Columbia Alpine Action

8.1 score
(TheGearHunt) score (8.1)/10

Our TheGearHunt score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
Editor rating: 7.2 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Columbia Alpine Action Review Facts

Have you found yourself itching to ski as snow piles up in the mountains? Imagine what it would be like to spend a day in powder paradise. Cold weather and wet snow are no match for the Columbia Alpine Action Jacket with its breathable and waterproof Omni-Tech membrane, polyester insulation, and Omni-Heat Reflective Lining. As the name implies, this jacket is meant for events that happen in the mountains. The Columbia Alpine Action Jacket has all the features one has come to expect of a ski jacket. It has a pocket for goggles and one for a lift pass. It has a removable storm hood and an adjustable snap-back powder skirt.

Below is a description of the product put out by Columbia. Many Amazon consumers, especially women, agree with the Columbia summation. There is a less than flattering review of the jacket available. Using a ten-point rating system the jacket received the following marks: Comfort and Fit (5), Features (7), Style (4), Ventilation (3), Warmth (7), and Weather Resistance (6). Other reviewers say the Omni-Heat Reflective garment provides the ultimate system for body heat management for outdoor performance. The breathable lining fabric dissipates heat and moisture. Metallic dot patterns retain the heat.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Inexpensive
  • Nice wrist gaiters
  • Warm
  • Hood doesn’t fit over all helmets
  • Some wearers found it uncomfortable


Columbia provides information about the Alpine Action that describes it as waterproof breathability and next level warmth meet a shell fabric having an exquisite cross dye that is rich in texture and color.

It delivers serious storm fighting that gets noticed in the lift line. The technical hooded jacket combines the company’s thermal reflective lining and superior synthetic insulation for excellent heat retention having a high level of breathability.

It has snowboard and ski-ready features such as a removable storm hood and a snap-back powder skirt that elevates the on-hill performance. The shell is 100 percent polyester Matte Melange, Omni-Heat Reflective material makes up the lining.

This active fit soft shell is one more way of heating up the outdoors by continually trying new methods. Columbia uses two techniques to make sure the wearer stays absolutely warm in this jacket. It has 100 grams of

Omni-Heat insulation which is very low profile and extremely warm.
In addition to the insulation, Columbia also integrated its Thermal Reflective Lining. It is the metallic dot print that is seen on the interior of the jacket. It not looks cool but serves a purpose. The lining keeps all the heat generated by the body from leaving the jacket by reflecting it to the wearer.


Omni-Tech is at the lower end of breathability. It is not the best option for skiers who push hard or for warmer days. Breathability is accomplished with a drawcord adjustable hem, zippered hand pockets, contoured sleeve cuffs, an abrasion resistant shin guard, and a drop tail.

The jacket is many to keep the wearer warm. It is best suited for cold days on the slopes where breathability is less of an issue. The lining of the Omni-Heat technology bounces the heat back at the body.

It is also partial, so the remaining area that is not shiny is a moisture-wicking air-permeable base lining material that can continue to pass moisture and access heat of the garment. Behind the lining is the Omni-Heat insulation.

It has about a 20 percent increase in the insulation value of jackets without the Omni-Heat insulation. Breathability and waterproofing do no more than meet industry standards. The jacket is fine for light snows.


Reviews for the Columbia Alpine Action Jacket are quite diverse. Descriptions vary from ‘run of the mill’ to ‘a great classic style.’ There is an adjustable hood, that is meant to be helmet-compatible. Reviewers disagree about the compatibility. The upper left has a zippered pocket to hold a small wallet or phone. The jacket has a ski pass pocket on the left-hand sleeve which gives the wearer easy access to the pass and keeps items organized.

There are adjustable velcro cuffs and stretch wrist gaiters to prevent cold air from entering in at the waist to keeps hands warm and hold any essentials the wearer want to keep close by. At the bottom, there is a drawcord adjustable hem to seal out cold from coming up from the bottom of the jacket.

With the technology, a jacket that would typically require 150 grams of insulation to provide the protection offered by this jacket is reduced to 100 grams. The weight is coincidentally reduced while keeping the wearer warm and the temperature regulated as the temperature changes throughout the day. Temperature change is often the cause of discomfort.


The Omni-Tech technology is Colombia's proprietary technology consisting of a waterproof, breathable membrane. The backside has a microporous membrane. On the front of the yarn base is a DWR technology.

It is very warm. The 100-gram microtemp insulation is a synthetic insulation that also has Omni-Heat Reflective which is Columbia’s reflective lining on the inside. It retains 20 percent of the wearer’s body heat back to the person.

In the background, behind the silver dots of the lining is a wicking property that serves as a moisture management system. The jacket delivers a level of warmth and waterproof breathability that withstands severe storms. Features include a powder skirt that has some gripping at the bottom to keep it in place. It has a snapback that makes it removable if not being used on the mountains.

There is a removable hood. It has a media pocket, a pocket for a wallet and a goggle pocket. Extra gloves can be placed there also. All Columbia jackets feature wicking along the collar area that touches the face. It keeps the wearer dry and comfortable.


The jacket has a modern, classic fit that runs true to size. No area is articulated, but the jacket is not too baggy or loose. The overall length is good. A drop tail extends over the butt. For sizing, the Alpine Action comes in a variety of sized from Extra-small to Three-X.

