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Columbia Sportswear Reinvents Raincoat Technology

TECH

Columbia Sportswear Reinvents Raincoat Technology

Their proprietary OutDry Extreme technology offers protection and breathability by way of all new surface membranes

by David Graver
on 15 June 2015

Most people are familiar with Columbia Sportswear's range of durable, stylish outdoor apparel. Many, however, might not be familiar with the fact that the brand holds more than 220 patents for technologies they've developed in just the last six years. Today, they announce their latest development, OutDry Extreme for raincoats, and CH had the opportunity to get hands on with the products during a visit with Columbia's Director of Global Innovation Jeff Mergy and Senior Manager of Marketing, Scott A. Trepanier. Our initial reaction is that OutDry Extreme feels (and is) ages ahead of its nearest competitor, which was invented back in the '60s.

The goal of the raincoat is (obviously) to keep people dry (and also cool when necessary, rather than sweating under something like rubber, or warm in circumstances requiring warmth)—and altogether protected. Most raincoats on the market utilize the same insides, with the variation being brand stylings, cut and color. With OutDry Extreme, the insides and surface membranes are all new. People who have worn a raincoat have experienced sensations of leaking—this is due to abrasion on surface membranes that allows for a temperature flux right through the coat. One of OutDry Extreme's innovations happens to be an abrasion-proof coating. It takes scratches well and maintains water rejection. Whereas a lot of outerwear companies consistently make incremental upgrades to membranes, this is an all new beast of its own, developed entirely by the team at Columbia.

The coats are also light and very flexible. Seam tape appears on the outside, rather than the inside for both additional water protection and also a nice structural style. They also feature the brand's new proprietary zippers which rolled out this February. Sweat-wicking interiors lock down guaranteed comfort. And an array of colorways, from a re-envisioned raincoat yellow to an all-white option keep things looking good.

Read more about Columbia Sportswear's OutDry Extreme online. Their raincoats will hit shelves in time for Spring 2016, with prices starting at $150.

Images courtesy of Columbia Sportswear

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