More than a decade ago, Columbia introduced an innovative technology. It was supposed to help make people warmer when wearing their apparel. Many people were skeptical at first, but as more and more people tried the apparel, they reported that this technology worked quite well!
The name of the technology is Omni heat – a term that you must have heard. Nowadays, most of Columbia's outdoor gear has this technology incorporated in it. It looks like shiny dots on the inside of a jacket or fleece, but it is much more than that. These dots keep the warmth that your body created, but they also help with moisture-wicking.
And this is only the beginning of it! There are so many great things that I could tell you about Omni-heat technology that I do not know where to start. But if you want to know more about it, stick around for the rest of the guide. Let’s get into it and see what this technology is all about!
What Is Columbia Omni Tech Made Of?
As I mentioned, Columbia Omni heat jackets are quite special because of their liner. The liner has the Omni-heat technology, essentially a thermal reflective technology. Let me tell you more about what this means.
On the inside of the jacket, you will find those shiny dots that constitute the Omni-tech. These dots are metallic, and there are hundreds of them. Their purpose is to reflect the body's heat while a person is wearing the jacket. By doing that, the jacket traps the heat inside and makes the person feel warmer.
But at the same time, I should mention that the space between the dots also has a very important function. If it were only for the dots, the jacket would get very hot quickly. Columbia realized that they needed to find a way to make the jacket as breathable as possible, so they decided to use the space between the dots.
This space has a very lightweight and breathable material like in most Columbia jackets. The material is perfect for allowing sweat and moisture to exit the jacket. At the same time, the heat stays within the jacket, making the person quite warm.
Quite amazing, right?! That is what I thought when I first learned about this technology. What is even more amazing is that this technology works. You can find it on all kinds of gear nowadays, even the type of gear suitable for sub-zero temperatures!
With no added bulk, you get a Columbia jacket that is durable, breathable, lightweight, fast-drying, and up to 20% warmer than any other jacket. All that for a very affordable price can make all the difference to some people. This is why Columbia is a brand you must consider when on the market for quality clothes and outdoor gear!
How Effective Is Columbia Omni Heat?
If you have never tried Columbia’s Omni-heat before, I get why you might be skeptical about it. But trust me – as soon as you try a piece of gear with this technology, you will be sold on it!
Compared to any other jacket, the Omni-heat jacket can make you up to 20% warmer when wearing the jacket compared to any other jacket. On cold days, that is something that most people want. To be warm and comfortable without wearing a jacket that weighs them down.
Thanks to the amazing design, Columbia has achieved this in its Omni-heat jackets. You should keep in mind that the body temperature can vary between people. But even the ones with lower body temperature will be able to stay warm while wearing a jacket like this! They might not be 20% warmer than usual, but they will still feel the difference.
Is Columbia Omni Heat Good For Winter?
The Omni-heat from Columbia is the best thing to get yourself for the cold winter weather. More and more companies have been incorporating this technology in their winter gear, but no one does it like Columbia. After all, they were the ones that started with it.
In their apparel line, you can find quite a lot of jackets and other garments that have the Omni-heat. These garments are suitable for all kinds of weather, so you can wear them from fall until the very end of spring. Their heat retention is perfect for fall and winter, while the breathability is perfect for spring.
The Omni-heat is very lightweight, and you cannot find it in heavyweight jackets. Since the jackets made with it are quite thin and lightweight, you can always add a few layers under them. The layers will make you feel warmer during the winter, even though you already have as much insulation as needed.
If you plan to wear the same jacket in fall or spring, you can combine it with some regular t-shirts or dry-fit gear. That way, you will not feel like you are overheating. The outer shell will keep you dry since it is water repellent, while the inner shell will help with moisture wicking.
Online reviews praise the Omni-heat and recommend it for the cold winter weather. I also recommend that you get one of these garments and try them out – it can be a jacket or some gloves, some hats, or even a pair of trousers. No matter which one you pick, I do not doubt that you will be very pleased with it!
Is Omni-Tech As Good As Gore-Tex?
A lot of people tend to compare Columbia’s jackets with Gore-Tex. Even though they have a lot of similarities, these two types of jackets also have a lot of differences.
