Columbia Mount Tabor Jacket Review
I was looking for a winter jacket to replace my old, worn down, cheapo Costco down jacket. The Columbia Mount Tabor caught my eye because it was inexpensive for its brand and quality. I got it for $80 (from $150)when it was on sale at Sportchek during Black Friday. Aside from its price, I like how it fits and looks on me.
Before I go on with my review, I would like to point out what I need the jacket for because it may heavily differ for you. I want something that doesn’t look like something you would take on a ski trip. I’m using it for my daily commute and walking around downtown Toronto.
It doesn’t have to be super duper warm because it’s going to be used mainly for Toronto and GTA winter. But it should be warm enough even if I only have a shirt on. I’m not out a lot of time, maybe 30 minutes max to and from the car/train/bus. I can take the underground PATH so it doesn’t have to be too hot when I’m indoors.
So with these in mind, I think the Columbia Mount Tabor jacket will suffice. I don’t have to get the more expensive ones or those from the expensive brands like CG and Nobis.
I bought the dark gray Mount Tabor in size S. I’m 5’9 and skinny and size S fits fine. It goes about 2 inches below my waist so it’s not too constricting when I’m driving and not too short like bomber jackets. I am still able to wear a mid-layer jacket inside without appearing too puffy, but maybe it’s because I’m skinny to begin with.
The Mount Tabor is a simple insulated jackets. Nothing fancy here. No faux fur, special material, or any high-tech features. The exterior is nylon-polyester and is stain and water resistant. You can brush snow off it easily but don’t get drenched in the rain.
The hood is removable which you might want to do unless it’s raining because it doesn’t do much against the cold. You’re better off with a cap and a scarf to protect your head and neck. Even with the draw cord, the hood can easily be blown off your head by the wind. It’s bulky but can sometimes make for a pillow during my commute. Hehehe.
It has two spacious breast pockets secured by velcro and two more at the bottom lined with fleece-like material to keep your hands warm. There’s also an interior security pocket, again secured by velcro, for you to use.
What else? The chin guard is soft if you want to zip it all way the up. There are drawcords at the hem to tighten the jacket up so wind won’t enter from underneath. The wrist cuffs can be tightened even further to keep wind off your arm.
So there’s that. I’m gonna talk about how it performs.
Before I go into here, I want to let you know that I lived in a tropical country my whole life so my tolerance for cold isn’t high and this is just my second time to experience below zero conditions.
I’m happy to say that the Mount Tabor is warm enough for my needs… at least for now where the coldest I’ve worn it on was at –14 °C. I wore it with a thermal top, shirt, and a fleece mid-layer and it got too sweaty for me once I get inside.
Over the course of a few weeks, I realized that I can live with just a shirt and the jacket even during low negatives. If it gets to double digits, I’ll just add a thermal top and I’m good. Then there’s still the option to go with a midlayer if it really gets too cold. The upper body stays warm but you still need proper insulation on your hands, feet, head, and neck.
Update 1/15/15: Tried it on -20 condition with just a shirt underneath and it’s not enough to keep me warm. Wearing a midlayer solved the problem.
Overall, I’m happy with my purchase. For $80, I got a decent, good-looking jacket from a trusted brand that keeps my body warm during my commute. Only downside I see here is the hard-to-secure hood and its weight. It’s quite a burden to lug when I’m inside malls and it gets too warm. But I guess that’s pretty normal for something that’s not down-filled.
Now, if you think you’re going to be needing something more warm. There’s the Columbia Timberline Ridge jacket that’s quite similar in design to the Mount Tabor but with Omni-Heat lining and faux fur. At the time that I got my jacket, the Timberline Ridge was selling for $40 more but fortunately they don’t have a size S left so I wasn’t tempted to get it.