Columbia Omni-Heat Baselayer ReviewAugust 29, 2011
- Soft against the body.
- Comfortable, snug fit.
- Non-bulky, skin-layer light feel.
- Good non-stink benefits for a non-wool layer.
- Breathability was a bit less than expected.
- High aerobic activity resulted in trapped sweat.
Columbia’s Omni-Heat base layer was one that I grabbed often for its tight comfy fit. I would pull this layer with me on a day when I was looking for a bit less aerobic activity since breathability was slightly less than expected, in which instance it kept me very comfortable and definitely odor free. Bottom Line: it’s a layer to have in the quiver if you are not after an intense aerobic workout.
Columbia’s newest midweight base layer is designed to retain heat and remain breathable with its proprietary Omni Thermal Reflective Technology. They use a Dot matrix of reflective material, which the company claims breathes better between the pores while still maintaining your core heat and reflecting that back to keep you warmer. This Garment consists of 86 percent polyester and 14 percent elastane (also known as Spandex).
Columbia certainly has come out with something that catches the eye with a silver dot matrix lining against the skin that felt soft and kept me warm. While both cycling and snowshoe running, I did work up some pretty intense sweat that hovered on my skin, at which point I felt wet but not overly cold at any point during my winter tests. The fabric is very soft for a blend of Polyester married to Elastane which gave it some stretch. The chest zip was a bonus, though I think it could benefit from a longer pull for more substantial venting. The biggest drawback that I found was that after long bike rides in the winter I noticed a fair amount of moisture trapped on my skin. One of the biggest bonuses was that after several months of wear testing, the Omni Heat still maintained its cool look and compelling softness, and also continued to keep me odor-free.