Gear Review: Columbia Women's Millennium Flash Shell Jacket
|Snowshoeing in the Tetons. (Photo by wmrjr.com)|
The Columbia Sportswear Women's Millennium Flash Jacket was a key piece of my layering system on a variety of adventures this winter. I didn't expect to fall so hard for what looked like just another shell jacket when I pulled it out of a box Columbia sent me prior to the #OmniGames, but man, I fell.
After trying on the Millenium Flash, aside from the blindingly bright "Red Hibiscus" colored waterproof fabric, I realized it's decidedly not just another shell. It's easily one of the mot versatile pieces of apparel I've tried. I wore it snowshoeing in the Tetons, cross country skiing in Yellowstone, dogsledding in Utah, and alpine skiing in Pennsylvania for testing, and (spoiler alert) it passed with flying colors.
I tend to find Columbia's jackets a bit narrow for my broad shoulders, but when I pulled the Millennium Flash on over a thick sweater, I still had room to spare. And not the bad kind of room that makes you look like a marshmallow; the good kind that means when you're outside in 10-20 degree temperatures, you'll be able to adequately layer underneath. I packed a baselayer and fleece under the Millennium Flash on the first day of ski season here in Pennsylvania and was comfortable all day. The Omni-Heat lining, one of my favorite jacket linings of all time, did its job.
|Stopping for a photo while cross country skiing in Yellowstone National Park. It was WINDY that day, but I hardly noticed. (Photo by wmrjr.com)|
|I love interior and exterior zippers!|
There's an extra brightly colored blue zipper underneath the black main zipper, which made a huge difference when the wind picked up. I didn't feel any air get through, which is ideal when you're flying down the slopes or battling 20-30mph winds in America's first national park. There's a small pocket on the left sleeve right by the cuff I found perfect for lip balm, something I always forget, always lose, and can never easily access when I need it.
As hard as I tried, I could only find one thing I would change about the Millennium Flash. It's cut very straight; there's no articulation at the waist. If a bit of articulation was added to make the jacket a touch more flattering when it's on, I'd be hard pressed to find anything to change about it.
The Columbia Women's Millennium Flash jacket, MSRP $280, is currently available from Amazon, Sierra Trading Post, and on Columbia's website. What do you think? How awesome is the color? What features do you look for in a shell jacket?