Monday, 26 September 2016 21:13

Columbia Whisper Creek Softshell & Titan Peak Pant: Tested & Reviewed

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Tested tough is the hashtag Columbia use for their gear so we got a couple of pieces of their kit to take up the challenge.

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I’ve taken these into a variety of conditions and used both of them on regular trips out, whether it be to two of Scotland’s prolific ridges, cragging on the sea cliffs or during a summit wild camping. Both handled themselves well with very little issue.

 

Whisper Creek Softshell

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Columbia say “This water-repellent polyester Softshell protects you against cool, windy and humid conditions on your mid-season outdoor getaways and daily adventures. A drawcord adjustable hem and the ergonomic hood keep you comfortable when temperature drops and wind picks up at the mountain top or at the sea side.”

I would agree with what they are saying. The material is a mid-weight softshell, it has a little stretch, enough for stretching whilst cragging and scrambling. Also strong enough to take a scuff from some harsh rock surfaces.

It does have a good amount of water repellency and it lasts, this is testament to the Omni-Shield technology on the fabric. When it does get damp it drys quickly with a bit encouragement from the wind. I did get saturated in it whilst out and about locally, fortunately I was heading home shortly after but it was still warm even when wet. The wind resistance is really good.

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The pockets are quite low so aren’t compatible with hipbelts or under a harness. They are zipped and inside the material used doubles up as an inside pocket.

The upper part of the zip baffle is fleece lined for when the hood is up and you need sealed in. The hood has no cinch cord and can catch the wind if head on. It inflates a little on my head. It’ll go under a climbing helmet and sits neatly.

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The cuff has elastic, it’s loosely fitted and can also allow a bit of a draught up the sleeve when worn on its own. However, it’s nice not to have a stack of Velcro cuffs when doubled up with a hard shell.

The main thing I liked about this jacket was the fit, it is relaxed enough that it can be used to climb or stretch during a scramble but fitted enough that it’s not too baggy. The side panels give it a nice fit around the body and regardless of the loose cuff the arms are a comfortable.

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The Whisper Creek is tough and versatile I have found myself reaching for it for all activities including day to day use.

Titan Peak Pant

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Columbia say “When you're enjoying the great outdoors you'll want to be wearing these 4-way comfort-stretch flexible and highly versatile men's sporting pants. Rocky terrain and hiking trails are worthy opponents - or perhaps great friends - of these nylon, straight-leg pants. With advanced repellency and UPF 50 sun protection you'll be pleasantly surprised by the ease with which you can move around whilst navigating tricky turf.”

The Titan Peak’s are part of Columbia’s Titanium Collection, an overview of the range shows the collection is geared towards light and functional outdoor wear.

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These pants fit in well with the range, the 4-way stretch material feels great to the touch and whilst moving. They are well fitted to say the least, definitely an active fit. From the waist to the knee think not far off a legging. Saying that they were never restrictive. In all the activities I used them for I never felt movement was restricted. The have a great wind resistancy and they will fend off a surprising amount of water. Then once wet they dry quickly.

My biggest issue isn’t actually with the trousers, it’s with the belt! It didn’t keep its tension and I resorted to tying a knot in it to keep it tight. A poor belt is not exclusive to Columbia so I won’t hold it against them.

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All pockets are zipped: the two hand pockets, the back pocket and the leg pocket. The leg pocket is a fine material over laid on to the leg and goes around the back of the thigh. It is large phone sized and can be handy for a snack or keeping your phone to close by.

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The Titan Peak Pants are pretty stand out when it comes to trousers. It’s been a while since I have come across a pair I will keep going back to. The material has a soft feel but they've withstood a fair few knocks and scrapes. They won’t be for everyone as the fit is active, however, through the movement of the fabric and the cut they are definitely worth a try.

The verdict is Columbia's stuff is Tough!

Last modified on Tuesday, 27 September 2016 09:42
Davy Wright

Most at home in the outdoors, preferably on top of something big and pointy. Scotland is Davy's playground, which is why he doesn’t mind getting wet. But winter is where it’s at. Hiking, scrambling, camping and a bit of climbing when I can. Sucker for a ridge. At a lower altitude he try getting out on his bike and run if he has to.

Davy describes himself as "a bit of a gear geek, maybe less of the bit. I like to see how things work or don’t!" In following this line Davy has become a respected and authoritative blogger over the last few years, working with many of the UK's major manufacturers and retailers.

Preferred activities: Hillwalking, camping, scrambling, trying to get better at climbing/ice climbing, cycling/mountain biking

Areas commonly visited: Lochaber, Cairngorms, Lake District