Loch Lomand Review - Ventilation and Waterproof

Columbia Sportswear Men’s Loch Lomond Omni-Dry® Waterproof Jacket

Loch Lomond 2015 Jacket Review

My last two waterproof shells were not good long-term investments. Both were from popular and otherwise reputable brands. Both were sold as technical outdoor shells. Both cost a lot. One leaked at the seams right from the start. Not sure what the problem was exactly – the seams looked good and were taped. Darn thing leaked like a sieve in even moderately wet conditions. My second choice didn’t leak, but it didn’t fit or adjust well. If I ever found myself in wet and windy conditions, the hood would catch and partly blow off. Even when synched down, the rest of it tended to flap around more than I liked. And for a shell, oddly enough, it was heavy.

The time was right to try something new so I researched the options. The Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket caught my eye. Lightweight, bombproof construction, all the features I’d look for in a technical shell. A product for the serious alpinist. I haven’t had a chance to test it as of yet, but it looks promising.

However, I noticed another contender that, feature for feature, I believed might stand up under the most rigorous conditions. The Loch Lomond Omni-Dry® shell from Columbia Sportswear is a wind-proof/water-proof breathable shell for: Hiking, backpacking, alpine climbing, skiing, or anywhere else a trim fitting, adjustable, breathable, extremely waterproof shell is needed.

Their claims:

  • Highly breathable, highly waterproof
  • Brimmed adjustable storm hood
  • Abrasion resistant chin guard
  • 2-way pit-zip vents
  • Articulated sleeves
  • Adjustable cuffs
  • Waterproof, packable, smooth zippers (designed for the Olympics)
  • Top down / bottom up center front zipper
  • Drawcord adjustable hem
  • Drop tail
  • Reflective details for visibility
  • Weight: 16.4oz
  • Backpack compatible pockets / zippers
Loch Lomand Review - Ventilation and Waterproof

Good ventilation makes this jacket useful on mild dry days too.

How tested:

I’ve taken this jacket out skiing, hiking, and backpacking. On a dry day skinning up Mill Creek Canyon, the Loch Lomond’s breathability was put to the test – I was dry and warm no matter how hard I pushed. The pit zips were easy to get to and adjusted nicely to match my BTU output. On another day I purposely went out in a torrential downpour. I stayed bone dry in the midst of a biblical deluge. With no “mad flappy,” the adjustable hood made sure my head remained dry even when I was taking it right in the face.

On two occasions, I’ve had the chance to wear the Loch Lomond under my Osprey Variant alpine pack. A feature that I truly appreciated is that, even with my waist belt and sternum strap cinched down, I could easily get to all my pockets and adjust the pit zips. Especially nice for accessing items like liner gloves, energy shots, or a handheld device while still on the move. It fits amazingly well over a base and mid layer.

One caution though: unlike other Columbia jackets I’ve owned, this series is definitely cut for trim athletic builds. So if you’re a stockier build or want to fit a puffy down layer under it, you probably want to size up. Ounce for ounce and dollar for dollar (MSRP $275) the Loch Lomond is an attractive technical shell that delivers high performance materials, technical detail, and functionality at price that will also leave you smiling.

Loch Lomond Seams

Laser cut taped seams are waterproof, precise, and very low profile

Waterproof Zippers

Waterproof zippers are paper thin, flexible, smooth and abrasion resistant

Loch Lomond No-Flap Hood

Hood adjustments are easy to use and keep you dry in the worst weather (I made Erika model for me)

Comments 17

  1. I just purchased this jacket from Columbias website for $275 but its called “Loch Lomand” instead of “Loch Lomond and says Omni Tech not Omni dry on sleeve and on tags. A bit confused because every other site calls it Loch Lomond, including you and they also claim it’s Omni Dry not Omni tech. Does yours say Omni Dry on sleeve? Thanks, man.

    1. Hello Ryan,

      After looking at my jacket and the Columbia Sportswear website, I think it’s safe to say that you have the genuine article. My sleeve says “Omni-Dry” also and I got it directly from Columbia. The new design is visibly different than the old model and looks exactly like the picture on the website. If your jacket looks like the photo on the website and you purchased it directly from Columbia, you are safe. I also noticed the aberrant spelling. I’m guessing it’s a typo on their website. I’ll send them out an email and I bet they update the site pronto.

      1. Thanks for your response! Yeah…It’s pretty much identical to the jacket you’re wearing in your review photo. Except for the different spelling and Omni Tech logo on sleeve. Omni tech is supposedly 4 times less breathable than Omni Dry, so with a $275 price tag I have to make sure I get what I paid for. Again, thanks for the response and great review!

