Is my T-shirt smarter than me?
Sliding a tube of this new fabric onto my arm, he sprayed a mist of water onto it. I could feel the instant cooling. Who knew your clothing could be a personal air-conditioner?
When I went to look for an Omni-Freeze Zero shirt locally I was startled how expensive the roll-up long-sleeve fishing shirt was. So I opted to start out with one of their Total Zero short sleeve T-shirts made of this material to see how it would do when I was hiking and cycling.
Columbia’s Omni-freeze Zero fabric contains ‘blue rings’ which contain a special active cooling agent. Sweat activates these cooling rings and lowers the overall temperature of the fabric. The fabric also incorporates their UPF 50 Omni-shade sun protection technology to block damaging UV rays from reaching your skin, plus Omni-wick, which pulls the sweat away from the body and provides quick evaporation. Add four-way stretchable fabric and an antimicrobial fabric to the mix. What more could you need?
While I wore it on a few of our shorter jaunts, I finally had the chance to put the shirt to a serious test along the Big O Hike. Hiking along I was cool, and I could see where the wicking was really pulling the sweat away from my body. After a short break, when I put my pack back on, it pressed against the Omni-Freeze Blue dots on my back. It was like cold water had been poured down my spine. Good thing it was a hot day. Three out of four were doing great! A couple of days later, I was still wearing the same shirt: the antimicrobial part was working as well.
It kept me cool, wicked the sweat away, I didn’t sunburn, and I didn’t stink. Yep, I’ll have to admit, my t-shirt is smarter than me. I dont know how it works. But it does! And that’s all that really matters.
On my next gear buying trip I’ll be looking for the bright orange one to wear while riding the recumbent trike. Add “being seen” to the other product specs for this shirt, and as far as I’m concerned, it is the perfect T-shirt.
On a recent visit back to the local shop the all the Omni-Freeze shirts were nearly sold out, nothing was left in my size. All that was left were a couple of smalls. So it looks like everyone except me got the memo, “these shirts really work.”