Though a fashion-forward approach can leave a few essential details lacking, we simply can’t quibble with the rain protection this sturdy shield provides, and it looks great for those who prefer to hike in style
Non PFC waterproof membrane with taped seams
Windproof and breathable
Textile made from 100% recycled polyester
Adjustable hood and cuffs
Not the lightest
A little bulky
Cropped cut reduces protection
Boxy cut lets in a draft
Limited colors available
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Columbia Coral Ridge ODX waterproof jacket: first impressions
Columbia is going after the next generation of hiker and in doing so, they’ve moved away from their more traditional hiking aesthetic and embraced contemporary trends. The question is, can they do so without losing technical capabilities required for the outdoors? With this waterproof jacket, they’ve managed to turn out a trendy wet weather shell that holds off a deluge, and we found just a few details we’d change for rugged adventures.
A non PFC OutDry Extreme membrane shell is virtual titanium against heavy rain, with taped seams and an adjustable hood all designed to seal you in a dry refuge even when it’s lashing down. The heavy duty fabric, which almost resembles oil skin, is much more breathable than it looks, and three sealable pockets are a decent size to carry your valuables close to hand. The cut is definitely on trend – shorter than your average waterproof jacket for hiking and with a wide fit. Because the hem isn’t adjustable, this does mean that a cold draft can sneak in and you also don’t have rain and wind protection around your hips.
• List price: $200 / £180
• Gender specification: Men’s and women’s sizing available
• Sizes: Men’s S - XXL / Women’s XS - XXL
• Weight: 15.8 oz / 450g (women’s XS)
• Materials: Non PFC OutDry Extreme Membrane shell, 100% recycled polyester lining
• Colors: Black, Quantum Mauve
• Best use: Hiking
It’s also not the lightest or most packable jacket on the market, but we don’t see this as that everyday jacket that you always have stashed in your backpack for emergencies. Instead, this seems designed to be worn by the fashion-conscious hiker on wet days and, while they might get a little more protection from something less cool, they probably wouldn’t wear it and this will fend off the worst of the weather nicely whether you’re on a mountain and in town.
Columbia Coral Ridge ODX waterproof jacket: in the field
I suppose I’m a bit wary of trendy hiking clothes – will they really perform against the weather to keep me safe and dry? In principle, however, I’m not opposed to the idea of looking good when you’re on a hike, which I recently wrote about in my article on fashion vs function in outdoor gear. Always eager to give outdoor gear a proper run for its money, however, I waited till the weather turned here in Scotland and got properly soaked on a hike recently while wearing this jacket.
Here’s how it performed:
Sizing and fit
I find Columbia gear often runs a little large so while I’d usually wear a small, I tested an XS and it was perfect. The company says to wear your usual size but I’d say wear your usual Columbia size, if that makes sense.
As for fit, this has an on-trend boxy cut so it’s quite wide and a little shorter than my other waterproof jackets, not quite coming down to mid-hip. This looks pretty good on and also leaves plenty of room for layering.
Waterproofing and breathability
Rather than bond the membrane to an outer fabric, the OutDry Extreme Membrane is the shell of this jacket and it really is impenetrable. I was hiking in heavy sideways rain for about two hours and didn’t wet out. I did initially have a problem with the hood, which didn’t seem to cinch tightly enough to stay up against the wind, and I was all ready to write a scathing review, when I discovered there are two extra hood adjustments as well as the obvious one on the back. Once I secured those, I stayed dry, but make sure you’ve got your hood figured out before it starts raining.
The only real issue with rain and wind protection comes from the cut of the jacket itself. Because it’s not as long, I could feel the wind more around my hips but that was no problem once I pulled my rain pants on, and the drop tail helps a little. Also, because of the wide hem, and because the hem isn’t adjustable, you can get a cold breeze blowing up your jacket.
In my typical breathability test, I kept it zipped up for a steep, mile-long climb. It was actually not too cold of a day and I felt fine.
Weight and packability
This isn’t exactly your heavy waxed jacket from the 1980s, but it’s also not a super light or packable jacket. In fact, it’s the heaviest jacket I own, but it’s not like it weighs a ton. It’s also not the most packable, so I don’t think I’d have this in my backpack just in case there was rain coming; I’d wear it if I know I’d be getting rained on from start to finish.
Comfort and storage
The fabric is softer than it looks and there’s nothing particularly annoying about this jacket, even when it’s all zipped up and the hood is cinched. The only tiny thing I noticed is that when the hood is fully cinched, it does pull up ever so slightly on the shoulders of the jacket, but perhaps that could be solved by wearing my regular size?
Though sometimes more fashionable garments lack decent storage, I was pleased by the two zipped hand pockets and velcro flap Napoleon pocket that are all roomy enough for phones and gloves. I suppose in an ideal world I’d have an inner pocket, but I do trust this material to keep my phone dry without.
Another plus for this jacket is that it’s made from really tough stuff. It’s not going to tear when you snag it on a branch or thorny bush and feels kind of bulletproof, so it’s far more likely to go out of fashion before it fails you.
Columbia Coral Ridge ODX waterproof jacket: the bottom line
The blend of high performing technology with fashion-forward design is an interesting line to toe. On the one hand, the membrane and taped seams will definitely block the rain, but the cut might not be as technical as the fabric. Is that a conflict? A little, but perhaps not for the person who wants a jacket like this. After all, if you want a trendy jacket for hiking, you’re not going to settle for something more traditional, and at least this way you get some good protection.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.