The Columbia Arcadia II is a relatively bulky rain jacket with an interior mesh liner. It's made of 100% nylon 2D Full plain weave and has taped seams. It packs into its own left pocket and has two hand pockets.
Though not an impressive jacket in the face of some intense competition, the Arcadia still does its job and might be just the jacket your dog truly approves of.
Though the Arcadia II isn't the most impressive looking or feeling jacket we tested, it holds its own against rain. Double storm flaps on the main zipper help keep water out of the front, and a spacious hood with a slightly floppy brim helps to keep your face from being pelted with raindrops. The seams are fully taped, and though this taping is significantly thinner than many beefier models we tested, it does the trick.
It may not last forever, but with some fresh DWR treatment, this jacket does exactly what it's supposed to do - keeps you dry.
The Columbia stands alone among models we tested as the only one with a separate mesh layer. This creates a very different feel. It helps to cut down on the plasticky, crinkly feel that many other jackets have, making it easier to wear comfortably against your skin if the day is warm. Though you may not want to wear it if it's too warm, as that mesh layer acts like another insulating layer - which is great if you tend to be out in cold rain or are using this jacket as more of a fall windbreaker.
The dual storm flaps do make it a bit more annoying to zip up, though the lack of any snaps or buttons (all Velcro, baby!) then makes it easier. The hem and hood are each singly adjustable. The hem has a regular push-button toggle, but the hood utilizes just pressure toggles, which are a bit more annoying to use with one hand and can't keep the hood super tight. This jacket also has a very small drop in the hem in back, just 2.5 inches lower than the front. It's not overly flexible and will expose your wrists if you're climbing or swinging across monkey bars in the rain.
The wide brim helps to keep rain from pelting you in the eyeballs.
The Arcadia isn't really made with breathability in mind. If this is a top priority for you, we fully recommend looking at another product. It has no pit vents, and the mesh layer is like wearing another shirt under your jacket. This does help to keep condensation from forming inside the jacket, but overall makes you warmer when you wear it.
No proper ventilation features, but at least it has pockets!
This isn't the jacket that you'll wear for dozens of adventures each year for the next 15 years. But it may last a few years of casual errand-running. It's not made of ripstop material, and so not a great choice for rough adventuring. The construction also leaves a bit to be desired compared to some impressive competition. The inner mesh is also easy to snag on rings and watches or other zippers. If you treat this raincoat very gently - and reapply waterproofing at regular intervals - you'll likely get a bit more use out of it, but don't set your expectations too terribly high.
This itty bitty zipper is not easy to use, especially when it's such a tight fit to stuff the whole jacket into this pocket!
Weight and Packability
At 10.9 ounces, the Arcadia is a fairly heavy, bulky jacket. It does stuff into its own left pocket, but it's challenging to do so and tough to then zip the tiny zipper over this massive package. But at the end of the day, if you're after a super packable option, this is not the right jacket for you. For wearing on a day hike, it's adequate.
Though it's not a tiny package like some, it does actually fit into its own pocket. Here it lies against a standard 1L Nalgene for size comparison.
This is one of the cheapest jackets we tested. While the quality of materials and craftsmanship don't come close to some of the super-gnarly coats in this review, it's also meant for very different applications. For everyday use, we're impressed by this jacket's ability to keep us dry through all levels of rain, and we like its protective hood. If you're searching for a casual rain jacket to wear to the game or to walk the dog in the rain, the Arcadia is a solid option at a reasonable price.
Not the ideal choice for hardcore adventures, but the Arcadia is better than nothing.
While this coat isn't blowing our socks off, it offers solid protection for a good price. It's a bit bulky and warm for active endeavors, but a great choice for just getting from here to there during a PNW winter or rainy spring day.
Though we think there are significantly better options out there, if the price is more your style, this jacket does decently.