When it comes to regulating body heat with most jackets, they're either on, off, or in some state of partial-zip. But the latest in all-weather clothing permits greater manipulation by packing smart tech between premium layers. The battery-powered Flexwarm smart jacket is designed with sensors that automatically adjust the temperature based on personal preference.
We've seen heated clothing, such as the Evolve Hoodie and previously-reviewed Ravean gear, that are great for staying toasty when it's cold out. A basic USB power bank can keep one comfortably warm for hours, depending on battery capacity and temperature setting (typically low, medium, or high). The Flexwarm smart jacket takes control to the next level by allowing users with mobile devices to dial in aspecific temperature for each of the separate regions.
The Flexwarm smart jacket features a "metallic slurry" printed on thick film, which produces heat when connected to a power source. This heating element comes sealed between insulated layers of light padding, goose-down hybrid, and ripstop nylon fabric. The woven nylon is designed to be waterproof, windproof, machine washable, and reinforced for tear-resistance. Each layer is thin and flexible, which helps the jacket stay ultra-light and packable.
With its built-in Bluetooth, the Flexwarm smart jacket connects to smartphones, tablets, and even smartwatches via the companion app (available for iOS and Android). From there, users can choose to individually adjust temperatures on the chest, across the back, or to the fingerless gloves integrated into each sleeve. The Flexwarm smart jacket is designed with dual sensors that automatically adapt the heat to desired levels, no matter the outside environment.
The integrated technology has a temperature range that is hard-coded for safety and is meant to be capable of evenly distributing heat up to 149º F (65º C). It even touts anti-static properties (ESD shield) for additional protection. The Flexwarm smart jacket is compatible with standard USB power banks, and users can expect up to one hour of continuous heating (high-output) for every 1,500 mAh of battery capacity.
The jacket is currently funding on Kickstarter, having raised 54 percent of its US$50,000 goal in three days, with another 56 days left to go. A pledge of $219 sets you up with one jacket (with 5 V USB power bank) in choice of size, style, and color.
The team is currently testing the latest design, which recently showcased at CES 2016. So if production goes according to schedule, backers can expect shipments of Flexwarm to start sometime this September.