Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Columbia Outdry Ex Reign - Gear Hacker

Table Of Contents

  • Weather Resistance 90% 90%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Packability 50% 50%
  • Features 70% 70%

Price: $150

Waterproofing: OutDry EXTREME

Weight: 14oz/398g

What We Like: Waterproofing

What We Don’t: Not The Best Looking Jacket

Innovation is rarely a bad thing, and Columbia is always out there innovating. The OutDry Ex Reign Jacket takes the waterproof membrane and uses it on the face of the jacket, leaving you with a waterproof yet highly glossy jacket. The seam taping is on the exterior of the jacket and can give the jacket a “safety vest” look. What this allows for is a softer interior fabric that is used to wick sweat away. It’s a very interesting design that is in some ways futuristic in both design and looks. There are still pit zips and a massive hood, so all in all, if you like the look, you’ll like this jacket.

We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!

Compare to Similar Products

See Our The Best Rain Jackets of 2021

The Best Rain Jackets: Arc'teryx Beta SL Hybrid - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Rei.com

  • Weather Resistance 90% 90%
  • Breathability 80% 80%
  • Packability 80% 80%
  • Features 90% 90%

Pros

Great Features, Lightweight

Cons

Price

Waterproofing: 2L Gore-Tex with Paclite Plus & 3-layer Gore-Tex with C-Knit

Weight: 12.7oz/360g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Patagonia Torrentshell 3L - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Backcountry.com

  • Weather Resistance 90% 90%
  • Breathability 80% 80%
  • Packability 70% 70%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

High Performance For Low Cost

Cons

Less Movement Than Other Jackets

Waterproofing: 3L H2No Performance Standard

Weight: 14oz/397g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Black Diamond StormLine Stretch - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Backcountry.com

  • Weather Resistance 80% 80%
  • Breathability 80% 80%
  • Packability 90% 90%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

Mobility and Value

Cons

Not As Breathable As A 3L Jacket

Waterproofing: BD.dry 2.5-layer

Weight: 9.9oz/282g

The Best Rain Jackets: Arc'teryx Zeta SL - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Backcountry.com

  • Weather Resistance 80% 80%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Packability 80% 80%
  • Features 80% 80%

Pros

Effective Minimalist Design

Cons

Price

Waterproofing: 2L Gore-Tex with Paclite Plus

Weight: 10.9oz/310g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: The North Face Dryzzle FUTURELIGHT - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Amazon.com

  • Weather Resistance 60% 60%
  • Breathability 80% 80%
  • Packability 80% 80%
  • Features 80% 80%

Pros

Good Styling

Cons

Futurelight Is Not Quite There Yet

Waterproofing: FUTURELIGHT 3L

Weight: 11.99oz/340g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Patagonia Rainshadow - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Backcountry.com

  • Weather Resistance 90% 90%
  • Breathability 90% 90%
  • Packability 80% 80%
  • Features 80% 80%

Pros

Stretch Fabric

Cons

Hood Too Small For A Helmet

Waterproofing: 3L H2No Performance Standard

Weight: 14oz/397g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Outdoor Research Interstellar Ascentshell - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Amazon.com

  • Weather Resistance 80% 80%
  • Breathability 90% 90%
  • Packability 90% 90%
  • Features 80% 80%

Pros

Lightweight, Breathable, Moves Very Well

Cons

Durability Is A Concern

Waterproofing: 3L AscentShell Technology

Weight: 11.8oz/335g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Outdoor Research Foray - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Backcountry.com

  • Weather Resistance 90% 90%
  • Breathability 80% 80%
  • Packability 60% 60%
  • Features 80% 80%

Pros

TorsoFlo Venting, Helmet Compatibility

Cons

Weight and Packing Size

Waterproofing: 2L Gore-Tex Paclite

Weight: 16.3oz/463g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Columbia Outdry Ex Reign - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Amazon.com

  • Weather Resistance 90% 90%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Packability 50% 50%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

Waterproofing

Cons

Not the best Looking Jacket

Waterproofing: OutDry EXTREME

Weight: 14oz/398g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Eddie Bauer Cloud Cap Stretch - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Amazon.com

  • Weather Resistance 80% 80%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Packability 80% 80%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

Lightweight and Packable

Cons

2.5L Durability Is A Concern

Waterproofing: 2.5L WeatherEdge

Weight: 9.6oz/272g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: REI XeroDry GTX - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Rei.com

