A clever hybrid design is at the heart of the men and women’s Zonafied Softshell Jacket from Columbia. By blending the advantages of a soft shell exterior with dual-zone insulation, the Columbia Zonafied Softshell Jacket endeavors to offer high-level performance for active outdoor enthusiasts.
On Performance and Design…
Columbia knows that when you’re working hard, a full insulated jacket can be overkill, so it fused the advantages of a soft shell exterior with dual-zone insulation. By strategically placing insulation in the front and back panels, the Zonafied keeps your core warm, but by keeping insulation out of the sleeves this modified softshell still offers the range of motion you need when pursuing your outdoor passions.
On the exterior, stretch construction makes this softshell super comfortable and helps to ensure that the jacket works with you, not against you. Aiding you when Mother Nature decides to show herself, Omni-Shield repellency, an attached hood, drop tail and Omni-Shield wind-blocking technology help to protect you from her wrath.
For an added boost of warmth, Columbia utilizes their Omni-Heat thermal reflective technology that manages heat without adding bulk. While Omni-Heat may look like something out of your grandmother’s 1940’s formal wear collection, it’s definitely 21st century technology.
Omni-Heat uses a system of tiny silver dots to manage and diffuse body heat. Similar to an emergency blanket, Omni-Heat’s dots bounce body heat back at you while at the same time allowing excess heat to escape through the permeable/breathable regions between the dots thereby preventing your body from overheating.
Notes from the field…
While we love the concept of the Zonafied’s hybrid design, there remain a few design details that prevent this jacket from earning our full endorsement. The jacket kept our team dry and warm while criss-crossing the backwoods of California’s Wilderness. However where it fell short in performance was in providing 100% windproof protection on the exposed ridgelines of the Sierra Nevada.
Additionally, our field team felt that the zip-close hand pockets are placed too high on the sides of the jacket. Why does that matter you ask? Even though the pockets are comfy cozy, the higher pocket placement resulted in unnatural body positioning for our arms and hands. This was especially true for our tall testers proving to be a deal breaker on this piece of gear.
The Zonafied carries forward Columbia’s innovative thinking for a protective softshell jacket that works with you in your outdoor adventures. As Voltaire once noted, perfect is the enemy of good, and while the Zonafied falls short on a few design details, the $130 price may still warrant the consideration of those seeking a hybrid softshell.
*Gumption Gear Review received a product sample of the item featured in this review from Columbia at no cost, and receives no monetary compensation for this or any related review. The item featured was provided solely in return for our honest views and opinions.Read More
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