For Spring 2018, Columbia gets set to launch a brand new technology — this one to keep you cool while playing in the sun all day. Omni-Shade Sun Deflector is a bit similar to the company’s Omni-Heat Reflective technology except this time the dots are on the outside.
With Omni-Shade Sun Deflector technology, little dots made of titanium dioxide are applied to the outside of an Omni-Shade garment. These dots deflect sunlight away from your body to help keep you cool and protected. Combined with the Omni-Shade tight weave fabric, the dots block damaging UVA & UVB rays from getting to your skin. The technology got the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation and the pieces offer sun protection of UPF 50+.
Columbia worked for a couple of years to perfect both the size and spacing of the dots to ensure that the fabric still breathes well and continues to properly wick away your sweat. While you may not feel the instantaneous cooling reaction like you would with Omni-Freeze Zero, you notice over the course of a day or even an afternoon that you aren’t getting as hot and depleted from the sun as you normally would — in other words you can stay out longer without getting burned and without getting totally wiped.
I’ve been down in Mexico the past week testing out the new technology and have been impressed with the performance. At first, the fabric feels a bit heavy and you think it’s going to be hot, but once you get out in the sun, you can feel that the shirt is not absorbing all that warmth. We spent multiple days on a boat in full sun and I didn’t come back with that exhausted, fried feeling. And given the extremely distinct burn lines on a few non-sunscreened knees, you know the Omni-Shade is working.
Omni-Shade Sun Deflector will come in 18 different pieces — some of the pieces throw in Omni-Freeze Zero for an added cooling effect. The pieces with Omni-Freeze Zero seem to be great for more active pursuits out in the sun like mountain biking or hiking. The pieces I really like so far are the Solar Shade Hoodie, pictured top, and the men’s Solar Shade PFG that comes in a cool fish camo pattern.
Expect to see a full review of the new technology in the near future.