High performance doesn’t have to be expensive.  Columbia’s EvaPOURation jacket ensures dry comfort and temperature regulation on the trail, at a pleasantly-affordable price.

EvaPOURation Jacket Features:

  • Weight: 11.3 oz
  • Shell: 100% nylon 2.5L 70D EVAP
  • Omni-Tech air-permeable waterproof protection
  • Omni-Wick EVAP ultra-high performance wicking fabric
  • Fully seam sealed
  • Attached, adjustable storm hood
  • 12” underarm vents
  • Drawcord adjustable hem
  • Adjustable cuff tabs
  • Packable into hand pocket
  • Classic fit
  • Center Back Length: 29 in
  • Six color options
  • Price: $99

columbia evapouration jacket

High Performance-to-price Ratio

Autumn exploration is all about versatility: being prepared for dry heat, wet cold, high winds, or any combination thereof — sometimes all in the same day.  Consequently, it’s always smart to have a lightweight, compressible layer that can protect you from a variety of conditions while keeping you comfortable, and that’s precisely what we found in Columbia’s EvaPOURation jacket.

Columbia evapouration hiking

Much of our testing took place over a week in the High Sierra of southern California, where daytime temps ranged from the 40s to the 80s, where heavy mist (or light rain, call it what you will) kept forest trails damp, and where high peaks see cold winds even on sunny days.  The EvaPOURation jacket over a wool midlayer provided great protection from cold and wet conditions, and stayed comfortable when the weather settled down.

columbia evapouration waterproof

Water resistance in the EvaPOURation comes from Columbia’s trademarked Omni-tech protection, which is a completely waterproof barrier that preserves a bit of permeability for ventilation.  All of the seams are completely sealed, and Columbia guarantees that the garment is 100% waterproof; in our testing, that proved to be exactly the case.

Hood tightens with elastic cord; peripheral vision is maintained.

Hood tightens with elastic cord; peripheral vision is maintained.

A storm hood and waist hemline are both adjustable to tighten down against harsh conditions, and the hood strikes a nice balance of full coverage without blocking peripheral vision.

columbia evapouration EVAP

Interior channels expand surface area of water for rapid evaporation

Moisture management and cooling are managed by Omni-Wick EVAP fabric, an interior lining that positions a system of channels which disperse moisture over a larger surface area for more efficient evaporation.  The EVAP is also notable in that even when it’s damp to the touch, it doesn’t feel excessively warm or clammy.  In addition to the modern fabric, ventilation on the EvaPOURation is more effectively obtained through an old-school mechanism: large pit zippers on either side of the underarms, which are a full 12” long and allow a ton of heat to escape when opened to full capacity.

On top of Alta Peak in Sequoia National Park

On top of Alta Peak in Sequoia National Park

If you’re stowing the jacket in a pack as a “just in case” measure, it compresses completely into one of the hand pockets, in a size that’s a bit larger than the 2-day first aid kit we carry.  There are jackets on the market that compress down smaller, and with a weight of 11.3 oz, the EvaPOURation isn’t the lightest waterproof shell you can find.  However, this leads to the larger question of the value you get from the Evapouration jacket.

columbia evapouration packed

Evapouration jacket on left; REI hiker’s first aid kit on right

If you’re purely a strap-snipping, utensil-cutting minimalist, there are waterproof breathable shells available that would be a better match than Columbia’s EvaPOURation.  However, that minimalism comes at a premium; in some cases, you’ll pay hundreds of dollars more to shave a few ounces or a couple of cubic inches from your packing.  For the vast majority of us, there’s no reason to pay more, because the EvaPOURation provides outstanding performance for a fraction of the cost.

The Good:

  • 100% waterproof
  • Good ventilation from fabric and large pit zips
  • Secure storm hood that doesn’t compromise vision
  • Strong value at $99 price point

The Bad:

  • Heavier and bulkier than other minimalist jackets

Bottom Line: Columbia EvaPOURation jacket

Providing lightweight comfort and great protection from the elements, Columbia’s EvaPOURation Jacket is a versatile, high-performance piece that provides high tech features at a very affordable price.

Buy Now: Available at Backcountry.com

About Author

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.

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