Columbia Triteca Jacket ReviewApril 29, 2013
- Good wind- and water-resistance
- Low-profile cuffs
- Freeze-proof hood adjustment
- Low stretch limits mobility
- Face fabric could be more durable
- OmniWick panels feel cold and clammy against the skin
- Not very breathable
The Triteca, Columbia’s flagship softshell for 12/13, is almost great. Although it impresses with good weather protection, this amalgam of three Omni-branded technologies just doesn’t have the breathability, the stretch, or the abrasion-resistance to be a solid performer in the mountains.
The Triteca battled wave after wave of blowing snow in Lee Vining Canyon on my behalf, and succeeded in keeping me warm and dry with a good DWR coating and a totally decent hood. However, I thought most of the jacket’s heat-retention seemed to be the result of its low breathability rather than its thermal reflectivity.
The Triteca’s total wind protection didn’t come cheap—the elements stayed out, but the humidity stayed in. Fortunately, its large pockets were backed with a fine mesh and could double as vents.
This jacket’s main fabric is very low stretch, and the two-way stretch panels along the sides seemed to be oriented the wrong way. Bottom line: it felt stiff and binding when I crossed my arms or reached overhead.
The OmniWick EVAP fabric at the sides and cuffs did not wick moisture very well and usually felt cold and moist against my wrists.
Attention to Detail
The Triteca’s highlights—smart cordlocks at the hood, large handwarmer pockets, and close-fitting cuffs—were ultimately overshadowed by its little shortcomings. With a tougher face fabric, at least one internal pocket and useful stretchiness, this jacket would really shine.