FR Columbia Snowline Softshell jacket Ed Morse
Derek, here is my text only of just my Field report on the Columbia
Snowline Softshell jacket.
The full HTML version should be found at: http://tinyurl.com/7q9mrl
COLUMBIA SNOWLINE SOFTSHELL
TEST SERIES BY EDWIN MORSE
January 01, 2009
<a name="FRPT">FIELD REPORT</a>
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
The weather has varied from a warm 75 F (24 C) to cold 22 F(-6 C) for
most of my hikes during the last two months. The high temperature
while I was hiking was one sunny bushwhacking day hike, while the low
temperature was when I was eating breakfast at 6:00 one morning.
There have been a few rainy days and a few bright sunny days. Several
mornings have been frosty as well as cold. Mostly the terrain has
been rolling hard wood and pine forests.
I've been on at least ten day hikes, including three bushwhacking
hikes. I've also done one two night backpacking hike and two over
night hikes. All except one of the backpacking hikes were in the
Manistee National Forest (MNF) in northwest Lower Michigan.
The last overnight hike was in the Ocala National Forest (ONF) in
Florida. The weather was cooler than I expected in Florida but not
much different than late summer in Michigan. The high temperature for
this hike the first two days of December was 64 F (18 C) with a low
in the morning of 38 F (3 C). During the night there was about an
hour of hard rain and wind. I was sure I was about to be on the
ground when the trees the hammock was hanging from were moving so
much. The only thing that happened was that one tarp stake pulled
out. I had to go out to put the stake back and tighten all the other
stakes and ropes.
Michigan is relatively flat compared with New England or the western
states but Florida is really flat. In the ONF there were still oaks
(the red oaks were scrubby little trees) and pines but the plants I
recognized were the palmetto, live oaks and long leaf pines.
Day hikes were in the MNF, the Sleeping Bear Dunes and the Pere
Marquette State Forest. I've used the Columbia Snowline Softshell
Jacket for all hikes I've done in the last two months.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The three bushwhacking hikes were while I was searching for property
corners of a swampy Preserve for the local Land Conservancy. I can
say, with no reservations, this jacket is the best protection I've
ever worn for briers and various kinds of stick tights. I was worried
at first that the briers would snag the jacket but there was no
problem, they just slid off. None of the stick tights could stick to
the smooth jacket material. When the temperature got up to 75 F (24
C) I still wore the jacket for protection.
The colder weather on the overnight hikes tested the jacket in
another way. When it gets below about 40 F ( C) I start to need more
than just a light shirt under the Snowline jacket. Here is a picture
I took the night before when it was 35 F ( C). I was drinking hot
coffee while waiting for dinner to rehydrate.
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "backing in Manistee NF" IMAGE CAPTION
= "drinking coffee and waiting for dinner">>
During the night I used the Snowline jacket as my pillow over a
hydration bladder. When the temperature was down to 22 F (-6 C) the
next morning I put on a light down jacket under the Snowline until I
was ready to start hiking. Then I put on a merino wool pullover as
well as my light weight nylon hiking shirt under the Snowline jacket.
I started hiking two hours before sunrise. Soon after sunrise I
stopped to take off the wool pullover since I was walking faster and
When I was on the third overnight hike, in the ONF in early December,
I used a hammock for the first time while backpacking. The Snowline
jacket went under my feet and legs. I needed the extra protection
since the CCF pad I carried was a short one.
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Ocala NF campsite" IMAGE CAPTION
= "my campsite at Hopkins Prairie campground">>
Here is a picture of my campsite at Hopkins Prairie in the Ocala
National Forest, after filling all my water containers at the pump.
Even with all the advantages (pump, tables, fire pits and outhouses),
I decided again that I prefer not to camp in established campgrounds.
I woke up in morning to a temperature of 38 F (3 C) and I put the
jacket on even before I got out of the hammock. I was slow packing
up this morning since I was learning to use a new shelter as well as
several other new items. It was after sunrise when I started hiking.
It had also warmed up enough I could hike without the jacket which
went into my pack.
In my opinion, the Columbia Snowline Softshell Jacket is a nice
jacket for day hikes in cool temperatures. The jacket is now my all
time favorite for bushwhacking, whether the weather is warm or cold.
It is very breathable when the weather gets warm.
I do not see it as an ideal backpacking jacket because of the
relatively heavy weight and bulk which makes packing more difficult.
I also find the wind resistance less than I expected. A cold wind
seems to blow through unless I have extra insulation under the jacket.
What I like;
Great trim fit but with room for more layers,
The jacket really is stretchy and lets me reach high with the hiking
poles climbing hills,
Best bushwhacking jacket I've ever used,
The jacket is very breathable.
What I don't like;
The jacket seems heavy and bulky for backpacking for the warmth
It is not as wind proof as I expected.
This concludes my Field Report on the Columbia Snowline Softshell
Jacket. The Long Term Report will be added in about two months.
Please check back at that time for additional information.
I would like to thank Backpackgeartesters and Columbia for the
opportunity to test the Columbia Snowline Softshell Jacket.
This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.