Columbia Suttle Mountain Long Review
Cons: Not as warm, awkward pockets
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Columbia Suttle Mountain Long
|Price||$119.99 at Amazon||$299.95 at Backcountry|
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|$599.00 at Backcountry|
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|$649.00 at Backcountry|
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|$399.00 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Stylish, comfortable, easy to wear||Seriously warm, flattering, removable faux fur ruff, double sided zipper, functional pockets||Flattering, waterproof, durable, three jackets in one, recycled down and polyester||Athletic fit, comfortable, stylish, temperature regulating, waterproof||Warm, light, largely comfortable|
|Cons||Not as warm, awkward pockets||No front snaps, not as warm when compressed, not waterproof||Uninsulated hood, tight shoulders, no two-way zipper on down jacket, tricky pockets||Sleeves and hem can be chilly, finicky zipper, expensive||Somewhat awkward collar, small hood|
|Bottom Line||While it's not the warmest jacket it is comfortable, cute, and easy to wear||An insanely warm and cute jacket that won't break the bank||This parka is a versatile option that shines in wet winter conditions||Stylish and functional, this jacket will keep you dry and warm when moving around in the winter months||This warm and trim parka is sophisticated and can handle itself in rough weather|
|Rating Categories||Columbia Suttle Mountain Long||Marmot Montreaux||Tres 3-in-1 Parka||Arc'teryx Patera Parka||Jackson Glacier|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Specs||Columbia Suttle...||Marmot Montreaux||Tres 3-in-1 Parka||Arc'teryx Patera...||Jackson Glacier|
|Insulation and Fill Power||100% polyester synthetic down and thermal-reflective lining||700 fill power duck down with water resistant Down Defender||700 fill recycled duck and goose down||750 fill European goose down, Coreloft synthetic insulation||700 fill recycled duck and goose down|
|Fill Weight||Not available||221 g||150 g||Down - 59 g for size small, Synthetic - 100 g Coreloft||170 g|
|Hood||Insulated, detachable faux fur trim||Insulated, removable, detachable faux fur trim||Uninsulated, removable||Insulated, adjustable hood||Insulated|
|Pockets||2 snap handwarmer, 1 external zipped chest||2 zippered handwarmer, 2 internal chest (1 zippered)||2 zippered handwarmer in shell, 2 zippered handwarmer and 1 internal chest in down liner jacket||1 internal, 2 external||2 zippered handwarmer, 1 internal chest (zippered)|
|Weight (size small)||2.4 lbs||2.25 lbs||2.9 lbs||2.2 lbs||2.0 lbs|
|2-way zipper||Yes||Yes||Yes and No||Yes||Yes|
|Main Fabric||100% polyester||100% polyester||100% polyester, H2No||75D polyester, 2-layer Gore-Tex||100% recycled polyester|
|Weather Resistant Features||Water resistant fabric||Water resistant down, DWR treatment||Waterproof, windproof, and breathable barrier, DWR finish||Waterproof, windproof, and breathable barrier, DWR finish||DWR treatment|
|Sizes Available||XS to 3X||XS to XXL||XS to XXL||XS to XL||XS to XL|
|Top Features||Fleece-lined hood, thermal reflective lining||Plush fleece lined torso, micro fleece pockets and cuffs||Zip-out two layer design, removable hood, fleece-lined pockets||Down Composite mapping, storm cuffs||No stitch bonded quilting|
|Social or Environmental Certifications||100% recycled down, 50% recycled polyester shell, 100% recycled polyester jacket, Fair Trade Certified sewn||100% recylced down, 100% recycled polyester shell, 100% recycled polyester lining, Fair Trade Certified sewn|
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 freezing temps while watching the sunrise. At regular intervals, we checked the temperature of the jackets with a laser thermometer. (If the heat were making 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.
And our test found that this jacket had more heat escaping from the armpits than any of the rest. Columbia claims that the spaces between the silver lining dots let the jacket breathe, and our tests seem to confirm that. Though the silver lining around the core transitions to pure insulation in the sleeves. What concerns us, is that we felt chilled while we were losing heat. Though if the heat loss was keeping us from sweating, that would be a temperature regulating plus in the long term.
In the end, we determined that this jacket works best when you're moving. 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 since we haven't tested it in negative temps yet. But we really like it for more active days, or while running errands around town in mountain towns.
The warmest part of this jacket is its hood. It's 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 our 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 does a great job of keeping 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 much 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