The Columbia Sportswear CSC Mogul Jacket was the exact jacket that was designed for the USA, Canadian and Russian mogul teams for the Sochi 2014 Olympics. And while the jacket’s not going to make you ski like an Olympic champion, you’re definitely going to look and feel like one of them. Before my President’s Day Weekend trip to Whiteface Mountain up in Lake Placid (best skiing in the northeast), I reached out to Columbia Sportswear to see if they’d give me a jacket to review. After a few tall tales about my abilities, Columbia eventually shipped me one in time for the trip.
I opted for the “Night Tide” color which you can see in the picturesque photo above. That’s Lake Placid in the background. (S/O to SneakerPeeker for the picture).
What I was most interested in was finding the sweet spot between a shell and a standalone jacket. Those of you who ski or snowboard know the absolute misery that is being too hot inside your jacket–when you’re literally swimming inside a sweaty jacket. That’s why layering is the best option.
Once I was on the mountain and skiing, I was surprised by how warm the actual jacket itself was. I actually had to take off a layer and open up the ventilation zippers. That was enough for me, but I can say with zero hesitation that there will be many days you could ski in just a base layer, a t-shirt to cover the belly, and the Mogul Jacket. I think I underestimated the power of the Omni-Heat reflective technology inside the jacket. Either way, this is why I ski with a backpack, I just stuffed the layer in my bag and moved on feeling much cooler.
The fit of the jacket was great. I’m a right there between a Large and an XL depending on how much mid-mountain chili I’ve had, so I opted for the XL. It was a bit roomy, but when I finally go someplace freezing cold, I’ll appreciate the room for a hoodie or something.
The pockets and zippers were great. I never actually used the goggle pocket because I prefer to keep them on my helmet (ski safe, boys and girls) but I did put the ski pass pocket and phone pocket to good use.
There are only two things I would change in the jacket. First, I would improve upon would be the ventilation zippers. They could be a little bit better, or maybe offer two more on the sleeves. Right now they’re in the underarm, which doesn’t allow for maximum fresh air to come through. The second thing would be the eyelet inside the jacket which is meant for a headphone jack to pass through. The eyelet is too small for my helmet audio jack, but I plan on expanding it to make it work next time.
I love the look of the jacket and a few people complimented me while on the Gondola on the way up. Maybe it’s because the jacket was new, maybe it was the beaming radiance I put out now that I was finally skiing, but probably it’s because the jacket looks good. There was a time where I’d opt for the black jacket, but after people complained that they couldn’t see me in a crowd I decided to make the switch.
Now that the ski season is winding down on the East Coast, I know that some of you are looking for some great deals on ski gear. Spring is literally the best time to get your stuff.
Originally listed at $300, now the CSC Mogul Jacket has been discounted to $224.90. Obviously there are cheaper ski jackets out there for less than $200, but Columbia is a very-well known and well-respected company and (in my personal experience) their Titanium line has never disappointed. My point is their stuff lasts, which is an important factor when you’re going 35 MPH+ into trees.
Would I recommend this jacket to my friends even if I hadn’t gotten one for free? Absolutely. As stated before, it fits the bill for a quality, waterproof shell, but also adds a little bit of warmth via the OmniHeat reflective technology. It fits me perfectly, and functions very well when it comes to storing everything you need while skiing.