The Columbia Lake 22 Down Jacket Review: Yay or Nay? Find Out Here!

(Last Updated On: December 9, 2018)

For a long day out and about in the cold, a good insulated jacket can make all the difference between staying warm and being miserable.

Down jackets provide an excellent insulated layer without adding too much bulk, and Columbia Lake 22 Down Jacket certainly doesn’t disappoint in this area.

If you are looking for an insulating jacket that will keep you warm, allow you to move around and doesn’t weigh you down, then continue reading as we take you through the features, what we like, and what we don’t like about the Columbia Lake 22 Down Jacket.

Features of a good down jacket – What should you look for before you buy one?

Let take a look at the features that a good down jacket has to have, and then see how Columbia Lake 22 performs.

Fit and Size

An insulated layer should fit properly, with just enough space to move around comfortably. It should be snug enough to trap warm air close to the body and not allow cold air to seep in. An insulated jacket should be closed off properly at the hems, sleeves and fastening to make sure that no space can allow the body to lose precious heat in icy conditions.

Insulation Capacity

A good down jacket should be able to hold in heat close to the body, and not allow the cold air to get inside. Down is the best material for insulation, but the construction and the fit of the jacket is another crucial feature. You can measure the insulation capacity when you see the fill power of a jacket. It is usually indicated as a number such as 550-fill, 650-fill, 700-fill, etc. The high the number, the number better is the insulation.

Most entry and mid-level jackets have a fill power of 500-650. These jackets are great for daily wear and medium-intensity outdoor activities, but they are not suitable for high-intensity, cold activities.

High-end jackets have a fill power of 800 plus. These jackets are suitable for extreme temperatures and high-intensity cold-weather outdoor activities.

Another critical factor that determines the insulation capacity is the fill weight. This means that the more amount of down in the jacket the warmer it is. On the flipside, the higher the fill-weight, the higher the overall weight of the jacket, reducing compressibility and increasing the total weight of the jacket.

Waterproofing Capability

While it is not expected that a down jacket is entirely waterproof and functions as well as a shell layer, some amount of waterproofing is undoubtedly necessary in a down jacket.

You wouldn’t want to bother wearing a third shell layer when it is drizzling or snowing lightly, and you obviously want your down jacket to keep you from getting drenched.

When you are hiking, the few layers you have on, the easier it is to move around. So, you would want your down jacket to be capable of handling a little bit of moisture on the trail.

Wicking Capability

While it is not that important when you are not exerting yourself, wicking capability certainly needs attention when you are on an adventure. If your insulating layers don’t do a good job of keeping moisture away from your skin, then you could run the risk of facing conditions like hypothermia.

Warmth-to-Weight Ratio

Down jackets provide the best warmth-to-weight ratio. This is because down is a naturally insulating material with a lot of air pockets, so it doesn’t take a lot of material to keep you adequately warm. A lesser amount of material can help you stay at an optimum temperature. Down jackets, in general, have an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio.

Compressibility

Lugging around a jacket when you are not using it can become cumbersome. Good compressibility means that the jacket folds down into a compact piece that is easy to carry and fit into luggage. Since down has a lot of air pockets, the compressibility factor is always high.

Drying Time

An insulating layer should be able to dry quickly. Down jackets rapidly lose their insulation capability when they are wet, so it is essential that they dry quickly to do what they are supposed to do, and that is keeping you warm.

To Hood or Not to Hood?

A jacket without a hood works great as a mid-layer while trekking, hiking, and skiing when used in conjunction with a base layer and an outer shell. However, if you are into more serious outdoor activities in extreme weather conditions, a hood can be very useful in protecting you from wind, chill and hail.

About Columbia Lake 22 Jacket

Columbia Sportswear has created this jacket as a versatile product that can be used both for urban city wear, as well as for outdoor activities like hiking and mountaineering in cold weather.

Technical Specifications

Here is a list of some of the technical specifications of Columbia Lake 22 Jacket –

  • Insulation Layer – 650-fill natural down, RDS Certified
  • Construction – Heat Seal with elastic sleeves, covered zippers and blocked hems
  • Weight – Ranges from 1.03 lb to 19 lb (depends on the size)
  • Shell Fabric – 100% Polyester
  • Lining – 100% Polyester
  • Available Sizes – XS, S, M, L, XL and XXL
  • Fit – Regular
  • Length – Short
  • Manufacturer Warranty – 1 year
  • Available colours – Collegiate Navy, Black, Charcoal Heather Print, Dark Ivy, Dark Mountain, Mosstone, Red Element.
  • Cost – $120
  • Gender – Available for both Men and Women
  • Pockets – 2 zippered hand

Reviewing Columbia Lake 22 Jacket – How does it perform?  Is it a good choice for a down jacket?

