The Winter season brings a mixed reaction amongst the people. On one hand, you would be able to enjoy warm delicacies made out of seasonal food, whereas on the other, you would have to worry about the tough external conditions. In some of the corners, heavy snowfall makes things go serious.
Within the home, you may adjust with thin winter clothes. But when it comes to going outside, having an item of thick clothing is mandatory. Winter jackets and coats can prevent escaping the heat, but do not produce any of their own. Also, wearing a multi-layered jacket might turn out to be uncomfortable for some of the users.
Thus, the concept of heated jackets was developed recently. As goes by the name, they produce heat of their own and come in handy in heavy-duty applications also. Read on to find more about them.
What is Heated Jacket?
Heated jackets are special types of winter jackets, that have the capability of producing their heat. It is attributed to the heating pads present within the clothing, that are powered by separate batteries. The setting is completely adjustable, and thus the user can get produce comfortable levels of heat.
The following are some of its regular features:
- Super-light heating elements are embedded within the fabric of the jacket.
- Source of heat being given by the lithium-ion batteries that are connected to the heating elements via USB cable.
- Compatible to available power banks for recharging of the battery.
- Comes up with settings that can adjust the amount of heat produced (low in case of moderate winter, and medium to high in case of extreme winter).
- Waterproof and wind-proof, like the conventional jackets.
- Also available with hoods for better protection.
Thus, externally, a heated jacket looks similar to that of the conventional one. But all of these features create the demarcation.
Types of Heated Jacket
The type of heated jacket is highly dependent on the area of application of the clothing. The following enlists the major categories for it:
- Lightweight heated jackets, that are made up of nylon or polyester and allow good movements for minor activities. Since they are not bulky, you can try putting on extra clothes beneath these, and even use these for everyday activities.
- Puffer jackets, which are heavier than the former category and are used in the regions of a heavy cold. They are quilted in texture and have a detailed layout of the heating elements. You can either choose to turn these on or keep them off for acting like normal jackets.
On a general note, the heated jackets are available in three layers– the outer layer (shell), an insulating layer (fill), and the lining that separates both of these.
How to Choose Best Heated Jacket?
There are certain good collections of heated jackets in the market, and they often created confusion for the buyers. Therefore, it is very important to understand the buying factors and ensure a proper buying experience.
The following enlists the factors for perfect selection:
- Heating elements– These are the small wires that play a pivotal role in generating the heat against the cold winds of winter. They allow low currents to flow through them and generate only the optimal amount of heat. As a strategic position, find out those fabrics that have heating elements on the chest and back.
- The material of the shell- This defines the overall weight of the heated jacket. In simple terms, the material decides the application areas of the fabric i.e. if it can be used in long-term heavy-duty applications or not. Some of the popular materials for the same include softshell (known for warmth, breathability, wind-resistance, and waterproof), polar fleece (made up of polyester and known for excellent water-repellent properties), ripstop nylon, polyester ripstop, and poly-cotton.
- Type of battery- The type of battery used also defines the overall weight of the heated jacket. Since the battery pack is required to power up the coils, thus a proportional relationship lies between the voltage and weight. Also, prefer to go for those pieces that use a lithium-ion battery (since they retain charge for a longer period, and reduce the complexity of going for charging systems).
- Runtime– The battery lifetime is very pivotal in cases of heavy-duty applications, or areas of heavy snowfall. On average, a full-powered heated jacket runs up to 8 hours. You may adjust the settings to reduce the power consumption and save up the power for the next recharge cycle. Adjust the settings to have minimum recharging cycles.
- Charging facility– Go for the heated jackets that have the facility of built-in charging. This ensures that your piece acts as a live power bank, and you need not worry about searching for any outlets. Alternatively, you can think of those models that have a simple plug-in facility and charge up the heating coils instantaneously.
- Styling and fitting– This factor speaks about the overall form of the fabric. Colors and versatility define the occasions where you can come up with the same jacket. Not only would it complement your outfit, but also cut down the excessive costs of thinking for any new winter cloth for every single occasion.
- Accessory heating pad locations- Along with the chest and back, it is also desirable if you go for models that have accessory heating pads (preferably in pockets and collars). Heated pockets would help out in providing relief to the hands when you would be working with bare hands. Heated collars would protect the necks on strong windy days and prevent you from catching a common cold.
- Design of insulating fill– This defines the layout of the heating elements, and the other properties looked upon such jackets (water-proof, weather-proof, and washability). It comes up in two varieties- down insulation (that often takes up longer drying time and special washing instructions), and synthetic insulation (cost-effective, and adds weight to the overall jacket).
- Additional features– If you are investing heavily in heated jackets, then you might consider going for good-to-go additional features. This includes removable hoods, heated pockets and collar, additional slots for putting up gadgets, and many more.
Therefore, have a proper balance on these factors to find out the perfect choice available in the market.
Does Wearing Heated Jacked Show any adverse effect on Health?
Many misconceptions are surrounding the usage of heated jackets. The major ones include the following:
- Side effects like dry skin.
- Risk of unwanted radiation.
- Burns on the skin.
To clear the wind out, let us state it clearly- heated jackets are conventional jackets, that have a layer of heating elements to insulate the wearer, and produce heat rather than burning out from the body. The following attributes clear out the misconceptions:
- These heating elements are designed while taking care of the skin and do not have any side-effects for the wearers (details attached in the buying guide of every brand).
- There are settings to adjust the heat generation, and hence the users can select their pick as per the comfort levels.
- The heat produced consists of infrared waves, which are not radioactive and hence do not cause any adverse side-effects.
How to Wash & Clean a Heated Jacked without getting it damaged?
Since the heated jackets have special heating elements within them, they need special care and attention during the washing cycles. Therefore, you should wash them only when there are heavy stains on them, and multiple usages produce a bad odor.
Follow the given steps to have a safe washing experience:
- Disconnect the powering source from the heating jacket, and place it separately before putting it up for the wash.
- Place the connector cables back within the jacket, and close the zipper (to prevent exposing of the heating elements to direct water).
- Choose only those detergents that are recommended by the brand.
- Go for machine-wash within the home, rather than dry cleaning (since the latter sues agitators that might tear off the base fabric).
- Use cold and gentle cycles on the washing machine.
- Avoid adding bleach to create any holes or distortions to the fabric.
- Simply put up the jacket to the natural sun for drying. Do not twist or squeeze the same, as there might be chances of damaging the elements within.
- Wear the jacket without ironing (as the creases are hardly visible on such jackets).
- Finally, store the jacket in those areas where there are sufficient ventilation and no excess humidity.
Therefore, take proper care to bring value to your investment in such winter clothing.
Benefits of Buying a Heated Jacket
The following are some of the noted benefits of going for a heated jacket:
- Ultimate protection against the harsh cold waves of winter.
- Enhances the flexibility of joints, and allows good mobility during the winters.
- Removes the issues of muscle stiffness, soreness, or sensitivity.
- Improvises blood circulation.
- Adds value to the overall performance of the athletes.
- Goes compatible with heavy-duty applications that involve sweating and toiling.
Advanced tips to Maintain Heated Jacket
Since these jackets are meant for long-term usage, thus you need to take special care. Follow some of the tips mentioned below:
- Ensure proper battery care, so that you need not to change the battery frequently. Do not wait for the battery to completely drain out before recharging. Rather, follow the tip generally given in the user’s manual.
- While sweating, reduce the heat production to conserve battery and enhance life.
- Take care of the safety of the jackets, like not exposing them to saltwater, storing the batteries between 40-80 degrees Fahrenheit, disposing of the lithium-ion battery safely after usage, and not recharging in case of any damage.
- Follow the above-mentioned washing and drying care, to prevent any unwanted wear and tear on the fabric and the inner elements.
- Do not keep the jacket soiled for long, as it becomes difficult to clear off the stains.
Hence, kudos to all of you who learned a lot about the concept of a heated jacket, and buying a guide to bring out the best selection. Write back to us in case of any queries or concerns.