The Columbus is what Weise call a ‘4-season jacket’, by which I took it to mean enough cooling features for the height of summer but warm enough for winter. That’s handy because I’ve ridden scooters to Germany twice this year wearing it: once in sub-zero temperatures for Meltdown, and again for Euro-Lambretta in over 30 degrees heat.
The features that make it 4-season are 3-layer construction with an inner thermal and mid water-proof/windproof membrane that are individually removable to taste by unzipping and removing each section.
Once the jacket (with integral CE shoulder, elbow and back armour) is stripped of the inner layers, large sections in the front and rear 600 Dernier Ripstop shell can be unzipped and tucked away to reveal mesh sections that permit air-flow through the body of the jacket on hot days. The arms also have zip-open vented sections.
I can say with certainty that in the height of summer the vented sections – while not as effective as a fully mesh jacket (like the Weise Airspin Evo I wore to Istanbul) – make all the difference. On the way to EuroLambretta there were riders in non-vented jackets who were dripping like ice-creams, but I was fine. This is despite the fact that the mesh panels are partly obstructed at the front by inner pockets and at the rear by a non-vented back protector.
As a reptilian I look for a very thick inner liner in my winter jacket, and the one in the Columbus doesn’t quite cut it for my needs in sub-zero temperatures. The solution that worked for me was wearing a Keiss heated bodywarmer underneath.
Styling-wise the jacket is a reasonable compromise between mean and black, and sensibly visible thanks to a plethora of reflective Scotchlite stripes.
For me this leans far more towards a practical riding jacket than doubling up as casual wear. Certainly there are dual-purpose scooter jackets that I’d be happier to wear to the pub, but these would not incorporate many of the Columbus’ practical features.
In theory, removable waterproof liners are a great idea because you can have cooling air-flow instead of living in a sweat-suit. The reality however is that if you zip out these sections in a showery summer like ours then not only do you have to find somewhere dry to store them on the scooter (and they are quite bulky) but you also need to keep putting them in and taking them out of the main jacket, which is a bit of a faff.
The Columbus is a good quality jacket from a highly reputable British brand. For me it’s a highly practical 3-season jacket due to the inner liner not being too thick, but you can always bulk up on inner layers and the stretch panels at each side of torso accommodate that perfectly. With layers or electric bodywarmer then it becomes a true year-round proposition.
While it’s not the most stylish of jackets for scooter use, I feel much safer in the Columbus than some of the more fashionable alternatives. As such, £160 is a fair price for the quality and features on offer.
Lab Report: 8/10
- 600 Denier “Ripstop” outer construction
- Removable waterproof, windproof and breathable lining
- Removable thermal quilted lining
- 4 Season Jacket
- Removable CE approved armour to shoulders, elbows and back
- Soft lining to collar for added comfort
- Velcro® retained adjuster to collar
- Adjustable twin belt system to waist of jacket
- Four Velcro® retained adjusters to arms
- Upper arm vents with waterproof zipper
- Two large vents with zippers to chest
- Large vent with zippers to back of jacket
- 2 external pockets
- Zipped internal pockets
- Water resistant chest pocket
- Long two-way zipper at cuffs
- Velcro® retained adjuster to cuffs
- Velcro® retained adjuster to collar
- Reflective detailing for added night-time visibility
- Large map pocket to rear
- Internal 8 inch zipper for attaching to Weise jeans