Columbia Suttle Mountain Long Review
Cons: Not as warm, awkward pockets
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Columbia Suttle Mountain Long
|Price||$122.12 at Amazon||Check Price at Backcountry|
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|$219.95 at Amazon|
|Pros||Stylish, comfortable, easy to wear||Comfortable, durable fabric, awesome pockets, weather-proof and breathable||Warm, flattering, cozy, double-sided zipper, functional pockets||Waterproof, windproof, breathable, warm, durable||Stylish, form-fitting, warm, fun colors, faux fur ruff, down and synthetic insulation|
|Cons||Not as warm, awkward pockets||On the bulky side, face fabric holds onto water||No front snaps, not as warm when compressed, not waterproof||Cold pockets, slightly tight shoulders, and collar||Not waterproof, runs small, lost some feathers, finicky zipper, non-removable hood|
|Bottom Line||This cute, casual parka is good for warmer or more active days||An extremely warm, comfortable, stylish, and durable parka with lots of pockets||Serious warmth is packed into this lightweight, flattering, and reasonably priced parka||A warm and waterproof winter jacket that is available at a reasonable price||This jacket is short, simple, and will keep you warm and cozy all winter|
|Rating Categories||Columbia Suttle Mou...||Fjallraven Nuuk - W...||Marmot Montreaux||The North Face Arct...||Gotham Jacket II|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Specs||Columbia Suttle Mou...||Fjallraven Nuuk - W...||Marmot Montreaux||The North Face Arct...||Gotham Jacket II|
|Insulation and Fill Power||100% polyester synthetic down and thermal-reflective lining||Supreme microloft (100% polyester)||700 fill power duck down with water resistant Down Defender||550 fill goose down and recycled polyester insultation||550 fill goose down, Heatseeker 160g|
|Fill Weight||Unavailable||250 g||221 g||Down - unavailable, Synthetic - 150 g||Unavailable|
|Hood||Insulated, detachable faux fur trim||Insulated with detachable faux fur trim||Insulated, removable, detachable faux fur trim||Adjustable, insulated with removable faux fur trim||Adjustable with removable faux fur trim|
|Pockets||2 snap handwarmer, 1 external zipped chest||2 internal, 2 bellows, 2 hand, 1 sleeve, 2 chest||2 zippered handwarmer, 2 internal chest (1 zippered)||1 internal, 2 external||1 internal, 2 external|
|Weight (size small)||2.4 lbs||3.7 lbs||2.3 lbs||2.8 lbs||1.2 lbs|
|Weather Resistant Features||Water resistant fabric||Waterproof, windproof||Water resistant down, DWR treatment||Waterproof, windproof, breathable (DryVent), DWR||Water-resistant, wind-resistant|
|Sizes Available||XS to 3X||XXS to XXL||XS to XXL||XS to 3XL||XS to 3XL|
|Social or Environmental Certifications||Fluorocarbon-free impregnation||Lining 100% recycled polyester, Responsible Down Standard||Responsible Down Standard|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Suttle combines a layer of traditional synthetic down with Columbia's Omni-heat reflective lining around its core. This cuts down on the bulk created by air-trapping insulation while, theoretically at least, maintaining a lot of warmth. The big question for us when testing the Suttle was whether or not its reflective lining really works. We came to the conclusion that it does keep the jacket warmer than it would be without it, but it doesn't make the Suttle one of the warmest jackets we tested.
During our warmth testing, we stood still in 17-degree weather. At regular intervals, we checked the temperature of the jackets with a laser thermometer. (If the heat made it outside, it wouldn't be inside keeping us warm.) As our lead tester stood there with just a t-shirt beneath the jacket, her core felt chilled. You need to move in this jacket to stay warm in temperatures much below freezing. Columbia claims that the spaces between the silver lining dots let the jacket breathe, and our tests seem to confirm that.
While on walks at the same freezing temperatures as the thermometer test and with the same layering, our lead tester stayed toasty. (Of course, that's true of most jackets.) We would not choose this jacket to stand around outside for a tree lighting and hesitate to recommend it for the deep north. But we really like it for more active days, or while running errands around town in mountain towns.