  • Weather Resistance 60% 60%
  • Breathability 60% 60%
  • Packability 90% 90%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

Budget Friendly Gore-Tex and Lightweight

Cons

Waterproofing is Not The Best, Gets Hot

Waterproofing: 2L Gore-Tex Paclite

Weight: 12.5oz/355g

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Mountain Hardwear Exposure2 Gore-tex Paclite Stretch - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Amazon.com

  • Weather Resistance 80% 80%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Packability 70% 70%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

Stretch Fabric

Cons

No Pit Zips

Waterproofing: Gore-Tex Paclite 2.5 layer

Weight: 12.5oz/355g

Columbia has used some innovative techniques to create a unique performing jacket that looks like it stepped out of the SpaceX production facility. While it’s great to have a jacket that’s futuristic and flashy, at the end of the day, it’s more important that it’s functional and keeps you dry. The Columbia OutDry Ex Reign accomplishes this goal, but there are a few shortfalls in the design.

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Columbia Outdry Ex Reign - Gear Hacker

Weather-Proofing

Columbia has turned the standard rain jacket design inside out; they’ve put the waterproof and breathable membrane directly on the exterior of the jacket, giving it a plastic, shiny look. On the inside of the jacket, there is a softer fabric-like layer that is comfortable against the skin and helps to wick sweat away from the body. There are some problems with breathability too. It is a thicker jacket and air does not seem to circulate too well when you are sweating. There are large pit zips to help dump heat, but on its own, the breathability is lacking.

An exterior waterproof membrane eliminates the need for any DWR (durable water repellent) coating, and DWR coatings are usually the first thing to fade on a rain jacket. This does speak well of the potential durability of the jacket, as you won’t have to treat it to keep the waterproofing functional. The seam taping is also on the outside of the jacket, which gives the jacket a bit of a “safety vest” look. The taping is grey, and on every jacket color with the exception of the grey jacket, the seam taping really stands out. For most jackets, the taping is on the interior.

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Columbia Outdry Ex Reign - Gear Hacker

Weight and Durability

At 14oz (398g), the OutDry Ex Reign is around the middle of the pack in terms of weight. Some testers say that it feels a bit thick, which may be a cause for the breathability issues. However, a thicker material often lends itself to being a more durable material that can withstand the bumps and grinds of a day in the forest.

As mentioned earlier, with no DWR coating, you won’t have to worry about the jacket “wetting out.” It is unknown how well the outer membrane will last while wearing a backpack for a long period of time, but in the short term, everything seems to be holding up very well and the zippers are solid, with zipper garages on the pockets as well.

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Columbia Outdry Ex Reign - Gear Hacker

Features

The star feature of the jacket is the hood—this thing is massive. There’s plenty of room to wear a helmet underneath, as well as the ability to dial in the fit using velcro and a couple of cinches if you are not wearing a helmet. The two handwarmer pockets are in a low position, so they’ll be inaccessible if you’re utilizing the hip belts on a backpack. The pockets have seam taping and zipper garages to really make the jacket feel like an impenetrable fortress.

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Columbia Outdry Ex Reign - Gear Hacker

There are two pit zips to help dump heat, and the mesh-lined pockets can also be opened to help let heat escape if you are getting especially hot. The jacket does not pack down into any of its pockets, so packability is not really a thing, but it can roll down quite small into its hood and be stored that way.

Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Columbia Outdry Ex Reign - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

The Columbia OutDry Ex Reign is a cool, innovative jacket that is trying something new in a fairly set-in-its-ways rain jacket industry. Is the design perfect? No, but there are some great things about it. The fact you don’t need to worry about the DWR coating of the jacket is a huge plus, and we can’t get over how good the hood is. The fit of the jacket is quite boxy and non-athletic, so be warned that it may fit quite large. The lack of a chest pocket and the lower position of the hand pockets are drawbacks when wearing a backpack.

We would recommend this jacket mainly to paddlers or hikers who aren’t often using large backpacks. It would work for a bike commute as well, especially if you get the yellow color—visibility will not be a problem.
Best Rain Jackets of 2021: Columbia Outdry Ex Reign - Gear Hacker

Compare Prices From Retailers Below

You help support Gear Hacker by purchasing from our retail partners.

We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!