Columbia is well-known for its thermal-reflective clothing – and over the years its slightly confusing array of similar technologies (Omni-Heat Reflective, Omni-Heat 3D and Omni-Heat Black Dot) have come in various guises. Everything from black dots to silver tri-stars and metallic pods have all been lauded as the ultimate in heat reflection, but now there’s a new kid on the block – and it’s gold.
New for 2021, Omni-Heat Infinity technology is billed as “the next evolution in thermal-reflective warmth”. It debuts a striking new gold metallic lining material in a pattern “scientifically engineered to optimise warmth and breathability”. Inspired by the reflective technology used by NASA, the enhanced pattern of gold metallic dots reflects and retains natural body heat, delivering “instant and lightweight warmth without compromising breathability or adding bulk”, according to Columbia. The new patented technology is available across a number of insulated jackets, boots and accessories, making it one of the largest technology launches in the company’s history.
The new technology is said to build on Columbia’s Omni-Heat foundations, but takes the principle one step further with a “breakthrough” iteration. The difference with the new gold liner is that it mixes large dots in with small ones, allowing them to cover a greater surface area with the reflective foil, therefore keeping you warmer. According to Columbia, this new heat-reflective technology increases the radiant body heat reflection by a whopping 40 per cent, making it the “gold standard in warmth” with what they claim to be their “highest body heat reflection” results ever. Indeed, Omni-Heat Infinity is designed to be used in the extreme cold, during the height of winter.
Joe Boyle, president of Columbia, which has launched a global marketing campaign about the new tech, said: “Omni-Heat Infinity expands upon our best-selling platform of patented technologies and we’re looking forward to showcasing this revolutionary innovation in what will be Columbia’s largest campaign in our 83-year history. The campaign injects Columbia’s signature light-hearted style but makes it clear that there is a new gold standard in warmth.”
The inaugural collection of Omni-Heat Infinity products features an array of technical jackets, winter footwear, hats, and gloves for both men and women. Key Omni-Heat Infinity pieces include the Titan Pass Double Wall Hybrid Jacket and the Infinity Summit Double Wall Down jacket, which feature a multi-layered construction that blocks wind and rain while trapping heat. In terms of ski and snowboard, the Aerial Ascender Jacket is described as “feature-rich and mountain-ready with dynamic stretch for incredible mobility”, while for hiking and mountaineering the Labyrinth Loop Hooded Jacket (pictured below) is a packable piece that features recycled synthetic insulation and a drawcord adjustable hem to seal in the heat. Several footwear styles will feature Omni-Heat Infinity technology, including the new Bugaboot Celsius and the women’s Slopeside Peak Luxe.