Last night, I attended the preview event for Columbia's Spring 2012 product line, held at the California Academy of Sciences here in San Francisco. Alongside current Columbia technologies including Omni-Dry, Omni-Heat and Insect Blocker, the new line will feature two brand new innovations- Omni-Freeze ICE and Omni-Wick EVAP.
For the past 10 seasons, Columbia has focused on trying to find new, innovative ways to keep you warm, dry, cool and protected. The latest two technology innovations work to keep you drier in your waterproof breathable jacket and cooler when you are out in the heat.
Omni-Wick EVAP is a new fabric technology with incredible sweat dissipating properties. The gravely surface of the fabric quickly spreads moisture over an extremely broad area, allowing for faster evaporation. Used as a hardshell liner, the wicking fabric helps the waterproof jacket become much more breathable and as a result, keeps you that much drier.
Omni-Freeze ICE uses your own sweat to help keep you cool. A certain chemical is injected into the fibers of the fabric, that when wet, physically drops the temperature of the garment. You feel an immediate cooling sensation on your skin.
Other products in the Spring 2012 line include sleeping bags with Omni-Heat Reflective, a range of backpacks with unique breathable straps (including women's specific), and 25 new footwear models from the minimalist trail runner to the waterproof hiking boot.
I now have the opportunity to test out much of the gear we saw last night while hiking the North Rim Trail of Yosemite over the next four days. So stay tuned for more in depth reviews on Columbia's Spring 2012 product line.