Now that we have the parameters to measure the Columbia Lake 22 Jacket, here is a run-down on the list of features, in a Q&A format. Here, we outline what we like and what we don’t like, what would have been desirable about this jacket, pros, and cons in a nutshell, and our final verdict on if this jacket should be in your winter wardrobe.

Who is Columbia Lake 22 Down Jacket for?

Columbia Lake 22 Down Jacket comes for both men and women. If you need a warm and insulating mid-layer for a hike in the frosty mountains, then this jacket can work well you.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a stylish jacket with medium waterproof capability, and don’t plan to head out in heavy downpour or snow, then this jacket can work very well on top of your regular winter clothes to keep you warm in icy conditions as well.

How is the fit of Columbia Lake 22 Down Jacket?

Columbia Lake 22 Jackets fits men and women a little differently.

For men, the fit is regular, meaning, you should buy whatever size you usually purchase.

For women, however, the fit is a bit on the looser side. So even if you buy your regular size, there will still be some space, but not too much, and it should be comfortable when worn with an inner or a base layer.

If you are buying it online, size charts could be a little off and suggest that you buy a size bigger, but a regular fit should work just fine. Make sure that the online store that you are purchasing from has a good return and exchange policy before attempting to buy this jacket. Size could be an issue, especially for women.

How is the Style diversity of Columbia Lake 22 Down Jacket?

This jacket comes in some colors for both men and women and looks great when paired with any outfit. The fastenings are all of the latest design, not too gaudy and loud, and neither is it too-played down.

This jacket is appropriate enough for use on a college campus, to make a grocery trip, for sight-seeing around the city and hiking on the coldest mountains, without compromising on your expectations for the style.

The jacket is also equipped with enough pockets to make it easier for you to carry your stuff around.

How is the insulation capability of Columbia Lake 22 Down Jacket?

This is the best part of the jacket. The jacket has a 650-fill down, which is a pretty impressive number. With this kind of fill, the insulation capacity is amazing, and the jacket can keep you warm even in the coldest conditions. If the fit is right, you are sure to stay warm in this jacket.

Columbia Lake 22 Jacket does exactly what a down jacket is supposed to do, and there are no second thoughts about its insulation capability. While most of the credit goes to the fill density, the baffle construction of the jacket and the elastic fastening at the sleeves helps a lot too.

Can you wear your Columbia Lake 22 Jacket on a wet day?

This jacket can easily handle a very light drizzle or light snow, but it indeed cannot function as an outer shell. For best results, pair it with a good shell layer if you are going to step out in wet conditions.

Down jackets don’t usually fare well when there is a lot of moisture, and this jacket is no exception. The insulation goes down as it gets wet.

How does Columbia Lake 22 Jacket fare when you are sweating?

The wicking capability of this jacket is excellent. Paired with a good base and outer layers, this jacket will serve well in the outdoors. The moisture transfer capability of this jacket is good enough for light to medium sweating, but it does tend to get cooler if the amount of moisture inside the jacket becomes exceptionally high.

There is a double absorbent lining that is provided in the jacket which aids wicking. This makes Columbia Lake 22 Jacket suitable for use in high-intensity activities in cold weather.

Is there are a trade-off between the weight of Columbia Lake 22 Jacket the warmth it offers?

One of the features that will tempt you to buy this jacket is its amazing warmth-to-weight ratio. The superb quality and density of the 650-fill inside makes this jacket extremely warm and surprisingly lightweight.

Carrying this jacket around when you are not wearing it is a breeze. A men’s jacket of size “L” weighs about 19 ounces. However, the warmth that it offers is unbeatable.

With an excellent weight-to-warmth ratio, this product scores well regarding being an excellent lightweight and warm jacket.

Is it difficult to lug around Columbia Lake 22 Jacket when I am not wearing it?

It is effortless to fold up this jacket. It gets compressed into a tiny package that you can easily fit into your luggage. Its lightweight construction makes it a breeze to carry around or tie around your waist.

Drape it over your arm, stuff it in your backpack or place it in your check-in baggage, this jacket will not make any difference to luggage weight constraints that you may have. Once folded down and hooked to your backpack, you will hardly notice it.

How long does it take for Columbia Lake 22 Jacket to dry?

With good wicking capability and good waterproof capability, Columbia Lake 22 Jacket dries quickly and easily. This makes it an excellent choice for hiking and mountaineering in cold weather since it can protect against hypothermia.

