Columbia Sportswear has long prided itself on creating innovative alternatives for outdoor enthusiasts. And its latest product introduction is no exception.
Omni-Heat Black Dot is being touted as the industry’s first external thermal shield built to protect the wearer from the cold. It’s an extension of Columbia’s Omni-Heat Reflective lining, a lightweight insulation that was launched 10 years ago.
There are thousands of dots on the exterior of the jacket, each of which is made of aluminum and covered with a black coating to enhance heat absorption from scattered or direct sunlight. The lining is made from Omni-Heat Reflective, which serves to bounce back the body’s radiant heat like a space blanket, and the jackets also feature Omni-Heat Stretch insulation.
“To maximize a shell fabric’s heat retention, we looked closely at low-emissivity windows that rely on a thin layer of metal on the glass,” said Haskell Beckham, Ph.D., Columbia’s senior director of apparel innovation. “We’d never seen insulation placed on the outer layer of a jacket before, and we’ve been extremely impressed with the heat absorption and retention performance throughout our testing in the laboratory and in frigid climates around the world.”
For the launch, Columbia is offering three jacket styles for men and women: the Three Forks Black Dot Jacket that will retail for $280; a Dawn Watch Black Dot Jacket that retails for $350, and the top-of-the-line Barrett Spur Black Dot Parka, which features 700-fill-power responsibly sourced down and a faux-fur trim that sells for $600.