The Columbia base-layer with Omniheat is an excellent option for the cooler nights on the trail. Most backpackers carry a base-layer for cool nights and days with temperatures below their comfort levels. By adding a base layer to your pack, you can remove the need for another pair of warmer pants that will add additional weight for clothing seldom worn during a trip. By using the Columbia Omniheat, you can reduce the additional bulk created by other heavyweight base layers.
When picking your base-layer look for lightweight or mid-weight for 3 season hiking conditions, for cold weather a heavy-weight base layer might be required. Base layers can be found at most clothing and outdoor sporting goods stores with prices that range from $20-$80 per item. For the best possible pricing on a generic base layer, check your local big box stores after the hunting season.
The final consideration on your purchase of a base layer should the the material. The most common base layers are made out of Synthetic, Merino Wool or cotton materials. Synthetic materials will give you superior performance, durability and offer moisture wicking, but tend to build and hold more odors. Merino wool and Cotton both give good performance and durability, but Merino wool offers the superior odor protection.
While testing the Omniheat base layer from Columbia, I tested in cool and warm conditions with a down sleeping bag. During the tests I stayed warm and dry, and did not experience stickiness from condensation which is expected when using a base layer. With Colombia’s synthetic base-layer it helped you wick any additional moisture away from the body keeping me dry all night in both my tents and hammock.
When are the benefits of the Omni Heat base-layer are the reflective dots that they use to increase the warmth of their products. it provides the warmth of a Mylar blanket with the breath-ability of a synthetic articles of clothing. When comparing these to my other synthetic base layers, I believe these are better for my outdoor adventures. By utilizing the superior performance durability and moisture wicking ability of a synthetic material partnered with Columbia’s omni-heat technology these will provide some of the best performance base layers on the market.
Read more on base layer options here: