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Review of Columbia Women’s Hot to Trot™ Softshell


I received this jacket in June, and although a soft shell is normally overkill this time of year, I actually needed it! It turned out to be the perfect weight jacket for our delayed summer this year. Columbia advertises the Hot to Trot Softshell as “one of those all-season essentials that you just can’t live without”, and worn with a fleece it definitely could be. However, the fabric is “100% polyester 3L Butter Softshell” so I wouldn’t recommend it on a rainy winter day, but it will protect you from light rain and drizzle.

The Columbia website also has this to say about the Hot to Trot: “When piercing gusts and drizzle are the order of the day, the Hot To Trot keeps you cozy with windproof capabilities and Omni-Shield® advanced repellency”. With it being summer here, there was only one way to test the windproof capabilities, I took the top off my Jeep! Not only has our summer been delayed this year, it has also been cooler than normal. It also gave me an opportunity to test the Hot to Trot’s “Omni-Heat thermal reflective material”, which is a series of dots, made from reflective material similar to an emergency blanket, that reflect heat back to you. These dots are designed to make the jacket liner 20% warmer. It passed both tests with flying colours. The night I chose to test the jacket was a bit on the cool side, and I will admit that I had a fleece on underneath, however it was more than sufficient to keep the wind from piercing through the jacket and I was nice and warm on my drive. I also took the Hot to Trot jacket on a sailing trip and tested it without a fleece and barely felt the wind.

I’ve been wearing the Columbia Hot to Trot jacket as my primary jacket all season and I love how it’s fitted, a concept that seems to be alien to some other manufacturers. One thing to note is Columbia is generous with their sizing. I’m borderline between a small and medium on their sizing chart so I opted for the medium. I probably could have gone with the small, but wouldn’t have been able to wear a fleece underneath for those cooler days. The jacket also has ample room around the hips, which is another bonus for those of us with curves. The jacket is flattering as well as functional.

To find a Columbia store near you, please check out their online store locator.