Hands-on Gear Review

Columbia Snow Eclipse Mid Jacket - Women's Review

By: Liz Williamson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 26, 2016
Price:  $175 List  |  $79.65 at Amazon - 54% Off
Pros:  Stylish, removable hood, lightweight, synthetic down.
Cons:  Loose fit, boxy, Velcro is annoying,
Manufacturer:   Columbia
59
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth - 30% 5
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 6
  • Style - 20% 7
  • Comfort - 15% 6
  • Features - 5% 6
  • Durability - 5% 6
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Our Verdict

Looking for something that's stylish and affordable? The Columbia Snow Eclipse Mid Jacket delivers both. Granted, it wasn't nearly as warm as most of the other jackets we tested, but for someone looking for a basic winter coat without spending too much money, this could be the right choice. It has an above the knee length, flattering cross-cut baffling on the fabric, and removable hood with faux fur trim. This jacket is lightweight and has synthetic insulation under a water-resistant shell. In stormy weather it didn't keep us as warm or protected as The North Face Arctic Down Parka or our Top Pick for Wet Climates, the Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka - Women's. And compared to our Editors' Choice award winner, the Canada Goose Kensington Parka, we could really feel the difference in warmth and comfort, but the Snow Eclipse is a quarter of the price! If you don't live in a particularly cold climate and are on a tight budget, then this winter coat is a great buy.


Our Analysis and Test Results

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The Columbia Snow Eclipse Mid Jacket is mid-thigh in length and insulated with 150 grams of synthetic down that is lightweight and fairly compactable. The polyester fabric has a satin appearance that is quite charming when coupled with the unique baffling on the shell. It comes in Bluebell, Chianti, Black, Chalk, and Mineshaft colors.

Performance Comparison


This jacket is insulated with lightweight synthetic down  and is perfect for a mild winter day. It has a relaxed fit  which you can see here with the extra room underneath the arms and at the waist.
This jacket is insulated with lightweight synthetic down, and is perfect for a mild winter day. It has a relaxed fit, which you can see here with the extra room underneath the arms and at the waist.

Warmth


This jacket was one of the least warm models that we tested, but that's not reason enough to rule it out completely. If you live below the 35th parallel and generally experience mild winters, you won't need an ultra-warm winter coat like the Canada Goose Kensington Parka. It's insulated with synthetic down, which did a good job keeping us warm on the go, but when it came to standing outside in below freezing temperatures this jacket didn't keep us very warm. Since it is not very form-fitting, there is room for an extra sweater or fleece layer to be worn underneath if necessary. If you are looking for a warm coat but don't want to spend a ton of money, our Best Buy award winner, the Marmot Montreaux, is insulated with 700-fill-power down and kept us toasty warm no matter the weather.

This was one of the coldest jackets we tested. We could feel the cold wind coming right through the thin insulation  though the hood did add some warmth.
This was one of the coldest jackets we tested. We could feel the cold wind coming right through the thin insulation, though the hood did add some warmth.

Weather Resistance


The outer shell consists of 100% polyester "Omni Shield" water resistant fabric. When tested in the elements, water initially beaded up and rolled off the jacket, but it is not fully waterproof and saturates through eventually. The mid-thigh length adds extra warmth and protection in stormy weather, and nylon cuffs keep your heat in and the cold air out. If you need something with a waterproof shell (as opposed to only water resistant) then check out our Top Pick for Wet Climates, the Patagonia Tres Down Parka, or the Gore-Tex Arc'teryx Patera Parka.

Style


This parka is a good option for running errands around town or taking the dog for a quick walk. Described as a "modern classic" fit, it's designed to offer more room. Despite having a boxy appearance, this jacket still has a stylish look. Its mid-thigh length is quite flattering and goes well with the cross-cut baffling. The faux fur trim on the hood gives it a classic look, and offers extra protection in any weather conditions.

This jacket has a boxy fit  but the cross-cut baffling  satin finish  and faux fur ruff give it a cute look.
This jacket has a boxy fit, but the cross-cut baffling, satin finish and faux fur ruff give it a cute look.

Comfort


This is a relatively comfortable jacket, but when compared to one filled with down, like the Patagonia Downtown Loft Parka or the Marmot Montreaux, we could feel the difference in warmth and comfort. Those models make you feel like you are wrapped in a cozy sleeping bag, and this one doesn't. This jacket's "classic fit" is a bit loose in the torso and underarms, which you may, or may not prefer. Fleece-lined pockets are a nice touch though.

Side view of this not-so-form-fitting jacket. On the plus side  the sleeves are a nice length and feature soft protective cuffs.
Side view of this not-so-form-fitting jacket. On the plus side, the sleeves are a nice length and feature soft protective cuffs.

Features


This jacket has a few nice extra features, like those aforementioned fleece-lined pockets and an interior media pocket. There's a two-way full length zipper that adds mobility, but the zipper is very finicky and needs to be used slowly otherwise it catches on the material.

The cross-cut baffling has a unique look  and the water-resistant polyester fabric gives this jacket a satiny appearance.
The cross-cut baffling has a unique look, and the water-resistant polyester fabric gives this jacket a satiny appearance.

Durability


We tested this jacket is stormy weather and for everyday use over several months, and it held up fairly well. It is the least expensive of all the jackets we tested, and that showed in the quality of construction and materials, from seams to zippers. Overall, we were more impressed with the construction on the Canada Goose Kensington Parka, Marmot Chelsea Down and Arc'teryx Patera Parka. The main durability issue that we identified was the Velcro closure on the wind flap that covers the zipper. Every time we went to unzip the jacket we had to undo the Velcro, meaning that it gets a lot of use and will likely wear out faster than snaps or buttons would. If you don't connect the Velcro, fibers and debris gets caught in it, which reduces its "sticky" factor and looks unappealing.

The full length two-way zipper to the mid-thigh allows for extra mobility. A protective flap covers the zipper and secures shut with Velcro. This is the only jacket we tested that had Velcro on the wind flap and we found it somewhat annoying. Every time we went to use the zipper we had deal with it. Besides that  fibers and dirt got caught in it  jeopardizing its connectivity and making the jacket look dirty.
The full length two-way zipper to the mid-thigh allows for extra mobility. A protective flap covers the zipper and secures shut with Velcro. This is the only jacket we tested that had Velcro on the wind flap and we found it somewhat annoying. Every time we went to use the zipper we had deal with it. Besides that, fibers and dirt got caught in it, jeopardizing its connectivity and making the jacket look dirty.

Best Applications


This jacket is best suited for mild winter climates. It's perfect for running errands around town, but won't hold up to really cold or stormy conditions.

Value


With a cost of $175, the price cannot be beat. This jacket is a good option for someone on a budget or who rarely needs a full winter coat and therefore doesn't want to spend a lot of money on one. The Marmot Montreaux is almost twice the price as this model, but won our Best Buy award for its amazing warmth and quality construction.

Conclusion


The Columbia Snow Eclipse Mid Jacket is not the warmest model we tested, but still a good all-around winter jacket for a reasonable price. If you're an avid outdoor enthusiast, or live in an environment that's often susceptible to stormy winter conditions, think about a waterproof and warmer option, such as the Marmot Chelsea Down or The North Face Arctic Down Parka.

Liz Williamson

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Most recent review: January 26, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
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