The Full Columbia Omni Heat Alpine Action Jacket Review: Is This the Coat You’ll Love?

Columbia is a well-known brand of both casual and athletic apparel. The brand originated in Portland, OR and has been around for 70+ years. Their primary focus is creating gear for outdoor enthusiasts in the Pacific Northwest, though their popularity has spread globally now.

The Pacific Northwest often brings cold and wet weather, making Columbia a trusted source of gear for outdoor winter activities. As the brand developed, so did their technology. One example of this technology is Omni Heat and Omni Tech.

Both have changed the way Columbia can make their jackets more weatherproof and warmer than ever before. This technology is no in various types of gear, from gloves to boots but remains most common in outerwear.

Their Alpine Action jacket is powered by Omni Heat and has been met with high praise from casual winter hikers to serious skiers and snowboarders alike. This jacket is downright impressive and an excellent example of what Columbia can produce. Men and women alike will find the Alpine Action because a quick go-to winter jacket for almost any situation.

Specs and Features of the Omni Heat Alpine Action

A snow jacket seems to be a pretty basic piece of apparel with the sole purpose of providing warmth, but Columbia doesn’t believe so. The Alpine Action jacket with Omni Heat is anything but basic and truly performs like a piece of sports gear.

Here is a rundown of all the basics you need to know about this jacket.

Sizing:

  • Available in 8 color options – Delta, Nocturnal, Black, New Cinder, Super Blue, Collegiate Navy/Night Tide, Mountain Red and Pond/Deep Green
  • Men’s sizing from Small to XXL with “Modern Classic” fit
  • Women’s sizing also available

Materials:

  • Shell made of Matte Melange 100% polyester
  • Lining made of Omni Heat Reflective Microtex Light 100% polyester
  • Insulation is 100 grams Microtemp XF II 100% polyester
  • Omni Heat Reflective designed to reflect body heat
  • Omni Tech design offers waterproofness and breathability

Details:

  • Designed for general winter wear and snow sports
  • Removable and/or adjustable storm hood adds versatility
  • Powder skirts snaps back for regular wear around town
  • Zippered chest and hand pockets
  • Interior chest pocket for security
  • Media pocket with moisture protection
  • Special sport goggle pockets to prevent damage to gear
  • Drop tail design with 31″ center back
  • Adjustable cuffs tabs on arms and drawcord on hem
  • Retails for $170 (check this listing for the latest live prices)

The Alpine Action is loaded with a lot of cool little features that make this jacket stand apart from the competition.

Advantages of the Omni Heat Alpine Action

You’ll find review after review boasting about the warmth and overall quality of this jacket. Here are just three of the major reasons why it is a Columbia fan favorite.

  • Plenty of Pockets for Packing Small Items

As you could tell in the features list, the Omni Heat Alpine Action has an unusually high amount of different pockets. Most jackets tend to have hand pockets and maybe a chest pocket and that’s it. Well, Columbia loaded this jacket with 6 different pockets for maximum gear storage.

The main pockets are both zippered, with one located on the left breast with a vertical zipper and two normal hand pockets. The zippers are a superb touch since the last thing you want to do while traipsing through the snow is drop something.

Inside the jacket you will also find an interior security pocket for storing a wallet, phone, ID, etc. This will be completely protected from the elements which is important for these sensitive accessories.

The two unique pockets are a media pocket that offers some moisture protection and a goggle pocket. The media pocket is ideal for keeping your device secure while listening to music. If you are someone that enjoy this you’ll really get a lot of use out of this pockets.

The goggle pocket is in place since this jacket is designed more as a snow sports jacket than a casual piece. Skier and snowboarders will really appreciate having this separate pocket to place fragile eye protection without worrying about it getting scratched or falling out.

  • Deceptively Warm in Harsh Conditions

The Omni Heat technology is truly astounding. Inside the jacket you’ll see that the lining is black with a large amount of tiny metallic dots. This layer makes up 30% of the heat retaining lining of the Alpine Action.

The rest of the lining is a highly breathable fabric to ensure maximum comfort and minimal body heat loss. Staying dry is important in remaining warm after all. It also helps with reducing heat if you find yourself in warmer weather. It truly is amazing how well Omni Heat works.

While warmth really comes down to your own body, it’s safe to say that this jacket is plenty warm for majority of US winter conditions. Some men find that a base longsleeve t-shirt is all they need under this jacket for snow sports in moderate cold temps.

Women may require more layering due to being naturally more sensitive to cold. Don’t be surprised if you end up being too warm in this jacket because the Omni Heat technology sometimes works too well in warm winter conditions.

Another aspect of this Omni technology is Omni Tech. The outside of the Alpine Action is completely waterproof and can even handle falls in wet snow without a problem. A drawcord on the hem and cuff tabs offer additional protection against snow getting into the jacket. While it isn’t designed for seriously windy conditions, you’ll be warm in all but the very harshest winds.

The Alpine Action is a great example of a fairly lightweight yet super warm and weather-resistant winter jacket. It looks great, especially in the darker color shades, and fits the body well. It offers enough space to layer under it without looking excessively boxy. The classic fit won’t get in the way of your arms or ski poles while maneuvering either.

Disadvantages of the Omni Heat Alpine Action

A huge majority of reviews for the Alpine Action jacket are overwhelmingly positive but there is one very small issue some have found for the men’s sizing of this model.

  • Tends to Run a Size Large

Typically you would want to size up for a winter jacket to accommodate layering underneath but it seems Columbia took the initiative to do this themselves. The Alpine Action jacket tends to run close to a full size larger than you would expect.

Even if you plan on heavily layering under this piece, try a size smaller than you normally would just in case. With how warm this jacket is, you’d be surprised at how little layering you will need anyways. As an example, a man with average proportions that typically wears a large would be better off with a medium. A medium would still give enough room under to wear a base layer and a fleece over that.

Columbia jackets are often considered to be a cheaper alternative to big name brands like The North Face or Arc’teryx but this just isn’t true. While they may be more budget-friendly, Columbia makes some excellent outdoor apparel that is just as comfortable, warm and long-lasting as its competition.

The Alpine Action is just one example of how Columbia combines excellent materials, design and technology like Omni Heat in one very impressive jacket.

About the Author Sam Hardy

Sam Hardy is an outdoor enthusiast with a penchant for survival prepping. He writes about the great outdoors and his favorite equipment here.

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