The Columbia Panther Creek is a lightweight shell with entry-level features that's good for swing season activities. It's not super warm, but it breathes and moves well and has a generous fit that's easy to layer under. The sleeves run short, and the hood gets a little tight with a helmet, but overall, this affordable layer is a fine choice if you need a bit of protection for hiking, biking, or strolling, and you don't want to spend a ton of money.
Columbia Panther Creek - Women's Review
Cons: Tailoring is a bit awkward, not very warm, hood is a little tight with a helmet
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Columbia Panther Creek - Women's
|Price||$57.53 at Amazon||$123.33 at Amazon|
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|$259.00 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Excellent mobility, decent breathability, lightweight, great price point||Highly breathable, quick-drying, harness and helmet compatible, stowable hood, durable||This is a cozy insulated hybrid ideal for situations when you need a bit more warmth in a lightweight package.||Very lightweight, excellent mobility, highly breathable, great fit, affordable.||Full-legth side zippers, excellent fit, windproof, lined, thumbholes|
|Cons||Tailoring is a bit awkward, not very warm, hood is a little tight with a helmet||Not very warm, only one pocket||If you need need good breathability and all-around comfort, this insulated hybrid is a great option.||Not warm, only two pockets||Less breathable due to windproofing, expensive|
|Bottom Line||This light and simple shell isn't overly technical, but it does make a great starter jacket at a very nice price.||This lightweight and streamlined pullover is a fabulously durable layer that breathes like a dream and dries lightning fast.||Insulated, comfortable, stretchy, lightweight||This smart and ultralight softshell is extremely easy to move in and highly breathable - an excellent pick for the movement-minded adventure seeker.||This innovative hoody ups the ante with great features like full-length side zips, fantastic mobility, and excellent weather protection.|
|Rating Categories||Panther Creek||Sigma SL Anorak Pullover||Proton FL Hoody||Rab Borealis - Women's||Ultimate V SO Hooded Jacket|
|Weather Protection (30%)|
|Specs||Panther Creek||Sigma SL Anorak...||Proton FL Hoody||Rab Borealis -...||Ultimate V SO...|
|Measured Weight - Size Medium (oz)||10.8oz||9.5oz||10.7oz (size Large)||8.3oz||13.1oz|
|Material||94% polyester, 6% elastane||Aequora Airperm - 86% nylon, 14% elastane||84% nylon, 16% elastane||Lightweight Matrix single weave with 2-way stretch and DWR||100% polyester|
|Hood||Yes, stretchy but not adjustable||Yes, 2-way adjustable||Yes, 1-way adjustable||Yes, stretchy but not adjustable||Yes, 1-way adjustable|
|Helmet Compatible?||Yes||Yes||Yes, under||Yes, under||Yes, under|
|Wind Resistant?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes, windproof|
|Number of Pockets (zippered unless otherwise noted)||4 (2 hand, 2 internal mesh drop pockets)||1 chest||4 (2 hand, 2 chest)||2 hand||2 hand|
|Available Sizes||XS - XL||XS - L||XS - XL||XS - XL||XS - XXL|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Panther Creek isn't a highly technical piece, but it is very affordable and perfectly adequate for simple, moderate weather outings like hiking and biking.
The Panther repels a bit of water but can't withstand too much for too long. It's also not particularly warm being mostly polyester with no lining or insulation. If the weather is mild and your body is moving, all will be well, but this isn't the jacket to get for weathering storms. That being said, the fit is on the baggier side, so layering up underneath is super easy.
Breathability is just okay in this layer. It's thin enough that you won't be stifled, but the material isn't super technical or high quality. The pockets are mesh-lined, though, so you can vent if things get clammy. The elastic on the cuffs also means they are easy to push up and have stay in place, much like wearing a sweatshirt.
The Panther has great mobility as long as you're not wearing a helmet — the back of the neck gets a bit tight in that scenario. The arms are on the short side, and the fit is rather baggy/boxy, but we didn't feel impeded or restricted in any way when out and about.
This jacket weighs 10.8 ounces in a size medium and can pack down quite small, making it suitable for situations where space is at a premium. If you want to add another layer to your arsenal that won't take up much space and is super cheap, this is a good candidate.
Versatility is so-so for the Panther. It's decently featured but not in a technically-minded way, the cut is not overly flattering, and it's performance in regards to weather protection and breathability limit what it's good for. However, it is durable, lightweight, easy to layer over or under, and very cheap, making it a solid choice for a beginner outdoorswoman or for someone that just needs a little something extra for hiking or walking the dog.
This is an affordable layer, currently the cheapest in our review. It's not a highly technical piece, but for the price it's great.
The Panther Creek is a simple entry-level shell at a very affordable price point. It has excellent mobility, doesn't weigh much, and breathability is decent, particularly when considering the mesh-lined pockets. It's not very warm, and water resistance is just okay, but if all you need is a cheap layer for less-technical outings, this one will surely suffice.
— Penney Garrett