Customer Reviews: Columbia Men's Ascender II Softshell Jacket
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on October 30, 2011
I didn't buy this here but I thought I should share my opinion on this jacket. First of all, the sizing of this jacket is made a little smaller than what most people would think. I normally wear large and I feel very comfortable. I got this jacket large size and it felt very tight in the under arms and shoulder area. I exchanged for a XL and it feels way better...It seems as if there is a huuuuge gap between a Large and a XL....The jacket is warm but you want to wear a hoody inside for the winter.

Update 11/12/11: I'm very glad I exchanged the jacket for a XL. It looks and feels way better. I love the design of this jacket. It really makes you look sharp.

Update: 03/20/12

I lost a bit of weight and the XL is too baggy for me. I purchased this jacket again in a large and it fits perfectly with room for a hoody. I'm 5'9 178lbs. I wish Columbia implement omni heat in this jacket. I think this is the best looking Columbia jacket.
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on June 20, 2012
Don't be misled, this is a warm jacket. There is a thin fleece-like lining inside the jacket surrounded by a gortex liner. This provides for a warm & dry experience. I bought it for a trip to Europe in March (it rained and hovered around 50 degrees). With a long sleeve shirt underneath the jacket, the product served its purpose miraculously. The rain rolled right off the jacket, and dried in under and hour when hung up.

Ok so it's effective for keeping you warm and dry. But it also looks damn good when you're wearing it. The collar pops a bit but not to a douchebag degree (full vertical pop), allowing for a preppy yet subtle look. I chose green because I look really good in that color. And man was I catching a lot of glances from the ladies (it was all in my head, but 90% of confidence is how you perceive yourself).

Buy this because it serves its purpose, it's a great price (compare to some ridiculously overpriced Northface jacket costing $250), and you'll look like you're ready to climb Mt. McKinley and bang chicks. Nuff said.
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on March 15, 2012
Since a lot of the reviews on this product that I've read just consider the climatic qualities, I wanted to provide feedback on the fit. I'm 5'9", 150 lbs and had trouble deciding between the small and medium. I ordered both, but find the small a more appropriate choice. My concern was that the chest dimensions, based on the sizing chart, seemed better suited for the medium, whereas the other dimensions fit squarely with the small. I wear a 38R suit jacket, have a 31 waist and 33 sleeve length.

However, these are general sizes for all of Columbia's clothing. The actual manufacturer's dimensions per item can vary as it does for this product. The small chest size is closer to 41" and the sleeve length is 34". The medium sleeve is an inch longer and chest closer to 43". Therefore the medium is too bulky on my frame.

The small fits good in the waist and chest, and overall appearance is quite sharp. It's a little snug under the arms, but I prefer a good fit there over having excess material that bunches up.

Also, either my neck is short or the collar is markedly higher than the one imaged. I have a 15.5" neck measurement, but here again the actual collar measures 19." However, the collar for me would only be extended if I were outside in the cold or wind. If you have a need for the collar to be up often, this may be an issue for you.
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on September 17, 2014
I live in Houston, TX, so our winters aren't too bad. I wanted a form fitting, light jacket. This was perfect size, quality, and color. I really like the price and quality of Columbia.

I am 6'2, 190 lbs, and athletic build. I ordered a M, and its a perfect fit all around. I have long arms, and the sleeves cover my wrists completely.
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on September 10, 2014
The cold temperatures is where this Columbia soft shell is most useful. Its warm inner fabric and wind/water resistance outer shell helps to keep me toasty warm! I should point out that I also have a heavier Columbia outer shell similar to this soft shell that I used in unison with an older Columbia soft shell jacket that I somehow misplaced (bummer). Needless to say I HAD to get another one because the quality of the great layer piece was soo good.

Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 245lbs
Build: Athletic

Pros: (1) a wind and water resistant outer surface, (2) A high collar that zips to one's chin, (3) a strong and reliable zipper system, (4) draw strings at the waist, (5) generous sleeves with adjustable Velcro pull back closers, (5) inside fleece like material that feels great against the skin (6) well built and sturdy construction, (7) PRICE!!!

