The Columbia Ex OutDry Featherweight jacket lives up to it’s name, being almost as light as a feather and completely waterproof thanks to the OutDry™ technology.

We’ve nailed performance, durability and breathability with OutDry Extreme. After meeting with several through-hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail, it became crystal clear that if a shell is not truly lightweight and packable, hikers may elect to leave it at home. To answer that challenge, we’re offering the OutDry EX Featherweight Shell, a fully seam-sealed waterproof jacket that weighs just a few ounces. This is the first jacket to offer a centerfront Lite Rail Zipper, and it’s on par with the lightest jackets on the market… with the added benefit of never wetting out.

On the trail

Taking it out on a few trails we know that it makes you feel light but protected. The shell includes external seam tape as well as a tightly bonded hood, hem and cuffs that offer that extra rain and wind protection you’re looking for.

The hood comes attached and has peripheral adjustability, though we have found this isn’t all that practical. It doesn’t really offer enough adjustable choice that would help to fit the hood to your head better.

In windy conditions this means the hood can flap about quite a lot, or even get blown off your head completely. Not very useful. But, you’re looking at one of the lightest shells around, so you have to make weight saving compromises like these for that weight. No extra velcro or lycra-like pull cords here.

 

The underarm and chest venting system help to keep you cool whilst staying protected. The jacket is backpack compatible and also has adjustable contoured sleeve cuffs, about the only fully adjustable element of the jacket.

The shell jacket also has two handy pockets on the chest which are also seam sealed, meaning you can bring along your essentials and keep them dry and to hand.

Materials

Made from 100% nylon ripstop and polyester mesh, it isn’t a jacket for the eco conscious, but it is one for the person looking for something strong, very durable and ultimately, extremely lightweight and waterproof.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a shell jacket that offers lightweight packability while keeping you dry as a bone then this is pretty much perfect. The only downside being the lack of hood adjustability. Even so, we think the Columbia Ex OutDry Featherweight jacket would be ideal for anything from short hikes to long camping trips.