For Spring 2013, Columbia and Mountain Hardwear want you to add layers in order to stay cool. Featuring a cooling technology that harnesses the power of your own sweat, the new line of apparel will leave you feeling cooler than if you were wearing nothing at all.
Branded Omni-Freeze Zero for Columbia and Cool.Q Zero for Mountain Hardwear, the new cooling technology is made highly visible by tiny blue rings embedded into the apparel fabric. These rings contain a cooling polymer that quickly swells and absorbs your sweat in order to harness the powerful cooling property of evaporation to help reduce your skin temperature.
Polymers, long used in neck and headband cooling products, absorb tons of water for their weight, where one pound of polymer crystals can hold about 50 gallons of water. As the water begins to evaporate from the polymer, the remaining water is cooled, creating the cooling sensation against your skin. The same polymer crystals can be re-hydrated many times over to continually keep you cool.
This evaporation process works off the same physics that cools your cup of hot coffee in the morning. In your coffee, the most energetic coffee molecules escape from the cup and come off as steam. When they do this, they take away more than their share of heat, rendering the coffee molecules left behind in the cup colder because they have lost energy.
The difference you will notice with Omni-Freeze Zero as compared to Columbia's current technology Omni-Freeze Ice, is that unlike xylitol based cooling technology, where the cooling lasts only as long as the endothermic reaction, the Omni-Freeze Zero technology offers a more prolonged and concentrated cooling sensation.
For Spring 2013, Columbia will feature Omni-Freeze Zero across an entire line of men's and women's shirts, performance layers, headwear, sleeves, and accessories. Columbia will also include the new cooling technology in their Powderdrain footwear line to help keep your feet cool in hot weather.
Mountain Hardwear will introduce Cool.Q Zero in a variety of styles including men's and women's performance running shirts, hiking shirts, headwear, arm coolers, bandannas, and a variety of additional accessories. Mountain Hardwear athletes Dakota Jones and Max King tested out the new Cool.Q Zero running wear on their recent record breaking Grand Canyon Rim2Rim2Rim run and had great things to say about the technology.