What can be better in Columbia Lake 22 Jacket?

A hood is something that is lacking in this jacket.

While it certainly doesn’t look too dull, Columbia Sportswear can add more style to its products, and a piece as good as Columbia Lake 22 would have scored more brownie points if there had been more choice, regarding more colors and patterns. Columbia Lake 22 Jacket – Pros and Cons in a nutshell

Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • Very High insulation capability.
  • Highly Windproof
  • Elastic sleeves and blocked hems make it better for heat retention.
  • Great warmth-to-weight ration
  • Great build quality

Cons

  • Just water-resistant, not waterproof
  • No hoodie
  • Could have had better styling for urban wear
  • Though advertised as interchangeable, Columbia Lake 22 is just an insulating layer.
  • Fit should have been a bit relaxed, tends to be a little tight around hips for larger people.

How does Columbia Lake 22 Jacket compare against other brands?

Comparing Columbia Lake 22 jacket with similar jackets from other brands will give you a perspective on where this jacket stands.

We compare Columbia Lake 22 with jackets from two more famous brands, TNF Aconcagua and Arc’teryx Cerium LT Jackets.

Columbia Lake 22 vs The North Face Aconcagua Jacket

TNF Aconcagua

Both Columbia Sportswear and North Face cater to a similar niche and market. However, Columbia Sportswear has been more focused on making products for the masses, compromising a bit on the quality, while TNF is focused on producing high-quality products.

Although lately, the focus for both the companies has now seemed to shift to the opposite ends of the spectrum, with Columbia Sportswear focusing on quality and TNF focusing on the masses.

Columbia Lake 22 and TNF Aconcagua Jackets fall in the same category and are meant for the same purposes. Here are some of the key differences between both –

  • Fit – Columbia Lake 22 Jacket has a more relaxed fit as compared to TNF Aconcagua, and it is also slightly longer as well.
  • Insulation – Columbia Lake 22 comes with 650-fill down layer, whereas TNF Aconcagua comes with 550-fill down layer. This definitely makes Columbia Lake 22 a clear winner, when it comes to heat retention and insulation.
  • Style – TNF Aconcagua clearly wins in this one, as it is available in more colors and patterns than Columbia Lake 22. TNF is known for making products that are high on the style spectrum.
  • Cost – TNF Aconcagua loses the match with Columbia Lake 22 because of the cost. For a jacket that provides lesser insulation, TNF is priced much higher than Columbia. It makes more sense to buy a Columbia as it is more value for money.
  • Build Quality – Both jackets are fairly equal in terms of durability and build quality.

A comprehensive comparison between Columbia Lake 22 and TNF Aconcagua is given in this table –

Parameter

Columbia Lake 22

TNF Aconcagua

Cost

Low

High

Fit and Comfort

High

Medium

Durability

High

High

Weight

Low

Low

Insulation Layer

650-fill Down

550-fill Down

Insulation Capability

Very High

High

Compressibility

High

High

Wicking Capability

High

High

Style Quotient

Medium

High

Waterproofing

Medium

Medium

Wind Resistance

High

Medium

Final Verdict on Columbia Lake 22 Jacket vs TNF Aconcagua

Columbia Lake 22 is a clear winner between the two because it offers better fit, warmth-to-weight ratio, and the cost-factor tips the scale in favor of Columbia.

Columbia Lake 22 vs Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody

Patagonia Sweater Hoody jacket offers solid competition to Columbia Lake 22 jacket. Priced slightly higher (about $100-$200 more) this product provides better insulation with an 800-fill down layer, and it has a hood to boot, which is missing in Columbia Lake 22.

These two redeeming factors make it a better choice if you are willing to pay the extra cost. Depending on the temperatures and conditions you are going to be using the jacket, it may make sense for you to pick up Patagonia Sweater Hoody, instead of Columbia Lake 22.

In addition to insulation, Patagonia Sweater Hoody scores higher regarding water resistance because of the additional DWR (durable water repellent finish) both on the shell and the lining of the jackets.

The 800-fill down works additionally to provide better wind-resistance as well.

Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody is more durable than Columbia Lake 22 because of the ripstop technology that helps prevent damage because of abrasion.

