The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Columbia Mighty Lite Review

A decently warm jacket with Omni-Heat reflective lining for a moderately cold winter climate.
Columbia Mighty Lite Insulated Jacket
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $140 List | $139.99 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, Omni-Heat thermal reflective lining, warm
Cons:  Baggy, not waterproof, non-detachable hood
Manufacturer:   Columbia
By Liz Williamson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 17, 2016
  • Share this article:
60
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth - 30% 5
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 6
  • Style - 20% 7
  • Comfort - 20% 6
  • Durability - 5% 7

The Skinny

Not as form-fitting as any of the other jackets we tested, we were still impressed by how warm the Omni-Heat thermal reflective lining was in the Mighty Lite Hooded Jacket. Lightweight and insulated with Omni-Heat synthetic insulation, this is a great jacket for running errands, or commuting to work. Falling behind The North Face Thermoball Parka and the Arc'teryx Sylva Parka in warmth, the Mighty Lite is a great price jacket for someone living in a mild winter climate. The Omni-Shield shell did a decent job of repelling water and stains, but we don't recommend wearing in super, stormy weather. Our Top Pick for Wet Weather award winner, the Patagonia Tres 3-In-1 Parka is a better option for a wet climate.

Color Update
Columbia switched up some of the colors on the Mighty Lite for Winter 2018, such as the one shown above, but otherwise, it's the same jacket.


Our Analysis and Test Results

This winter jacket is mid-thigh length contender with a water-resistant outer shell. Weighing 1.2 lbs. and insulated with Omni-Heat synthetic insulation, this jacket is lightweight, warm and functional.

Performance Comparison


Intended for a moderately cold environment  we were impressed with how well the Omni-Heat insulation did at keeping our core warm.
Intended for a moderately cold environment, we were impressed with how well the Omni-Heat insulation did at keeping our core warm.

Warmth


The Mighty Lite is lightweight and insulated with 80 grams of Omni-Heat insulation: 50% polyester/ 50% recycled polyester. We stayed warm in weather slightly below freezing, but this jacket isn't intended for very cold temperatures or heavy snow. We felt like the Omni-Heat lining actually helped us maintain our warmth when we went from inside to outside. There is extra space under the arms, and in the torso, so wearing an extra thick layer underneath wasn't an issue. The hood is oversized in the front, so we recommend wearing a beanie. The nylon cuffs on the sleeves were some of the best ones we tested. They are stretchy, comfortable, and did a great job of keeping heat trapped in; they are also a better option than fleece, or knitted cuffs, for wet weather conditions.

Compared to the Marmot Montreaux, the Patagonia Downtown Parka and The North Face Miss Metro Parka, the Mighty Lite does not keep us as warm, scoring a 5 out of 10, versus a 10 out of 10 for the Montreaux and a 9 out of 10 for both the Downtown and Miss Metro, as these jackets are stuffed with thick down. When compared to the other synthetic jackets we tested, the Mighty Lite fell behind the Arc'teryx Sylva Parka and The North Face Thermoball Parka, but it was warmer than the Helly Hansen Long Belfast; however, the Mighty Lite isn't waterproof. In wet or stormy weather, the Helly Hansen Belfast and the Patagonia Tres outperformed other contenders.

Unlike any other jacket we tested  this one offered nylon cuffs with thumb holes. Highly functional  and not restricting at all  we liked how warm and cozy they are. Compared to fleece  these cuffs dried faster when wet. We had no issues with them keeping precipitation and cold air out.
Unlike any other jacket we tested, this one offered nylon cuffs with thumb holes. Highly functional, and not restricting at all, we liked how warm and cozy they are. Compared to fleece, these cuffs dried faster when wet. We had no issues with them keeping precipitation and cold air out.

Weather Resistance


This is a great jacket for light rain and light snow, thanks to the Omni-Shield Shell. Water-resistant, but not waterproof, water initially beaded up and rolled off, but after an extended period of time outside, it started to become saturated. This jacket isn't intended for super wet weather. A better option for a wet climate would be, the Helly Hansen Long Belfastor the Patagonia Tres 3-In-1 Parka. This jacket wasn't the best option in wind, compared to the windproof construction of the Arc'teryx Sylva Parka or the Canada Goose Camp.

Style


The Mighty Lite is the least form-fitting jacket we tested. It almost has the appearance of being "bag" like. On the plus side, it's easy to fit a thick layer underneath. We read a lot of reviews about this jacket saying that it ran small. This was not the case for us, but it would be a good idea to try it on before ordering via the Internet. Reaching all the way to above the knee, the polyester fabric has subtle geometric baffling and we received many compliments about the nylon cuffs with thumb holes. The interior fabric is Omni-Heat lining; since it has reflective material, the silver is super bright and flashy. We weren't the biggest fans of this style, but it did seem to help keep us warm!

