Columbia does a pretty good job making affordable jackets that hold up to other more expensive brands. The Columbia Whirlibird Interchange jacket is no exception. It is quite warm with 80g of Microtemp synthetic fabric, and Omni-Heat Reflective technology. I must admit that I was skeptical of Omni-Heat when it first came out, but I am a believer now, even if it’s just a placebo effect. In addition the Columbia Whirlibird Interchange has Columbias Omni-Tech waterproof fabric in the outer shell. Although its not the best waterproof material on the market, it holds up to any other manufacturers low end fabrics. But what does that mean for real-world application? Omni-Tech will keep you dry when your skiing in light snow, or where snow tends to be a bit more dry. But for the days when the snow is really heavy, or very wet, this may not be the best option. That being said it is pretty standard waterproofing for this price range. The inner layer of the Columbia Whirlibird Interchange is quite warm and comfortable. In addition it is water-resistant and can be used alone, or with the waterproof outer shell. When the weather warms up remove the liner and use the shell. The Columbia Whirlibird Interchange seems a bit boxy in the torso for a 3in1, but overall the fit is pretty true to size. The length is slightly longer than several other Columbia jackets, and with it’s adjustable hem and snow skirt it keeps the cold out pretty well. Overall, the Columbia Whirlibird Interchange is a good budget option for those looking for a solid everyday ski jacket and don’t need all the high tech features you find in more expensive jackets.
Jacket Size – M
Normal Specs– 5’4”, 150 lbs,
Upper Body– 36” Chest, Torso Length 18” (collar bone to pant button), Shoulder Width Approx 16.5”, Arm Length 18.5” (pit to wrist)
Lower Body– 29” Waist, 41” Hips, 29.5” Inseam, 26” Thigh
Turn On’s: Active fit jackets that fit well around my chest and torso, but don’t restrict movement. Size M Pants that have a bit more room to fit my thighs and big butt but fit well in the waist. That way, not only can I utilize my pockets, I can also ride freely and comfortably on the hill. Oh and of course getting first chair with 12” of fresh powder on the mountain.
Turn Off’s: Size M jackets that are too tight in the shoulders and hips while being boxy in the waist. I really don’t like a tight fit at the hips that rides up and allows snow in my jacket and pants. The jacket should stay in place! Size M Pants that fit too tight in the thigh so I can’t use my pockets but so loose in the waist they fall down and I get snow in my pants. Crowds in the mountains, and not being able to find a place to park at the trailhead or ski resort