Columbia bills the Deep Ghyll as a mountaineering jacket perfect for ice climbing and other rigorous pursuits. Thanks to the company I had the chance to try the product in Lake Tahoe in some crazy conditions – ranging from 9 degrees to over 50 degrees on the mountain – and I found that the Deep Ghyll is definitely good for more than ice climbing. In fact, it just might be my ultimate Spring skiing shell.
Columbia constructed the Deep Ghyll out of their proprietary waterproof breathable three-layer Omni-Tech softshell fabric. The fabric is rugged and should definitely hold up to more than a few spills on early morning ice. It also provides some definite give making for good freedom of movement. One of the nice details you notice right away is that every seam has been meticulously taped and sealed, ensuring that no moisture will make its way into the jacket.
The Deep Ghyll has four exterior pockets. Two on the upper chest provide small spaces for sun screen, a goggle wipe or other items. Two slash hand warmer pockets include a mesh lining and serve double duty as part of the jacket’s ventilation system. Rounding out that ventilation are the huge pit zips under both arms and extending down much of the side of the Deep Ghyll.
On the interior of the Deep Ghyll, Columbia provides two additional pockets. There’s a zippered pocket on the left chest for valuables. On the right, Columbia placed a large mesh pocket for goggles or other large items.
The Deep Ghyll has a trim, athletic cut. At first wearing, I found the jacket fairly tight across the chest and under the arms, but that’s easily gotten used to. Don’t expect to be able to wear a puffy or other heavy combination of layers under the Deep Ghyll, it’s just not built for that. There are beefy rubber tabs on the sleeve cuffs to adjust them to fit over or under gloves. The attached hood has a terrific stiffener across the brim, another very nice feature. And although others may argue, I found the hood to be helmet compatible.
The Deep Ghyll boasts a dynamite combination of features. It’s rugged, waterproof and breathable. The ventilation system is very well thought out. There are plenty of pockets and a hood for those fluke storms. And it comes in a phenomenal Compass Blue color (which got more than a few compliments during my testing). Yep, the Deep Ghyll definitely gets my vote for best Spring skiing shell.