Stay Dry, Warm and Mobile with the Columbia Men’s OutDry™Ex Mogul Titanium Jacket

I venture south from Luxembourg into the snowy mountains of the Bas-Rhin region of France, passing through picturesque towns en route to hike among medieval castles. Given the assignment of creating an unbiased, non-sponsored review of the Columbia titanium jacket, I decided to field test it in the castle lands of France. I filmed my exploration of the Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg to test the Ex Mogul on a snowy hike in below freezing temperatures.

I park in a wooded area and set out on foot in search of the Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg, a medieval castle in the Vosges mountain range.

As I step out of the car, I’m hit with a game-time decision: What do I wear underneath the Ex Mogul? The temperature is minus 3 degrees Celsius outside, so if I make the wrong call, I’ll be suffering by the time I reach the castle. Most winter jackets that I’ve owned in the past were a dual system. You pair a thin outer shell with a thicker fleece-lined undercoat. But what sets the Ex Mogul apart is that it’s a hybrid – it includes both the moisture blocking exterior (OutDry™) as well as a warming interior layer (Omni-Heat).

Today, I don’t want to juggle my layers. Typically, I’d get frustrated taking one off as my body heats up, then racing to put it back on when I turn a corner to face the wind. Although I have enough room to wear a hoodie underneath the Ex Mogul, I decide to wear only a T-shirt. There’s no turning back now. If the Ex Mogul can’t handle the cold, then I’ll be testing my mental toughness as well.

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I hike through knee-deep snow toward the towering structure set atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the Rhine. The morning sun does little to cut through the chill, but I push on. Despite the below freezing temperatures outside, the Ex Mogul does a great job of regulating my body temperature so that I don’t get too hot or too cold. There are ventilation zippers in each side that I can adjust during the peak moments of the hike when my heart is pounding in my chest.

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The first thing I notice when I slide into the Ex Mogul is that it feels like a soft, comfortable base-layer with a weightless outer shell. My hands slip comfortably into thumb straps or “comfort cuffs.” Honestly, these make me wish that all my clothing had them. The Omni-Heat inner layer efficiently retains body heat, so the overall weight of the jacket is minimal. The fact that it was designed for the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team is noticeable, as I felt free to scramble, climb and move in all directions.

The other thing I notice is that this jacket feels like technology. The advanced insulation on the inside is coupled perfectly with the stretchy, waterproof shell. The exterior of the shell has a resin-like quality, similar to a rainproof tent. Its OutDry™ membrane provides fully waterproof protection, even when drenched in snow. Wearing this jacket almost makes you wish that an ominous black cloud would rush in over the horizon and dump buckets of rain, because it feels so prepared for it.

Pros:

Dryness Guaranteed: Many times in the past I’ve gone skiing and become damp from head to toe even before lunch. So much so, that lunchtime break is not a quick pit stop to refuel – as I could hit the slopes all day – but mostly to dry out my gear by the fire. Those days are staying in the past now, because the OutDry™ technology is so effective that it really does deserve the trademark.

Drivability: When I get into the car with my other ‘fancy-schmancy’ jacket – I immediately rip it off because there is too much fabric to sit comfortably in the driver seat of my SUV. In contrast, the Columbia titanium jacket takes up much less space and allows my arms the range of motion to perform maneuvers on the wheel the way that only I, Tom Cruise and Jason Bourne can.

Comfort: If Christopher Walken was here, he’d say, “You’re gonna want more cowbell!” In that same vein, once you try on the Columbia titanium jacket, “You’re gonna want more comfort cuffs.” They’re a thoughtful addition to the expert design in creating a breathable membrane between you and the elements.

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Cons:

Tarp Texture: This might not come through in the photos, so I’ll warn you, the outer fabric of the coat is not like other coats. Depending on your taste, you might say that the texture is reminiscent of a rainproof tarp or tent. And if you’re being nasty, you could say its more reminiscent of a trash bag.

Rain Slicker Aesthetic: This jacket isn’t made by Hefty – it’s high-quality Columbia gear designed for expert skiers. But keep in mind that the exterior material makes it feel more ski specific or raincoat specific than for general, casual use.

Semi-fit Compromise: The semi-fitted silhouette could be baggy on certain body types. The jacket wears well on my compact frame. But if you have long arms and you’re on the leaner side of the spectrum, it could be too baggy. Some buyers might prefer a slimmer fit.

Weight: If you’re used to wearing a jacket system that pairs the outer layer with an insulated fleece, then you’ll notice that the Ex Mogul is heavier than your typical outer shell. On the flip side, it’s much warmer than your typical shell.

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Sustainability:

The Columbia titanium jacket is made from responsibly sourced materials designed to last for many seasons in all kinds of weather. Columbia’s Rethreads program gives customers a discount in exchange for used clothing and shoes (from any brand), which are then donated or recycled. Additionally, Columbia is a member of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), which is an independent nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of factory workers and providing independent monitoring of factory conditions.

Final Say

The exterior layer of the Columbia titanium jacket feels like an impenetrable barrier to moisture. Meanwhile, the interior feels like a soft, warm base-layer. The jacket is light, fitted and allows for full range of motion. Bring on the rain and bring on the snow!

Specifications:

  • Made in Indonesia
  • Color: Black/Sage
  • Material: [membrane/laminate] OutDry (2-layer), [face fabric] 84% nylon, 16% elastane [lining] 89% nylon, 11% elastane
  • Insulation 60g Omni-Heat Thermal
  • Seams: Fully taped
  • Fit: Semi-fitted
  • Length: Hip
  • Center Back Length: 30in
  • Hood: Removable, adjustable
  • Pockets: [external] 2 zippered hand, 2 zippered chest, 1 pass [internal] 1 goggle, 1 security
  • Venting: Underarm zippers
  • Powder Skirt: Removable, snap back
  • Recommended Use: All mountain riding, all mountain skiing, freeride/powder riding, freeride/powder skiing, freestyle and park riding, freestyle and park skiing, casual
  • Manufacturer Warranty: Limited lifetime

MEN’S OUTDRY™ EX MOGUL JACKET
$269.90
Find out more here

Feature Image © The Outdoor Journal

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