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From the commercials featuring a bikini clad snow angel to the victim of the snow cannon there is one thing that can be said as a statement of fact, Columbia has made an impression with their new Omni-Heat technology.
I received the "Shimmer Me Timbers" jacket in for a review and I have not been disappointed.
- Insulation: 50/50 Polyester/Recycled Polyester 100 gram
- : 21 oz
- Features: Omni-Heat and Omni-Shield technology, 3 pockets (1 for each hand and an internal left chest pocket), hood
- MSRP: $120
As many of you know we here at UpaDowna don't really care what companies want us to say, we don't vomit up pre-written, slap on the back, high five reviews. We will, for better or worse, say what ever we want about a product. Because let's face it you would rather have a real outdoors person giving you the heads up on a product. That being said, I think it is only fair that I be totally upfront and honest with you about this product. When I first saw the commercials and read about the technology I thought to my self, this has got to be Columbia's dying gasp as they slip farther into the role as an everyday clothing manufacturer and farther away from a true technical clothing resource. I laughed at the ridiculous commercials and I was hoping to get one of these jackets so I could expose it for what I thought it was, total and absolute crap. Well here is to eating my words! Columbia has done something amazing, they have created and marketed a new liner technology that actually works, and damn does it work well! Now the claim is that it is 20% warmer than a normal liner, well I can't gauge if I was 20% warmer but I can say that I was warm, warmer than I would have been in a different companies comparable jacket. In fact my consistently cold wife was even warm in this jacket, and she usually is bundled up in a 800 fill down puffy jacket! So once she came in and stated that she was comfortable with this light weight jacket I was sold. The basic premise behind the Omni-Heat is that Columbia has lined their jackets with thousands of metallic microdots that reflect your own body heat back to you. We all know how well metal conducts heat. Just look at any "survival blanket" and you'll know what I mean. But what Columbia did is that by utilizing dots as opposed to a full sheet of the reflective material it allows the jacket to still breathe. Now as to the breathability of it, well I'm not sure about that, it is more breathable than a space blanket and less than if you were naked but I really can't compare it to anything else. No, I would not wear this while jogging, or snowshoeing, but I will be bringing it on the slopes and it has enough stylish appeal to be appropriate at the local pub…at least the pubs I frequent, which isn't really saying much. This jacket is nice and lightweight due to the poly fill and although it does not compress like a down jacket will, it does warm like one! A few of the detractions that I noticed is that there are no draw cords at the base of the jacket, the hood cannot be stashed and always just flops around back there, and man I wish it had pit zips to aid in venting!! But if any of these are big issues for you look through their catalog and you will find the jacket that will fit your needs. I raise my glass to you Columbia, thanks for proving me wrong!