Columbia Sportswear has developed proprietary technologies to set their products apart from their competitors for years. From Omni-Shade, Omni-Freeze, OutDry Extreme to Omni-Heat, they make products to help people withstand whatever mother nature throws at them — including the wet and cold Pacific Northwest weather conditions where they are headquartered. Making its debut this winter, they’re adding a new technology promising warmth and comfort, Omni-Heat 3D.
Omni-heat technology, first introduced in 2010 in ski team uniforms at the Vancouver Olympics, is now used by millions of people worldwide. Its intuitive heat reflecting dots are found in jackets, gloves, boots, baselayers and a wide array of other products.
Omni-Heat 3D is just that – instead of the flat reflecting surface you may be familiar with – it’s a three dimensional insulating layer that incorporates reflecting dots along with a fuzzy diamond of vertically oriented fibers. Those fibers create another small layer of air between you and the inner fabric of the garment, providing greater warmth, more durability and comfort when next to skin.
I had the chance to try the new technology last winter while skiing in Banff National Park. Conditions varied from the mid and low twenties during the day to single digits in the evening.
My two standout pieces were the Powder Keg jacket and the Omni-Heat 3D Crew baselayer. Without a doubt, the baselayer was more comfortable than a standard Omni-Heat lined base. The vertically oriented fibers create a fuzzy layer, without the bulk of fleece and without the sometimes flat sticky feeling of standard Omni-Heat dots.
The Powder Keg jacket is a bomb-proof resort ski jacket with helmet compatible hood, pit-zips, powder skirt and Omni-Tech waterproof breathability. It’s already a warm jacket with 700-fill down, and now paired with the new Omni-Heat 3D technology it felt significantly warmer.
Omni-Heat 3D represents a significant and innovative improvement upon a technology that has already proven itself to provide added warmth by increasing comfort, durability and overall heat retention.