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Calculated Traveller Omni-Heat Columbia Jacket at Disney

Ultra-Lite Packable Down versus Omni-Heat Columbia Jacket

Author Mary Chong
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Calculated Traveller Omni-Heat Columbia Jacket

Packable down jackets have been around for a few years now and I’ve owned quite a few budget-friendly ultra-lite packable down travel jackets specifically for the purposes of colder weather adventures. The jackets were both convenient and practical for use when travelling from cold climates to hot climates and vice versa, but also useful for keeping warm on a chilly plane or for use as a soft pillow when stuffed into the provided carrying bag. But packable down jackets are not all I thought they would be, especially after I discovered the heat reflective jacket, which is why I was happy to find the Omni-Heat Columbia Jacket. Read my review below to see why I would choose the Columbia Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective Jacket over a packable down jacket any day of the week.

My issue with packable down – those darn feathers

I’ve found that with every budget-friendly packable down coat I’ve seen – mine included – the feathers seemed to migrate (pun intended) from the jacket onto whatever I’m wearing. Feathers are like cat hair – they go everywhere, and quite frankly, it’s embarrassing when you remove your coat and there are feathers and fluff all over your clothing. My mother-in-law was wearing one recently, and after driving her home one evening, I noticed that the car seat had all these little pieces of feathers all over the seat!

That’s why I now prefer my Omni-Heat Columbia Jacket.

The Columbia Omni-Heat thermal reflective jacket is thin and packs away easily. I’ve found this heat reflective jacket to be just as warm as my budget-priced light-weight packable down jacket, only without the annoying loose fly-away feathers.

Columbia Women's Heavenly Hooded Jacket
Columbia Women's Heavenly Hooded Jacket
Columbia Women's Heavenly Hooded Jacket
  • This Columbia Women's Heavenly Hooded Jacket features Omni-Heat Reflective 100% polyester lining, which works to keep you dry and warm by reflecting your body heat with embedded silver dots.
  • This water-resistant, classic-fit, lightweight jacket features a hood, drop-tail interior security pocket, zippered hand pockets, and comfort cuffs with thumbholes.

Does Columbia Omni-Heat Work?

So, what is a Thermal Reflective Jacket?

The Omni-Heat Columbia Jacket has Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective Fabric on the inside. I wrote another Columbia Omni-Heat review for the Omni-Heat Heavyweight ½ Zip Base Layer. To summarise, the Omni-Heat thermal reflective lining consists of these little silver dots all over the inside of the jacket that reflect your body heat right back at you to keep you warmer.

I wore my Columbia Omni-Heat jacket on the plane when travelling from cold, snowy Toronto, Canada, to what I thought would be hot, sunny Orlando, Florida. Little did I know (Calculated Traveller weather fail) that a cold snap was passing through town, and it would be freezing at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom! But luckily I had my jacket with me, and I was toasty warm.


  • Hood
  • Thumbhole sleeves for extra warmth
  • Longer in the back
  • Nice clean seams inside
  • Lightweight yet warm
Calculated Traveller Omni-Heat Columbia Jacket at Disney


  • It was not entirely waterproof (I didn’t want to risk getting soaked on the Kali River Rapids Ride!).
  • It would be great if there were more inner pockets (there is only one)
Columbia Women's Heavenly Long Hooded Jacket

Is Omni-Heat Warmer Than The Packable Down Jacket?

Something to note is that you can’t really wear either the ultra lite packable down or the Columbia Omni-Heat jackets in sub-zero temperatures. You would need to have a heavyweight jacket for those colder temperatures. Columbia Omni Heat temperature rating varies from jacket to jacket depending on the style.

What to look for when shopping for a Thermal Reflective Jacket?

With a multitude of coat styles all designed with Omni-Heat reflective lining, Columbia Sportswear covers all temperature ranges from lightweight to full-weight down jackets that include the lining for added warmth.

I suggest you look at these factors when making a shopping decision:

  • Columbia Omni Heat jacket temperature rating. Think about where your typical travel destinations are. Do you live in a cold climate and often travel to hot climates? You don’t want to buy a jacket that is too warm or not warm enough for your needs.
  • Do you need a hood? I always buy a jacket with a hood because you never know when you are going to need that little bit of extra wind protection. That being said, I sometimes find a hood to be cumbersome.
  • Size. Since most women’s jackets are form-fitted, I typically look for a looser jacket to wear a sweater underneath in case I need extra warmth.
  • Waterproofing. Columbia Sportswear does make waterproof, seam-sealed omni-heat reflective jackets. However, these are quite expensive. I’ve found it to be more budget-friendly to wear a seam-sealed waterproof rain jacket over my reflective jacket.

They also use the same Omni-Heat reflective fabric on insulated pants, vests, hats, gloves – the list goes on and on.

The Omni-Heat Columbia Jacket is my go-to travel jacket now. It travelled with me to Italy in the Spring of 2015. (See the photo in the article: Chroma Tessera Hotel in Rome Italy – Review). In 2024, I still wear and travel with my jacket regularly and still prefer the Columbia Omni Heat vs ultra-lite packable down jacket.

Columbia Women's White Out ll Omni Heat Hooded Jacket Puffer (L, Black)

I hope you found this Columbia Omni Heat jacket review helpful. Check out the Omni Heat product line; you’ll stay comfy and cozy.

 I received product from Columbia Sportswear for review purposes. This had no bearing on my review of this item. As always, all my opinions are my own. I did not receive financial compensation for this review.