Tuesday, February 20, 2018

First Impressions: Columbia Mens Titanium Outdry Ex Reversible Jacket

I needed something heavier/warmer for winter riding, and came upon the Columbia Titanium Outdry jacket on sale. Like the Rab Windveil, it comes with a hood, but unlike the Windveil, the material is heavy enough that it doesn't flap in the wind. The sleeves do flap in the wind when you're descending above about 20mph, but all jackets are going to do that if they're not 100% form fitting, and good luck with that if you're skinny!

The jacket is relatively heavy, my size small jacket came in at 345g, or almost 3x the weight of the Rab Windveil. In exchange, it's much better in cold weather, comfortable in a range from about 32F to about 50F in active conditions (i.e., you're cycling, not standing or sitting and reading a book, for instance). I tested it on a morning ride and found that near about 48F you start wanting to unzip and take it off. The jacket is reversible, so you can wear it shiny side out or matte side out. My guess is shiny side out is better for rainy conditions (so the water beads off the waterproof coating and doesn't soak into the jacket making it heavier), and matte side out is better for around town where you don't want to look like someone equipped for severe weather conditions.

The jacket absolutely will not roll up to fit inside a jersey pocket: don't even think about that. It's purely a pannier/backpack item. I can't decide whether it's a better item to have in conjunction with the Rab Windveil or weather a fleece will be better. My guess is that fleece jackets are less practical on a bike tour because having an extra layer of waterproofing is potentially more useful.

I'll be keeping this one. Even when not on tour, it's a great cold weather jacket. I guess that means I'm recommending it.
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