Investing in a decent waterproof jacket is an absolute must, if you’re planning any sort of outdoors adventure.
For serious protection from the elements, you’ll have a hard time finding a better choice than the Columbia OutDry Extreme NanoLite Shell Jacket, here in this rather cool ‘Bright Chartreuse’ colourway.
It comes in at the top end of the price range, but you get what you pay for in Columbia’s OutDry Extreme technology, an inside-out membrane that promises a high level of consistent weather protection and improved durability over conventional shells.
It’s best used for hiking and hillwalking, though it could also be used for trail walking/cycling – as tested here. It works perfectly as a main jacket, or as an extra layer on top, for when things get really wet. It also packs away into its own pocket, making it ideal to tuck away in your kit bag.
The main selling point is the use of the OutDry Extreme membrane, a technology that is currently exclusive to Columbia. If you’re not convinced by Gore-Tex, or the other big names in waterproofing, give this a look. If you are hard on your kit, or just can’t be bothered with the hassle of regularly reproofing your waterproof gear, this might be the fuss-free weather protection you’ve been looking for.
To ensure waterproof performance isn’t compromised at the seams, OutDry Extreme jackets are seam-sealed with external taping. As a result, rain will always just continue to bead up and roll right off the surface. In turn, this allows for more consistent performance in terms of breathability, so OutDry Extreme carries on moving moisture vapour through the jacket, whatever the weather. An internal wicking liner also pulls moisture away from the body.
I put this through a good few miles of muddy, off road trail riding, in some pretty awful wet weather conditions, and I have to say, it stood up perfectly to everything I threw at it. It also dried up in an instant!
I am certainly convinced by OutDry Extreme, and am a firm believer in its effectiveness. I will certainly be trying out some other products in the Titanium range.
Tom Escott #gearguytom