Does Omni-Heat Really Work?

Well over a month ago I surprisingly won a Twitter contest from Sportswear.  Winter has finally arrived and I thought I’d try out my new products!  I received a Women’s Lush Plush Jacket, Men’s Hexaholic Down Jackets, and a Women’s Midweight Baselayer top and bottom.  Today I’ll review the Baselayer and will do a review on the jackets soon.

Please note: Although I received “free” products, Columbia did not require nor request reviews or feedback from me.  I just thought I’d pass along information about my experience with the products. 

The Baselayer pieces arrived separately in these plastic tube-like boxes.  Although I’m not a huge fan of packaging things in plastic due to the effects it has on the Earth, these boxes are pretty cool.  I have no idea what I will do with them, but I foresee them having a second use around my home.  I can hope others will have the same idea.  With that being said, while checking out my local Dick’s Sporting Goods I saw that their offered Baselayers weren’t in boxes, but hanging up on hangers.  I’m unsure what the usual packaging is for this product. 

The Baselayers have Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective technology.  They claim this helps to regulate your body temperature, by using the metallic dots on the inside of the cloth, to reflect your created heat back to you.  It supposedly makes you 20% warmer than a baselayer without the technology.  It also has Omni-wick technology that wicks away the moisture to keep you dry during activity. Most all active gear has some sort of this technology and I see it almost as a requirement nowadays.  Here’s the inside of the bottoms.

Immediately upon touching the fabric and sliding the tights on I fell in love with the fabric.  So soft and smooth…dare I say buttery?  It’s kind of hard to explain. I actually had a minor freak out moment, “Is there silk in these??” (Being a vegan I do not wear silk.)  But the tag quickly put me at ease: 86% polyester/14% elastane.  Whew! I was so comfy I could see myself wearing these at pajamas.  The fit was formfitting but not too tight and they didn’t fit me oddly like so many baselayers do (too tight in the calves and huge around the waist.) The top is extra long, which I see as a good thing.  Better to cover the bum or remain tucked in, depending on what way you like to wear it.  The waist band has kind of a fluffy/plush feel to it, which provides comfort. Lastly, Columbia also uses flat-lock stitching on both pieces.  This minimizes friction with the skin = little to no chafing.  Win!  According to the box each piece costs $60.00.  Upon further review I see that they also have solid colors that cost $55.00 or the heavyweight for $65.00

My parents added to my Columbia Omni-Heat collection for Christmas by giving me the Hit The Trail Gloves.  I’ve been in search of some running gloves other than my typical stretch knit gloves.  The gloves also have the Omni-Heat technology along with Omni-Shield (resists light rain and stains).  They are thinner, not bulky at all, and retail for $30.00

Here’s a picture with one glove inside-out.

So how did these products do in action??  Check out the video to find out!


  1. Awesome review. Not sure about the gloves, but maybe I’ll look into the tights as a new base layer.

    Have you tried washing them yet? I wonder if the silver dots are actually part of the fabric, or if they are more like stickers and might start to wash off after lots of use.

  2. Nice review. I too was sceptical at first. My first omniheat item was the Whirlibird interchange coat. I am so tired of being cold. Even indoors all day, in the winter I have to wear base layers. Due to a spinal cord injury, I cannot regulate my temperature. My muscles do not generate heat to warm me like a normal person. I also needed something not bulky bc of my wheelchair. It needs to fit close to the body so the wheels do not destroy whatever I’m wearing. Omniheat finally was the first product to keep me warm. I no longer have to wear my winter layer then use a battery-operated heating blanket to keep me warm when outdoors. My son played fall sports and before Omniheat I was only able to see the first half of the season, the second half was too cold for me to sit there. With Omniheat I was able to see his entire final season.

    I am now able to walk with the assistance of leg braces and forearm crutches/hiking poles. My baselayers are worn against the skin and under the braces. The Columbia omniheat baselayers were the first material not ripped apart by my braces. They are also thinner and warmer then my other baselayers. As I replace my other brands, they’re being replaced with omniheat.

    The dots are not stickers, but are impregnated into the fabric somehow. I’ve had some of my pieces since omniheat was first released (two? three yrs ago?) and the dots are holding up beautifully. I’ve gotten several miles of wear out of some of the pieces between snowshoeing, hiking, camping, etc and they are not showing any signs of wear.

    My husband had pair of “warmest” ranked gloves that he uses when plowing, etc. He bought a PR of fleece omniheat gloves after seeing the success I had. He couldn’t believe how much warmer his hands were. He has since bought two more pair. One pair stays with his back country stuff and the other is in his truck during winter months.

  3. Love the base layer! So fun!

    I have a Columbia Omni Heat hat that I got for Christmas last year. SO warm. It’s not meant for running but I get a lot of every day use out of it when it’s chilly.

  4. Oh I am going to have to try this! I didn’t know they made this line….maybe it will go on sale in the summer 😛 I’m going to have to be REALLY toasty for 2x as much as flannel pjs or a sweatshirt lol but they are cute too!

  5. I love Columbia gear! I have never tried this…. I would be interested in hearing how it holds up. That is always my concern with pricey products.

  6. Bla bla bla Good grief you do go on about nothing. We all feel warm when we try them on inside. How about outside???!!! You could have tried with for a mile…cool down and without for a while.THEN maybe something you said actually would have been helpful or interesting. PUT A SOCK IN IT !!!!

  7. Great Review. I’m a backpacker. My go-to gear for cold weather is usually my 2012 Patagonia expedition weight thermals. Tried and true, they quick dry in seconds. However, I’ve began to get into ultra light backpacking.. and I’m currently sitting here with both thermals out, trying to decide if I should risk the Omni heat thermals for my upcoming Colorado short camping trip where I expect to be in high altitudes and weather down to 20 degrees. I usually sleep in my thermals and use them for “cold weather backup” Any experience with getting the OMNI heat wet? In comparison to heavy fleece, how did it old up?

  8. I just saw your review and I think yours + all the reviews put in by viewers were worthy of reading and has me sold on the omni heat. I work outside and now I. Excited I will be able to stay warm! As far as Robin Kelley, didn’t your mother ever tell you, if you have nothing nice to say…….

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