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March 16, 2017 Comments (1) Gear Reviews

Columbia OutDry Ex Light Shell

 Columbia OutDry Ex Light Shell


The OutDry Ex Light Shell rain jacket is a fully seam-sealed, breathable, waterproof rain shell with Columbia’s OutDry Extreme layer on the exterior and Omni-Wick EVAP wicking fabric on the interior. The Out Dry Ex Light Shell is built from OutDry waterproof breathable fabric, designed on Columbia’s proprietary Omni Wick EVAP advanced evaporation fabric. The intent is to provide a fully waterproof jacket that also pulls internal moisture away from the body. For those rainy or snow days when full waterproof jacket is needed, this jacket is a must have.


This jacket serves its purpose, totally worth the money.

The Columbia OutDry Ex Light Shell is a heavy duty shell that will keep you warm even in the worst downpours. The jacket is fully waterproof, and somewhat breathable at the same time. It features the OutDry technology that has performed great in wet and cold conditions. This jacket was designed with UTMB and European races in mind that require a fully waterproof layer.

The jacket fits true to size and features an adjustable hood and sleeves. The shell features 2 side pockets that are waterproof on the outside but are just mesh on the inside, so keep this in mind as contents can get wet from your sweat. The jacket packs down to a size of Nalgene bottle but does not have a pack pocket. This jacket is designed to fit many shapes and sizes with a fully adjustable hood, Velcro tabs on sleeves for a tighter or looser cuff, and an elastic cord and toggle hem, which is especially valuable for petite women wanting a snug fit.


For those rainy or snow days when full waterproof jacket is needed, this is a must have.

The OutDry is a highly recommended piece for heavy rain days, long days in the mountains and long races in bad weather. To start with, the back has a drop tail and the bottom hem has an adjustable drawcord allowing for the perfect fit whether it’s worn over snow pants for long days snowshoeing in the backcountry or over running tights for when that long run falls on a rainy day. The sleeves and hood have adjustable velcro straps to help ensure you get the coverage you need, while the easily accessible side zipper vents give you the flexibility to manage your body temperature however you need to. The waterproofing technology performed flawlessly on rainy days as well as on snowy and slushy runs.

If there is one jacket I wished I had for my Bigfoot 100k, this would be the one

Pros: WATERPROOF!!! The OutDry feature keeps you dry for long periods of time in nasty and cold weather. The jacket is also very durable and tough. Plan to keep this jacket for a long time. This OutDry rain shell has so many ways to adjust the fit it’s nearly impossible to get it wrong. With a full hood, pockets, waterproof zippers, and adjustable wrists, this jacket has everything.

Cons: Like many of the jackets we have tested, the OutDry Ex Light Shell was no exception. There still seems to be an inverse relationship with waterproofness and breathability. This jacket by Columbia should some major improvements in balancing this juxtaposition of terms. We were impressed but ultimately, a durable and truly waterproof jacket was not as breathable in high energy output situations. Other issues revolve around being worn under a pack or vest. While it does have great venting along each side, if worn with a backpack, the chest and shoulder area can get a little stuffy, and when the hood isn’t needed, it can be a little cumbersome when worn with a day pack or hydration vest. Because the material is by nature stiff, if the fit around the torso isn’t just right, it can bunch around the sides under a pack.
Lastly, the jacket is a bit on the heavy side (specific weight not provided), it doesn’t pack down for light and fast travel.

TAUR Rated: 4.75

Photo Reel


One Response to Columbia OutDry Ex Light Shell

  1. Amanda says:

    I’m curious how much this jacket weighs? I’m looking into the right jacket for backpacking and I’m counting grams. Thank you!

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