A stylish, lightweight, and comfortable winter jacket, the Columbia Suttle Mountain parka was quickly a favorite among our testers. Columbia augments a light layer of synthetic down insulation with a silver lining (literally) of heat reflective dots. Aside from adding style points, the lining does seem to hold in heat, but only when we're active. When we're standing around in temperatures at or below freezing, we need more layers to stay toasty. If you need a lighter-weight winter jacket, tend to stay active in the winter, or are okay with layering, this jacket is an excellent option to add to your jacket collection.Editor's Note: The Columbia Suttle Mountain Long jacket review was updated on February 12, 2022, with better product comparisons and additional information on who we recommend this jacket to.
Columbia Suttle Mountain Long Review
Cons: Not as warm, awkward pockets
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|Pros||Stylish, comfortable, easy to wear||Comfortable, durable fabric, awesome pockets, weather-proof and breathable||Warm, light, soft, great hood||Warm, flattering, cozy, double-sided zipper, functional pockets||Warm, comfortable, simple, inexpensive|
|Cons||Not as warm, awkward pockets||On the bulky side, face fabric holds onto water||No cinch at the waist, not the most stylish||No front snaps, not as warm when compressed, not waterproof||Shallow hood, no internal pockets|
|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||This soft, extra-long down parka with a cavernous hood is a dream to wrap up in when the temperatures drop||Serious warmth is packed into this lightweight, flattering, and reasonably priced parka||Cute, streamlined, and warm enough for almost any winter weather, this jacket is a great value|
|Rating Categories||Columbia Suttle Mou...||Fjallraven Nuuk - W...||Outdoor Research Co...||Marmot Montreaux||REI Co-op Norseland...|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Specs||Columbia Suttle Mou...||Fjallraven Nuuk - W...||Outdoor Research Co...||Marmot Montreaux||REI Co-op Norseland...|
|Insulation and Fill Power||100% polyester synthetic down and thermal-reflective lining||Supreme microloft (100% polyester)||700 fill down||700 fill power duck down with water resistant Down Defender||650 fill duck down|
|Fill Weight||Unavailable||250 g||240 g||221 g||238 g|
|Hood||Insulated, detachable faux fur trim||Insulated with detachable faux fur trim||Adjustable||Insulated, removable, detachable faux fur trim||Fleece lined|
|Pockets||2 snap handwarmer, 1 external zipped chest||2 internal, 2 bellows, 2 hand, 1 sleeve, 2 chest||2 zippered handwarmer, 1 internal zippered security, 1 internal pouch||2 zippered handwarmer, 2 internal chest (1 zippered)||2 zippered handwarmer|
|Weight (size small)||2.4 lbs||3.7 lbs||2.0 lbs||2.3 lbs||2.0 lbs|
|Weather Resistant Features||Water resistant fabric||Waterproof, windproof||Water and wind resistant||Water resistant down, DWR treatment||DWR treatment|
|Sizes Available||XS to 3X||XXS to XXL||XS to XL||XS to XXL||XS to XL|
|Social or Environmental Certifications||Fluorocarbon-free impregnation||Responsible Down Standard - Certified, bluesign approved, 100% recycled nylon shell||Responsible Down Standard - Certified , 100% recycled polyester lining, bluesign approved|
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 feature cuts down on the bulk created by air-trapping insulation while theoretically maintaining a lot of warmth. The big question for us when testing the Suttle was whether or not the reflective lining works. We concluded 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 and no additional layers 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.
Our lead tester stayed toasty while on walks at the same freezing temperatures as the thermometer test and with the same layering. (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 like it for more active days or while out and about running errands 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. The ruff flips out, extending the edge of the hood and all but stopping wind from entering 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 only issue was that the fur ruff funnels water right into the collar. If you end up out in the rain or 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 of 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, and you may find yourself wanting a beanie.
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 perfectly. 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 jacket's sleek nature, its fleece-lined hood is one of the coziest.
Something about the Suttle's cut, proportions, fabric, and pocket placement just works for us. It's very casually cute. A subtle cut hints at a waist, and it somehow 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. The hood does not detach, allowing you to avoid 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 as it works with most wardrobes, but Columbia gives you several 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 complain 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 aren't angled to the side. So you just have to shove your hands straight down. It's not the most comfortable, but it will 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 adjust the hood with a hook and loop tab on the back of your head, but we never used it. The wrists are also adjustable, somewhat making up for the lack of an internal gasket to keep warm air in and cold out.
Should You Buy the Columbia Suttle Mountain Long?
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 provides 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. We recommend it to anyone looking for a jacket that is versatile enough for many weather conditions and still more affordable.
What Other Winter Jackets Should You Consider?
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. A similar option to consider is the REI Co-op Norseland Insulated Parka, which falls in the same price range, but has a much better warmth score. However, neither jacket is the most weather resistant. If you often venture out in wet and windy conditions, the Arc'teryx Patera Parka is worth a look, but keep in mind you will pay a premium for this jacket.
— Clark Tate
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