Heading out to the French Alps, Nick got to test out the latest winter season gear from Columbia with this jacket and trouser combo.
Design and fit
The Wildside jacket and Snow Freak trousers are both fully waterproof shell outer layers, while being surprisingly breathable. Both feature Omni-Heat technology which helps to keep the warm air in and underarm pit and legs zips assist in letting cool air in if you need to.
The jacket is super comfy. Soft feel fabrics and comfort cuffs means you feel good when wearing the jacket, with or without base / mid layers. A decent number of pocket, both inside and outside the jacket means you can store all your bits and bobs, like snack bars and your all important ski pass. Sealed seams ensures all your stuff stays dry in a snowstorm.
A powderskirt and storm hood also help to keep out the snow if you’re heading a little deeper into the backcountry. However, I found the hood to be just a little too small go fit over a helmet without it feeling a bit cramped. Not the end of the world, but with more and more people wearing helmets on the slopes, (which I think is great) I feel the hood should fit a little better.
On the slopes
I found the jacket and trousers to be very comfortable on and off the slopes. Utilising both as part of a layering system, the shell qualities meant they fitted perfectly with a base layer and mid layer underneath. I felt warm and cosy all day long, even in baltic temperatures of the mountains. The garments are of a good quality and kept me nice and dry whilst I was playing in the powder and it was dumping down with snow.
The Wildside jacket comes in four colourways that are sure to satisfy a wide range of style choices. From the more reserved there is a Black, heather grey combo to the more visually striking Red spark or Azul, Boulder heather. There is colours to suit everyone.
The same can be said for the Snow Freak trousers. Also coming in a range of colours from Black or Collegiate Navy to the bold Backcountry Orange, again having a colour to suit any taste.
The Wildside jacket and Snow Freak trousers from Columbia surprised me a little bit as they were both of a superior quality than I was expecting for the retail price. They work great as part of a layering system, bringing all the aspects that a good shell jacket and trouser for the slopes needs to. Fully waterproof, good sizing and comfortable for a long day on the hill as well as in the bar for a cheeky aprés. I enjoyed wearing them, and would certainly make them a part of my regular gear for the slopes.