Outdoor clothing brand Columbia has never been one of the most respected among those who like their adventures on the extreme side. But Columbia doesn't see themselves as anything less than then the best and they've thrown down the gauntlet. A challenge has been issue to Columbia's competitors, Columbia said at a press event last week that they want to be “the most innovative company in the outdoors.” They went on to say “take down Gore-Tex and other dinosaurs in the industry that stopped trying a long time ago.”
While I in no way agree that brands like Gore-Tex are dinosaurs, and I'd be hard pressed to find any serious outdoorsmen or athlete that does think so. The fact remains, Columbia has declared war, the innovative designs they think will win this war? Well some of them (ok most of them) are electronically heated gloves, boots, and coats that other brands played with the idea of and ditched years ago. For the whole story, and more detailed info hit up the guys at Gear Junkie, where Stephen Regenold will fill you in.
On my end? I've played around with heated gear myself, in fact some of the very Columbia gear already on the market, and was far from impressed. That being said, there's always going to be people who like gimmicks, but I have an idea that after they've had their fill of changing batteries to stay warm they'll go back to the industry leaders like Marmot, Patagonia or The North Face.