Could Columbia’s award winning Platinum 860 Turbodown™ Jacket be the answer of our prayers? We have all been there, at the bottom of a crag wishing whoever we were belaying would just get a move on as you feel like your slowly turning into an ice sculpture, especially if your climbing in the mountains or exposed crags. We took Columbia’s new take on an active adventures down jacket to the french alps this winter to see how it faired in colder climate climbing (easier to write than say!).
Comfort and Fit
The Platinum 860 Turbodown™ is a pretty good fit s far as down jackets are concerned. Lets be honest down jackets are not usually the most figure friendly (especially for women!!!). The Small was well fitted (160cm/ 60kg) but with enough room to move freely in. Especially around the hips where these jackets can often get a bit on the tight side! The drop tail s a nice feature so that even when sitting and crouching down you are not exposed to the elements.
This jacket feels and is strong. It has survived urban and rural pursuits alike, Including a couple of unintentional scenic routes/ scrambles to the crag. The nylon Micro Rip-Stop shell is not prone to tears or scratches, nor does it seem to mark up. The fill in this jacket stays where it should so no finding down feathers in unexpected places. Saying that its not as light as your typical active Primaloft jackets so there is a small compromise on weight!
What makes this down jacket different to others on the market is its Omni-Heat™ reflective polyester lining (a more sophisticated and better looking foil blanket) in addition to the mix of 60g synthetic to 800 fill goose down. In terms of practical features this is a pretty simple jacket with two zipped hand pockets, elasticated cuffs and an adjustable drawcord hem. A hooded version of the jacket is also available (see Men’s Platinum 860 Turbodown review).
Warmth and Breathability
The Omni-Heat™ reflective layer in addition to the 860 TurboDown™ insulation makes this a warm jacket. We were climbing crags in the Alps this winter in the +10c to -5c temperature range and it kept us nice and toasty. The jacket is breathable but if you are planning to wear this whilst active (climbing) rather than passive (belaying/ resting) its definitely for the colder end of the spectrum. Everything has its limit!
This jacket is great at blocking out the wind and the water resistant fabric really impressed us when caught out in pretty heavy showers. The jacket remained warm and we remained dry where most down jackets would have let us in for pretty miserable hike back down from the crag. Like mentioned previously the jacket is a great fit therefore a perfect part in any layering system so if it does get interesting weather wise it will comfortably fit under a shell and over another mid-layer!.
Pros – A Warm, lightweight and versatile down jacket, perfect for belaying on exposed crags on its own as a single layer (even in the rain!!!), or as part of a layering system when the temperature drops on your active pursuits. The active fit is stylish enough for it to be worn in and around town without looking too bulky or out of place.
Cons – There’s not many, its very much a middle-of-the-road jacket in terms of climate so there are compromises at both ends – it’s not ideal if your looking for an ultra lightweight compressible mid layer or a jacket to keep you warm on more challenging alpine adventures in climates lower than -5c.