Columbia Sierra Falls

This soft shell weighs 506g; 4-way stretch fabric; map-sized hip pockets; smaller chest pocket; collar drawcord; brushed polyester collar; excellent movement in sleeves. But access to hip pockets easily obscured by rucksack hipbelt; cuffs are a very loose fit without any form of adjustment to keep draughts out; relatively loose cut.

Verdict: Buy it if you like the style and pockets, but it’s not the best top for the hill.


Columbia Sierra Falls

This soft shell  weighs 506g; 4-way stretch fabric; map-sized hip pockets; smaller chest pocket; collar drawcord; brushed polyester collar; excellent movement in sleeves. But access to hip pockets easily obscured by rucksack hipbelt; cuffs are a very loose fit without any form of adjustment to keep draughts out; relatively loose cut.

Verdict Buy it if you like the style and pockets, but it’s not the best top for the hill.


Columbia Intrepid PT 100 Full Zip

This Columbia Intrepid PT 100 fleece has a full zip and generous fit that’s rather big on the shoulders. Elasticated cuffs are comfy; the sleeves are a good-length and the collar is nice and deep. The fleece zips up left to right, which felt awkward. With two useful hand pockets and lined front panels, the Intrepid makes a solid lightweight jacket for use as an outer or mid-layer but is perhaps not stylish enough to wear as a casual jacket.

Verdict: A reliable fleece with plenty of room for layers underneath, but doesn’t quite cut the mustard for casual wear and is also rather expensive.

Colours: Blue, kiwi, melonade, black, graphite, mud

Sizes: XS-XL

Fabric: Polartec Classic Micro

Contact: 00 800 4378 7833, www.columbia.com


Columbia Ballistic Sweater

This midweight fleece jacket from Columbia is hard to fault on fit, with enough adjustment in the cuffs and hem to make it very versatile indeed. The feel of the MTR fabric is great, but the lined sleeves not so good. With wind-resistant chest panels, as well as lined sleeves, this jacket is very warm, but doesn’t breathe or ventilate as well.

Verdict: A good-looking and very warm fleece that provides good wind resistance, at the expense of some breathability. Best worn as an outer layer.

Colours: Barn red, grill (grey), navy, peatmoss, black

Sizes: S-XXL

Fabric: Polyester MTR Microfleece

Weight: 690g

Women’s version: Yes

Contact: 00 800 4878 7833; www.columbia.com