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Columbia Hunstein Parka

rated 3.5 of 5 stars

The Hunstein Parka has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best waterproof jackets for 2024.

This jacket has received many good reviews from the magazines. It won a Backpacker test of bargain rain gear a couple of years ago. This is my second one (I ruined my first one by drying it on high heat, but it was warrantied by R.E.I.). The new 1998 model addresses the one weakness that I felt the old version had which was a seam along the top of the shoulder, however my old one never leaked at the seam. For 1998, the shoulders are seamless and it uses the new omni-tech ceramic which is more waterproof, while maintaining the same breathability. The old one never had a problem with repelling water so I doubt this one will too. At a fraction of the cost of other jackets from the big boys (i.e. The North Face, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear) it is a great bargain for the backpacker on a budget.

Fabric: Omni-tech ceramic
Price Paid: $130

This jacket is extremely light and packs down really small. Quality is not high, I have had stitching unravel and found small plastic pieces sewn into the cuffs. The cuffs are made in such a way so that they cannot be sealed. While biking in the rain the seam between the sleeves and cuffs leak, the moisture works its way up to your elbows through the nylon lining. After a year of normal use the face fabric is starting to wear, I will be suprised if this jacket lasts another year. The hood is roomy and fits well under a mountain bike helmet. I have had no problems with sealed seams leaking but the unsealed ones at the cuffs are a problem for me.

Fabric: Omnitech Ceramic
Price Paid: $300 New Zealand

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