Super excited when Columbia Sportswear asked me to #TryStuff and sent me an Omni-Heat Heavyweight Base Layer to review.

You may hear the word “sportswear” and think, “I’m not an athlete I’m a traveller!” well think again because if you are like me, you are running to catch your connecting flights at the airport, hiking the canyons of Arizona and climbing up the steep steps of Lantau Island to see the Big Buddha.

You are an athlete whether you realize it or not!

A lot of design and technology is incorporated into Columbia Sportswear products to ensure peek athletic performance and when you are travelling you DEFINITELY need optimum performance and durability.

Omni-Heat – Make your own heat

This top is made using Omni-Heat fabric. “This thermal reflective technology keeps you warmer by reflecting back the heat your body generates. It also helps regulate body temperature by allowing excess heat and moisture to escape”

When you first look at it you might be reminded of Michael Jackson’s metallic glove or metal/aluminum foil. Well, it works on the same principle as aluminum foil or space blankets. It reflects your heat back towards your body to keep you warm (unfortunately, it doesn’t help with your moon walking capabilities)

I first thought the fabric would be rough and scratchy against my skin but it’s smooth as silk and doesn’t feel like anything other than fabric.


  • Longer sleeves with thumb hole allows for extra warmth when wearing gloves
  • Longer in the back for extra coverage
  • Omni-wick fabric at the side/underarm to allow the fabric to breath and wick sweat
  • 4-way soft stretch fabric
  • Antimicrobial
  • Ergonomic flat seaming
  • Weight 7.7 oz


  • The mock neck is a little high on me and the top of the zipper is a little scratchy and I found it irritated my skin.
  • Fabric has a waffle weave, I suspect because it’s meant to be worn as a base layer and waffle is warmer but I would have preferred a smoother finish or less “underwear” like fabric so that I could wear it as a top layer without feeling self-conscious.
  • I have a few pulls in the fabric of the sleeve/elbows already. I’m not sure if this happened in the washing machine (I’ve washed it 3 times) or through rough wear.
  • Expensive if you compare it to a regular thermal shirt but this isn’t a regular thermal shirt – you are paying for the advanced technology.

Does it work?

It may just be in my mind but I truly do feel warmer when I wear it compared to a regular thermal weave top.

I think it would be a great addition to your travel bag for situations when you are travelling from a cold climate to a warm climate and/or don’t want to wear anything bulky on the plane. It’s also thin enough and light enough to pack in your luggage for those just in case moments when the weather turns cold unexpectedly.

Product Info
Code Number: 1509841
Colours: Quill (as shown), Black
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
MSRP: $79.99 Cdn

Also available in Men’s sizes.

So, give a a try and let me know what you think.

I received this item from Columbia Sportswear for review purposes. This had no bearing on my review. As always, all my opinions are my own.