Omni-Heat by Columbia

5:44 p.m. on October 24, 2010 (EDT)
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While browsing at a local retailer this weekend, I saw some Columbia jackets using their "Omni Heat" product.  They claim it provides a 20% increase in heat retention over conventional products.  There is (and I hope it's ok to post this here) a pretty cool video showing their test lab: http://www.columbia.com/Omni-Heat/Science_Omni-Heat,default,pg.html

I haven't found any reviews on here on Trailspace yet for these products.  I'm particularly interested in the gloves (they don't seem to have this in their socks (yet?)).

I see Alicia made a blog post on this in January but there were only a couple comments.

What do you all think about this?  Have you used any Omni Heat products?

11:16 p.m. on October 24, 2010 (EDT)
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I saw  the omni heat products in a Columbia store recently.  I am skeptical by nature of miracle fabrics and I know that comes as a surprise to most of you.  The Columbia stuff reminds me of the same sorts of radiant heat fabrics from the 80's.  If the fabrics hold in heat it's likely the fabrics hold in sweat, just my guess.

12:09 a.m. on October 25, 2010 (EDT)
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The "hot dot" idea is not unique to Columbia. The idea is that the "dots" are reflective to reflect the radiant heat from your body back at you (same idea as a "space blanket", with the spaces between the "dots" to allow the breathability. Several of the high altitude climbing boots, like my La Sportiva Olympus Mons, use the same idea. I will say that they are quite warm. But the breathability is somewhat wasted in that case because of the outer shell being plastic (plus the built-in gaiter).

I saw the OmniHeat at the OR Show, but have no experience with it. I have had some Columbia clothing, and it is generally pretty well made, although it is "fashionable" ("lifestyle clothing" is the current term). My one Columbia Bugaboo ski jacket (with a zip-out fleece liner) serves pretty well, even without the "dots". I wouldn't use it on Denali or in Antarctica, though.

3:48 p.m. on October 27, 2010 (EDT)
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Given the numbers on products using similar technologies- the Thermarest Ridgerest vs Ridgerest Solar- the improved insulation is pretty minor. In reality, with warmth coming from the human body the gain is likely real, but quite a bit less than 20%...

October 25, 2014
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