The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Columbia Titanium Omni-Heat 3D Knit Tights - Women's Review

A synthetic base layer that works best as a running pant.
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Price:  $90 List | $67.50 at Backcountry
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
Manufacturer:   Columbia
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 20, 2019
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59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 10
  • Warmth - 30% 5
  • Breathability - 30% 7
  • Comfort and Fit - 30% 5
  • Durability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

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.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Great breathability when worn on its own, durable fabrics, fitted design, fabrics hold shapeAll season wear, breathable, will keep you dry, warm, improved fitFleece lining is comfortable, elastic fit, amazing value, cute style, very durable, power wicking.Amazing breathability, comfortable on the skin, great fit, good warmth, affordable, cute colors and designsDurable, wide range of thermoregulation, comfortable, cute colors.
Cons Not warm when standing still, stitching issues, fabrics are not cozy or softLacks durability when worn aloneHigh water absorption.Less durable than previous versionNot super duper warm
Bottom Line A synthetic base layer that works best as a running pant.A versatile merino wool bottom for year round use.Our favorite bottom with a fleece-lined interior and versatile performance.A synthetic long underwear bottom with exceptional value and versatile applications.This is one of the most durable merino wool contender out there.
Rating Categories Titanium Omni-Heat 3D Knit T... Merino 250 Bottoms Rho LT Bottoms Capilene Midweight Bottoms 200 Oasis Leggings
Warmth (30%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
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7
10
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8
Breathability (30%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
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9
10
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7
Comfort And Fit (30%)
10
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5
10
0
9
10
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9
10
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7
10
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8
Durability (10%)
10
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8
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6
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8
Specs Titanium Omni-Heat... Merino 250 Bottoms Rho LT Bottoms Capilene Midweight... 200 Oasis Leggings
Material 85% polyester, 15% elastane 100% merino Torrent fleece (84% polyester, 16% elastane) 100% recycled polyester 100% merino
Fabric weight (g/m²) & relative level of thickness Midweight 250 g/m² (midweight) 150 g/m² (midweight) Midweight 200 g/m² (lightweight)
Measured Weight 6.4 oz 7.3 oz 5.8 oz 5.6 oz 5.7 oz
Fabric weights availiable Midweight, Heavy weight Lightweight (150), midweight (250) Lightweight & Midweight (AR) options Lightweight, Midweight, Thermal Weight Midweight
Cuts avaliable Full length 3/4 length, full length, onsie (full body w/ hood) Full length Full length 3/4 length, full length
Smelly over time? Yes No No Yes No
Odor control fabric Omni-Wick Anytime Naturally odor resistant Polygiene anti-odor finish HeiQ Fresh Naturally odor resistant

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.

Performance Comparison


The Columbia Titanium Omni-Heat Tight work better as running tights than a base layer. Use it while tackling your next snowy  aerobic mission in the mountains.
The Columbia Titanium Omni-Heat Tight work better as running tights than a base layer. Use it while tackling your next snowy, aerobic mission in the mountains.

Warmth


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 Columbia Omni-Heat 3D Knit Tights offers warmth on cooler days while hiking with girlfriends. Here we take a hike in Northern Ontario in cool weather. These  worn on their own  provide sufficient warmth.
The Columbia Omni-Heat 3D Knit Tights offers warmth on cooler days while hiking with girlfriends. Here we take a hike in Northern Ontario in cool weather. These, worn on their own, provide sufficient warmth.

Breathability


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.

Running uphill is a sweaty job. Thank goodness the fabric dries quickly then worn without a layer over top. Unfortunately  it doesn't have this same performance underneath soft pants or snow pants.
Running uphill is a sweaty job. Thank goodness the fabric dries quickly then worn without a layer over top. Unfortunately, it doesn't have this same performance underneath soft pants or snow pants.

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.

Moisture doesn't need to fight through a lot of material to escape from these bottoms!
Moisture doesn't need to fight through a lot of material to escape from these bottoms!

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.

The fit of the Omni-Heat 3D Knit Tights.
The fit of the Omni-Heat 3D Knit Tights.

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.

We love the comfy  stretchy waistband on these tights.
We love the comfy, stretchy waistband on these tights.

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.

The bottom hem at the end of the legs doesn't stretch a ton.
The bottom hem at the end of the legs doesn't stretch a ton.

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.

The compressive fit that hugs the body offers good wicking power. Unfortunately  it is far from cozy and soft. Definitely a technical layer not meant to wear after you're done playing in the cold.
The compressive fit that hugs the body offers good wicking power. Unfortunately, it is far from cozy and soft. Definitely a technical layer not meant to wear after you're done playing in the cold.

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.

Columbia's proprietary fabric tech -- Omni-Heat 3D.
Columbia's proprietary fabric tech -- Omni-Heat 3D.

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.

A look at the side view of the pant that hugs the body.
A look at the side view of the pant that hugs the body.

Durability


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.

The outer fabrics are perfect to wear on their own. The stiffer fibers are impervious to abrasions  making them great to wear while tackling the snowy trails of the woods.
The outer fabrics are perfect to wear on their own. The stiffer fibers are impervious to abrasions, making them great to wear while tackling the snowy trails of the woods.

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.

Long threads escaping the seams of the Omni-Heat Tights.
Long threads escaping the seams of the Omni-Heat Tights.

Value


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.

Our playful testers prefer playing in the Omni-Heat 3D Knit Tights without a layer over top.
Our playful testers prefer playing in the Omni-Heat 3D Knit Tights without a layer over top.

Conclusion


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