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COLUMBIA SPORTSWEAR PREVIEWS OMNI-FREEZE® ZERO
New and unique visual apparel cooling technology to be released to consumers in Spring 2013 and to select athletes much sooner
 


PORTLAND, Ore. — June 11, 2012 — 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.

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.

“We see Omni-Freeze ZERO as a real game changer in terms of how people think about performance and comfort in hot weather,” said Woody Blackford, vice president of innovation and head of the Performance Innovation Team. “In general, people remove clothing layers to stay cool, but sponsored athletes using Omni-Freeze ZERO have noted that in hot humid conditions, this is the first technology that feels cooler and more comfortable than wearing nothing at all. We’re continuing to test the properties of this new technology in our lab and are sponsoring independent laboratory research.”

Given the performance of the products in hot conditions, professional athletes and teams interested in testing Omni-Freeze ZERO are encouraged to contact Columbia at performance@columbia.com.

To learn more about Omni-Freeze ZERO and view other select apparel from Columbia’s upcoming Spring 2013 collection, go to:
Pinterest Press Kit: www.columbia.com/presskit
Facebook: www.omnifreezezero.com

About Columbia Sportswear Company
Columbia, the flagship brand of Portland, Oregon-based Columbia Sportswear Company, has been creating innovative apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment for outdoor enthusiasts since 1938. Columbia has become a leading global brand by channeling the company’s passion for the outdoors, and an innovative spirit of “trying stuff”, into technologies and performance products that keep people warm, dry, cool and protected year-round. To learn more, please visit the company's website at www.columbia.com.