Columbia Faster and Lighter Shell

The Faster and Lighter Shell is a multi-activity jacket that does exactly what it says on the swing tag. It weighs in at 248g, which is pretty light, and ideal for fast and light action. The fabric is no lightweight though, being rated as good as the best. There is a little bit of stretch in the fabric too, which allows for plenty of freedom of movement without the need for a baggy cut. To keep the weight down and the condensation under control you get mesh pockets that allow a little extra airflow. These pockets are chest-mounted, so they are easily accessible while wearing a pack. They are big too and can swallow an OS map.  The hood is fairly basic, however it fits and moves well with the head. Use this for fast and light action and it is very good. But the hood cannot be rolled down and secured, so it is not ideal for moving fast as it could catch the wind. There is no reflective piping either so this is not the best for night action. Some other hoods are perhaps a little better too in terms of fit and movement. It also seems like a few quid overpriced compared to others.


Outer: nylon Omni-Tech Stretch ripstop
Inner: none
Fabric waterproofness: extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability: extremely breathable
Sizes: S-XXL
Weight: 248g (size L)
Made in China
Stores in UK: 15

Verdict: Great for light hiking, and reasonable for biking and adventure racing.