We’ve seen a number of options for heated clothing pop up recently, including jackets, vests, and even boots. Once viewed as mostly a gimmick by outdoor enthusiasts, these garments have proven that the technology is not only efficient and effective, but also viable for use in demanding outdoor activities, too. Powered by USB battery packs, these articles of clothing come with integrated heating elements that help to keep the wearer warm in cold conditions. And just in time for the current polar vortex that is bringing sub-zero temperatures to much the country, another new jacket has launched a crowdfunding campaign, promising an affordable option for warmth on the go.
The Heated jacket claims to be “the world’s most durable heated jacket.” Incorporating fabrics that are relatively thin and lightweight — yet very tough — this jacket is designed to perform more like a traditional soft shell rather than an insulating layer as we’ve seen from similar products in the past. Because it is made from materials that are both waterproof and wind resistant, this gives it a bit of a leg up on the competition. In theory, if the heating elements function as efficiently as the manufacturers claim they do, you could conceivably head out into harsh conditions without a traditional down puffy, which, while very warm, are often bulky as well. For very active winter outdoor athletes, that could make the Heated jacket a very intriguing option indeed.