What Is Columbia Sportswear’s OutDry™ Extreme?
This is why Columbia Sportswear’s OutDry™ Extreme (ODX) is so popular.
Debuting in 2016, OutDry™ Extreme is Columbia’s most advanced waterproof technology. The high-performance rain gear, which is waterproof and exceptionally breathable, has been a game changer for outdoor enthusiasts.
Outside Magazine called it “the most breathable rain jacket we’ve tested.” The technology has won about two dozen awards including Outside’s “Gear of the Year,” Gear Institute’s “Best In Class,” SKI Magazine’s “Gear of the Year,” Popular Mechanic’s “Editor’s Choice,” TripAdvisor’s “Traveller’s Choice,” GearJunkie’s “Top Gear Picks,” and Outdoor Gear Lab’s “Best Buy.” In fact, OutDry™ Extreme is the most awarded technology Columbia has ever launched.
“It works like the old vinyl rain slickers, except we made the vinyl layer breathable,” explained Dr. Haskell Beckham, Columbia’s VP of innovation.
The materials scientist has worked on many of Columbia’s most popular technologies, including Omni-Heat™ Infinity, Omni-Heat™ Black Dot, Omni-Heat™ Helix, and Omni-Shade™ Sun Deflector. Yet OutDry™ Extreme has a special place in his heart.
“Of all of the innovations that Columbia has launched, before or after I've arrived, OutDry™ Extreme is by far my favorite,” he says. “It just solves so many problems, such as wet out, while being inherently more environmentally friendly. It keeps you dry. It breathes well. It’s the best. I own more ODX jackets than any other piece. I just love this technology.”
We sat down with Beckham to ask him some questions and get a better understanding of how his favorite technology works.
Q: Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is Columbia’s OutDry™ Extreme technology?
Q: How does Columbia’s OutDry™ Extreme work?
Q: How is OutDry™ Extreme different from other waterproof-breathable technologies?
Q: Let’s go through each of the benefits you just mentioned. Why exactly is OutDry™ Extreme more breathable?
Q: What makes OutDry™ Extreme easier to clean?
Q: How does this make the garment last longer?
Q: Why is OutDry™ Extreme so eco-friendly?
Q: Why does rain gear need to be breathable?
So you need more than just waterproof gear. You could wear a plastic garbage bag and that would be waterproof. It might keep you dry, but you'll overheat because the moisture that's coming out of your body can't escape. The plastic bag would be a barrier to moisture vapor transfer. Rain gear needs to be breathable so the moisture vapor from your body can get out.
Q: What does “wetting out” mean? How does this relate to ODX?
Q: What is the history of Outdry™ Extreme technology?
Q: Why didn’t other brands do this?
Q: Why didn’t people put the membrane on the outside to begin with?
Q: Why does OutDry™ Extreme look different from other waterproof technologies?
The glossier versions look similar to the old vinyl rain jackets. For that reason, perhaps some people don’t appreciate that they’re still extremely breathable. The shiny exterior may make them think of those old yellow rain slickers. But OutDry™ Extreme is among the most breathable waterproof technologies on the market. It is top-of-the-line, high-performance rain gear.