If Edison made jackets instead of lightbulbs and the Space Program had a line of weekend adventure gear, it might look a lot like Columbia’s 2011-slated Omni-Heat Electric Technology, soon to be featured in gloves, jackets and a second line of Bugathermo boots. Following the success and rave reviews of their Omni-Heat line of apparel (with the shiny silver lining), and eager to jump into the second year of their Bugathermo boots (with a built-in electric heating system), Columbia Sportswear has now applied that electric heating tech to gloves and jackets as well, utilizing rechargeable lithium polymer batteries to provide adjustable heat settings and more than 6 hours of unadulterated electric warmth. Sounds groovy, you say? It is. Their waterproof Bugathermo boots are now comfort-rated at up to -25 Degrees Fahrenheit (with a higher cut for extra protection), and their soft shell, hard shell and insulated jackets have dual carbon filament heating systems that pump out electric warmth to your core and your wrists. Similarly, the gloves feature battery-powered carbon fiber yarn, designed to heat your digits no matter what the outlying weather.
All of the Omni-Heat Electric products will still feature the original Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective lining, and the Omni-Tech waterproof (but breathable) exterior. Each can also be adjusted to three different heat settings with the simple push of a button, offering different temps and varying lengths of battery life. The batteries themselves are charged by USB, meaning you can give them new life via a wall outlet or your computer. The coolest part? That USB connection can even be used to recharge iPhones, iPods and other USB-based electronics straight out of your jacket, boot or glove. Warmth and killer tunes? Bombtastic!
So what will this fantastic technology cost? Um….. Well, the electric-heated jacket is set at around $850, and the gloves at, ahem, $400, but what is the real cost of incomparable warmth in the rugged outdoors? The technology is always improving, and we know how diligently Columbia treats their labwork, so chances are their electric tech is only going up from here. Is it a gimmick? A breakthrough? A savior against the biting winter cold? We can’t wait to find out.. omnivoid inc