The technical specifications of Patagonia Sweater Hoody are as follows –

  • Insulation Layer – 800-fill natural down, Advanced Global Traceable Down standard by NSF International
  • Weight – 1.4 lb 20×30-denier
  • Shell Fabric – 100% Polyester ripstop
  • Lining – 100% Polyester ripstop
  • Available Sizes – XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL
  • Fit – Regular
  • Available colours – Black, Forge Grey, Balkan Blue, Classic Navy, Fire, Micro Green
  • Cost – $280 (Check out the latest rates here!)
  • Gender – Available for both Men and Women
  • Pockets – 2 zippered hand

Here is a comparison table between Columbia Lake 22 Jacket and Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody

Parameter

Columbia Lake 22

Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody

Cost

Low

Marginally High

Fit and Comfort

High

High

Durability

High

Very High

Weight

Medium

Low

Insulation Layer

650-fill Down

800-fill Down

Insulation Capability

High

Very High

Compressibility

High

High

Wicking Capability

High

Very High

Waterproofing

Medium

High

Wind-Resistance

High

Very High

Value for Money

High

Very High

Final Verdict on Columbia Lake 22 Jacket vs Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody

If you are ready to shell out the extra money and your application calls for a highly insulated and durable product, Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody wins hands down.

For a more general use during the winter, and for medium intensity activities, or if you are extremely cost-conscious and ready to forego the additional waterproofing, wind-resistance and durability, then Columbia Lake 22 Jacket is the way to go.

Columbia Lake 22 vs Arc’teryx Cerium LT Jacket

When compared to Columbia Sportswear, Arc’teryx is a more premium brand and more of a secondary competitor to Columbia Sportswear.

The main thing that you will notice while comparing these brands is that the price difference between both is almost double. Arc’teryx also features a more insulating 800-fill down layer, as compared to the 650-fill in Columbia Lake 22.

At this point, it all boils down to what activity you will be using the jacket for. An Arc’teryx Cerium LT Jacket may be an overkill if you are going to commute within the city for short distances, or use it for grocery runs. However, if you are on a serious Alpine Mountaineering mission, then Arc’teryx could be a significant investment.

Here is a brief comparison table between the two jackets –

Parameter

Columbia Lake 22

Arc’teryx Cerium LT

Cost

Low

Very High

Fit and Comfort

High

Very High

Durability

High

Very High

Weight

Low

Low

Insulation Layer

650-fill Down

850-fill Down

Insulation Capability

High

Very High

Compressibility

High

High

Wicking Capability

High

Medium

Style Quotient

Medium

Medium

Waterproofing

Medium

High

Windproofing

High

Very High

The final verdict on Columbia Lake 22 vs. Arc’teryx Cerium LT Jacket

If you are not too brand conscious, and you don’t need very high insulation capability, then, at $120, Columbia Lake 22 Jacket is the one for you. It offers value for money, is pocket-friendly and should serve most of your cold-weather needs, unless you are into serious mountaineering in icy weather or sports competition level activities that require high-end gear.

While Arc’teryx Cerium LT is an extremely high-quality jacket, a Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody would serve the purpose equally well, at half the cost, because the specifications are almost the same. Patagonia Sweater Hoods offers better waterproofing capability when compared to Arc’teryx Cerium LT Jacket, with a hood to boot, which is sorely missing in both Arc’teryx Cerium LT and Columbia Lake 22.

Conclusion

Overall, the Columbia Lake 22 Jacket is an excellent offering from Columbia Sportswear. It can quickly get you through winters without burning a hole in your pocket while letting you look stylish and keeping you very warm.

While a hood would have been desirable, the lack of it is not so bad, especially given that it is highly affordable, has excellent insulation capacity, and is lightly water-resistant to boot.

You can combine this jacket with a base layer and an outer layer, and you have decent outdoor clothing for medium intensity activities like hiking and trekking. However, this jacket is not going to serve you well in extreme conditions and high-intensity activities.

It comes in a decent number of shades, so pairing it up with your regular clothing should not be a problem at all, especially if you choose shades like black, which can go with any other color.

On a mountain, functionality is going to be more important to you than the looks anyway. Columbia Lake 22 Jacket provides plenty of functionality with sound insulation, durability, compressibility and it is lightweight to boot, also offering two zippered pockets which make it easier to carry small stuff.

While there are brands out there which offer better jackets, Columbia Lake 22 scores very high on the cost front. It can give other brands with jackets of 500 to 700 fill a serious run for their money because it offers so much more than these products. Durability, water-resistance, and wind-resistance are much higher in Columbia Lake 22, as compared to other brands.

At 650-fill, the jacket offers decent warmth as compared to other entry and mid-variant jackets, which makes it a purchase that is going to be an excellent value for money.

Overall, Columbia Lake 22 Jacket is going to be a great addition to your winter wardrobe if –

  • You will use it for daily wear and medium-intensity activities.
  • You are looking for an effective jacket on a budget.
  • You can be a little flexible about waterproofing capability.

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.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment: