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Introducing PIT: The Columbia Performance Innovation Team

Trying Stuff means pushing boundaries. In the context of Columbia, that entails advancing the industry by asking why, and then figuring out how. It’s the members of the PIT who take on this challenge every day.

In the creation of Omni-Dry®, the PIT asked how it could make a waterproof apparel technology that’s more breathable than any other. The result was ultrabreathable waterproof that allows people to be physically active in the wet.


The PIT came about so Columbia could develop its own technologies and not have to rely on other companies. Our discoveries are ours, and we control our destiny. The PIT allows us to end complacency, and to push the industry forward on our terms.

The PIT is a multi-discipline group, or think tank, made up of experts from the fields of textile, industrial design, engineering, chemistry, and others. Together they seek to bring new technology, or technology from other industries, into clothing and apparel to constantly move the industry forward. This mindset has brought about the invention of groundbreaking technology the likes of Omni-Heat® Reflective, which lets you make and use your own heat.


When coming up with new technologies or solutions, the team must constantly push ideas through a process. This takes on multiple steps: exploration, investigation, testing, evaluation, and commercialization.

The PIT is never finished. They’re never satisfied. They’re constantly refining and perfecting. Longevity and advancement are possible thanks to a culture and attitude of always trying, always looking for the next thing to move technology forward that keeps the user warm, dry, cool, and/or protected.

They start with the human condition, not just with the product. It’s about the consumer, the user. In other words, it’s about you. The PIT looks at what can be done now, and then asks “What if?” What can be done, that hasn’t before? That is trying stuff, and that’s what the PIT is all about.

Get to know our many innovations by visiting our technologies page, and see how the PIT takes trying stuff to the next level.

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