< Go to Rain Jackets - Women's

Hands-on Gear Review

Columbia Arcadia II - Women's Review


Rain Jacket for Women

Columbia Arcadia Rain II
Price:   Varies from $33 - $60 online  —  Compare at 5 sellers
Pros:  Traditional design, breathable, inexpensive, good for urban excursions and suburban adventures
Cons:  Heavy
Editors' Rating:     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Columbia Sportswear

Overview

The Arcadia II from Columbia is the most affordable rain jacket we reviewed. At an impressive $65, it is hard to be critical of this jacket. While it is a master of none, this jacket will fit the bill if you find yourself with a long gear list for a new type of adventure you're planning, or if you need a once-in-a-while rain shell. This jacket is perfectly functional, though not for the rain connoisseur. Plus, if you find a new (soggy) hobby in the process, and find yourself turning into a rain gear snob, you certainly won't kick yourself too hard for wasting money if you decide to upgrade.

RELATED: Our complete review of rain jackets - women's

Compare Side-by-Side

Compare all Rain Jackets - Women's >

Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
Lyra Pierotti
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Sunday
October 19, 2014
Columbia's Arcadia II is an excellent rain shell for the price. It is heavier and bulkier than most of the other jackets in our review, but if rain is not often on your itinerary, this is a great choice.

Performance Comparison


Columbia Arcadia II
Columbia Arcadia II

Water Resistance


The Omni-Tech 100 percent nylon MP LTX shell stands up to moderate inclement weather. It is not as weatherproof as some of the newer tech fabric shells like three-layer Gore-Tex, but it holds its own as a dry top layer, especially with some wicking base layers underneath.

The Columbia Arcadia II women's rain jacket.
The Columbia Arcadia II women's rain jacket.

Breathability


Columbia's Omni-Tech™ waterproof/breathable, fully seam sealed outer fabric matched with its polyester mesh lining managed moisture adequately in our aerobic tests. A two-layer jacket just like The North Face Resolve - Women's, it uses a mesh lining to help wick away moisture from the body and keep the wearer comfortable.
The 2-layer Columbia Arcadia II women's rain jacket. You can see the hanging mesh inner layer.
The 2-layer Columbia Arcadia II women's rain jacket. You can see the hanging mesh inner layer.

Comfort


The Arcadia Rain is cut for easy layering, which gives it a more boxy shape but makes it highly practical and functional. We especially appreciate the extra length in back. The inner lining, however, frequently catches on wet hands when putting the jacket on. The arms are shorter than the other jackets we tested, and frequently we found that the inner lining would spill out of the cuffs and bunch up around the wrist. The jacket accommodates a helmet though feels tight, slightly limiting head mobility.
The Columbia Arcadia II women's rain jacket.
The Columbia Arcadia II women's rain jacket.

Weight


Dropping in at 14.4 ounces, Columbia's Arcadia II is not the right choice for ladies looking for an ultralight, packable shell. It is however great for those who need a solid, affordable rain jacket to keep in the car. It's great for easy hikes, and a solid workhorse. It is fairly heavy and somewhat bulky for packing, but if it's what you have, you can certainly take it on a backpacking trip.

Durability


This jacket is rugged enough for tough tasks outdoors, and will be a solid go-to piece for anyone spending just a few soggy days in the mountains per year. It is a good all-arounder that will not let you down after many trips to the market or trailhead.

Packed Size


This was one of the bulkiest jackets we tested, but it still packed into its own pocket for ease of organization and protection of the waterproof fabric. This is an upgrade to the previous model of Columbia's Arcadia Rain.

The rain jackets packed up into their stowable pockets. From left to right  top to bottom: Sierra Designs Stretch (didn't pack into a pocket)  Columbia Arcadia II  OR Helium II  Marmot PreCip  The North Face Resolve  OR Aspire  Patagonia Torrentshell.
The rain jackets packed up into their stowable pockets. From left to right, top to bottom: Sierra Designs Stretch (didn't pack into a pocket), Columbia Arcadia II, OR Helium II, Marmot PreCip, The North Face Resolve, OR Aspire, Patagonia Torrentshell.

Best Application


Since this jacket runs a little heavy, we think it is best suited to car camping, day hikes, and urban adventures. It is well suited to everyday around-town wear and since it is inexpensive, also makes the perfect yard work and gardening layer that can take a beating and doesn't require you to keep it nice.

Value


At a stunning $65, this jacket is a steal! Rain jackets typically start at double that price. Start with this jacket and upgrade to a more lavish shell only if you need to.

Conclusion


While you do get what you pay for with rain jackets, if you are on a tight budget, this jacket is a great option. It is functional, simple, and affordable.

Other Versions


Columbia Watertight II
  • Cost - $90
  • Top Pick Award Winner for men's rain jackets
  • A lightweight jacket
Lyra Pierotti

Where to Buy?


Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.


OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: October 19, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used the Columbia Arcadia II - Women's?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Backcountry $32.97  -  49% off!
Amazon $41.92  -  36% off!
REI $44.93  -  31% off!
Compare prices at 5 sellers >

*You help support OutdoorGearLab's product testing and reviews by purchasing from our retail partners.
Helpful Buying Tips

Unbiased.