As part of the Summer 2013 #OmniTen crew, I got a batch of Omni Freeze Zero gear to test out. Here is the low-down...
I tested this out over the course of the summer, and of course on the #OmniTen Rogue trip. I have mixed feelings.
Test 1: The Fourth on the First
For the Fourth of July this summer we decided to hike the Flatirons and watch from the top of the first. This meant a long hike and a short climb, carrying all manner of climbing gear and food/drink. We started at 5pm in moderately warm weather, I wore the Women's Omni Freeze Degree shirt and the Women's Power Drain Cool shoe. By the time I got to the base of the first, my back was drenched.
These were the perfect conditions for cooling, but I didn't feel much. I think it was because of the heavy backpack I was carrying. It made it more difficult for the sweat to evaporate, and maybe acted as insulation. The shirt, on the other hand, was incredibly comfortable. I barely noticed it while hiking, unlike other less-soft tech shirts I own. The shoes held up super well during the hike. I wasn't expecting much since they seem a bit flimsy and are meant for water, but I was happily surprised. I still wear them for running and to work (I walk a lot) as a super light sticky soled sneaker.
My summer wasn't super conducive to outdoor sweating, so the majority of my info came from the Rogue River trip with Columbia. One misty morning I donned the Women's Freeze Degree Long Sleeve shirt, intending to stay a bit warmer, and found that to be a bad decision. As soon as I was splashed by the water, the shirt became unbearably cold! The portions covered by the life jacket were fine (similar to my backpack experience on the 4th), but the other parts were SO COLD! As soon as I took it off I felt better. Like I suspected, the material seems to work best when wet and exposed to air, aiding the evaporational cooling (SCIENCE!).
OMNI FREEZE ZERO:
Pros - SUPER soft. Works well under precise conditions.
- Way cute clothes. The Women's Freeze Degree Long Sleeve looks classy when the sleeves are up. I bought a few more for work.
- Comes in great products like shoes, gaiters and undies!
Cons - Doesn't work well until you are soaked. I was saddened that my sweat drenched back pack area wasn't cooled much.
- Kinda spendy.
- This coming year will show what kind of wear the material can take. I have a few light weight shirts that have held up well under heavy conditions, and I am hopeful this material will join them in the "favorite" shelf of my gear closet.