Columbias new Omni-Heat Black Dot technology features thousands of multilayered black dots on the jackets exterior that capture solar heat and trap warmth

Columbia's new Omni-Heat Black Dot technology features thousands of multilayered black dots on the jacket's exterior that capture solar heat and trap warmth

Columbia Sportswear has developed what it claims is an industry-first "external thermal shield," which places insulation on the outer layer of a jacket in the form of thousands of black dots that capture solar heat and trap warmth. 

The patent-pending Omni-Heat Black Dot technology harnesses the reflective qualities of these multilayered dots, which are made of aluminium covered with a black coating and bounce back the body's radiant heat, similar to a breathable space blanket. 

The first garments to feature the technology are Columbia's new Omni-Heat Black Dot jackets, which also utilise the company's Omni-Heat 3D thermal-reflective lining.

Extensive laboratory and field testing shows the jackets, which are available for men and women, heat up quickly and hold that heat longer than jackets without the new technology, Columbia says.

The new material is the brand's latest warming innovation, and follows the introduction of the enhanced Omni-Heat 3D technology in 2018. This features small pods of vertically oriented fuzzy fibres on top of the reflective material to add more heat retention properties. 

"To maximise a shell fabric's heat retention, we looked closely at low-emissivity windows that rely on a thin layer of metal on the glass," explains Haskell Beckham, PhD, Columbia's senior director of apparel innovation. "We'd never seen insulation placed on the outer layer of a jacket before, and we've been extremely impressed with the heat absorption and retention performance throughout our testing in the laboratory and in frigid climates around the world."