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With the cold winter bearing down on us and the prospect of encountering increasingly extreme weather conditions, our thoughts turn to keeping warm and toasty, and how to combine that with our love of gadgetry.
Once only the domain of skiers, hard core campers and bikers, heated clothing is becoming more mainstream. Most of these high tech wearables are battery powered, and somewhat surprisingly, not expensive. Even fashionistas can feel comfortable as many appear no different to popular items of clothing.
Providing welcome relief from aches and pains, heated clothing is often appreciated by sufferers of Raynaud’s Disease and arthritis, and even high energy kids can benefit from the warmth when they finally stop building snowmen or being Elsa!
‘There is no such thing as being cold. There is only being unprepared’ said by someone famous, feeling warm and annoyingly smug!
But they did have a good point – it makes sense to follow in Jon Snow’s footsteps and be ready for the coming winter.
Wearable technology like heated gloves work by having thin wires sewn into the lining of the garment. These wires are usually made of a carbon fiber or a metal composite and perform well under repeated heating and cooling cycles. Connecting to a battery, a low current is passed through them when switched on, heating them and the surrounding fabric. Manufacturers use this technology to heat gloves, hats, jackets and so on, meaning that every part of you can be comfortably warm.
When looking at heated clothing such as heated gloves, it’s important to consider what you’ll need to do whilst wearing it. For example, you might just about be able to change an SUV tire with gloves on but changing a headlight bulb is nearly impossible without exposing fingers to the freezing cold.
It’s good to know the limitations of heated clothing and to follow a couple of simple guidelines:
• Dress appropriately, just in case your battery dies
• Always make sure the battery is 100% charged before you go out
• Bring spare batteries if you think you could be outdoors for a long time
• Turn the battery off when you don’t need it on
• Keep the battery warm. Lithium-ion batteries tend to drain faster under cold conditions, so pop it into your pocket
Wearing heated garments will really help to keep your whole body warm; cold, frozen fingers cannot function effectively, but can also be really painful (especially when thawing out), and heated scarves tucked into a jacket will keep your neck shoulders and chest toasty.
If you need to go out to clear the sidewalks, your driveway, or the decking with your new snowblower, it can be so much more pleasant when wearing heated clothing – even this chore will feel less of a drag, we promise!
So now you can look forward to the chill of winter, knowing you and your family can stay warm whatever happens.