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Columbia Last Tracks Review

A good entry-level ski jacket for an affordable price
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Columbia Last Tracks Review
Credit: Columbia
Price:  $185 List
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Manufacturer:   Columbia
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 6, 2022
  • Warmth - 20% 6.0
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 7.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 20% 5.0
  • Ventilation - 15% 2.0
  • Style - 15% 4.0
  • Features - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Columbia Last Tracks is an entry-level ski jacket that provides a moderate level of warmth and weather resistance. It combines synthetic insulation with a heat-reflective liner to provide enough warmth for most days on the ski hill, given you wear a warm mid-layer underneath. The waterproof and breathable membrane in the outer shell keeps water out, but the external fabric wets out quickly, and some seams and zippers are left unsealed. The removable hood is big enough for most ski helmets, and other features include a sleeve ski pass pocket and a powder skirt. On the downside, the jacket isn't very stylish and has a boxy fit that droops off the body loosely. It doesn't have any vents, which means you can't quickly ditch heat on warm days or during boot packs to hike-to terrain. Still, this ski jacket has most of the features that we crave on the ski hill and is a great option for beginners and occasional skiers who don't want to spend too much.
Weather resistant
Good set of features
Not stylish
No ventilation
Boxy fit

Our Analysis and Test Results

This jacket performs adequately in the important metrics of warmth and weather resistance but lags behind the high-end competition when it comes to fit and useful features.

Performance Comparison

columbia last tracks - powder turns on a bluebird day in the columbia last tracks.
Powder turns on a bluebird day in the Columbia Last Tracks.
Credit: Matt Grossman


The Columbia Last Tracks provides a decent amount of warmth via synthetic insulation and heat-reflective metallic liner fabric. The insulation isn't very thick or heavy, and as a result, the jacket isn't warm enough for days when the temps dip much below freezing without a warm mid-layer worn underneath it. Still, for beginner skiers, or skiers who only get on the slopes a handful of days a year, the warmth is adequate and can be supplemented by proper layering.

columbia last tracks - the columbia last tracks features a thin layer of synthetic...
The Columbia Last Tracks features a thin layer of synthetic insulation and a reflective liner to provide a decent amount of warmth without weighing the skier down.
Credit: matt grossman

Weather Resistance

The Last Tracks jacket uses Columbia's proprietary Omni-Tech waterproof and breathable membrane, which works decently well in our experience of using this tech for several years. It isn't as waterproof or as breathable as Gore-Tex, but it generally gets the job done as expected for the price. After a few uses, liquid water started to soak into the external shell fabric, but it never made it through the jacket. The hood fits over a size Large helmet, but we wish the hood extended a bit further around the helmet to provide complete coverage. The jacket is critically seam-sealed, and the chest pocket zipper is waterproof, but we wish more zippers and seams were fully waterproof. The sleeve cuffs have a velcro closure to seal the jacket at the wrists.

columbia last tracks - the last tracks' outer shell fabric wets out after a few uses, but...
The Last Tracks' outer shell fabric wets out after a few uses, but liquid water never made it through the shell and into the jacket in our test.
Credit: matt grossman

Comfort and Fit

The Last Tracks has a boxy and loose fit that doesn't feel like it was well-tailored. The materials are all relatively plasticky, including the metallic interior lining. It doesn't feel as uncomfortable as a stiff shell-only jacket, but our testers preferred to wear thick mid-layers underneath to buffer the interior liner fabric. The sleeves are about the right length, and the hood fits helmets decently, but it could fit better. Overall, there are many more well-tailored jackets out there, but we can't complain too much considering the price.

columbia last tracks - the last tracks feels boxy and loose on the body, whereas other...
The Last Tracks feels boxy and loose on the body, whereas other jackets fit better and have more contoured tailoring.
Credit: matt grossman


Ventilation is not a strong suit here. This jacket has no vents, and the insulation is fixed, meaning that the only way air can move through the jacket is through the hem, hood, and neck opening or by opening the front zipper. We have come to expect the best jackets on the market to have armpit vents to ditch heat on warm days or during high-output aerobic activities, like mogul skiing and inbounds hiking. On the upside, the hood is removable, which allows some heat to escape from the neck area. Still, don't expect much ventilation capabilities from this jacket.

columbia last tracks - the last tracks does not have any armpit vents, meaning any...
The Last Tracks does not have any armpit vents, meaning any ventilation must come from unzipping the front zipper.
Credit: matt grossman


The Last Tracks features a middle-of-the-road and straightforward style that doesn't take any chances. It is reminiscent of an urban winter jacket and lacks an athletic look due to its boxy cut. While it doesn't offend the senses, its lack of athletic design implies that the user is on the introductory side of the spectrum. Hardcore skiers will probably want a better fitting jacket and prefer a jacket with a more ski-specific style. It comes in a wide variety of subdued colors, in stark contrast to the neons and bright colors used in more high-end ski apparel. If you want to blend into a crowd, this jacket will help.

columbia last tracks - the last tracks features a simple style that is not objectionable...
The Last Tracks features a simple style that is not objectionable, but it doesn't get any points for boldness either.
Credit: matt grossman


The Last Tracks includes many ski-specific features that make life easier on the hill. In addition to two handwarmer pockets, this jacket has an external chest pocket with a waterproof zipper and a ski pass pocket on the left sleeve. The fixed powder skirt keeps out snow on deep days, and the removable hood can be cinched down tight on both sides of the face and in the back with a velcro flap. The right handwarmer pocket has an internal key clip to avoid losing your car keys while accessing the pocket.

columbia last tracks - the last tracks jacket includes a handful of useful ski features...
The Last Tracks jacket includes a handful of useful ski features, including a helmet-compatible, adjustable, and removable hood.
Credit: matt grossman

Should You Buy the Last Tracks?

This jacket has all the performance attributes that a basic ski jacket needs. It keeps the user relatively warm and dry and has plenty of pockets for storage. While it lacks the refinement of more high-end jackets – like ventilation systems and a stylized and contoured fit – it gets the basic job done at a very affordable price. For skiers who hit the slopes for a week or less every ski season, or for those who want just one jacket for both skiing and other winter use, this jacket is a great value. Just be prepared to layer up underneath when temperatures get frigid.

What Other Ski Jackets Should You Consider?

Overall, we are impressed by how much performance the Columbia Last Tracks jacket brings to the table, given its price point. This jacket is particularly lacking in terms of ventilation and style. Very few insulated jackets provide the same ventilation capabilities as shell jackets, like the award-winning REI Co-op First Chair GTX. For a little bit more money, The North Face ThermoBall ECO Snow Triclimate offers better performance overall, plus the style and fit to keep you out on the slopes all day.

columbia last tracks - one final powder run in the last tracks. while this jacket isn't...
One final powder run in the Last Tracks. While this jacket isn't warm enough to be an everyday ski parka, it gets the job done for occasional users.
Credit: matt grossman

Jeff Dobronyi