Columbia hiking gear review from Phantom Ranch in Grand Canyon



Who knew the same company that makes comfortable, lightweight gear to keep you warm and dry on the slopes also makes great gear to keep you cool in the desert?

Affiliate marketing disclosure

AZ Wonders creator Paul Fiarkoski
AZ Wonders creator Paul Fiarkoski on North Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon

My name is Paul and I’ve been a huge fan of Columbia gear since the early 1990s. I started wearing Columbia stuff as a skier when I lived in Colorado. Now I live in Arizona and do a lot of hiking in the desert.

Columbia has been my brand of choice for hiking shoes and pants/shorts for a few years now.  But this year I had to step up my desert gear wardrobe a little bit in preparation for the hike of a lifetime: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim.


Columbia – How do you hike? From thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to a leisurely stroll in the park, we have gear for every type of hiker at Columbia.com!


Paul Fiarkoski and wife at Grand Canyon
Selfie of me and my wife on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon the day before our rim to rim hike.

For this hike, my wife and I started at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and hiked about 15 miles down North Kaibab Trail to the Colorado River, then another 9 miles up Bright Angel Trail to the top of the South Rim — for a total of 24 miles — all in one day.

Temps started out in the 50s (F) at 5 a.m and exceeded 110 (F) by the time we crossed the Colorado River around 1 p.m.. Check out the video below to see the gear up close and find out whether it stood up to the challenge.

Shop and save up to 45% off at the Columbia Outlet Section.

I purchased all of the gear mentioned in this review with my own money.

Gear featured in this video:

Here’s the thing: I’m not a paid spokesperson for Columbia. I purchased all of the gear mentioned in this review with my own money. I promote Columbia stuff because I love their products and I think you will too. If you click through any of the links on this blog and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, but believe me that’s not my motive here.

On the news stations in Phoenix, we often hear of people dying or being rescued because they were not prepared for the desert heat. In fact, I live just north of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve and choppers fly overhead en route to perform rescues at Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain almost daily.

If I can help one person avoid suffering by being better equipped to handle the brutally hot conditions in Arizona, I will consider my promotion of Columbia products worth the time and effort. Thank you for reading. 🙂

Check out my other product reviews>>

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