It's no secret that battery-powered jackets are a useful way to stay warm during winter.
If you're new to the world of heated clothing, you're probably confused about how they work and whether they're even worth it. Although this unique thermal management solution may seem too tech-forward, we've got the answers to all your questions.
What are heated jackets, and where can I get the best one? Are they expensive? How do heated jackets, and what are they made of?
Read on to find all your queries answered in this comprehensive guide on heated jackets and their pros and cons.
What Is a Heated Jacket?
The term "heated jacket" refers to a battery-powered jacket that is mainly designed for cold-weather sports and activities. Unlike traditional jackets, you can count on them to maintain your body temperature no matter how cold the surroundings are.
Their construction and working aren't as complicated as they may seem; heated jackets simply run on power banks or batteries integrated into the lining.
However, electrical jackets aren't the only type of heated jackets available.
Other than chemically heated jackets which consist of single-use packs of heating chemicals, you'll also find stored-heat jackets that hold packs of gel you can microwave before use.
Nonetheless, the battery-powered one is the most popular and efficient type of heated jacket. Besides winter sports and activities, these jackets are also ideal for outdoor workers such as carpenters or construction workers.
What Are the Pros and Cons of a Heated Jacket?
Although there's not much to dislike about this innovative technology, every invention has its drawbacks. It's no different when it comes to heated jackets.
Here's what you should know about heated jackets pros and cons before you invest your money in them.
Undoubtedly, the pros of the heated jacket outweigh the cons.
Although average heated jackets will only give you standard warmth once connected, the ones on the higher-end come with adjustable heat levels to fit your comfort.
Other than that, the ways in which you can wear heated jackets are also versatile.
Since heated jackets are thin and lightweight, they can be worn under or over layers of clothing without increasing your size. However, they're quite fashionable, which means you won't have any problem wearing them as an outer layer.
Long Service Life
Your traditional jacket or sweater may get worn out and lose its warmth after a few years of use, but that's not the case with heated jackets.
Since most heated jackets are made from durable materials, they last much longer than standard jackets. Additionally, most heated jackets come with a one-year warranty.
Unlike traditional jackets and sweaters, the efficiency of a heated jacket is guaranteed. A normal jacket may turn out not to be thick or warm enough for the increasing cold. Your heated jacket, however, will only get warmer the more you adjust the levels.
One of the most common materials used to make heated jackets is Graphene, which is one of the strongest materials on Earth. It consists of a single layer of carbon atoms in a hexagonal lattice, ensuring efficiency and durability.
Since heated jackets have the job of protecting you from extremely cold weather, manufacturers make them from waterproof materials.
A waterproof membrane protects the wires inside the jacket, which heat the clothing once powered on.
Although they can withstand the moisture of rain and snow, you mustn't submerge your heated jacket into water.
When you're freezing and shivering, focusing on the task at hand becomes nearly impossible. As we mentioned, heated jackets are ideal for outdoor workers such as carpenters and construction workers.
You may think your leather or wool jacket will be enough protection during the harsh winters, but when temperature drops below zero, your work efficiency drops too.
When you invest in a heated jacket, you won't have to worry about finding warmth, which means you can easily focus on your work and ensure better performance no matter the season.
Although the downsides of heated jackets are only a few, we'd still recommend considering them before you make your purchase.
Since heated jackets are battery-powered, they're not ideal for working or staying somewhere without electricity. In addition, if your power bank runs out of battery, you cannot get the same warmth until it’s charged once again.
However, you can easily solve this problem by keeping some extra batteries or fully-charged power banks with you wherever you go to ensure you're warm day and night.
Undoubtedly, heated jackets are quite expensive due to the efficient construction and valuable materials that make them.
However, since these jackets last much longer than traditional jackets and are practically indestructible, we'd say the investment is definitely worth it.
Buyer's Guide to a Heated Jacket
Here are a few factors to keep in mind while buying the perfect heated jacket for yourself.
The most common heating elements used in heated jackets are carbon fiber, or steel plates.
While heated jackets with steel plates are rigid and need to be washed by hand, carbon fiber are more flexible and efficient alternatives.
Additionally, these materials are also lightweight and safe to wash, as long as you follow the instructions given by the manufacturer.
Inevitably, the battery's voltage is what determines the efficiency of the heated jacket. The higher the voltage is, the warmer your jacket will get.
We recommend checking the product description to see if the voltage is high enough before making your purchase.
A higher voltage also means a longer battery life. For example, a 7.4V battery will heat your jacket for about eight hours, while a 12V battery will last longer than that.
Additionally, the type of battery also influences the efficiency of the jacket.
Opt for lithium-ion batteries for heated jackets since they provide better performance and are a reliable source of power.
Once you've decided on the heating element, you can pick which material you'd prefer for the coat or shells.
Manufacturers most commonly use polyester to create the outer layer of heated jackets since it warms up quickly and adapts to your body heat.
Plus, it's weatherproof and will work against rain and harsh wind.
Although you may have concerns about the safety of heated jackets due to their electrical composition, there's nothing to worry about.
Contrary to popular belief, there's no electrocution risk with heated jackets since they mostly use batteries of less than 10V.
Plus, the batteries are always less than 12V DC with a frequency of 0Hz, which means you don't have to worry about high-frequency EMF radiation.
Other than that, the panels used on heated jackets won't catch fire or absorb moisture since they have a waterproof membrane protecting the wires.
Just because heated jackets do an excellent job of keeping you warm, it doesn't mean you should compromise on other features that you'd get in a traditional jacket.
Instead, opt for heated jackets that offer added benefits such as extra pockets, hood, and other features.
Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about heated jackets.
How does heated clothing work?
The construction of heated clothing is quite simple.
Once you realize your muscles are no longer providing adequate warmth due to the extremely cold weather, you can simply press the button on your power bank, which will activate the batteries.
Those batteries will transfer power over to the wires and heating element integrated into the heated jacket. This will result in heat spreading throughout the article of clothing.
Can I wear heated jackets anywhere?
We recommend wearing heated jackets while performing outdoor activities in the extreme cold.
However, if you're traveling to a place with no electricity, it's best to keep some extra batteries at hand.
With their efficient technology and versatility, there's a lot to like about heated jackets. Other than being practical, they're fashionable and timeless too!