Titanium Spearhead vs. Bugaboo vs. Other??

9:14 p.m. on December 8, 2004 (EST)


I'm in the market for a new hardshell, but I'm a bit lost as to what I should be buying. I'm going to be moving in the next 6 months to either California or Boston (sadly thats as specific as I can get right now). I'm looking for a jacket I can wear in cool temperatures (from 60 degrees F to freezing) as well as sub freezing temperatures. I do a little bit of backpacking but nothing very hard, mostly day hikes. Really the jacket will be worn around town much more then anything else.

For these reasons I'm attracted to Columbia's TECH system so I won't be forced to buy more then one coat to get by. Now after looking at that range of coats I found that Titanium costs about twice as much as Bugaboo and only seems to offer some sort of chemical rain protection plus more venting (or such is my understanding right now). I don't think I'll need either but I also want to know if there's an overall quality difference at issue here as well.

Finally I want to know if I'm even looking at the right jacket. If anyone has a better suggestion I'm very open right now. I'm willing to spend 250$ max (less if possible) so I can't get too crazy on this.

Thank you in advance for any help.

1:12 p.m. on December 9, 2004 (EST)
346 reviewer rep
982 forum posts

I'm not a huge fan of zip-in jacket liners, but it could be just the thing in your case.

I had a ski jacket with a zip-in liner once. Problem was, whenever I wanted to add or remove the liner it took a good two or three minutes of fiddling with zippers and snaps to get the thing in or out. Ever since I've just layered -- it's easier and more versatile. A medium-weight fleece jacket and a cheap shell can do the same job without the hassle.

But if you're primarily going to wear the jacket around town, temperature control isn't going to be as much of an issue as it is in the backcountry, so you can probably get away leaving the liner zipped in all winter and then using just the shell come spring.

As far as the specific jackets, Columbia's marketing jargon is even worse than most, so it's hard to tell what exactly you're getting. (They have their own names for eveything -- my wife has a Columbia jacket that's made from "Omni Therm Stretch," which is Columbia-speak for "lightweight fleece." Ugh.)

I think the primary difference between the jackets you mentioned is the shell material: the Titanium shells use a waterproof-breathable material while the Bugaboo is just a coated nylon.

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