        1. ….so what’s going on here? Did Columbia make the Loch Lomond using Omni-Dry, run out of fabric then start making the same exact jacket – style and color – using Omni-Tech fabric and change a letter in the name calling it the Loch Lomand?

        2. To confuse things even further, I wrote Columbia and they responded saying that their website incorrectly lists the Omni-Dry Loch Lomand as ‘Omni-Tech’ but that does not make sense that both of your jackets list different techs on the sleeves ‘Omni-Dry’ on one and ‘Omni-Tech’ on the other…

    2. I sent them an email asking what’s up with the ‘Omni-Tech’ labeling – they said it is incorrect and should say ‘Omni-Dry’ – I also noticed that you can see an Omni Dry label on the wrist of the light blue jacket in the pictures… so I dont know why your jacket would be labeled with Tech on the sleeve and labels…

      I ordered one a couple days ago – awaiting its arrival –

      1. Hi Sam, somehow your comments got caught in spam. Did you get the jacket? We had the jacket early as a sample, so maybe there was a preproduction mixup…hmmm. What does you’r say (if you’ve got it)?


        1. Hi Erika –

          I found this jacket online – their website labeled it as “Loch LomAnd” but the sleeve in the web picture is labeled with Omni-Dry. I sent their support an email and they eventually responded back saying that it was indeed Omni-Dry and they would have the site adjusted – so I ordered it.

          It arrived a week and a half ago, the physical jacket labeled with “Loch LomAnd” and the sleeve labeled with Omni-Tech. I opened a support case with a guy who was rather perplexed by it and thought that my version was a previous season’s – he sent me a return label and told me that he would get back in touch to make sure I got a correct, Omni-Dry one.

          My return arrived a few days ago and they did not get back in touch. They just credited my card so I decided to order a new one as one of their pages lists it as the “Loch Lomond” and with Omni-Dry technology. I received an order summary email which called it the “Loch LomAnd” which raised suspicion. I called support to confirm that I would receive an Omni-Dry version and the woman said that the jacket IS confirmed Omni-Tech and would not comment on multiple versions.

          Another interesting thing is that I have a columbia omni-tech rain jacket from a couple years ago and the material feels drastically different from the first Loch LomAnd jacket that I received. This had me thinking that they labeled the sleeves incorrectly on a bunch so they were marketing it as the LomAnd with Omni-Tech to match the sleeve to avoid throwing out a bunch of Omni-Dry jackets…. possibility.

          After numerous, conflicting support cases and sketchiness – I have no clue what’s going on and they apparently do not either. I’m about to give up on Columbia forever after this…

          Below are multiple pages for the “Loch Lomond” – the 1st one lists it with Omni Dry. The other two list it with Omni Tech. All pictures show ‘Omni-Dry’ on the sleeves. If you place an order adding the jacket to your cart from any of them, you’ll get an order summary calling it the Loch LomAnd.




    1. Hello Reese,
      The hood doesn’t have a pouch and is not removable. It can roll up and fasten in place, but I don’t find that necessary. It lays flat and is unobtrusive when not in use.



  2. Do you know if you can pack this jacket in its same chest pack or something like that?

    Have you tried it for trail running?


    1. Hello Jose,
      I have gone mountain trail running and skiing in the Loch Lomond. The pit zips allow for good temperature control. We had a mild winter here in Utah and the Loch Lomond was my go-to outer shell (with either a base or base+mid layer under it) for all my high energy adventures. It might be a little heavy in warmer weather. It does not pack into itself. For warm weather running you might want an even lighter shell. For Summer hiking in rain, however, it is perfect.

  3. Hi, I came across your post while searching for a water proof jacket, which has the quality of a windcheater. Actually I am looking such kind of jacket, specifically for my husband who is a mountain climbing expert.

    He has to take students on tracking and mountain climbing training, at that time; he needs such kind of jacket protection.

    I liked all the features that you have mentioned regarding this jacket.

    Thank you for sharing this information.

    1. Hey Kevin,

      I’ve had mine out in some pretty foul weather and it’s held up perfectly. I think you can count on it being wind and water proof. It’s pretty breathable too – unless you’re in hot 100% humidity and raining – but then nothing is breathable in those conditions.

  4. I am a frequent flyer and I go travelling on my business trips quite often. Sometimes I take my daughter with me and she, just like me, has a plenty of accessories which need to be packed in a small size.
    Any good recommendation on pink backpack with fashionable design?
    Thank you for your information and please keep it up.

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