Customer Reviews: Columbia Men's Cathedral Peak Fleece Vest, Cattail, Large
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on October 26, 2006
I really like Columbia Sportswear Jackets, so decided to try the vest ... The fabric is the same soft, warm, fleece as the jackets but the fit in the vest seems awkward ... For instance the XL in the jacket is a perfect fit for me, but in the vest I had to exchange the XL for a L ... The vest seems to run a size larger, and I think it would be a better design had they also included the bottom draw strings on the vest as they have on the jackets (being that the vests cost as much as the jackets) ... Had I been able to find a brown vest in the style of a black one I got from Land's End I would have returned this L also ... Bottom line for me Columbia Sportswear Jackets 5*'s, the best I can give this vest is 3*'s.
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on December 30, 2010
I got this vest from my wife as a gift, so I shouldn't be looking a gift horse in the mouth. Maybe that's OK, as my comments are not directed at her, but to possible future buyers.

I've had other vests, so I've had time to develop a very strong opinion about features that I like and don't. This vest doesn't meet up with some of the basics that I am used to enjoying with my years old Gap vest.

First of all, the fleece is quite thin and porous and thus not warm in a breeze, so I don't wear it outside much. The large arm holes don't help there either.

The zipper is only one way, i.e., it doesn't open up from the bottom. To me that is a major inconvenience as I can't adjust the bottom when I am sitting or driving. With the slightly longer cut, the vest ends up bunching up around my waist. I also have to undo the zipper completely or yank the bottom of the vest halfway up my waist if I have to pull down the zipper in my pants to go to the bathroom.

My major problem, however, is with the cut. The middle has a lot of fabric and won't lay flat over my chest and stomach. It finally occurred to me that it is actually perfect for someone with a medium pot belly, but that's not me.

My final complaint is with the pocket zipper, they go down to close. If you don't zip it fully, small things like change or keys, will fall out.

Overall, the design feels like there was a lack of thought throughout. Maybe they turned a junior designer loose on this item.

Since I won;t be returning the vest, it'll get demoted to workshop duty.
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on June 28, 2008
This was a great purchase for my husbands birthday. Very well cut and designed using quality materials that wear well. I purchsed the navy color and it is a very nice shade more of a navy/grey that goes well with everything. My husband wears a size 42 jacket so I purchased the large since the medium I bought him before fit a little too close for his liking, the large is a little roomier. Columbia is always a good product and the price was good too.
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on May 7, 2010
bought this vest to supplement a Patagonia fleece vest i have. To my surprise the vest is not very warm, does not feel like i have a fleece vest on! Otherwise the fleece has a nice material and nice look to it but it is not doing what it is supposed to (keep me warm) & also as others have mentioned in the posts here it runs a size larger (i bought an L but should have gotten an M - for all my other stuff i have Ls)
Hope this helps.
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on November 13, 2007
Columbia Sportswear Men's Cathedral Peak Vest. I ordered two of these, one grey and one Tusk color. I really like the Tusk. These run a little bit small and should have just a bit more length to them. I'm 6'3" tall and normally an extra large works fine for me, but not in this vest. I would have ordered an extra large Tall, but they don't come in the Tall size.
I really like the fleece feel and the two outside zipper pocket, but it would be nice if they had an inside pocket, like Columbia puts on the inside of their Cougar Peaks outerwear.
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on October 2, 2012
First off I'd like to start off this review by saying that like a lot of people have mentioned, the material is super thin. If you take a single layer up to the light you can see the specks of light through it. The collar portion seems to be a double layer though, and the vest itself is decently warm AS A LAYER. By itself, wind will cut right through the thin material and leave you cold. The vest does work well as a thin, insulating layer under a soft shell or windbreaker. The double thickness collar is nice because when you zip up the vest all the way it does keep your neck warm. I would have preferred if the entire vest was the same thickness as the collar though.

For the Amazon price, it's not terrible. I'd probably pay a little more and get a Polartec fleece material vest though. Definitely not worth the $40 sticker price that was on the label. But if you plan to just use this vest as an internal layer then it's decent for the $25 price tag.
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on April 5, 2011
I always bought the Columbia items and will continue, but this item is the worst I ever have seen. I saw the picture and never hesitated to get the item. Well, today I got it and when I opened my jaws dropped. This is thinner than a handkerchief I believe. Never rely on the picture you see. It was my fault that I never consaulted with some customers and when I sent mails to Columbia, they never replied. This is a no-good vest!!!!!
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on November 6, 2012
First off - I am very happy with this purchase as it is exactly what I expected. And for the price, it's hard to complain.

The vest fits very nicely, i got the green large. I'm a male 5'11" and about 190 lbs. It fits me very nicely. Sometimes these vests bunch up around the gut looking dumpy but not this one.

I have washed it a few times and it seems to be holding its colour, shape and stretch. It blocks the wind nicely and is perfect for cool autumn weather/early winter when it's not too brutal but a t-shirt just doesn't cut it.
The collar is one it's best features - it folds down nicely to keep your neck warm or you can turn it up to avoid the wind. The material is very soft and feels great on your skin.

As for complaints, I find that i really miss having a breast pocket and I wish the pocket zippers went up to open as opposed to down.

Since neither of these features were advertised, obviously i can't complain about their absence - i just prefer them and will be looking for both on my next vest purchase.

One thing that I will knock off a star for is the depth of the pockets. They are quite shallow causing things to fall out easily - especially if you are sitting. If you are going to make a jacket with shallow pockets i think the pocket zips should go the other way... Just make sure you remember to close the zips! you can fit your entire hand in if you are trying to stay warm, but there is almost no downward angle to make a good pocket for holding your keys, phone or wallet.

While we're on the topic of zippers i will say that the quality of the zips on this jacket is top-notch. it will open or close from almost any angle and i would be very surprised if they stopped working.

At $20 it's hard to imagine a better purchase!
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on November 11, 2010
This is the sleeveless version of the Steen's Mountain jacket. Runs a size big (5'7" 160 lbs, small was loose). No drawcord in hem is less than stellar. Useless against wind. I'm having to edit my review because the stitching is coming loose around the bottom of the zipper. It's not only fraying, it's also interfering with the zipper operation. I hope Amazon will take it back.
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on December 18, 2013
...and by that I mean it makes me look dangerous.

On a serious note I bought this to be a "uniform" piece for a non-profit I am president of. I got one for my wife too. We sewed on patches to the chest and it looks great. Nice and simple. It is warm, it fits true to size with some room for layering, has 2 pockets, zipper, good collar. It washes well and is easy to care for.

My daily life is in the city, I spend time in the outdoors either car camping, fishing, bushcrafting, mushroom picking, etc. This vest performs well in all but I don't wear it for bushcrafting. It's a personal preference as I like wool for that as I am always close to a fire when out in the winters of Oregon.

For the price (I paid around $30) a good piece of utility clothing.

Edit 12/22/14
Pocket zipper jammed up for no reason. It was impossible to unjam it and ended up ripping vest in the process. My iPhone was in the pocket so had a bit of a "need" to get the zipper open.

Vest lasted about a year. You get what you pay for.
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