When the weather outside is frosty, cozy up in this warm and waterproof parka that’s packed with enough down to feel like you’ve got your duvet wrapped around you, and also features a clever inner lining that traps in body heat. The coat’s longer length adds even more warmth and protection. Is the Mount Si worth its hefty price tag? I think yes – this is an investment winter coat that’s worth the spend if you plan to wear it daily each time winter rolls around.
Not very breathable
Pockets don’t zip
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Columbia Mount Si Down Waterproof Parka: first impressions
While it’s tempting to hibernate indoors when the mercury drops, a coat like the Columbia Mount Si Down Waterproof Parka (available direct from Columbia (opens in new tab)) could tempt you to emerge. The chillier months can be a rewarding time to get out and about – and the best down jackets make the experience even more of a pleasure.
• List price: $350 (US) / £345 (UK)
• Waterproof: Omni-Tech
• Sizes: XS–XXL
• Colors: Khaki / Beige / Black
• Filling: 650 fill duck down
• Compatibility: A super-warm parka ideal for the coldest temperatures
When you’re working out or working up a sweat, lightweight and breathable waterproof jackets are your best bet, but when you’re moving more slowly – on a more relaxed walk, checking out the night sky, on the school run, watching sport outdoors, taking the dog out or just heading to really cold climates to see the sights on a winter holiday – a proper thick-and-padded, longer-length coat is a must.
With a good amount of RDS-certified duck down fill, some funky tech employed on the inside and a bit of extra length to protect your posterior and keep the cold from creeping up from below, the Columbia Mount Si Down Waterproof Parka seems well specced for exactly these times. I took it to the Alps to see if it measured up enough join our guide to the best women’s down and puffer jackets currently available.
Columbia Mount Si Down Waterproof Parka: on the hills
On test in the snow-covered mountains, the Columbia Mount Si Down Waterproof Parka proved to be just as warm and cozy as it looked from the get-go. This coat packs a technical double whammy – it’s stuffed with a generous 650 fill power of RDS (Responsible Down Standard) -certified duck down, which instantly traps in heat without adding bulk or weight. Plus it’s lined with Columbia’s trusty Omni-Heat lining, which employs gold-hued metallic dots to reflect body heat.
On test I found this dream team of materials did trap in heat. The Mount Si offered welcome warmth from the second I shrugged it on, and this thermal protection lasted all day – even when I wandering about in the snowy Alps in -5°C.
This parka is truly winter-weather ready – it blocks wind and it repels rain and snowfall thanks to Columbia’s own-brand Omni-Tech waterproofing, backed up by the sealed seams. None of this means much if a coat isn’t comfy to wear all day long, but the Mount Si ticks boxes there too: it’s roomy but doesn’t let air circulate (the drawstring waist helps) and can be worn over a mid layer if conditions are really Baltic.
It is primarily a winter coat, but it will also come in very useful on frosty spring mornings and clear cold evenings. Don’t expect much breathability, though, because you will be disappointed on that front. If you get too hot, you just have to undo it a bit.
Looks wise, the parka appears far more casual and less techie than it actually is, and it is definitely smart enough to wear for work and relaxed enough for casual wear in the city. The hood fits well, and the faux fur is removable, if such fluffy flourishes are not your thing. I can’t really find any niggles to flag here, except that I prefer zipped pockets to poppered ones, and that the pockets aren’t in a natural place to warm up your hands.
An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.
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