Columbia Sportswear Compounder Shell

What’s in my pack: The Compounder II Shell

Columbia Sportswear Compounder Shell

Enjoying the Salt Lake City skyline from the top of Mount Wire where I was glad to have a shell to wear.

I have a jacket fetish.

Well, it’s accurate to say I have an outdoor gear fetish and jackets happen to be a big part of that.

When I’m hiking during a changing season, it’s hard to pick the right jacket to keep me warm but not over-heat me. Rain resistance and a hood are big pluses too. Yes, I want it all, but that’s not news.

Recently I’ve been testing the Compounder II Shell by Columbia Sportswear during an unusually damp fall in Salt Lake City. Here are my thought after testing this rain shell for over two months.


This jacket breathes. When I only want to carry one piece, I’d like it to serve as a comfortable windbreaker too. Many waterproof shells are uncomfortable and I’ll wear them when I must. Not only does this one not make me sweat, it also has long underarm zips to vent my pits. It’s a shell built for activity.

My other favorite features. Pockets it the right places, with watertight zippers to keep my snacks and phone dry, and a hood with a stiffened brim so that it stays off my forehead.


I wouldn’t call the Compounder an ultra-light piece at 12.8 ounces, but for day hikes, I prefer to have the features it offers. If I were going to backpack, I’d pack a less comfy minimalist piece. It’s really about picking the right gear for the task. This is why I have so many jackets (aka – a fetish).


Here’s what Columbia Sportswear has to say about this rain shell:

Nearly two ounces lighter than last season, this updated ultra-breathable waterproof jacket is fully seam-sealed and features Omni-Wick EVAP technology in key heat zones to keep you dry, comfortable and protected during aerobic activities in inclement weather.


Omni-Wick EVAP advanced evaporation
Omni-Dry ultrabreathable waterproof fully seam-sealed
Attached, adjustable storm hood
Peripheral hood adjustability
Helmet compatible hood
2-way underarm venting
2-way center front zipper
Waterproof zippers
Drawcord adjustable hem
Zippered chest pocket
Internal mesh pockets
Backpack compatible
Abrasion resistant chin guard
Drop tail
12.8 oz
Active fit

Currently on sale for $150


I’ve worn this jacket both in the rain and on hikes where I just needed a windbreaker over a base layer. It shoves down in my daypack well making it my go-to shell for hiking.


Columbia Sportswear provided a sample of the Compounder for this review. My opinions are my own.

Comments 2

  1. Hi!
    I’m looking at a couple of different columbia rain jackets, and I’m just wondering, what do you think they mean by Backpack Compatible?
    Thanks! (I’m ordering online, so I can’t see them in person)

    1. I wish I could give you an absolute sure answer, but my understanding is that has to do with the position of the chest pockets.

      Let me know what you think of the coat if you order it.


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