Review: Columbia Omni-Heat Base Layers

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It was around 10° during our candlelight hike a few weekends ago. Coupled with the snow, it made for a chilly night. When I originally planned our date, we had yet to receive any snow beyond a dusting. Temperatures were near 40°/50°. I figured it would just be a colder than usual hike for us. When the snow hit and temperatures dropped, I decided to keep our plans as they were. It made for a perfect opportunity to test out my new base layers from Columbia: the midweight long sleeve stripe top and midweight stripe tight.

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Both pieces make use of Columbia’s Omni-Heat technology. The inside of each garment is covered in silver, reflective dots, making it look very space-age but keeping you very warm. Both also incorporate Omni-Wick in high-perspiration zones, keeping you dry in all the right spots. There are antimicrobial properties to the fabric, so you continue to feel and smell fresh while being active. While the pieces are very form fitting, the fabric is very stretchy and comfortable.

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I wore the tights under my regular jeans. They actually made me feel slimmer – not at all bulky. It was like wearing Spanx, but without the discomfort. I don’t know that I looked skinnier, but mind over matter. Maybe I should start wearing them under jeans all the time  😉

Because the colorful stipe pattern is so cute, I decided to treat the top like a regular long sleeve shirt. I would never wear it alone unless I magically turned into a super model (remember – very form fitting), but it worked layered under a short sleeve top. I thought it was casual-date-night cute with the sleeves showing and just a hint of the collar peeking out through my v-neck.

Performance-wise, I am in love! I am always cold – always. I already had a good experience with the Omni-Heat in my Heat Elite jacket, so I had high hopes. I wasn’t disappointed. Wearing the tights under jeans, the long sleeve baselayer under another shirt (short sleeve), topped off with my Heat Elite jacket, I was perfectly comfortable in the 10° weather. Only my hands were cold – my gloves weren’t equipped for long-term cold exposure. So I stuck my gloved hands in my jacket pockets – problem solved. I have never been so toasty in the winter cold while simultaneously feeling sleek and slim. Perfection!

If you are looking to invest in good base layers for your winter activities, I would highly recommend the the midweight baselayers from Columbia. I’m even more excited to get out in the snow regularly with my new snowshoes…if we ever see snow again.

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