A City Jacket for the Trail

Columbia Women's Kaleidaslope Jacket

For the past few months I’ve been wearing my new Columbia Kaleidaslope Jacket, a new lightweight jacket that Columbia debuted with their Omni Heat technology.

I’ve really enjoyed wearing this jacket on some hikes and snowshoe outings, but even more so around town because it is fashionable. The collar is made of soft, plush material, and the entire jacket is lined with the thermal reflective Omni Heat coating, which reflects the wearers’ body heat back for extra coziness. This enables the jacket to be ultralight weight yet very warm (and it isn’t down!). I wore it in conditions 20-50 degrees Fahreneheit in the local Southern California mountains and was nice and toasty.

Best Features of the Columbia Kaleidaslope Jacket

  • Warm and lightweight! As I’ve worn this jacket around town as well as on the trail, I’m impressed with how warm it is, especially since the jacket is so lightweight! Because of the Omni Heat technology (see picture below), the jacket is light but still warm.
  • Columbia Omni Heat lining inside the jacket
    Columbia Omni Heat lining inside the jacket
  • Built in elastic cuff. On hiking trips I found this particularly nice, especially on warmer days (40 degrees+) when I didn’t want to break out my gloves.
  • Built in cuff
    Built in cuff
  • Soft lined pockets. The pockets are lined with soft material, and my hands appreciate that!

What Could Be Improved?

  • Runs big. I have found that most Columbia products I’ve worn are a size larger than my regular size… so if you wear Medium in most brands, get a Small in Columbia…especially this jacket. There will still be room for a couple of layers underneath, so don’t worry.
  • Price. This jacket retails for $120, so it is a little on the high side in my opinion, given that it really is more of a streetwear jacket. Columbia has some parkas and alpine style jackets that are even better suited for the trail.
  • Sometimes a bit too warm. Because the Kaleidaslope jacket is so lightweight, I sometimes forgot how warm it could be…on sunny days I got a little sweaty wearing this jacket. I attribute that to the thermal reflective “Omni Heat” technology on the inside…it is like having a space blanket inside your coat!

Overall I like the Columbia Kaleidaslope Jacket, particularly for off the trail because it is so stylish. The pleating on the front adds a feminine, slimming look, and the collar is super cozy and flattering.

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  1. Donna says:

    Hi Hiking Lady,

    This jacket looks soooo cozy. I’m thrilled that it’s light weight as my other jacket weighs me down. I’ll check this out. Bet it’s worth every penny.

  2. Bobbi C. says:

    Your gear reviews are Wonderful!

    They make me feel assured that the product is reviewd quite fairly, with some plus and minus points to consider. I do want to buy one of these jackets.

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