Vulc N Vent Casual Shoes From Columbia Sportwear

Vulc N Vent Casual Shoes From Columbia Sportwear Practical Travel Gear 1

Consider this one a remixed classic. Columbia took the traditional vulcanized shoe design that's been around for decades via the likes of Vans and PF Flyers and put a whole new spin on it. Unlike those traditional shoes that can leave the soles of your feet hot and sweaty, these Vulc N Vent ones have vents built into the side that let the heat out.It's a little thing, but it makes a big difference. We've been reviewing a few shoes with Gore-tex Surround and although this design isn't as … [Read more...]

Columbia Loch Lomand Rain Jacket With Omni-Dry

Columbia Loch Lomand Rain Jacket With Omni-Dry Practical Travel Gear 2

With breathable protection and lots of great features, this Loch Lomand jacket from Columbia Sportswear is light but serious rainwear.Most of us may hate packing a jacket when it's not cold where we're going. But when the skies open up and the rain deluge starts, you'd better have something more than a flimsy travel umbrella along. Like if you're hiking around, say, Loch Lomond in Scotland. Or it's summer in Iceland. Or you're in the mountains of Central America during "green season."My … [Read more...]

Women’s Columbia Suburbanizer Jacket

Women’s Columbia Suburbanizer Jacket Practical Travel Gear

I recently wore a lavender plastic poncho in Vietnam because it was free and I hadn’t packed a rain jacket. In a way, it was fun to choose a color I didn’t yet own in outerwear—especially because my friends could see me a block away because I was the only person who had chosen lavender.But how often does that scenario happen? Sure, plastic ponchos are good in a pinch. They fold up small and are incredibly inexpensive. What happens when you need a little more functionality (and perhaps style) … [Read more...]

Columbia Silver Ridge Short for Men and Women

Columbia Silver Ridge Short for Men and Women Practical Travel Gear 1

Four years ago, we reviewed the women's Silver Ridge shirt from Columbia Sportswear. Today, I'm reviewing the Silver Ridge short, which just goes to show how great clothing lines will endure. When my family and I first discovered the Silver Ridge line of quick-dry, outdoors clothing, we bought as many pairs of pants as we could, and crossed our fingers they wouldn't be discontinued. By this time, I think it's safe to say the line has persevered. Silver Ridge clothing by Columbia includes … [Read more...]

Columbia Drainmaker II Water Shoes

Columbia Drainmaker II Water Shoes Practical Travel Gear 2

When you find something great, it's nice to know it comes in sizes for the whole family. Columbia Sportswear's Drainmaker II water shoe comes in child, youth, men's, and women's, and is virtually the same shoe for everyone: a lightweight, drainable, quick-dry, fully protective water shoe that can transition out of the water for day hikes, rock scrambling, and river bed exploring.I've been looking for the perfect water shoe for my kids for years. While there are many on the market, none … [Read more...]

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014 Takeaways

Outdoor Retailer Winter 2014 Takeaways Practical Travel Gear 1

I spent three days in Salt Lake City on the floor of the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market last week, to check out what’s on the way in travel and outdoor gear. While in past OR shows I’ve been accompanied by Tim Leffel or Amy Whitley, this time I hit it solo.If there’s one thing harder than three days of sprinting through a packed convention center for back-to-back meetings, it’s doing all of it with a knee brace. But I powered through to get you a look into the outdoor gear future—Fall 2014, … [Read more...]

Columbia Millennium Flash Shell Jacket

Columbia Millennium Flash Shell Jacket Practical Travel Gear 1

Sometimes, despite getting out in the winter cold, you need something that allows you to move more easily than a big bulky jacket will. But sacrificing bulk shouldn’t mean giving up protection from the elements.The women’s Millennium Flash Shell jacket packs some of Columbia’s best technologies together to allow you to be comfortable in the winter’s wildest weather. First, there’s the company’s premium stretch material with Omni-Heat thermal reflective lining, which retains warmth while … [Read more...]

Packable Trail Drier Windbreaker From Columbia

Packable Trail Drier Windbreaker From Columbia Practical Travel Gear 1

Here at Practical Travel Gear we're big fans of jackets that pack down to nothing in transit. This Columbia Trail Drier Windbreaker is a great one to fit into a carry-on bag when traveling somewhere that is windy and cool, but not freezing cold.For most trips this year, I've been traveling to places where the weather is a little iffy, with a good chance of wind and rain, but not cold enough to justify a real coat. So I've often been packing this Trail Drier jacket from Columbia. It served me … [Read more...]

Columbia Coolest Cool Short Sleeve Top

Columbia Coolest Cool Short Sleeve Top Practical Travel Gear 1

On trips that are full of outdoor adventure, it’s not always easy to find the right clothing that hits all the highlights well. On my recent trip to Namibia, my favorite Columbia item was the Coolest Cool Short Sleeve Top.When I hiked in the Fish River Canyon, I wore the Coolest Cool Short Sleeve Top, and while a colleague complained about the heat, I didn’t have a problem. Using Omni-Freeze Zero sweat-activated cooling technology, the shirt reacts with your sweat to lower the temperature of … [Read more...]

Freeze Degree Clothing From Columbia Keeps You Cool

Freeze Degree Clothing From Columbia Keeps You Cool Practical Travel Gear 1

Have you noticed how much the technical gear you buy is about temperature regulation? The Freeze Degree items from Columbia Sportswear I've been checking out go further than most: they actually lower your temperature when they get wet.The Columbia Omni-Freeze Zero technology is part of a wave of new items introduced lately that go beyond just wicking and evaporation. They're meant to react to your sweat (a sign you're overheated) and cool you off. Here's the rundown on three items I've been … [Read more...]