Open main menu

Columbia Steens Mountain Full Zip

rated 4 of 5 stars
photo: Columbia Steens Mountain Full Zip fleece jacket

Overall a good replacement to a cotton sweatshirt. Great for mild temps/conditions.


  • Draw cord hem
  • Elastic cuffs
  • Excellent pockets
  • Warm


  • Pills over time
  • Not as soft as other fleeces
  • Not water resistant
  • Wish it had a hood

I always like Columbia fleeces, but over the years it has changed. Now if you have a Benton Springs which is the same thing but a women's, the Benton is a lot softer compared to this. I will do a review on that later.

I bought the Steens jacket on sale as I certainty couldn't pass it up. I wanted a replacement for a sweatshirt after learning cotton sweatshirt is not fun when wet. It surpassed my expectations of warmth compared to cotton. Now you can't wear this in a downpour as it's fleece and you will get soaked. I have noticed it can handle some rain but if it starts to get hard/steady you may want to grab something else.

I wish it was a tad more water repellent. I have other fleeces that can take a lot of rain/snow before they get soaked. Speaking of moisture, it does do an OK job keeping you from sweating, but this is fleece and it will mostly absorb it. It does dry very quickly, just throw it in the washer on cold water and put it in the dryer on air dry and 25 minutes later its back to normal!

The fit to me feels true to size and still have layer room underneath for another fleece thick or thin. Go with your true size and you will be happy.

Since I wear this to school in the fall it has put backpack marks on the shoulders. This jacket has stood up to a hard year. It can be worn in the high 50s with minimal wind by itself but maybe 40 layered. If you're looking for an inexpensive fleece for cool days, try this out!

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $27.87

You can't beat this jacket for the price. Great as a light jacket in cool temps or a mid-layer for colder temps.


  • Warm
  • Full zip pockets
  • Durable
  • Draw cord hem
  • Price


  • Bulky
  • Runs large

The only thing I hate about fleece is that I've got pets and it's next to impossible to get the pet hair out of it. That aside, I love this Columbia fleece jacket and I never, never, ever go backpacking, fishing, or camping without it! I've spent WAY more on fleece only to be disappointed the first time a campfire ember burns a hole through it, a zipper fails, or when it pilled on the 3rd or 4th wash.

Unfortunately, it's finally time to face the fact that I'm ready for a new one. My current one will become my yard jacket, my dog and cat grooming jacket, my weed smoking jacket, but I won't be able to part with it until completely falls apart. It's like an old pair of jeans which are so comfortable that it doesn't matter if your knees, ass and junk are all hanging out, you're emotionally attached and can't let them go.

This fleece makes a great jacket for those cool mountain evenings or a very warm mid-layer for cold weather activities. I've had my current one for at least 6 years and other than a couple of small holes from campfire sparks, it still looks great and has stayed warm in spite of having finally pilled after countless washes.

The fit is large for the sizing. I have a medium and it's big enough for a base and mid-layer when using the jacket as an outer layer. Water will bead up to a point but it also dries fast if it gets soaked.  It also breathes really well.

Hands down, this is my favorite Columbia product EVER!

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $18 USD on sale

Great for the price.


  • Low price
  • Warm
  • Water resistant
  • Huge pockets with zippers
  • Durable


  • Not wind resistant at all
  • Loose fit
  • Thin material
  • Stops at the waist

I've had this fleece for about two years now and I've worn it almost every day. I bought it at a thrift store for $12 with the tags still on it and after a long abusive life, I'm finally in the market for a new and improved fleece.

The Columbia Steens is nice for cool summer nights. It works during the spring and fall if worn over a thin long sleeve base layer, and as an insulating layer during the winter. It's extremely breathable, which can be a positive or a negative, depending on your situation.

The two pockets are huge and zip from top to bottom. There's an elastic drawstring around the bottom with locks on each side to help keep cold drafts off your back. The coat comes down to about waist level and has a lot of space if you need to wear another insulating layer underneath, like a wool sweater or something.

