Which coat keeps you warmest? Check this test before you shell out money

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Data pix.

What kind of coat do you wear?  It may contain some NASA technology.  You may have heard of things like 'omni-heat' and 'thermoball' technology.  But does it really keep you warm?

We check out the fancy coat technology to see if it's really worth your money.

With a thermal imaging camera, you can see exactly where heat escapes the body.  In the picture, you'll see it's mainly the white areas.

Three coats were put to the test.

L to r: Columbia, Under Armour, North Face
L to r: Columbia Omni-Heat, Under Armour Infrared, North Face Thermoball (Click for a larger view)

First, Columbia's Omni-Heat.  It's NASA space blanket technology that reflects body heat.  Some versions of the coat retail for $79.98.

The next two are the two most expensive.  Testers say the Under Armour Infrared is warm, but loses out to the Omni-Heat.  The Under Armour coat is just shy of $200 in some stores, and there are a few version of the coat.

Then the North Face Thermoball, which also retails for $200.  It also lost heat in the infrared test.

Pairing the new technology with traditional down feathers seemed to be the best combination to keep warm.  However, all three jackets did better in the heat test than just a plain coat with no insulation.