It is offered in Big and Tall to accommodate all average size gentlemen. The jacket for big men is a rugged, comfort, and durable jacket with superior technology. It fits true to regular size jackets. To guarantee a proper fit, take the chest, hip, and waist measurements and compare to the size chart.


The Columbia Alpine Action jacket is warm and great for people who regularly ski in cold conditions. It has a reflective liner and 100 grams of insulation. The breathable and waterproof Omni-Tech layer is standard and protects light snow.

The jacket is a solid jacket in its price range. While serious skiers are not likely to choose the jacket that does not have the technical shell they prefer, it has a good deal of what casual skiers want. It offers serious warmth without breaking the bank.

Skiers feel like imbibing in a glass of wine by the lodge fireplace after skiing from bell to bell. The jacket is made for anyone. It is a value priced item in the Columbia line for what it is. There are a lot of excellent features.

It can appeal to a younger market because it has a textured look, as well as other people who want a jacket to throw on and layer themselves. The jacket can be worn for more than skiing. It is an excellent around town jacket.


Further features include Omni-Heat insulation, composite fabric for stretch and mobility, two-way comfort stretch, and an attached hood with peripheral adjustability. The numerous pockets hold a ski pass, goggles, a phone and much more.

The adjustable hem, hood, and powder skirt seal the wearer up tight against the nasty impulses of Mother Nature. The Big and Tall snow jacket has a flexible down-style baffling that provides cushioning and a versatile fit that doesn’t wear thin over time.


As one seeks out new adventures, clothing gets exposed to the elements such as salt, snow, grass, gravel, water, sand, and mud. They can degrade clothing. To get the most of the Alpine Action Jacket, the manufacturer suggests the following.

Colorfastness is improved by adding vinegar to the first washing of dark-colored polyester. If a stain appears, treat it as soon as possible. Blot or sponge the stain to remove as much of it as possible. Do not rub. Rubbing causes stains to spread or be forced more in-depth into the fabric.

Excessive washing causes garments to wear faster. Wear the jacket multiple times before washing. Reduce damage and snag by closing all snaps and zip up all zippers. Hang the jacket to dry, or dry it flat to reduce heat damage. Agitation and heat in the dryer cause accelerated wear. If using the dryer is necessary, it is advised to use the lowest setting.


The jacket has a great classic style and features that make it a ‘go-to jacket’ for the winter season. The fabric is polyester that is soft and adds some texture. It has a bit of a denim look in the background. The Omni-Tech technology makes the jacket waterproof and breathable which keeps the wearer dry and relieves any moisture to keep the user comfortable and dry.

The jacket is critically seam sealed which prevents moisture from entering in at the seams of the jacket. The lining keeps the person wearing the jacket very warm while feeling extremely low profile. On the interior, there is a mesh goggle pocket on the right to protect eyewear. On the left is an interior zipper security pocket that is generously sized and can easily hold a phone or a small wallet.

Water Resistance

Worries about the elements are eliminated by the thermal reflection, a fully seam sealed Omni-Tech waterproof, breathable shell, zippered hand and chest pocket, and an adjustable inner comfort cuff features.

Omni-Tech is an entry level waterproofing that provides decent protection at a price that is budget friendly. Omni-Tech is not the best option for really wet climates but offers wet weather protection for people who ski on cold, dry days.

The jacket can tolerate occasional wet snow. Because it is a lower-end waterproof jacket, it is essential to wash and treat it with Durable Water Repellency from time to time. It helps ensure that it remains waterproof.

Wind Protection

Wearing the jacket prepares the user for some alpine action. The bonded softshell utilizes three technologies to take on the weather. Omni-Heat Block is a technically advanced membrane providing breathable wind protection. The wind chill is kept from coming in, but sweat is allowed to escape. The reflective lining manages heat without adding bulk while an Omni shield treated shell resists rain and stains.

The jacket has an articulating removable storm hood that protects from the elements. A removable snow skirt keeps snow out. Insulation is made of 100 grams of 100 percent polyester Microtemp. The jacket has some well-placed pockets. Casual skiers find the jacket to be a solid option for the price.

Key Features

* 31-inch center back length
* Adjustable cuff tabs
* Adjustable powder skirt
* Comfort cuffs
* Drawcord adjustable waist
* Goggles pocket
* Media pocket
* Interior security pocket
* Modern classic fit
* Omni-Heat thermal insulated and reflective
* Omni-Tech fully seam-sealed waterproof and breathable technology
* Zippered chest pockets
* Zippered hand pockets

Bottom Line

Those who rated the jacket poorly acknowledge its popularity. The review says the jacket is what is needed to function at a resort and keep the wearer warm. It won no accolades for style or comfort. The appeal is likely a low price from a manufacturer with an excellent reputation. The naysayers appreciate Columbia’s $170 price tag. They feel that for a little more money, a jacket that is more versatile, stylish, and comfortable can be had.

Low price is not always equivalent to the best value. The jacket has 100 grams of warm insulation and decent ski features. A significant drawback is a hood not fitting over some helmets. Ventilation is weak, which is a factor for anyone carving turns on the slopes. These reviewers did not think the jacket was particularly stylish or comfortable.

Despite the opinions of some, the jacket is rugged, durable and engineered to offer superior comfort. Serious Alpine enthusiasts enjoy the Action Jacket. The removable storm hood, snap-back snow skirt, zippered hand pockets, and adjustable cuffs keep snow on the slopes and out of the jacket.