If given the same chance to buy another at the same price, I'd probably take it even though I'm in the market for a higher quality one. It's been a great coat that's helped me endure all of the seasonal elements of Northeastern PA, work and play.

edit 3/14: Bought a new fleece. Mountain Hardwear Desna Fleece Jacket. The Columbia Steens blows it out of the water, hands down.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $12

Excellent basic fleece, our son loves it


  • Reasonably price
  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Attractive
  • Warm


  • None

Got this for my son for Christmas and it immediately became his go-to jacket (by his own choosing). Now no matter what the weather, no matter what the temperature, he wants to wear this fleece — and he's always bummed when we make him wear his heavier coat when it's too cold and/or windy for a fleece. And this from a boy that generally doesn't give a hoot about what he wears!

He loves the soft wear of the fleece and it looks really handsome and masculine on him. The full-length zipper and raised collar make this more useful and easier to get on and off than a 1/4 zip fleece. It's a mid-weight fleece providing good warmth for its weight and it seems well-constructed and has been trouble free after a season of nearly daily use.

My son (7) is a little bit big for his age and we got him the 10/12, it's kind of big on him but still functional and with room to grow — he'll definitely get at least a couple of seasons out of it.

We paid $20 for it at a local department store, and it has proven to be a super purchase. Sturdy, understated but stylish, really comfy, and most importantly he loves it. Thumbs up!

Source: bought it new

You get what you pay for, well constructed but thin but for a low, low price.


  • Price
  • Construction


  • Thinnnnn

I have to learn to read gear reviews with a grain of salt because everyone who was buying this fleece online said it was "warm". While it will add an extra layer to your base gear, it will not keep you warm as its Polartec rating has to be at most 100.

Still, I can't complain too much as this is a well constructed fleece, no pulls, zippers work, etc. I did use it as an effective layer in Yosemite when it was snowing on me, so it does provide warmth, but it is just thin is all.

A great deal for the price though, low low prices on this puppy.

Source: bought it new

A great fall jacket. It is plenty warm, although not designed to be a technical mid-layer. It is a regular fit / cut, so not drop-hemmed in back and shorter up front. There is plenty of length and room in the torso for an athletic build. If you're the average Joe (carrying some extra weight), it may fit you snugly.

The pockets are cavernous, which is great for stuffing gloved hands into. The sleeves don't impede motion with full limb extentions.

I have the Rust/Orange color, and it is "beautiful" according to my wife, "for the Fall". Being a traditional mid-weight fleece, it does not block wind well. It does wick perspiration.

I had great performance while on a camping trip with the kids and was comfortable with a mid-weight base layer in 40 degree temperatures. A great, basic jacket with quality zippers and fleece.

Price Paid: $8 at Marshall's

Your Review

Where to Buy

Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support Trailspace's independent gear reviews.

You May Like


Price Current Retail: $25.98-$65.00
Historic Range: $6.37-$65.00
Reviewers Paid: $12.00-$27.87
Toddler Little Boys Boys
Price MSRP: $24.00
Historic Range: $12.30-$25.49
Fabric 100% Polyester Fleece, 100% Polyester 100% Polyester Fleece, 100% Polyester 100% Polyester Fleece, 100% Polyester
Sizes 2T - 4T 4/5, 6/7 8 - 18/20
Price $24.00 USD $26.00 USD $26.00 USD
Toddler Little Boys Boys
Price MSRP: $24.00(kids')
Historic Range: $9.87-$35.95
Fabric 100% Polyester Fleece, 100% Polyester 100% Polyester Fleece, 100% Polyester 100% Polyester Fleece, 100% Polyester
Sizes 2T - 4T 4/5, 6/7 8 - 18/20
Price $24.00 USD $26.00 USD $26.00 USD
Product Details from Columbia »

Recently on Trailspace

Patagonia Reversible Tribbles Hoody Review

Altai Skis Hok Review

Atomic RT Rainier Posigrip Review

U.S. Military MSS (Modular Sleep System) Review

Madshus Eon Review

Art Nord Trailhead X-C Ski