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Men's Powerdrain Cool (Photo: Business Wire)

Stocks in this article: COLM

Columbia Sportswear, a global leader in active outdoor apparel, footwear and accessories, today announced the upcoming Spring 2013 availability of Omni-Freeze ZERO, the company’s latest groundbreaking apparel technology.

Men's Freeze Degree Short Sleeve Crew (Photo: Business Wire)

Men's Freeze Degree Short Sleeve Crew (Photo: Business Wire)

Omni-Freeze ZERO is the culmination of a four-year effort to develop a new, revolutionary line of apparel that becomes cooler in hot, moist conditions. Distinctive little blue rings, embedded and visible in the fabric of Omni-Freeze ZERO apparel and footwear, contain a special cooling polymer. When exposed to sweat or moisture, these rings actually swell (similar to goose bumps) creating an instant and prolonged cooling sensation.

“Historically, outdoor and athletic brands have looked at sweating as a problem…something to be wicked away with so-called ‘technical,’ decades-old polyester fabrics,” said Mick McCormick, executive vice president. “Omni-Freeze ZERO is an entirely new approach, and unlike anything the industry has ever seen. We see sweat as a renewable resource that will allow athletes, outdoor enthusiasts or anyone that spends time in hot, humid conditions to sweat smarter, staying more comfortable.”

Columbia will release the new technology to consumers in the spring of 2013. Omni-Freeze ZERO will be integrated across a line of 40 styles that will include men’s and women’s shirts, performance layers, headwear, sleeves and other accessories. Columbia will also add Omni-Freeze ZERO to its Powerdrain footwear models to keep the shoes cool in hot weather. The full line is designed to keep consumers and athletes comfortable from head to toe, even as temperature records continue to rise.

Omni-Freeze ZERO is the latest in a string of new technologies developed by Columbia’s Performance Innovation Team (PIT). The PIT is the research and innovation division of Columbia Sportswear Company tasked with developing revolutionary consumer solutions for the company’s entire brand portfolio, which includes Columbia, Sorel, Mountain Hardwear, and Montrail.

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