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Columbia Sportswear has been making quality outdoor gear for almost 85 years. In spite of this, they have not become a “retro” brand, they continue to innovate and improve the technology that is featured in their clothing and footwear! Today we are going to highlight a favourite of ours that is available at the Columbia Store on Trinity Street in Dublin or online.
The Columbia Outdry Extreme jackets are perfect for all manner of uses in the Irish outdoors. In fact, a few years ago we reviewed the Columbia OutDry™ Ex Tech Shell Jacket! The Extreme Mesh is the latest iteration of this technology and we believe is a great step forward. When we reviewed the Tech Shell, for example, the two faults we noted were; “The jacket can be a little stiff, which means it makes noise when running.” and “I found the storm hood slipped back on my head a lot so I couldn’t seal it completely around my head in bad weather.” Both of these faults have been fixed in the Extreme Mesh. The hood is now adjustable by a draw-chord at the back and a much more supple and softer inner fabric has been added to eliminate noise and increase comfort!
Read about the Columbia OutDry Ex Tech Shell here
One of the key advantages to an Outdry jacket over some of the competitor’s fabrics is that you never need to re-proof Outdry. The construction of Outdry Extreme dictates that the waterproof membrane is on the outside of the jacket. This is not the case with other waterproof jackets. Ordinarily, jackets have a protective “face fabric” on the outside of the waterproof membrane. When this face fabric sees wear it will lose its ability to bead water, meaning the jacket will begin to “wet out”. This will not cause the jacket to leak but may result in it feeling heavier and less breathable. OutDry does not have this problem! Also, an extra bonus to Outdry is that since it does not need to be washed or re-proofed it will use less energy in the jacket’s lifetime. This makes it an environmental consideration also!
Plus it is Irish ultrarunner extraordinaire Eoin Keith’s rain jacket fabric of choice and if it’s good enough for him then it’s good enough for us.
Interview: Eoin Keith Prepares for the Columbia UTMB
We would recommend a Columbia Outdry jacket to somebody who is looking for a high-performance rain jacket that doesn’t want to invest in a pro-level shell. They are excellent jackets to get you comfortable in bad weather in the outdoors, and once you are comfortable in the outdoors you can really start to enjoy yourself!
By Matthew McConnell
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