Cons: (1) Waist is a bit loose fitting (good thing for the drawstrings) but it still could have been cut a little slimmer, (2) The fleece like material used inside of the arms is a bit "grabby" (It doesn't bother me though -just thought that you should know), (3) runs a bit smaller than the last Columbia Soft Shell that I owned.

I use this great layer piece throughout the cooler Fall, and colder Winter months. Put on a mock/turtle neck with this soft shell and you will be in great shape for those cooler/colder days. I use it while driving as most winter coats are too bulky to drive in comfortably. There are so many good things to say about this jacket that I think that you get the picture. I hope that what I shared will help you make an informed decision.

I recommend this great soft shell!
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on October 22, 2014
Looks very nice but the sizing is weird. Tight in the shoulders, and I thought it was short. Ended up finding tall sizes in the original ascender jacket and it fit much better, I could even wear layers under the jacket. This one seemed small in the some spots and going a size up would be way to big in other spots.
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on November 17, 2012
I recently had a business trip to Alaska and my luggage was misplaced leaving my North Face Apex Bionic jacket in limbo. Weather in Alaska was very cold and snowing and I had to visit a local store in Fairbanks, AK for something to use quickly as i had some additional work that required me to be in the elements.

I found the Columbia Ascender II Omni Shield which is a very closely compared to the North Face Apex I was missing and I was surprised at just how well it fit and was made. I have had my North Face for quite a few years yet it still did not have as much of a comfortable feel as this Columbia jacket as this one simply felt less firm and more form fitting and comfortable.

I can tell you from experience, this jacket in addition to an under sweater I had on handled the extreme Weather in Fairbanks well being it was below 0 the entire time and even in Anchorage where it too was snowing more and in the low 10 degrees so it did get me by during my trip even for a jacket not designed for such cold weather as I experienced.

Snow and moisture repelled this jacket with ease keeping me dry. Wind also did get to me as sleeves and neck area protected me very well.

Don't get me wrong, both brands of jackets are very good choices as I mentioned but i can tell you, the Columbia gets a 5 star rating for several reasons:

* Price and value
* Comfort
* Style and functionality
* Feel - less firm and stiff than my other jacket which is already broken in.

If you are seeking a great jacket, i would certainly recommend the Columbia Ascender II Omni Shield.
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on March 6, 2014
Great price. About a month ago just the black colored option dropped to $50.17 and I pulled the trigger.

I went with the XL due to having broad shoulders and it fits just right., slightly snug.
I always have a hard time finding clothing that fits correctly and usually try to error on the side of baggy vs tight.
Just for reference to potential buyers that don't fit into the suggested ranges , I'm 6' 210lbs with 56" shoulders , 46" chest and a 34" waist.

Living in the SF bay area there tends to be micro-climates and that's where I feel this jacket shines.
When it's zipped up it offers protection from the wind and cold while still being breathable.
I've worn it in rain from a light drizzle to pouring and the drops bead up and remain on the surface.
I have not done this for extended periods of time so I can't say if that would be the case if I was standing in a constant downpour of over an hour.

I like the way it fits and I have received a lot of complements about it.
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on October 9, 2014
Disclaimer, have had this jacket for about 2 weeks.
Quality: It looks and feels like a well made product with double stitches at most seams. I have tested its "water-resistant" qualities, and needless to say that this jacket is not meant to replace a rain coat of any caliber. Basically it can protect against light drizzle for a bit or water spilled on it but not sustained rain.
Look: It looks good, the material makes it feel more high end than it actually is and it can be worn with almost anything.
Comfort: the lining material is very comfortable, but not thick. This jacket is not meant for sub-zero climates, instead it should be worn on could fall and spring days and maybe early and late winter (30-60 F). this jacket is good at keeping heat in when its cold, but that can also be troublesome when its warmer or your doing strenuous activity (like hiking uphill).
I would reccomend this product to someone who is looking for a good looking, high quality, comfortable fall jacket. AND its cheaper than North Face with the same qualities. I basically equate Columbia to an adult version of the North Face.
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on July 5, 2015
Nice lightweight jacket for mildly cool weather. Rain resistant. I am a medium muscular build and the medium fits is perfect. By that I mean its a body contour fit with minimal base layer. Slightly stretchy.
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