Columbia Ballistic Parka
Price Paid: $150
For the money I think the Columbia Ballistic Insulated Park is great bang for your buck! Jacket construction is pretty good. You have detachable hood and lots of pockets to store stuff. You have a dedicated cell phone pocket and a nice big half moon pocket and zippered pocket inside to stow your keys. If you need to stow more small more readily available items in the lower sneaky stow pocket on the lower left sleeve. If you don't know about this pocket you could easily miss it.
The jacket's hood is also insulated and has a few adjustments for comfort and visibility. Another nice touch that I like that a lot of manufactures are doing is making the hood attachments that are zippered also allow the hood to fasten to the collar with velcro too. So when you get into an argument with your kid's mother and she tries to pull your hood you don't have to worry so much about tearing the zipper from the jacket.
The sleeve ends are even articulated to sweep around wrist and keep cold air out. Shoulders and the sleeves have overlays of thicker nylon to stop abrasion.
Jacket has zippered vents under the arms to aid in ventilation when the jacket gets too hot. Jacket collar even has a drawcord to really get nice and snuff around your neck.
Columbia has put together a very nice looking and functional jacket. They managed to put together a lot of the good things that make a good winter jacket and a great price. I don't think anyone would be disappointed with their purchase of this jacket.
Price Paid: $300
I looked for a waterproof breathable jacket for the lowest price for quite a long time and had it narrowed down to TNF mountain light and this one. The reason I bought this one was because it came with a very very soft polartec liner and was about $35 less. I have been very pleased with this jacket and hope to have it for a long time! The only complaint I have about it is with its liner, it is very heavy (3 or 4 lbs I think). I have been bone dry in a huge rainstorm. One other thing, The inside might have been just slightly damp to the touch a few times, but I think that is due to the water-repellent finish coming off. You can replace this finish by putting it in the washer with some nik wax. Very good jacket overall, although I would like a marmot!:)
Fabric: Omni-Tech Waterproof
Price Paid: $330
This is one of the best jackets available to date. A vast improvement over previous models, the Ballistic Parka is very lightweight, yet retains body heat in windy subzero weather. The venting system has been improved to include vented panels behind large front pockets, which greatly increase airflow. Very nice placement of drawstrings on both neck and hood. I was a bit disappointed to see that the small "secret" pocket next to the outside of the jacket zipper was not included in the 2001 model. Otherwise, this jacket has no flaws (unless you like really heavy jackets).
Fill: removable fleece liner
Price Paid: $320
The best jacket I have ever owned. I have had Marmot and Northface before and for the money I think Columbia Titanium is better. I have had this jacket for 5 years it still is great. I am only replacing it with another Balistic Titanium jacket. I cannot find another jacket with indestructable fabric, water proof, with a powder skirt, fleece and armpit zips for the a better price.
Where to Buy
The Columbia Ballistic Parka is not available from the stores we monitor.
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