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on January 7, 2012
I really like this jacket, especially for the price. The stitching is good quality, which is what will go first. It is warm but not too warm. I use this for everyday use and its just about enough for the fluctuating weather here in Maryland, or even quite a bit north of here. For use in winter activities like skiing or snowboarding, it more than enough warmth.

For warmer weather, the liner is not going to be as warm as a stand-alone fleece jacket, but it's great for cool but not too cool weather. The outer jacket is waterproof for light to moderate rain. To get something completely waterproof like Gore-Tex, you will have to pay much more, so this is a great all-around for just regular use. Plenty of pockets for stuff with nice pocket zipper loops to open with gloves. The zipper is smaller, but it has a plastic cover that won't freeze your fingers or get in your face when zipped up to your chin. A decent compromise in my opinion.

Compared to North Face, you get a lot more for your money. It may not be as warm, and the stitching isn't as bullteproof, but most of us won't need that level of stitching and reinforcement. It's also about half the cost since I paid well below MSRP. Overall, I'm extremely happy with this jacket. It will serve me for a long time.
22 comments11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 15, 2012
This is a beautiful jacket! It's waterproof, it's warm, it's fashionable as a parka, as a shell, or even just as a liner! This doesn't have pit zips, but, I'm glad because if you have ever seen Columbia's pit zips they blow...big time. They are basically just zippers to a hole in the jacket. So dumb. At least put a mesh liner in the pit zips! Anyways, the Rare Earth Parka doesn't have them, and that's a plus to me! The liner is nice, I got this in the black and white version and my liner was grey...and nice for slightly chilly weather. The liner isn't waterproof...but, it is nice! I get complimented on the color scheme of this all the time, and a couple women told me the chest pockets are really what does it, just sets off this jacket. Honestly, if you need an uber-waterproof jacket, this is it! This also keeps ME warm during the summer time, but it's not a super hot jacket in terms of temperature. And I like that, because I don't like to sweat in jackets, it's gross, so this keeps me warm but not stinking rotten hot. If you're on the fence whether to buy it or not, here's what you do: BUY IT! I wear a size large in jackets, I got this in a large, fits me excellent! It's not super baggy on me and I like that, well, because I like my clothes to fit.
11 comment7 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 15, 2012
Let me start off saying I love this jacket so far BUT its not a heavy duty parka for long hikes in single digit temps (at least not without some layering underneath). But for me, living in New York its perfect. The day I got it there was a snow storm with windchill temps in the teens. I tried the jacket with a sweater underneath and with just a t-shirt. It was pretty good with just the t-shirt but you could feel the cold and I wouldn't want to spend hours outside like that. With the sweater added it was toasty and the waterproofing was perfect.

The key to the jacket's performance is the design of the outer shell, which so far is impermeable to water and wind. It also has elastic or velcro tighteners at the hood, wrists and waist, so you can really trap the warm air in and keep the cold out. The hood is zipper removable and despite being thing (just the shell material) very warm. If you added some thermal underwear, a warm shirt and light sweater under the two jacket layers, I think you would be good in 0 degree temps in rain or snow.

The construction also seems very solid. Heavy zippers, tough shell and good stitching. Under a faucet water sprayed off like it was hitting plastic. And I've also been using the outer shell as an overcoat with a suit. It fits great over a suit jacket and the combo is still very warm. Its not as fashionable as a nice wool overcoat, but its way, way warmer. You could def also wear this skiing. I'd say this is a perfect jacket so far.

UPDATE: Its been a few months and i recently did my first long walk, about 25 minutes, in the rain. The jack kept me dry, but the outer shell did start absorbing water and not just beading it off. I think that a really long period in the rain would have left me at least a little wet and definitely with a somewhat waterlogged jacket. I may apply a waterproofing spray or wash in treatment like kiwi camp dry or nicwax. Based on this update I've lowered my rating for 4 star.
22 comments6 of 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 27, 2012
This jacket has the quality of a jacket that could cost up to $300 at a ski store. I received the jacket very quickly and have used it on 2 skiing trips. It is very warm, but not too bulky and comes with an inside jacket that can attach / detach from the outer waterproof shell. The jacket has tons of pockets and it is very easy to remove the inner jacket or put it back in. I definitely recommend this jacket for any outdoor athlete.
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on October 23, 2012
Exactly what I wanted, just as good as the columbia jackets in the columbia store. I'd recommend going to a store and trying one on first though to make sure you get the right size.
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on November 6, 2012
Very well made, very warm, very easy to use the 3-in-1 interchange system, very affordable price, and it keeps you warm.

I do recommend this jacket
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on September 10, 2012
Columbia Men's Rare Earth Interchange Jacket
Amazon's color selection options on their website is messed up. If you select "Black" as I did you will receive a black jacket, NOT as indicated, which is black and white. The jacket otherwise is as indicated by other reviewers - Buyer beware, at least when selecting your jacket color. Not sure how one can order a black and white one.
Adding to this review after winter use in December. This coat will need some layering below 35 degrees. I have used each day on my 5 mile walks each morning. I usually wear a T shirt with the jacket, it needs more to be warm. Consider that I am not standing around, we are walking all the time.
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on November 28, 2013
I finally bought a jacket my husband loves. He loves this and loves the flexibility. We live in south florida, so really the primary need for a jacket here is rain and wind protection and this fits the bill perfectly. With the liner, it does provide warm for visits to cooler areas, but I'd imagine it wouldn't be super protective again real cold. It also looks nice and not sloppy like a lot of wind breaker/rain jackets. It's highly breathable. Very nice
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on March 27, 2013
I ordered this for my Dad for Christmas and he loves it!
Shell: 100% Nylon Plain Weave Ultra Touch; Lining: 100% Nylon Embossed Taffeta; Liner: 100% Polyester Interlock Fleece
Machine Wash
Omni-tech waterproof/breathable critically seam sealed
Omni-shield advanced repellency
Zip-in and 3-point interchange system
Waterproof/breathable fabric
Removable, adjustable storm hood
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on January 19, 2013
I think that this is a great jacket. Light and easy to move in witha alot of warmth. I would recommend to all. I bought it with the Shimmer Me Timbers II Jacket and it makes a great combo.
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