Columbia Switchback II Review

9.2 score
[Editors rating (9.2)] = (WalkJogRun) score (9.2)/10

Editor rating: 9.2 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
1 star
2 star
3 star
4 star
5 star
Add your Rating

If you are someone who loves to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, someone who loves to get their workouts in while enjoying the great outdoors but doesn't want to let a little chill and rain stop them then the Columbia Switchback II lightweight jacket might be the perfect option for you. It does a fantastic job of keeping you warm and dry, although some customers have stated that it is not the most breathable which can be a bit discouraging. For the most part, however, reviewers sing the praises of this jacket saying that it both looks great and is super comfortable. It comes in a plethora of color options, so there is sure to be one for everyone. The price is right, and the durability is phenomenal, making it a significant investment and the perfect addition to your running apparel.

Editor's Pros & Cons

Omni-Shield Water Repellent

Zippered hand pockets

Stow-away hood

Great price point

Fantastic longevity

Packable into pocket


Wrinkles easy

Noisy when walking

Not breathable


The Columbia Switchback II jacket has a shell that is made out of 100% Hydroplus nylon to help protect you from the rain, keeping you nice and dry on the outside. You'll also find some mesh materials throughout the construction of the jacket, that fine mesh is made out of 100% polyester for added strength and durability so it will last you a long time. The materials that make up this jacket are soft and comfortable, giving you a pleasant feel and experience while you're wearing it. The coat is built strong so you won't have to worry about the fabric ripping and tearing easily, it will be able to hold its own during your outdoor activities.

The jacket features Omni-Shield Water and Stain Repellent to ensure you are staying nice and dry while also protecting the great looking coat. Moisture will bead up and roll off the fabric, without soaking through, keeping you protected from the rain. The same goes for stains, and it is going to help keep you looking clean, even when you are hitting the trails.


Customers love how comfortable this jacket is when they're wearing it. It has a great fit that is not too baggy and loose, but it isn't so tight that it will restrict your movements, giving you the flexibility that you need to move around freely and comfortably. It is super easy to wear thanks to the thin fabric and lightweight construction; it is almost like you aren't wearing an extra layer at all.

There is one issue, however, that some customers have with the overall comfort level of the coat. They have stated that they would have liked to have seen a little more breathability in the jacket. Now, this is a rain jacket so you cannot expect there to be a lot of air flowing through it, if the air can easily get in then you run the risk of the rain getting in as well. Reviewers stated that they felt sticky and sweaty when they were done wearing it, and it was just overall, not a pleasant experience. There is some venting in the back of the jacket to help give you a little airflow, but some people didn't think that it did a good enough job and were unhappy with overall ventilation.

That being said, it does do a fantastic job at keeping the rain off of your skin which in and of itself will provide you with a lot of comforts, or at least prevent discomfort, since you will not be stuck running along in soaking wet clothing.


When you're heading outdoors for any activity, including your daily run, you want to make sure you have some safety precautions in place to make sure you are safe and protected while you're out and about. Thankfully for many customers, the Switchback II offers a couple of safety features built right in to give you a lot of what you'll need when hitting the streets.

It provides excellent protection from the elements, being an excellent choice for heading outside when there's a little chill in the air or a chance for rain. The Omni-Shield will help keep the moisture off of your body and won't soak through into the materials of the jacket. It's also going to give it a little extra protection from staining so you can keep it looking fresh and clean for much longer.

It comes with a stow-away hood so you can choose to bring it out when you need to or tuck it away when you don't want to use it. The hood will aid in protecting you from the wind and rain, keeping the weather off of your neck and prevent moisture from falling in through the collar of the coat. On the same note, the cuffs have velcro that can be adjusted to the perfect fit, make sure you can tighten them enough that wind cannot travel up your sleeves and cool you down when you're trying to stay warm.


You're going to want to make sure when you are ordering this jacket that you get the correct size so you can get the best possible fit. The Columbia Switchback II is supposed to give you a modern fit. You'll want it to fit you snuggly enough that you are not swimming around inside of it, but you don't want it to be too tight and have it restrict your movements. When you first put it on, you may feel like it's a little too big, but it's designed so you can layer underneath it so the extra room can come in handy. Even though you'll have that extra space in the jacket, it does not look like it's too big or bulky at all, giving you an excellent looking fit.

It does have velcro closures at the wrists so you can adjust the cuffs as needed to help achieve the perfect fit.


