It appears unassuming and low key on the outside, but don’t judge a book by its cover. The lining of this jacket is covered in thousands of dazzling silver dots. This is Columbia’s Omni Heat Thermal technology. It looks quite strange- like a throwback from a 1980s nightclub, but it does a good job of reflecting radiated heat. I found this to be the warmest of the soft shells in this test. There is no membrane to keep the wind out, but the tightly woven polyester face deflects the worst of the wind on breezy days. Stretch fleece side panels enhance breathability and freedom of movement. Soft inserts at the cuffs with thumb loops help keep wrists warm, or can be tucked away if not required. It could be improved with the addition of a hood and the pockets are very basic- just two small hand warmers that don’t work with a harness. However Columbia is a brand with a strong ski heritage and the jacket would perform well on the slopes, on it’s own or layered under a shell. It is very good value for a robust, technical garment. Just keep it zipped up if you don’t want to blind your friends.