A funny story leading to some big news….
It’s no secret that I’m passionate about the outdoors and outdoor gear. So when I heard Columbia Sportswear was trying to ship me a surprise, I was pumped. Just one problem…I just moved and THE BOX went to my old address. My dad tried to pry it from the delivery driver’s hands but he wouldn’t give it up. Assuring my dad it would be forwarded, he departed with THE BOX.
A few days later I received news that THE BOX had made it to my ex-husband’s house (I haven’t lived there since 1998) where my adult son told the driver to forward THE BOX to Utah…but didn’t give him my address.
By now, Columbia had my new address and tried to reroute THE BOX, but it went missing. Then it was found….and then it went missing again. All this time I’m dying to know, what is in THE BOX? But they wouldn’t spill it.
A new BOX was shipped, and then the driver couldn’t find my door. “Oh my goodness, I can’t take the suspense another day,” I thought.
At last nearly two weeks, I looked out on the porch and there it was, THE BOX. Trying to contain myself I tore into it with little grace. There was a large black and white sticker on the lid saying, “#OmniTen” and I knew. I’d heard of Columbia’s OmniTen team of testers. I’d even heard of a rogue gang of fans called the OmniOutlaws, one of whom, David Creech, had just been chosen to join the OmniTen. The sticker could only mean one thing, but I still needed more proof, so I opened the lid and found the official invitation to join the Spring 2013 OmniTen Team. Stunned, I sat for about 2.75 seconds to think before I responded, YES!
So what is OmniTen? It’s a group of 10 influential outdoor minded social media types who spend a season testing Columbia’s gear, sometimes in epic locations, and report the results back to their readers and Columbia. At this point we don’t know where our gear testing grounds will be, just the trip dates. Judging from some of the past trips, one of which included heli-skiing, it will be a good time.
In the meantime, I’ve already started testing the gear sent to me in THE BOX, which included several items from Columbia’s new line of Omni-Freeze Zero products. Rest assured, Columbia has specifically asked for both good and bad feedback on the gear they send for testing. They aren’t looking for “yes” reviews.
Here is a video from the winter crew who tested Columbia’s Omni-Heat gear on Utah’s slopes:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAF3W1R39mU?rel=0