Let’s start with the price. Gore-Tex jackets come quite expensive when compared to Omni-tech jackets. The quality is almost the same, so many people choose to go with the more affordable but still great option – the Omni-tech!
When compared, the Omni-tech turned out to be a lot softer than the Gore-Tex. It was also easier to maintain, and it dried a lot faster than the Gore-Tex. I should also mention that both had the same water repellent properties, which is important.
The Gore-Tex turned out to be more durable and warmer because of how stiff and rugged it is. Still, this is a heavyweight jacket that many people found too heavy and sturdy. So, they still chose to go with the Omni-tech.
Columbia’s Omni-tech is an amazing technology. It comes in so many different jackets that you will be able to find the perfect one for you. Even though the Gore-Tex is great, I would still choose the Omni-tech because it has almost the same features for half the price. I encourage you to try both out and then decide which the best one for you is and which you would recommend to others.
Does Omni Heat Make You Sweat?
Since the purpose of the Omni-heat is to keep the warmth inside of the jacket, some people have reported that they broke out in a sweat while wearing the jacket. This would be bad if it was not for the material’s ability to wick the moisture without allowing the heat to escape.
You see, Columbia designers thought about everything when they designed these garments. So, they realized that they would need to make them breathable, and they did that using breathable lining on the inner shell. Besides, between the reflective metallic dots, pieces of material allow the body to breathe.
Thanks to this material, the excess heat will leave the jacket. This will protect you from sweating and losing too much of your body’s water. If you feel like things are getting too hot, you can just take off the jacket for a minute and then throw it back on.
Can you wash Omni heat?
As you would with any other jacket, you can wash a Columbia Omni-heat jacket. You can do it by hand or in a washing machine – it is up to you to choose which type of washing you would choose. But before you start with the washing, make sure that you check the label on the jacket for the washing instructions.
Cleaning a jacket like this is not an easy task. You have to be aware of many things before you even get started. These are crucial things to know if you do not want to damage the inner or outer shell of the jacket. So, let’s see what you should do with the jacket when you want to wash it.
Step 1 – Prepare the jacket
To prepare the jacket, I recommend that you check all the pockets and openings for loose dirt and garbage. Throw everything out of your pockets, detach all detachable things, and move on.
Another thing that you should do is zip the entire jacket up. You should zip and button everything on the jacket because the material in those parts can be very delicate. You should avoid damaging it at all costs.
Then, turn the jacket upside down. You will be washing it like that. At this point, you can either throw the jacket in the washer or grab a bowl in which you will do the handwashing. Check the label to see if the company has any recommendations about the better type of washing.
Step 2 – Prepare the washing machine
If you go with the machine washing, you should know that you will need a front-loading washing machine. It is better to wash delicate gear, so you should use it instead of a top-loading machine.
Then, adjust the machine to set to a gentle washing cycle. If this is possible, make sure that the machine will do the washing with cold water. After you do that, you can move on to the next step.
Step 3 – Add suitable detergent
Under suitable detergent, you should use a mild detergent without any bleach or harsh chemicals. If you can find a specific detergent for this use, you can also use that one. Remember to steer clear of the detergents filled with harsh, even toxic chemicals.
You do not need to use any fabric softener. The company also points out that you do not use any because it can damage the material on the jacket. After making sure that the machine has enough detergent, you can start the washing cycle.
Step 4 – Let it air dry
Wait for the washing machine to do its thing before you take out the jacket and hang it to dry. I would recommend that you air dry the jacket. Using a tumble dryer can be a bit too much for delicate gear, so the company recommends not to use one.
You should leave the jacket to dry for as long as possible. As soon as it is dry, you can store it in your wardrobe. You do not need to iron it, so you can save a bit of time on that as well.
Columbia’s Omni-heat is the best thing for winter, fall, and spring weather. If you face high winds, heavy rain, snow, or any other extreme weather conditions, a jacket with the Omni-heat will keep you warm and comfy. I recommend that everyone gets a piece of gear with Omni-heat and tries it out as soon as possible.
Have you ever given the Omni-heat thermal reflective technology a try? If you have, why don’t you share the pros and cons of that experience with me and the other interested readers? Share your stories in the comments below, and I will read everything you put down there as soon as possible!