Over the holidays, Dan at the Columbia Sportswear Company sent along one of Columbia’s latest products for mom field testing in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, where the weather is said to at times rival that of Siberia.
A Women’s Reach the Peak Down Jacket–a sleek jacket (“grill” hue) featuring Columbia’s new Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective Technology.
When I pulled the jacket out of the box, I was immediately skeptical that such a thin and lightweight jacket, lined with what looks like shiny, albeit silky soft, aluminum foil could keep a busy, active mom warm enough in cold weather, let alone sub-zero temps. As much as I love Vermont and snowy winters, I do not like being cold. I really, really, really do not like being cold. Though the jacket was marked as 700 fill-power down, it seemed hard to believe that it could do the job, even when combined with Columbia’s new Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective Technology. But with a leap of faith (according to Columbia, the new thermal reflective technology keeps you 20% warmer by reflecting back your own body heat), I was ready to put the jacket to the test.
Let the Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective Technology Test Begin.
Before I could test the jacket, I first had to get it back into my hands and away from my team of mini field testers, who very much enjoyed modeling it around the house. For what it’s worth, my seven year old thinks that Columbia’s Omni-Heat jacket is much too hot to wear inside: “Mommy, I’m boiling, I’m boiling. I’ve got to take this thing off!” That’s a good thing when it comes to a cold weather jacket, right?
Over a period of several days, I wore Columbia’s Reach the Peak Down Jacket with Omni-Heat technology outside in some tough Vermont weather, including single digits and in serious windchill. I wore it while stomping around outside in frigid temps with a baby on my back. I wore it while standing around for what seemed like hours, cheering on my brand new little skiers at Burke Mountain in blustery conditions. I wore it while talking to a skiing Santa on Christmas eve. I wore it while gathering wood from the woodpile. I wore it while shoveling. I wore it while chasing after my children outside. I wore it on a snowshoe trail. I wore it while running errands around town. I wore it in the rain–hey, since when does it rain in December in Vermont? I wore it in a snowstorm.
And a Drumroll please…
Columbia’s Reach the Peak Down Jacket is awesome. The Omni-Heat technology rocks. I can’t remember feeling cold or complaining about feeling cold–at least in my core (hmm…hey, Columbia, do you make any omni-heat mittens yet?!?). I don’t remember shivering at all, and I always shiver in the winter.
This isn’t your mom’s old school outdoor parka.
This jacket is like an outdoor mom’s secret weapon. It’s light. It’s not bulky. It excels at doing the warmth job–at least the same, if not better, than wearing a bulky shell and warm liner together. It breaks the wind from chilling you to the bone. Whether you’re shopping in the mall (and carrying the jacket) or playing outside (and wearing it), the down jacket with omni-heat is so light you don’t feel weighted down. Staying warm is nice, but staying warm and not feeling exhausted because you’re so bundled up and carrying babies or groceries is a mega bonus. Plus, the jacket is roomy in the elbows, so when your preschooler asks you to bend down and tie a shoe, or your child needs help buckling ski boots, you feel like you actually have the freedom to move and get the job done fast. Efficiency is all good when you’re a mom.
The down jacket I field tested with the new omni-heat technology is silky soft. Not only does it feel sporty, but it feels classy and a little sexy at the same time. Oh, and need I mention that Columbia’s jacket is designed with a little extra backside coverage so that when you are bending down to help junior with those shoes or ski boots, you don’t have to worry about that left over pregnancy weight (a.k.a. muffin tops!) getting exposed to the elements!
The only downside? For budget conscious mom’s, Columbia’s Reach the Peak jacket with Omni-Heat Technology may be considered a big ticket item at $170. However, this coat seems like it was built to last, and if that’s the case, that’s a seemingly reasonable price to pay for winter comfort and potentially timeless style.
Way to go Columbia. Keep on making mom-friendly gear!
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Disclosure: NEKMoms received the above Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective Technology Product in consideration for this review. The review above reflects the bloggers’ honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers’ own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. To read the NEKMoms product review disclosure policy, click here.