a cleaner appearance. There is a left arm pocket and two napoleon style pockets. The jacket also has underarm pit zips to improve venting when needed.  One cool feature with the pit zips is a piece of fabric that prevents them from opening too far.

The jacket has an attached hood with multiple adjustments for getting the right fit. It has a wire brim to be able to adjust it to the shape you prefer. The jacket has been made with an alpine fit with articulated elbows. At the wrists, the jacket uses Velcro closures to adjust the size. For further adjustment the bottom hem has adjustable bungee cords to keep it snug around the hips. This jacket feels very well-made and is one of the newer pieces of gear that has changed my opinion of Columbia.

Invizzip Pockets

Columbia is making a very conscious effort to be more sustainable as a business. With solar panels on their roofs to reusing boxes in their warehouse. Columbia also has some products made from recycled materials. Since this was not one of those products I gave it a rating of 2.5.

Fit ★★★½☆

Adjustability (10%) ★★★☆☆

Arm Length (20%) ★★★★½

Comfort Next to Skin (15%) ★★★★☆

Cuffs (10%) ★★½☆☆

Ease of Movement (15%) ★★½☆☆

Hood (10%) ★★½☆☆

Torso Sizing (20%) ★★★★☆

I am normally a size medium, and that is what I tested in this jacket. I have had other Columbia tops that were a little large for me, but this jacket was right on. The arms are nice and long, which is really important to me. If the arms are too short, it will not last long in my closet. The torso is also longer, which gives good coverage and gives the jacket the fit I look for. Around the midsection, the fit is not tight or loose. The Peak 2 Peak can easily layer over an insulating layer and still look good when being worn on its own. At the bottom hem, there is an adjustable cord that can be used to tighten up the bottom hem. The wrist cuffs are can be adjusted as well and work as expected. They add a little bulk to the wrists but nothing more than expected.

Soft Against the Neck Label

The Peak 2 Peak has an attached hood that has plenty of adjustment points. The hood is a bit on the smaller side. It fits really well when not wearing a helmet but can accommodate a lower profile helmet if needed. A ski helmet will not fit under this hood; it is just too small. Of course, this jacket is not a ski jacket, but it was something to take note of. What really surprised me about this jacket is how comfortable it is against the skin. The inner fabric is soft against the skin if you have a short-sleeve shirt on and has a chin guard for comfort against the face. Some shell jackets are a bit plastic feeling, but this jacket is nice and supple.

Performance ★★★★☆

Breathability (20%) ★★★★☆

Durability (20%) ★★★☆☆

Moisture Transport (15%) ★★★☆☆

Water Resistance (30%) ★★★★★

Wind Resistance (15%) ★★★★☆

The Peak 2 Peak Jacket is everything I hoped it would be. The most important thing about any waterproof jacket is that it is, in fact, waterproof, and this jacket has been. This has always been the easy part, and breathability is the aspect that is normally lacking in most jackets. I have said it before and will say it again that it is difficult to quantify how breathable a jacket is. Throughout my testing, I did seem to sweat less even during higher output activities in this jacket compared to what I have used before. The jacket also seems slightly cooler than other jackets, and I think this may be due to the increased breathability. This increased breathability is exactly what Columbia was trying to accomplish and to me, it seems like they did. I have used this jacket on several adventures, and it has stood up to everything thus far. The jacket still looks like new even after wearing under a pack a couple of times. The zippers have all done a good job keeping water out. I have not had a day where it rained nonstop like I used to get as a guide, but it has not disappointed yet.

Inside the Jacket

Overall ★★★★☆

Overall, I have truly been impressed with the Columbia Peak 2 Peak Jacket. There are two things that have really set this jacket apart: the fit and breathability. Columbia has done a great job creating a new membrane that is, in fact, more breathable. At least to me, it seemed that way. The other part that I really liked about this jacket is the fit. It is trim fitting and long, which is what I look for. The jacket only weighed in at 15.1 ounces in a size medium which is great for a bomber alpine shell. The only drawback I have with this shell is the lack of an inner pocket. There are no pockets on the inside of the shell, that is the only major drawback I have had with this jacket thus far. The Peak 2 Peak retails for $350, which is right in the ballpark with other shells that are similar. I would definitely recommend giving this jacket a chance if you are looking for a good alpine shell. This jacket may just change your opinion of Columbia’s image. As always, your mileage may vary.

Pros [field name=iFrame]

  • More breathable than typical waterproof jackets
  • Lightweight
  • Long arms and torso length
  • Solid construction

Cons

  • No internal pockets
  • Hood not big enough for a ski helmet

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Adventures

About the Author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

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