The Columbia Aravis Long Shell is a good all-round design for generally being outdoors in wet and windy weather. Firstly it uses Columbia’s own Omni-Tech waterproof and breathable fabric. The mesh lining also benefits from being made from recycled material to add to its eco-friendly credibility. As the name suggests this is slightly longer than the similar Aravis Shell (£100). That extra length makes this jacket a little more useful for hill-walkers who are out in all weathers. There are two large chest pockets, and these have nice long zips and can be accessed while wearing rucksack belts. These pockets are mesh-lined, which adds to their value for venting the jacket. There is an additional smaller chest pocket that is good for stashing a GPS receiver for example. The hood, which can be removed completely, benefits from a wired peak, and reasonable fit and movement. But the pockets of the Columbia Aravis Long Shell are mesh-lined so while being great for adding ventilation they are not so good at keeping the rain out if wet gear is stashed in them for example. A higher price tag would mean you’d get a jacket made from more waterproof and more breathable fabrics. Surprisingly the hood cannot be rolled into the collar, which some people may have preferred.
Outer Omni-Tech 2-layer waterproof and breathable fabric
Inner 57% recycled polyester mesh
Fabric waterproofness very waterproof
Fabric breathability very breathable
Weight 590g (size M)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 5
Verdict: The Columbia Aravis Long Shell is an excellent and low-priced waterproof for general hill-walking.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2009