Dazzling silver dots line the inside of the Columbia Thermarator II, reflecting heat back at you like an emergency blanket – and keeping you 20 per cent warmer, Columbia claims. This is Omni-Heat thermal reflective technology, and along with a high level of windproofing from the bonded fleece outer it makes this jacket one of the warmest in our test. However this does come at a cost as the Thermarator II is quite bulky and ever so slightly on the heavy side at 450g (size UK12), without a hood. The fit is quite short at the back with no drop tail and it’s quite snug around the under arms and chest, so arm movement is only okay rather than excellent despite sensibly placed stretch panels under the arms and at the sides. Also, if you reach up for a hold the jacket may not be quite long enough for taller folk. The same stretch material is used for the very comfy thumb loop cuffs, which block out any draughts. The Columbia Thermarator II’s zips are very easy to use with gloves on and the two pockets are almost high enough to access while wearing a hipbelt. The hem drawcord keeps cold air off your kidneys nicely, and the velvet-feel collar wraps around your neck luxuriously.
Pockets 2 side
Material 100% polyester with 280g Thermarator fleece and elastane Thermo stretch 280g Thermal Reflective
Thumb loops yes
Men’s version yes
The Columbia Thermarator II is a very warm, wind-resistant and comfy but slightly heavy and bulky jacket that’s better for walking rather than scrambling due to some restriction in movement.
Review by Claire Maxted
First published in Trail magazine October 2012