Whether you’re cresting the exposed ridgeline of Buckskin Pass or casting for trout on pristine Snowmass Lake below, the Reach The Peak never quits. This innovative hybrid combines the ultra-light warmth and compressibility of down with swatches of super-stretching knit that have been pieced in where you need them most, like under the arms and at back shoulder. An Omni-Heat reflective interior tops it all off, providing insane warmth minus the bulk, as well as superior thermal regulation so you won’t overheat. Omni-Shield advanced repellency sheds light rain and splash back from the inevitable spilled cup of camp coffee. Featuring a super-light, 700-fill down insulation power, the RTP also compresses into a tiny package and adds nil to the overall weight of your pack.
- Shell Fabric – 100% Tactel nylon ripstop,
- Stretch Fabric – 96% polyester/4% elastane Heat Thermostretch
- Lining Fabric – 100% polyester, 100% polyester abrasion-resist fleece
- Omni-Heat thermal reflective
- Omni-Shield advanced repellency
- 3-point Interchange compatibility with other Columbia jackets
- Hybrid for stretch and breathability
- 700 fill-power down insulation (90% Down Cluster/10% Feather)
- Comfort cuffs with thumb holes
- 2 Internal drop-in pockets
- 16 cm wide x 26 cm tall (6.3 in x 10.2 in)
- 2 Zip-closed pockets
- 15 cm wide x 24 cm tall (5.9 in x 9.4 in)
- Packable with included stuff sack
- Comes in 5 colors
- Measured size medium
- Weight – 528 g (18.6 oz)
- Pit to Pit – 52.5 cm (20.6 in)
- Center Back – 74 cm (29.1 in)
- Sleeve Length – 96 cm (37.8 in)
- Retail – $180
I was fortunate to have Columbia send me the Reach the Peak Jacket for me to test this fall. It is part of their Fall 2011 collection. Columbia has really been trying to be innovators in the outdoor market over the last couple years and jackets like this one definitely incorporate some of these new technologies. Being a brand that for a long time was known more for value than technology, they set to change that idea and I think they have done a pretty good job so far.
The Columbia Reach the Peak Hybrid Down Jacket is a lightweight insulated jacket. It is a hybrid of down insulation and stretchy knit fabric under the arms and down the back of the shoulders. The whole inside of the jacket is lined with Columbia’s new Omni-Heat technology. Omni-Heat is reflective technology inside the jacket that reflects body heat back to your body helping it retain heat. They have been able to do this while maintaining breathability. The jacket uses a lightweight nylon material insulated with 700 fill down. The stretch knit panels are a polyester and elastane mix for warmth and stretch. These panels are not as warm as the down sections and breathe a little better so they help maintain a comfortable environment inside the jacket.
The jacket has a semi-fit profile with a full length zipper in the front. There are two hand pockets and two drop in pockets on the inside. At the bottom hem there is an adjustable draw cord to block cold air from coming up the jacket. The wrists have stretchy comfort cuffs with thumbholes that extend over half your hand when worn. The jacket has been treated with Omni-Shield advanced repellency to resist stains and rain. If you have a shell jacket from Columbia with zip-in capability, this jacket will work with it. Lastly the jacket comes with a lightweight stuff sack to stuff it into. One thing that was missing was an adjustable draw cord in the neck to allow you to tighten it up around the neck. I know this is a small thing but nice when cold stuff is falling from above.
I have been pleasantly surprised by the fit of the Reach the Peak Jacket. Normally I have found that Columbia jackets have more girth than I like through the midsection. This jacket fit fairly snug on me. The shoulders were right on, the sleeves are plenty long and down through the midsection had a little room but not a lot. The only thing I have noticed is that the jacket is actually a little on the tight side at the waistline. Tighter than it is in any other part of the jacket. The comfort cuffs take a little getting used to. They are comfortable when wearing normal and while functional when using the thumb loops, I have not felt like they are as comfortable.
I tested the Columbia Reach the Peak Jacket on several trips in the mountains and under the air conditioning vent at work where my desk unfortunately sits and the jacket proved its worth. There is something to the Omni-Heat thing where it does feel like it is a bit warmer. I am not able to quantify this number with any certainty but for the weight the jacket is warm. Since it is a hybrid jacket and the down sections are sewn through, it does let wind through rather easily. Since the jacket is not too bulky it is easy to layer under a windproof shell. The jacket only weighs 18.6 oz for a medium and given how warm it is the warmth-to-weight ratio is high for this jacket. It also compacts down into a fairly small amount of space. I even used it as a pillow with decent success on my two mountain trips. The more I wear this jacket the more I have liked it. The hybrid aspect is nice and makes the jacket great for mobility. The stretch sections do stretch a little less than I expect them to. Other than that the jacket has been a pleasure to test.
I really like where Columbia is going with some of their new products. They have thrown the status quo out the window and have been willing to try new things. While this does not always breed success, the Reach the Peak Hybrid Down Jacket is a solid option for a lightweight insulating jacket. The fit is on the smaller side for Columbia which I appreciate but not everyone will so size accordingly. Other than the inevitable small feathers that seem to fluff out of the jacket, I cannot find too much negative to say. It looks like Columbia is now become a viable option for technical pieces of apparel once again. We will see what they can think of next. At $180 retail the Reach the Peak Jacket is fairly priced and competitive with other options in the category. As always, Your Mileage May Vary.
- Moves well
- Looses feathers
- A bit tight around the waist