Columbia Steens Mountain 2.0 Full Zip Review
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Columbia Steens Mountain 2.0 Full Zip
|Price||$34.99 at Backcountry|
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|$169.00 at REI|
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$179.00 at Amazon
|$76.96 at Backcountry|
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|Check Price at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Inexpensive, warm, comfortable||Comfortable, breathable, nice hood||Warm, great mobility, incredibly comfortable||Breathable, lightweight, inexpensive, stretchy||Soft fleece, warm, comfortable|
|Cons||Bulky, hoodless, poor layering||No thumb loops, hood is snug, no zipper guard||Lacks thumb loops, poor breathability||Average warmth, odd hood shape||No zippers on pockets, basic, feels lower quality|
|Bottom Line||Affordable, comfortable, and functional, this fleece offers the no-frills basics that you'd want in a jacket||This lightweight fleece has a highly breathable design that's ideal for active adventures in mild weather||Comfort, style, and function make this piece work well both in the mountains and for casual evenings around town||A lightweight and breathable hoody with a lot of stretch for mobility and hard-to-beat value||A simple fleece jacket with a high-volume cut that keeps in body heat|
|Rating Categories||Columbia Steens Mou...||Patagonia R1 Air Fu...||Arc'teryx Kyanite A...||Outdoor Research Vi...||Cotopaxi Teca Full-Zip|
|Layering Ability (15%)|
|Specs||Columbia Steens Mou...||Patagonia R1 Air Fu...||Arc'teryx Kyanite A...||Outdoor Research Vi...||Cotopaxi Teca Full-Zip|
|Measured Weight||16.6 oz||12.8 oz||15.0 oz||13.2 oz||12.9 oz|
|Main Material||100% polyester||100% polyester||53% polyester, 38% nylon, 9% elastane||94% polyester, 6% spandex||Shell: 100% recycled polyester fleece
Stripes: repurposed polyester taffeta with DWR finish
|# of Pockets||2||3||2||3||4|
|Unique Features||None||Slim-fit hood, quick drying||Scuba hood, stretchy fabric||Thumb holes, UPF 30, 3-panel hood with binding||Recycled and repurposed materials|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Light on the wallet, the Columbia Steens Mountain 2.0 is a jacket made from 100% polyester MTR filament fleece with two cozy, zippered handwarmer pockets. Additionally, snug elastic cuffs and a hem cinch help trap heat and keep out cold drafts. Due to its bulky cut, this isn't our favorite piece for layering, but it gets the job done around town and on short hikes.
The mid-weight Steens 2.0 uses 100% polyester MTR (maximum thermal retention) fleece to battle the cold. While it feels plush, the jacket's not as warm as many of the other models in this review though the stretchy bungee cord hem cinch and the large elastic cuffs helped keep the warmth in and the cold out. The lager cut of the jacket also added a bit of warmth through the extra coverage.
The Steens Mountain 2.0 fits oddly with the long arms bunching around the cuffs, the collar pressing against the throat, and the jacket having an oversized feel to it. The collar did help fight the cold while biking or riding a chair lift and the MTR fleece felt plush against our testers' skin.
The Steens Mountain 2.0 is uniformly thick over the entire jacket. This simple design keeps the price down but it doesn't breathe well. This is adequate if you're on a chilly morning bike ride and you want to keep the wind out, or if you're fishing in a cool mountain stream, but if you're running or hiking quickly uphill, you're likely going to sweat, making this jacket less of a performance piece and more of a casual wear jacket.
The bulky cut of the Steens 2.0 doesn't lend itself to layering. Under multiple layers, the bunching up of the fabric on the sleeves is noticeable and annoying. Under a hardshell or an appropriately sized wind layer our testers weren't bothered as much — just make sure your shell is big enough to accommodate this hefty fleece.
At 16.1 ounces, this jacket can easily fit into a backpack. While it has a decent weight-to-warmth ratio, it wasn't anything notable. The jacket felt a bit bulky, especially in the shoulders. The lack of features definitely streamlined this jacket but it didn't make it as light as some of the other jackets in this review.
Should You Buy the Columbia Mountain Steens 2.0?
For the price, this jacket does well as an insulating layer for day hikes, fishing trips, car camping, and staying warm while in the yard. It doesn't score as well with more technical applications but the price is hard to beat.
What Other Fleece Jackets Should You Consider?
If staying warm and saving money are your primary concerns, then the Columbia Steens Mountain 2.0 will deliver. We don't recommend it for backpacking, ski touring, or climbing because it doesn't offer a high level of breathability; the bulky cut also makes it difficult to wear underneath multiple layers. It makes a good, inexpensive jacket for around-town use. The Outdoor Research Vigor Full Zip or Cotopaxi Teca Full-Zip are next in line when it comes to price, and offer one heck of a deal.
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