Columbia Three Forks Black Dot Jacket Review


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  • The Columbia Three Forks Black Dot Jacket has Omni-Heat Black Dot technology that uses solar heat to keep you warm.
  • The lightweight and flexible material makes it a prime choice for outdoor exercise this winter.
  • Columbia adds thoughtful, useful design touches throughout, including an ultra-roomy inner pocket.

    I don’t know if this happens to anyone else, but I feel like every winter I go through the same negotiation, and the same side always wins: I need a new coat, and the latest, greatest one claims it could keep me warm on the lunar surface—but I can only enjoy such warmth if I’m ready to give up moving comfortably. I annually make peace with the idea of spending the winter shuffling around like an overstuffed burrito and being unable to lift my arms overhead. But hey, at least the cold will stay out!

    Mercifully, it seems like this could be the year I stop having to choose between uncommon comfort, protection from the cold, and ease of movement. Columbia has created the new Three Forks Black Dot Jacket to help you master the elements and enjoy being outdoors in any situation, from a Saturday night trek downtown to a frigid winter morning hike, all in a comfortable package that wears like your favorite old t-shirt.


    Jeffrey Westbrook

    Three Forks Black Dot Jacket

    Columbia
    columbia.com

    $280.00

    This jacket will flat-out keep you warm

    The first thing you notice about the Three Forks is that it looks and feels almost light; this isn’t the thick, bulky winter coat you’re used to. That’s why the second thing you notice is also the most striking: this thing keeps you parka-level warm.

    A lot of that is thanks to the unique Omni-Heat Black Dot technology that sets this jacket apart. It doesn’t simply trap your own body heat; strategically placed Black Dots on the jacket’s outer shell draw in solar heat from outside. That, plus a synthetic down insulation, helps keep keep the jacket breathable and feeling light. I recently tried it out on a brisk early morning outing, just to get a sense of the general feel while out and about. I was able to settle into my normal stride and pace and go about my business without breaking a sweat. I could easily see it keeping me warm without overheating during a day-long hike or snowshoe trek.

    Then again, I could see how its combination of breathability and warmth would let me get off jump shots and keep playing basketball outside well into January. But that’s just me.


    columbia three forks black dot jacket review

    Jeffrey Westbrook

    Little touches complete the package

    Once you finish marveling over the incredible warming technology, you can start to explore all the thoughtful little features Columbia added to this jacket that make it a highly functional and durable winter coat. Which is, after all, kind of the point.

    There’s an adjustable drawcord hem on the bottom, which I personally love because I never want to don anything that makes me feel like I’m wearing a box. The pockets are extra-roomy, including an extra-deep inner pocket on the left side of the jacket, which is another thing I absolutely love in a winter coat. If you like to carry an action camera along with your phone, or prefer to stash your sunglasses in a case, you’ll never have to worry about having enough room, or exposing your valuables to the elements. You could even comfortably fit a mini massage gun in there to take a mid-adventure recovery break.

    columbia three forks black dot jacket review

    Jeffrey Westbrook

    Finally, a few key touches make this the total winter coat package. The jacket is treated with a durable water repellant (DWR) that prevents soaking and allows you to simply shake off water or even snow when the weather turns quickly. And last but not least, a lightweight hood helps keeps my ears and face warm and dry. These extra touches keep my gear and me safe while cleverly adding zero excess bulk. Remind me again—why would I bargain for anything else?

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