When you're spending your money on your running gear, you should keep in mind that you are making an investment into your fitness and as such you might expect to spend a little extra money than you wanted to upfront. As long you are getting a good quality product then you won't have to worry about forking over that much money again for a while since you won't have to replace your gear. The good news for many customers is that the Columbia Switchback II jacket qualifies as an excellent investment.

Not only is it highly durable and will not need to be replaced for quite, but it also has a very affordable price tag, to begin with. It's about average for a running jacket, but if you throw in the fact that it's going to last and Columbia designs it, then you'll be pleased with your purchase.

The water and stain resistant materials help make sure that you are not going to have to deal with water damage and unnecessary staining, causing you to have to replace the jacket prematurely. The sturdy construction will keep it from falling apart at the seams or ripping and tearing easily. The zipper is durable so you should have no problems with that piece of the jacket either. It really is an overall robust product that runners love.


The Columbia Switchback II is available in women's sizes extra small through extra, extra large and also includes a couple of plus-size options (1X through 3X) for those who are need of a larger size. Customers have said that the jacket runs pretty true to size so you should have no problems with it fitting nicely if you order your typical jacket size. If you aren't sure, you can check out Columbia's size chart so you can be sure you're getting the perfect fit the first time you order.


The Columbia Switchback II is a lightweight jacket that is designed to keep you warm on cooler days, but it is not going to do a great job of warming you up if you head out in freezing temperatures. There is not much insolation in the coat, it is designed more to keep you dry rather than warm, so if you need something to wear for winter running, then you might want to choose a different option. You can also opt to use this as a top layer, wearing other, thicker tops under it to provide you with more warmth if needed.

Customers can appreciate the lightweight design of the coat. It feels virtually weightless so you will not feel like you are wearing weighted clothing while you're heading out for your workouts.


As with most Columbia designs, this jacket gives you a classic look that customers adore. It has long sleeves with adjustable cuffs so you can make them as snug or loose as you want for optimal comfort and weather protection. It features a slow away hood so you can take it out in the rain and stow it away when the sun shines with ease, you'll have the hood when you need it, and then you can forget about it when you don't. The jacket also comes with zippered pockets on the sides so you can bring your essentials with you without having to worry about losing them while you're on the go.

This jacket is available in a variety of different colors so you are sure to find one that will best fit your style and your personality, giving you a coat that you fall in love with. You can choose from red camellia, bluebell, harbor blue, hot coral, Miami, nightshade, rosewater, black, bright plum, bright rose, Mayan green, blue heron, fuchsia, light grape, whitened pink, oceanic, purple lotus, white, or whitened violet. Whichever color you decide to purchase, customers can agree that you'll look great. Reviewers love all the great color options and have stated that they look just as fantastic when you're looking at them in person.


Making sure that you are keeping your jacket clean and orderly is essential to the overall durability of it. Thankfully for most customers, this product is machine washable so there should be no problems when it comes to taking care of it.

When you aren't using it, and when it is completely dry, the jacket folds up and fits easily into its own hand packet so you can easily store it in your gym bag or with your hiking gear, so you always have it when you need it. Of course, you can still simply hang it in your coat closet when not in use as well.


The Columbia Switchback II is an excellent jacket for those who like to head outdoors and get their workouts in the fresh air but don't want to let a little rain or cold stop them. You won't have to when you have this jacket. It has great water-resistant materials that will allow you to get out in the rain while still being able to stay dry and comfortable. It has a hood that you can take out and use when it's raining or a little too chilly for you, or you can stow it away when you don't have use for it anymore.

Of course, you aren't limited to leading an active lifestyle when wearing this coat. Some customers just really like the look and style of it and choose to wear it as their everyday lightweight jacket to keep them warm in the spring and fall or on those rainy summer afternoons.

Bottom Line

You shouldn't let a little wind and rain keep you from getting outside and enjoying the fresh air while you head out for your daily jog or bike ride. Thanks to jackets like the Columbia Switchback II, you can still get out and enjoy what you love and stay protected from the elements. You will get excellent protection from the rain thanks to the Omni-Shield Water and Stain Repellent fabric, allowing water and muck to bead up and flow off of you, keeping you clean and dry. It has a great style and comes in a plethora of different colors, so you are sure to find a color that calls to you. Customers have fallen in love with this product, and it comes highly recommended.