The hood is lined with polyester fleece and is a great size to keep your noggin swathed but not swallowed. Whether or not you're on team faux fur, the included ruff helps keep the wind off your face. This fuff also flips out to extend the edge of the hood, all but stopping wind from coming in from the side. This hood is one of the best in the test.
Columbia calls the Suttle water-resistant, saying that it's good for blocking cold winds and shrugging off light snow. It certainly stood up well to our shower test. Water poured off the fabric, and we didn't notice any soaking through after several minutes. The one issue we had is that the fur ruff funnels water right into the collar. If you end up out in the rain or really wet snow, you might want to unbutton the ruff. The problem is, without it, the hood is on the shallow side, and rain or snow may end up dripping down your face.
As for the wind, the multi-layered fabric and zipper covering flap do a good job blocking it. And the insulated, close-fitting hood keeps your ears warm. You will depend on that fur ruff to keep your face warm though, without it, the hood doesn't provide enough protection from the sides.
It's not quite the cozy bear hug offered by the down-stuffed puffy options we tested. Instead, the Suttle's comfort originates from the decided freedom from that overstuffed feeling. The jacket walks the line between a parka and a plain old coat, in a very good way. Anytime it was less than frigid outside, or when we were planning to move around and wanted some breathing room, we reached for this option first.
The Suttle feels roomier than most, offering plenty of space for our spastic shoulders to stretch out or for us to layer our hearts out on colder days. We really like that the heat-reflective lining and nylon sleeve liners are smooth, sliding on overall our wool sweaters like a dream. It's also pretty pleasant against the skin, though it can feel a bit chilly until you warm it up with your body heat. In contrast, to the mostly sleek nature of this jacket, its fleece-lined hood is one of the coziest in the test.
Something about the Suttle's cut, proportions, fabric, and pocket placement just works for us. It's very casually cute. There is a subtle cut that hints at a waist. It also manages to feel sleek. Since it has less insulation than the other jackets we tested, it isn't as bulky, keeping you from feeling like a marshmallow. And the hood does not detach, which avoids the fussy look of extra zips, snaps, and flaps.
The fabric is smooth but not shiny, and we like that it has a buttoned flap that covers the zipper for a more refined look. The curved hem cut and elegant seams on the back help. We also really like the muted olive green color we tested. It works with most wardrobes. Columbia gives you a number of color options if it's not to your liking.
The fur ruff is a good one. The hood is the perfect size to peer out from without it ever getting in the way. It keeps us feeling as stylish as it is cozy. Though some online reviewers complained that the ruff can cause a gap between the attachment buttons, we didn't find this to be the case. If the faux fur isn't for you, just unbutton it. The resulting look is simplified and still stylish.
We even kind of dig the shiny silver inner lining. Our most stylish tester insisted on wearing it inside out and dubbing it the disco jacket. It's fun to have a little flash of fancy every time we pull it on or off. The mid-thigh cut keeps this winter jacket from looking totally out of place during the shoulder seasons, extending its use.
While we've only had this jacket in rotation for a few months now, we have high hopes for its long term durability. The zipper seems quality, and there isn't a lot of exposed stitching. The smooth fabric is unlikely to snag, and the handwarmer pockets close with a simple, and hardy, snap button.
Since the insulation is synthetic, you don't need to worry about down feathers threading their way out over time. We have seen online reviews that claim the reflective silver lining can wear off over time but haven't run into this issue yet.
The front handwarmer pockets aren't insulated, and they aren't angled to the side. So you just have to shove your hands straight down. They'll work in a pinch. The zipped chest pocket is more secure.
We've already sung the praises of the non-detachable hood with its detachable fur rough. You can also adjust the hood with a hook and loop tab on the back of your head. We never used it. The wrists are also adjustable, somewhat making up for the fact that they lack an internal gasket to keep warm air in and cold out.
Since we expect this jacket to last and it offers enough warmth and weather protection to get you around town in most moderate winter conditions, we think it offers a solid value. We've tested it in moderate fall conditions and feel like it could get you through the first chilly weather in the fall to the depths of winter, depending on how deep your winter gets.
This comfortable and stylish winter parka offers durability, warmth, and moderate weather protection for less. Its heat-reflective liner works differently than synthetic or down stuffed jackets, keeping it a little thinner and lighter and giving us more room to move around on our winter weather adventures, just how we like it.
— Clark Tate