Columbia Premier Packer Hoodie (2013)

The Premier Packer Hoodie’s comfortable fit and simple functionality make this decent effort from Columbia a solid if curious contender. The scaly, shimmery Omni-Heat treatment – thankfully confined to lining the body and not on show inside the hood – gives this a bit of a ‘disco’ look when unzipped, but the principle of thermally reflective dots does work, and makes you very warm very quickly when on. Fit is generous and of the slightly puffy variety (fill is Columbia’s Omni-Heat insulator, which features 50 per cent recycled polyester) and thus this jacket has additional potential as a throw-on over layer for lunch stops as well as being a very (very) warm mid layer – much in the mould of the Páramo Torres. Bad points: the hood doesn’t have adjustment, the zip pull is too small to operate effectively with gloves, and the handwarmer pockets don’t close up. That said, the Columbia Premier Packer Hoodie is very light, warm, reasonably water-resistant and compresses nicely into the supplied stuffsack (featuring the Omni-Heat dots on each end; handy when rummaging for it in a dark rucksack).

Weight 415g (size S)
Outer fabric Omni Shield 100% nylon 20 denier ripstop
Insulation 80gsm Omni-Heat (100% polyester)
Stuffsack/packable? stuffsack (+11g)
Adjustable hood? No
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes none
Website www.columbia.com

Verdict

The Columbia Premier Packer Hoodie is an oddball product with many good points; an insulated jacket that’s perfect for those just wanting an affordable throw-on warm layer that will pack down nicely when not in use.

Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine March 2013