Outdoor apparel and footwear firm Columbia Sportswear Company has completed its acquisition of OutDry Technologies from Italian company Nextec in a move that gives it new construction methods for producing waterproof, breathable footwear and gloves.  

OutDry Technologies owns the OutDry lamination process which bonds a waterproof, breathable membrane directly to the inside of the outermost layer of a shoe or glove. This prevents water or dirt from penetrating to internal airspaces and fabric layers as often happens with products that rely on bulky booties or bladders.

Not only does OutDry improve waterproof, breathable performance, but it also reduces water-weight gain, maintains insulation capacity, and improves fit and dexterity, resulting in greater comfort, the company says.

Avoiding water penetration beyond the outermost layer may also help reduce the incidence of mold, mildew and bacteria that often develop when internal fabric layers become wet.

Describing the acquisition as “an important addition to our portfolio of innovative technologies that deliver performance and protection benefits,” Tim Boyle, president and CEO of Columbia added: “We intend to deploy OutDry across our portfolio of outdoor brands, including Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, Sorel and Montrail.”

He said there were also plans to market OutDry to select leading brands within and beyond the outdoor industry.

Nextec co-founders and brothers Luca and Matteo Morlacchi will serve as chief executive officer and general manager, respectively, of OutDry Technologies, which will remain headquartered near Milan and operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear Company.

They will report directly to Mick McCormick, Columbia Sportswear’s executive vice president of global sales and marketing.