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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Columbia Sportswear Slipstream Windshell > Test Report by Andrew Priest

COLUMBIA SPORTSWEAR SLIPSTREAM FULL ZIP WINDSHELL
TEST SERIES BY ANDREW PRIEST
INITIAL REPORT
May 26, 2008

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Andrew Priest
EMAIL: andrew@aushiker.com
AGE: 48
LOCATION: Perth, Western Australia, Australia
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT: 213 lb (96.80 kg)

I've been bushwalking in Western Australia for approximately six years. For the past five years I have been regularly walking and leading on and off-track pack carries with the Perth Bushwalkers Club. I have also got into geocaching and now off-road mountain bike touring (2008). I consider myself as moving towards being a lightweight tent-carrying bushwalker with my pack base weight in the 8 to 12 kg (18 to 26 lb) range.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Columbia Sportswear Company
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: Columbia Sportswear Company
MSRP: NA
Listed Weight: NA
Measured Weight: 9.14 oz (259 g)
Other details: Size XL

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Columbia Sportswear Slipstream Shell
Slipstream Shell
Based on my reading of the website, I was expecting a windshell that packed into itself, which is breathable, lightweight, and wind and water resistant. The jacket as received does pack into itself (has a built-in pocket for this purpose) and is lightweight. The aspects of breathability, wind and water resistant are yet to be put to the test. I will report on these aspects in my Field and Long-term reports.

The windshell component of the jacket is 100% polyester, however, instead of pit-zips or similar for ventilation, the jacket has inserts under the arms, running the full length of the jacket. These inserts are a mix of 96% nylon and 4% elastane. I assume the role of these inserts is to allow for ventilation. The effectiveness or otherwise of this feature will be reported on in the Field and Long-term reports.

The only other features of the jacket are the two hand pockets, the built-in pocket for the jacket to pack into and a waist draw closure. The hand pockets are meshed backed and have a simple zip whereas the built-in pocket is polyester with a hook and loop closure.

There is no hood on the jacket, it is not lined, and it closes via a full length zip on the front.

I do have one concern with the jacket and again this is in the context of it being marketed as for active outdoor activities. My jacket is a dark blue colour, called navy and the other offerings with the exception of red are not high visibilty colours. For a jacket which could be used riding, I would prefer to see Columbia offering the jacket in a greater range of more visible colours. I would even suggest this is important to walkers, particularly if it is worn at night on dark paths which are shared by other users. Dark colours such as the one I received (navy), are not, in my view good colour options for this sort of usage.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

It is a jacket so there are no instructions on its use other than the washing instructions which are clear and easy to follow.

TRYING IT OUT

Columbia describe the jacket as a "lightweight design for active outdoor activities" and for "all-weather performance and protection during demanding outdoor action." With this in mind I have used the jacket as a windshell on two early morning rides to get an initial feel for its performance. The rides were about one hour long each with the temperature approximately 9 to 12 C (48 - 54F).

On these "trying it out" rides I found the jacket worked effectively at blocking out the wind, but that it did not breath well and that I quickly warmed up and got clammy in the arms. Often on such rides I would wear a gilet or vest rather than a full windshell such as the Slipstream, but then Columbia is describing this jacket as being for "active outdoor activities" so I feel my initial "trying it out" sessions are within its design parameters. I will explore this aspect further in my testing.

TESTING STRATEGY

My intentions are to test the jacket as a windshell on my colder morning and night rides, on my bushwalks and on my local walks where conditions warrant it. Hopefully I will get some light rain to test its water resistance characteristics as well.

SUMMARY

In summary the jacket appears well made with no evidence of poor sewing. It is lightweight, the fit is good for me and it is comfortable to wear. On the downside, my early testing is signalling issues in respect of breathability and I am a little wary of the dark colour particularly if I wish to use the jacket when riding or walking before sunrise and after sunset; something which is quite common for me at this time of year here in Australia.

This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be appended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Columbia Sportswear Slipstream Windshell > Test Report by Andrew Priest



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