Although heated objects of everyday use are not a new invention, they’re quite a fresh thing on the clothing market. The first heated jackets were designed in 2001 as a response to a market niche. The professional groups that benefited from this were primarily construction and other outdoor workers, sportsmen and people who work in unheated indoor environments. But over time, these products made their way into a wide consumer market. How does this technology work, and why are products like from Baubax or Jay23 gaining so much popularity?
Heated jackets — where do they come from?
The technology behind this particular invention dates back to the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1912, the first prototype of a heated blanket was produced by the physician Sidney Russell. And in 1930, his idea was further developed by George Crowley into something that from today’s perspective could be called a thermostatic blanket, in which the distribution of heat was controlled by a group of specially designed regulating devices. Until 2001, usage of this idea in clothes remained relatively rare. Then, The North Face MET5 was released — the first heated jacket available on the consumer market.
Various companies are developing their own versions of this product. The technology behind it is relatively simple by today’s standards, and it’s worth looking into before buying your own jacket.
But how does it actually work?
It’s not as complicated as you might think. Every heating solution requires two things — a source of power, and means of distributing the warmth. These two elements are cleverly miniaturized and do not worsen the wearing experience. The final product is still quite light, flexible, and versatile enough so that not only sportsmen and workers can enjoy it.
A heated jacket has, first and foremost, a rechargeable battery inside. The popular solutions are 5, 7.4 and 12-volt batteries, and 7.4-volt one is probably the most popular of them. 5-volt batteries allow not only to heat the jacket or vest, but also to charge your electronics. And 12-volt batteries, the most powerful ones, are usually connected to various transportation units like motorcycles or snowmobiles.
The power source is connected to a set of heating wires or tapes, usually made from carbon fiber or fabric embedded with carbon (although you might encounter other materials like copper wire, metal meshes and so on). They are responsible for equal and effective warmth distribution. Baubax and especially Jay23 are good examples of this technology being put into good use — their products are some of the best heated vests on the consumer market.
Safety issues. How to take care of your heated jacket?
First of all, it should be clear that this category of clothing should not be submerged into water. It may cause irreversible damage to the battery and put the owner in danger. At the same time, it doesn’t mean that the jacket cannot be machine washed. Usually, every producer provides their own set of instructions on how to take care of the product. Usually, you have to disconnect the battery and use a very gentle, low-temperature cycle in your washing machine. Sometimes, it involves usage of mesh laundry bags.
Despite the fact that heated jackets or hoodies cannot be submerged into any liquid, there’s no danger in wearing them on a rainy day. The heating wires and tapes are always properly isolated and no short circuit is possible.
The captivating design of men’s and women’s heated jackets
This is one of the best characteristics of most heated hoodies, vests and jackets. They are inventions of the modern world, and are less bound to follow the traditional fashion aesthetic. Usually, they’re packed with specially designed pockets for various everyday items like phones, drinks and power banks or have secret spaces for credit cards. And one cannot omit their visual design.
Jay23, for example, is heavily drawing from the gaming visual style in their PRO series of clothes. Heated hoodies designed by them are not only for esports fans, but also everyday, casual gamers. The functionality of their products matches up with the gaming style very well — they are Bluetooth-controlled, taking the wearing experience to a whole nother level. If you’re in any way interested in gaming, or even if you just like modern, technologically advanced clothes, it’s worth checking out.