I recently reviewed the Key Three II Softshell Jacket by Columbia. My overall review of it was that it was nearly a perfect jacket — just missing a hood! And then I found this hooded gem by Columbia: the ‘Stratus Hooded Softshell”. But I couldn’t really find any reviews on it or any stores selling it online. It was a good deal, so I went ahead and ordered it, hoping for the best.
So how is the Stratus Hooded Softshell?
Well, this jacket has a light interior fleece-style lining. It doesn’t have any of the fancy technology that the Key Three II softshell had, so I wouldn’t say this one is quite as versatile or could replace a winter jacket in a pinch. But the combination of the fleece lining and the hood means that this jacket will cover just about any weather you’ll find in spring or fall. (I’ve found the lining to be water repellent, to a certain degree. Definitely not waterproof, though!) The ‘medium’ size of this jacket fits a bit looser than the ‘medium’ size of the Key Three II jacket, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on how you like your jackets to fit. Personally, I’d prefer if it fit a bit tighter, because I don’t like to layer too much underneath a jacket, so I don’t always need or want room for a sweatshirt underneath it.
The jacket has nice cinches to adjust the hood, and there are two more cinches to adjust the waistline.
What could be improved on the Stratus Hooded Softshell?
Adding a zippered chest pocket (like the one on the Key Three II!) would add some more user-friendliness to this jacket. Other than that, the jacket is well-constructed. It’s a quality, brand name jacket that will do exactly what it’s made for — to keep you warm and comfortable. If you’re looking for more features than this one offers, I’d suggest you look at some higher-end brand names. You’ll probably be able to score a lighter weight hooded softshell that can do everything this one does and more — but at a much higher price.
I rate the Stratus Hooded Softshell 3 out of 5 stars. It’s nice. I’m happy with it, and it serves its purpose well.