If you're seeking a great running bottom for the winter, the Columbia Omni-Heat 3D Knit Pant will deliver. Aside from that, our testers felt that this base layer bottom isn't anything to toot a horn about. Its synthetic construction offers a nice, tight fit that wicks away moisture and provides enough heat while wearing it on its own in cold temperatures. However, when layered underneath other layers, it simply doesn't do a great job thermoregulating as it holds moisture in the fabrics. In addition, while Columbia products have typically earned many Best Buy Awards for great value options, this one isn't targeting the bargain market. It's expensive price tag simply isn't worth the performance, unless you're seeking a synthetic bottom that does a great job for high-aerobic sports that you wear on its own.
Columbia Titanium Omni-Heat 3D Knit Tights - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Great breathability when worn on its own, durable fabrics, fitted design, fabrics hold shape
Cons: Not warm when standing still, stitching issues, fabrics are not cozy or soft
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Columbia Omni-Heat 3D works best as a running pant for the winter. It offers good warmth and breathability when worn on its own, but struggles when layered underneath snow or soft pants. Unfortunately, it doesn't hold its own amongst the best performers out there. We feel that it's a bit overpriced and not one we'd recommend for the functions of a traditional base layer bottom.
While this is advertised as a midweight pant, it is not the warmest. When pulling them on in the morning, the 85% polyester construction feels cold on the skin. The interior has Omni-heat construction, which isn't soft or supple and doesn't really offer the feeling of being warm either. However, when in motion, these pants warm up. The polyester fibers can then provide good heating on the go. This was a favorite to wear on its own simply because the fabrics are a little thicker and offer more wind-resistance. The fabrics are quite breathable, which adds to the overall warmth. However, if you're considering these for sitting around in the snow, there are better options that'll keep you warmer.
The synthetic fibers offer great breathability through the thinnest parts of the fabrics. This bottom was a favorite for early morning runs. The fabric is thin enough to evaporate heat readily, while the face fabric offered some protection from the elements.
However, underneath a pair of pants, even with good ventilation, the Omni heat lining doesn't do the greatest job of wicking, and the fabric seemed to hold moisture unless completely exposed to the air. If you're planning on wearing them on their own for winter running, we'd highly recommend it. But if you're looking for a great base layer to wear at the ski resort, we'd recommend looking elsewhere as this bottom simply doesn't do the best when layered underneath another pant.
Comfort & Fit
Of all the bottoms tested, this one offers little comforts. While the fabrics are super stretchy, the material feels rigid and not soft. The Omni-heat lining is also quite sticky.
After getting out of the shower, we tried to pull this pant on and had to wrestle to get it on. Once we actually got the bottoms on and it warmed up, it felt more comfortable. The fit is tight and true to size. The waistband is stretchy, wide, and nicely padded, offering a good compressive fit around the belly.
If your calves are really big, you might have trouble with the ankle hem as it tapers, and the built-in elastane is quite stiff and doesn't stretch as much as other merino wool contenders.
While it's not the most comfortable amongst the top performers on the market, these are pants you can wear comfortably while tackling your outdoor objectives. They aren't ones that we'd opt to wear from the trail to bed through.
We wore them while running and hiking on a day in Northern Ontario. We sweat in them, and they got pretty smelly. Afterward, we walked around the house for a while but had to take them off simply because the fabric felt so cold.
It had retained some of the moisture, which had cooled and didn't insulate as well as other merino contenders. Also, during our smell tests, it lasted only one or two days before getting pretty stinky — as is normal for most synthetic contenders. In general, this pant is one of the least comfortable tested, but it offers a specific and tight fit that many testers appreciate.
The fabrics in these bottoms are bomber. The polyester fibers are quite invincible to wear and tear and don't stretch out when wet or used for several days on end. They are known for lasting many years, with decent performance throughout. However, the flaw in this pant is in the seams and construction.
When getting it out of the package, we observed many locations where the threads had already come undone. After using it, more and more of these threads have come undone. While the pant itself is still intact, this worries us a little for longevity's sake. However, time will tell with more use.
This is a low scoring product at a pretty high cost. For the performance, most women would say this is not worth the money. The only way we could see this as being of good value is if you're seeking a running pant or cold-winter base layer that is okay to wear on its own. Aside from that, the cost is way too high for its low level of relative performance.
The Columbia Omni-Heat 3D Knit Tights are quite pricey for its low performance. Its synthetic construction offers good warmth and breathability when worn on its own. While it does layer nicely with its rigid fabrics, it's not very cozy and holds moisture when layered under a pair of pants. It's a perfect pair of running pants for the cold seasons, but there are far better options with better performance for the same price. It's not a base layer bottom that we'd widely recommend.
— Amber King