Unlike down insulation  the synthetic insulation isn't bulky or super noticeable. The satin sheen finish of the polyester fabric complements the geometric baffling.
Unlike down insulation, the synthetic insulation isn't bulky or super noticeable. The satin sheen finish of the polyester fabric complements the geometric baffling.

This jacket doesn't compare to the form-fitting Arc'teryx Nuri or the Canada Goose Kensington Parka. Flattering and very feminine, the Kensington Parka has a cinched waist which allows you to tailor the fit of the jacket. Compared to the loose fit of the Mighty Lite, we preferred the style and fit of the Kensington Parka.

From the front this jacket looks too loose around the chest and the arms  but the back of this jacket has more of a form-fitting appearance.
From the front this jacket looks too loose around the chest and the arms, but the back of this jacket has more of a form-fitting appearance.

Comfort


Depending on your comfort preference, this jacket can go either way. We didn't find it super comfortable because we felt like we were carrying extra jacket around. However, if you are looking for a jacket that offers ample mobility and has enough room for an extra thick layer, then this may be the right choice for you. There is a fleece chin guard that is soft and cozy, and didn't allow any chafing to occur when the jacket is zipped all the way up. As always, we loved having fleece-lined pockets on both sides of the exterior pockets.

There is extra room in the chest and arms of this jacket  almost giving it a "bag" like appearance. Everyone has their own preference when it comes to comfort. If you are someone that likes to layer up  or wear thick sweaters underneath their jacket  than this may be perfect for you.
There is extra room in the chest and arms of this jacket, almost giving it a "bag" like appearance. Everyone has their own preference when it comes to comfort. If you are someone that likes to layer up, or wear thick sweaters underneath their jacket, than this may be perfect for you.

If you are looking for a jacket that is a bit more form-fitting, but also can fit another layer underneath, check out the Arc'teryx Nuri. The North Face Thermoball and the Canada Goose Kensington Parka are also form-fitting and have a cinched waist that allows you to tailor the fit of the jacket.

Features


The main feature on this jacket is the Omni-Heat Lining (thermal reflective). We were cold in weather below 25F, but in warmer temps of 32F and higher, this jacket did a decent job of keeping us warm, though it was outperformed by the Arc'teryx Sylva Parka. Besides the Omni-Heat lining, this jacket also has an Omni-Shield Shell.

The pockets are fleece-lined on both sides, as well as the collar, which is a super warm and cozy feature that seems standard on most winter jackets. The main full zipper is doubled-side for easy access and there is also an interior media pocket. Super cozy and functional, we loved the nylon cuffs and the fact that they had thumb holes. This came in handy testing on super cold days. We can see the nylon cuffs holding up better than the internal elastic cuffs on the Patagonia Downtown Parka. In wet weather, the micro-fleece cuffs on the Marmot Montreaux did a good job, but they didn't dry as fast as the nylon ones on the Mighty Lite.

Omni-Heat Lining offers reflective insulation and is intended to trap heat  and keep cold air out. We felt like we could feel it working in cold weather. When we went outside  we didn't feel our core temperature instantly drop  instead it maintained it's warmth.
Omni-Heat Lining offers reflective insulation and is intended to trap heat, and keep cold air out. We felt like we could feel it working in cold weather. When we went outside, we didn't feel our core temperature instantly drop, instead it maintained it's warmth.

Durability


While we were testing this contender, we had no issues with the jacket's durability. The polyester fabric is soft and smooth, so there is always the chance that it could snag on something - just be aware of this. We could see how the main full zipper is a bit finicky. As long as you make sure that the zipper is lined up, you shouldn't have any problems.

When compared to the Arc'teryx Sylva Parka, the Helly Hansen Long Belfast, and the Patagonia Tres 3-In-1 Parka, this jacket's outer shell isn't as durable. The nylon cuffs are heavy duty and did a better job compared to simple lycra ones on the end of the sleeves of the Canada Goose Camp.

Best Application


Perfect for commuting to work on public transportation, or running errands around town, we were impressed by the warmth this jacket offered, especially considering how lightweight and thin it is. It didn't hold up in super cold temperatures when compared to the Editors Choice award winner, the Canada Goose Kensington Parka. The North Face Miss Metro Parka and the Arc'teryx Sylva Parka is also a warmer option, and is cheaper than the Kensington Parka.

Value


The cheapest jacket we tested, this jacket is only $140. If you are looking for a basic winter jacket for a mild/cold winter, this is a great deal.

Conclusion


Overall, we were impressed by the Mighty Lite, specifically when we wore it in mild temperatures. It has some nice features, such as nylon cuffs with thumb holes, an omni-heat reflective liner, and omni-heat insulation. For a synthetic jacket with thin insulation, we were pretty cold in 32 degree F weather. We were able to extend our time outside when we had on a thick layer underneath.

Other Versions


Columbia Mighty Lite III Jacket
Columbia Mighty Lite III Jacket
  • Cost - $110
  • Feminine fitting non-hooded jacket version
  • Available in seven colors


Liz Williamson