From the top of a 4,280-meter peak, to a dripping wet bush-whacking escapade, to walking to work, my Columbia Tull Creek™ Jacket has become a reliable and steadfast companion. It is lightweight and very capable in wet, windy and everything-else-in-between weather jacket that will not break your bank account. I have worn it on multiple forays into the mountains and have come to appreciate the features that it offers.

Pit Zips

Over the years I have never been a fan of pit zips; they never seem to work for me. They either leak when open or do not seem to do any good in cooling me off. However, the pit zips on the  Tull Creek™ Jacket  have shown me just what armpit zippers should do. When I zip them wide open, I can feel the heat escaping, and can feel my body cooling off by several degrees. If I get chilly I just zip them back up, and I warm up quickly. There is an odd issue though with my right pit-zip. It is hard to zip up (unzipping is not a problem). The left operates fine, but it is just the right zipper that seems to be a tad too long, so it bunches up when you try to close it up.

Every jacket has at least four holes

The hood is very well designed with a built in soft elastic band that helps hold the hood in place on your head even during very high winds. It does not fit so well over a helmet though which is a real bummer as this would make a great all mountain jacket if the hood was a tad bigger. The Velcro cuffs open up wide to allow donning of the jacket without having to remove cold weather gloves and cinch down tight to guard against moisture and drafts. The jacket also has draw cords along the bottom so that you can snug the jacket against your waist to keep out the drafts and to prevent any under layers from hanging out in the elements. I found the jacket was very secure staying down even when I would fall when heel-plunging down a steep, snow filled couloir. I was very grateful for this as it kept snow from sliding up my back.

I have scrambled up granite faces, squeezed through boulders and up chimneys, and plowed through overgrown trails surrounded by scabrous chaparral and various other scraggly objects just itching to tear my new jacket to shreds… And?  The jacket held up well without suffering any abrasions or holes that would compromise its waterproof abilities. Very impressive.

Size

I got my jacket in large because I wanted to be able to layer under it. My other “rain” jackets were medium, and when I wore a down jacket underneath, I could barely zip the jacket up. With my Tull Creek™ jacket, on one particularly cold morning, (it was around 25 degrees) I was wearing three layers including a synthetic down jacket, and they layered quite nicely under my jacket-no awkward constrictions or tight spots that restricted movement (not to mention I could effortlessly zip the jacket all the way up to my neck to seal out the drafts without looking like the Michelin man).

Dryness

The Omni-Dry® technology incorporated into this jacket is phenomenal and works amazingly well. The Omni-Dry® membrane is a highly air permeable (100cc/minute vs. 0cc/minute for Gore-Tex®) and extremely thin and lightweight (7 grams per yard vs. 40 grams per yard in Gore-Tex®). In layman’s terms this jacket is incredibly watertight. I am used to jackets that develop wet spots where the seam sealant was not applied correctly, or the material becomes so drenched that it cannot keep out all the water. On the other side of the spectrum are the plastic jackets that do not leak at all, but they cannot breathe, and you sweat so profusely that you might as well not have worn the jacket to begin with. This jacket is a happy medium; even after standing in the shower while wearing the jacket, after coming back from having worn in it a downpour for two hours, (I had to get all the mud off it somehow) I still could not get the jacket to leak.

Pack-ability

To top it off, the jacket is easily packable and is an incredibly lightweight, 21.2 ounces to be precise. When I go on any hike, I always pack for the worst-case scenario. I can stuff this jacket, along with a Patagonia Nano Puff, extra socks, and beanie into a water proof stuff sack the size of a Nalgene water bottle. I hardly notice it stuffed into my daypack or crammed into a small space in my multi-day pack. Just drop it in your pack and forget about it.

I love my Columbia Tull Creek™ jacket. It has revolutionized the way I think about rain jackets.  It is very light and highly compacting, packed with features, and is very well priced. If you are in the market for a new outer shell, I would definitely check out what Columbia has to offer.

Isaac in the Columbia Tull Creek Jacket
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