Barely There: Columbia Omni-Freeze Lightweight Baselayer
Published on 07/03/2012
By Scott Yorko
Being naked is pretty cool. Lots of outdoor enthusiasts are also nude enthusiasts, especially "caretakers" of local hot springs, the ones who towel off in the buff right in front of everyone while maintaining loud conversations about the landscape. There are a handful of possible reasons for the nude/outdoor connection, but many simply enjoy the freedom of unrestricted movement and body heat ventilation. There's never been better ventilation than no clothes, until now.
Columbia's new Omni-Freeze Ice baselayers, with sweat activated cooling technology, harnesses your body's natural reaction to heat (sweat) and disperses it over your body for a consistent, evaporative cooling process. It feels remarkably silkier than regular tech-T's and by that third mile of your jog, you'll notice that the 8 inches below your neck line aren't soaked in a heavy upside-down arch that slaps against your chest. The material doesn't just wick sweat off your skin, it wicks and distributes sweat evenly.
For the major heat zones--chest, shoulders and back, a fine mesh keeps your torso temperature balanced and consistent. Despite all these variable patches of different material, the lightweight baselayer doesn't feel like the inside of a football - that is, the contoured "flatlock" stitching doesn't rub or twist or create any additional friction on the skin. Active Junky testers barely noticed the seams at all.
Another thing that goes unnoticed is smell. The fabric's antimicrobial treatment wards off the growth of odor-causing bacteria, so when the heat is on, the stink is not.