Disclaimer: I received the Diamond 890 TurboDown Jacket for free while on a trip wholly funded by Columbia Sportswear. They were the best hosts one could imagine. I received a ton of gear and I am giving my honest opinion of this jacket, since I’ve used it so much since I got it. They gave no requirements on gear reviews and just asked me to be myself. Seriously first class, all the way. I recently received another care package in the mail from Columbia. Totally unnecessary, but totally appreciated. Included was a picture of the OmniTen family. Hopefully I will be able to see some or all of them in person again someday.
Dopey on NyQuil, I arrived at the enormous suite which was our public meeting area. We were in Park City, Utah and it was January 2014. We were asked, “Who is in the down camp? Who is synthetic? How about both?” We were informed that we were receiving new technology: TurboDown.
From Columbia’s website:
We combined Omni-Heat™ Thermal insulation with down then lined it with Omni-Heat™ Reflective and created TurboDown™ Performance enhanced down.
We were tossed these tiny pillows of shiny goodness and we tried them on. And immediately took them off. They were too warm. We would save them for the outdoors. We were told that we were getting them 9 months before they’d be on the market. Many of us wore our TurboDown jackets for the rest of the trip. They were so light, yet they kept us warm.
A month or so later, I was finally over a terrible case of the flu and went on a challenging backpacking trip to Montgomery Potrero in Los Padres National Forest near Santa Barbara, where the nights likely got into the low 40’s or high 30’s. The TurboDown was lightweight, packed small, and kept me plenty warm. I wore it on cold nights walking our new dog, and enjoying cold winter mornings sipping coffee in my backyard.
Then summer came. It was record days of heat, so opportunities to wear my new jacket were few and far between. However, once fall came closer, and my adventures became more challenging, it became a staple in my backpack. I went on some challenging backpacking trips to elevations over 10,000′.
Like I mentioned above, it’s a permanent fixture in my backpacking kit. It zips itself into a pocket and packs tiny. I stuff it into my summit pack and it becomes my pillow. The pictures below tell the story of how often I use it in the outdoors.
I anticipate using this jacket for years to come, as a casual jacket out to dinner, or as a middle layer on an intense backpacking trip. It’s not cheap, but I imagine anyone would get great mileage out of it.