User Review: Columbia Men's Bugaboo Tech Parka
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $187
Great product improvement for one of Columbia's longest selling lines. This 3-in-1 jacket system will meet a great number of your outerwear needs!
- Versatility in design. Three jackets in one system.
- Aesthetics. The outer shell and inner jacket look great worn separately.
- Function. Each component shines when used indivdually or when used as a part of a layer clothing system for changing environments.
- A little bulky when the wearer is seated. Unzipping the shell is helpful.
This review is specific to the Columbia Men's Bugaboo Tech II Interchange Jacket system with the quilted fiberfill inner jacket with Omni-Heat body heat reflective technology and Omni-Tech outer shell water repellency and breathability technology.
I've been a customer of Columbia Sportswear for decades as The North Face, Patagonia, and products from other high-end outerwear manufacturers are stupid-expensive and don't offer any significantly higher levels of quality than Columbia. Quality of materials, workmanship, variety, performance, and aesthetics are pretty much the same between all high-end manufacturers.
Sure, some of them market their wares as being superior because of where they're made or because of the organizations they support but when I'm out in the cold, rain, snow, and ice of our Colorado seasons, I couldn't care less if Patagonia supports whatever they support; I want a garment that will keep me warm and dry. Columbia products do just that with the added benefit of being reasonably priced. I can outfit my whole family with Columbia high performance winter wear for the same money The North Face would want for jackets for just my wife and me.
The Columbia Bugaboo line of winter outerwear has been around since 1986 and continues to be one of their best sellers. The Interchange System has been around since 1982 and even this continues to improve with Columbia's new TRY-LAB; a build-your-own-multi-layer jacket program. This new Bugaboo Tech II adds Omni-Heat reflective heat retention technology to the inner jacket and makes improvements in the fit and breathability of the inner AND out jackets.
I tried mine on and compared it to my previous Bugaboo and Titanium Interchange jackets and found, while my older jackets still feel great, work well, and do what they were designed to do, this new Bugaboo Tech II does everything just a little better. The inside waist gaiter in the outer shell is a really nice addition and I actually look forward to sledding with my kids and even taking the occasional tail-digger in the snow while skiing to see if it will keep snow out of my back and pants. I have no doubt that it will.
With previous Interchange jackets I have had fleece inner jackets. This new one has a quilted jacket with a nylon shell and the Omni-Heat reflective inner lining. Even by itself it is very warm. I wore it outside in 8-degree clear weather with little breeze and it kept me toasty. The outer shell would definitely be necessary to keep out any wind and/or precipitation but if the temps and winds are mild I'm sure I'll find myself wearing only the liner during most of the autumn, winter, and spring. That's essentially the way I've worn my current Titanium fleece inner jacket. I only wear the shell when I anticipate precipitation, wind, or winter sports.
The long and short of this review is that I love this improved version of the Bugaboo line of outwear from Columbia. Not that anything was wrong with the previous versions, NO! This new one is just, well, better!