Building on its specially-weaved Omni-Freeze fabric released in 2009 and Omni-Freeze Ice in 2011, Columbia took it a step further this year and produced Omni-Freeze Zero. The new fabric does what the original Omni-Freeze does – disperse body heat away from you body faster using a special weave – but now Omni-Freeze Zero actually cools your body using your body’s chemistry.

Typically, our bodies sweat as our natural cooling mechanism, but if we wear clothing while it sweats, the sweating is hot and sticky. How Omni-Freeze Zero works is when your body sweats from physical activity or just plain heat, the sweat from your body reacts with specially designed polymer contained within visible rings in the material, which create a cooling effect. The rings swell and create a “prolonged cooling sensation,” claims Columbia.

“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 Executive Vice President Mick McCormick, in a statement. “Omni-Freeze Zero is an entirely new approach. 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.”

Omni-Freeze Ice, that was released in 2011, also creates a cooling sensation by reacting with your sweat, but the difference is that there is a different construction method. Zero prolongs the cooling effect because the polymer dots stay swelled, according to an e-mail inquiry to Columbia’s PR department by Gizmag.

The new Omni-Freeze Zero technology will be released in the spring of 2013. A full line will include 40 styles of men’s and women’s shirts, performance layers, headwear, sleeves and other accessories. Omni-Freeze Zero will also be available in its Powerdrain footwear models.

Last question, when does the camo version come out?


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