The new Platinum 860 TurboDown Jacket is an exiting new hybrid from Columbia. Featuring a mix of 60g Omni-Heat® synthetic insulation and 800-fill goose down, it looks to solve some of the problems that traditional down-only jackets are hindered by. We’ve been testing it in the French Alps (when it finally became cold enough…) to see how it performed against it’s rivals.
Comfort & Fit
The Platinum 860 has a regular cut, which allows for a comfortable fit with a good range of movement. We liked the mid-length of the jacket some down jackets are quite square and whilst that does help when wearing a harness the Platinum 860 is a nice compromise between length, warmth and accessibility. The Medium (186cm / 74kg) fit very well with a good length in the arms and a collar that doesn’t choke you. The fit is close enough however to ensure that the weather doesn’t creep in – overall, a great balance.
The Platinum 860 feels well made – with a thick skin when compared to many other jackets. Whilst this durable build quality does impact on the weight slightly, it does feel like the jacket is going to last and so far (after 2 months of testing) there has been no damage from rocks or branches and the jacket looks like new.
The 860 is a simple jacket; with 2 hand warmer pockets, a drawcord hem, hood (on this model) and elasticated cuffs – the only thing we missed was an inside breast pocket. On a technical front, the 860 is much more complex; featuring a tough 30D rip-stop nylon outer, 800 fill goose down + 60g synthetic insulation, in combination with Columbia’s Omni – Heat™ Reflective Microtex DP lining (which works like a foil blanket reflecting heat back towards your body).
So with traditional down, you get the advantages of packability and a great warmth-to-weight ratio – however, when wet, traditional down is pretty useless. This is where Columbia have added 60g synthetic insulation (which does stay warm, even when wet) to ensure a balance of performance between both the synthetic and natural insulation. On top of that, literally, is a very water resistant outer, we found that the 860 could be in wet weather for longer then other jackets we tested – with the bonus that it’s just slim enough to get a shell over the top if it get’s seriously wet.
Another long suffering issue with down (and many other insulted jackets) is the clamminess when using the jacket for active pursuits, but again the 860 performs well here, we found the jacket breathed very well considering it’s insulation properties and this makes it quite suitable for active alpine pursuits when the weather is a little to cold or windy for just a softshell.
As you’d expect from an insulted jacket, the 860 blocks out the wind almost completely. It was quite a relief to get inside this micro-climate when the weather turned, and the insulted hood and elasticated cuffs make for extra layers of defence.
We had mixed results with the overall warmth of the jacket – when stationary, and not producing much heat, we did find a chill would eventually come through at around -10c (without secondary layers). However during active pursuits, the 860 seemed to ‘trap’ the heat much better then anything else we tested. However, due to the relaxed fit and mid-thickness (if that’s even a word) we did find you can easily fit a fleece or Softshell underneath the jacket – and (just about) a shell over the top (as long as it’s not an athletic fit) so it does make the 860 quite a versatile jacket for use on it’s own or with layering depending on the weather your facing.
Pros: The Platinum 860 is a well rounded and versatile jacket. It sits somewhere in-between the very lightweight and thin down mid-layer and a stand-alone outer, making it a good choice for someone that doesn’t want to buy 5 different jackets for all types of weather. With the 860, the fit allows you to build layers around the jacket to adapt to your climate – and the excellent breathability makes it suitable for a whole host of activities, from urban wear to alpine pursuits.
Cons: It’s not a jacket we’d take on a multi-pitch climb due to it’s size – if you’re looking for an ultra-light, ultra-packable layer this jacket may not be for you. Equally, if you’re looking for extreme cold weather performance below -15c you may need a thicker jacket with more fill.