Gear Review – Columbia’s Men’s Diamond 890 TurboDown Hooded Down Jacket – My current favorite backpacking jacket – #omniten

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.

The OmniTen Family

The OmniTen Family

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.

TurboDown -  We got to Try it 9 Months Early

TurboDown – We got to Try it 9 Months Early

First time wearing it, on the way to the downhill skiing competition

First time wearing it, on the way to the downhill skiing competition

A TurboDown festival of OmniTen

A TurboDown festival of OmniTen

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.

Backpacking in Los Padres National Forest

Backpacking in Los Padres National Forest

Enjoying a cup of coffee in my chilly backyard

Enjoying a cup of coffee in my chilly 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′.

The TurboDown jacket packs pretty small

The TurboDown jacket packs pretty small

Enjoying the evening on San Gorgonio in Turbodown

Enjoying the evening on San Gorgonio in TurboDown – Picture by Jeff Hester (SoCalHiker.com)

Surprise camera shot on the Muir Taco backpacking trip in the Sierra

Surprise camera shot on the Muir Taco backpacking trip in the Sierra

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.

A chilly afternoon backpack in the San Diego Mountains

A chilly afternoon backpack in the San Diego Mountains

Morning Campfire in Cuyamaca - Dads and daughters

Morning Campfire in Cuyamaca – Dads and daughters

Viewing a freezing sunrise at Haleakala, the top of Maui

Viewing a freezing sunrise at Haleakala, the top of Maui

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.

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Comments

  1. says

    I was intrigued by your helpful review and the Omni-Heat tech. This week I was looking for a new cold weather outer jacket and after comparing all the major brands, picked up a Columbia Bugaboo Interchange with Omni-Heat and Omni-Tech waterproofing. They really seem to be a better value for leading edge tech. Thanks for the review. I plan to put it to the test soon.

  2. Vlam says

    Great light warm jacket. But dark feathers are visible look like dirty jacket. Called Columbia, they said not defect so no return? Just ahead up. For me, not recommend.

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