When buying rain jackets, most people know to check whether it’s received a DWR treatment, since that will ensure it retains water-repellency through many, many wears. Problem is, DWR treatment requires the use of synthetic compounds called PFCs that are so persistent they never break down in nature. As such, they accumulate in the environment, leading it to become a major concern among many advocacy groups. The Columbia Outdry Extreme ECO is an upcoming rain jacket that’s eliminates PFCs completely, all while retaining the same durable water-repellent function as DWR-treated garments.
An improved version of the Columbia’s Outdry Extreme technology which debuted in the spring, it takes the same waterproof outer membrane used in the existing garments, ensuring it keeps water out while allowing vapor and humidity to escape through extremely tiny perforations. This time around, though, they’re eliminating PFCs completely (Outdry Extreme only removed the DWR treatment), making it an even more environmentally-safe piece of clothing.
The Columbia Outrdry Extreme ECO is made from a polyester fabric that’s produced from recycled water bottles, with each jacket using approximately 21 bottles apiece. Since the jacket is, essentially, plastic, it’s not easily susceptible to absorbing dirt and stains, allowing you to clean it by simply wiping down in most instances, so you can wash your rain jacket even less than you wash your jeans. It will only come in white to further accentuate the environmental benefits, since Columbia claims that not dying the fabric saves approximately 13.5 gallons of water per jacket. Granted, it’s not quite as pretty as most fabric rain jackets you’ll find in the market, but if you value low environmental footprint, we doubt there’s much in the market that comes close.
Want one? You’ll have to wait, since the Columbia Outdry Extreme ECO won’t debut until the spring of 2017.