Do you live in that part of the world where the temperature goes below zero degrees in winters or work outside in cold, harsh conditions? Then, you should wear multiple layers of clothing to protect yourself from freezing.
For instance, the inner layer offers insulation and wicks away excess moisture to keep you dry. Similarly, the outermost layer should be waterproof with added hoody and easy to take off if you feel warm.
Courtesy of the advancements in technology, you can get practical, stylish, and lightweight heated jackets. Keep reading to learn how a heated jacket works. Not only that, but you’ll also find interesting facts about a battery powered jacket.
History of Heated Clothing
Believe it or not, the history of heated clothing dates back to 1912, when Sidney Russel first pitched the idea of an under-mattress heated blanket. Later, in 1930, George Crowley developed a methodology to heat the flight clothing electrically and invented electric blankets for domestic use.
However, the person’s safety has always been one of the biggest concerns while wearing a battery powered heated jacket. Nonetheless, the batteries improved to offer adjustable and optimized electrical heating as the technology evolved.
Although different battery powered heated jackets are now available in the market, they are incredibly expensive. Therefore, different manufacturers are exploring various options other than electrical to design affordable and multi-purpose jackets.
You can also look for multi-functional battery powered jackets that come with built-in carbon fiber heating elements, such as Gamma jackets.
Now, you must be thinking about different types of heated jackets available in the market. Keep reading to learn about their respective functionalities and their differences.
Working of a Heated Jacket
You’ll find four types of heated jackets based on technology, including electrical and stored heat.
Battery Powered Heated Jacket
As the name suggests, this type of heated jacket uses a rechargeable battery or power bank. Next, an electrical current runs along a network of small wires throughout the jacket to produce heat.
Usually, the heat produced in electrical circuits is a waste of energy. However, in the case of a battery powered heated jacket, heat plays the primary role.
From a safety perspective, too much heat can undoubtedly damage the wires, thus breaking the entire heating system. On the other hand, your arm movement or rough use can damage the tiny wires.
The good news is that advanced heated jackets are made of robust carbon fibers that offer flexibility, safety, and movement. Furthermore, these fibers are usually woven into pads to spread the heat throughout the jacket.
Now that you have understood the internal mechanism of a battery powered heated jacket, you must be wondering how to turn on the heat.
You’ll find a small button near the chest side of the heated jackets. Moreover, the manufacturers keep the button tiny, so it doesn’t get in your way or feel heavy on your chest.
Another interesting fact about a heated jacket is selecting any available heating setting. Hence, you can adjust the settings to keep yourself warm as you like. Lastly, you can long-press the button to turn off the heating mechanism.
Electrical Conduction Mechanism
You must be concerned if you can get an electric shock while wearing a heated jacket. It’s because the jacket comes with tiny conductive wires or threads to carry the electrical current throughout the jacket. As a result, a conductive thread carries the current similar to the regular electric cables that make a circuit.
However, the manufacturers use silver or stainless steel threads instead of regular cables in a heated jacket. It’s because the threads must be made of a conductive material to carry the current. Another benefit of using conductive threads is it’s very convenient to sew them into the jacket.
Different types of conductive threads are available in the market, including:
- Silver-coated threads - These are essentially sewable nylon threads with a silver coating.
- Stainless steel threads - These are more reliable and offer low resistance. However, it’s difficult to sew them as they are thick and twisty.
The manufacturers of the heated jackets sew the flexible circuits using the conductive thread inside the jacket without compromising the comfort level, flexibility, and of course, the outlook.
The next step is connecting the conductive threads circuit to a rechargeable battery. Furthermore, the battery is connected to the power button that closes or opens the electrical circuit.
Usually, a lithium-ion battery of five, seven, and 12 volts power the heated jackets. You should know that higher input voltage offers a higher heat output and vice versa.
Obviously, the heat generated by five volts batteries is lesser compared to the seven-volt batteries. Nonetheless, the five-volt power banks are versatile as you can also use the same to charge your smartphone using a USB plug.
Generally, seven-volt batteries power the heated jackets available in the market. Alternatively, some heated jackets use five-volt USB batteries or power banks.
Some advanced and expensive heated jackets also come with a wireless remote to adjust the heating settings. Lastly, you can store the remote in one of the heated jacket pockets.
Let’s talk briefly about battery life. If you buy a good-quality heated jacket, you’ll be able to enjoy the warmth for nine to 11 hours on the lowest setting and six to eight hours on medium heat. Finally, you’ll have one to three hours of maximum warmth on a single charge.
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Material of a Heated Jacket
A heated jacket usually comprises three layers:
- Outer layer
- Insulating layer
The outer layer is made of synthetic material with a nylon or polyester base. For instance, softshell is one of the most commonly used materials as the outer layer of a heated jacket since it’s lightweight, water-proof, and breathable.
Alternatively, polar fleece, ripstop nylon, and polyester ripstop are also used as a heated jacket outer layer. Moreover, a jacket with a pure cotton outer layer is certainly breathable; however, it doesn’t offer insulation like the other synthetic fabrics.
Next, a heater puffer jacket comes with the following two types of middle or insulation layers:
- Down insulation - Comprises fluffy and soft feathers to keep the jacket lightweight and well-insulated.
- Synthetic - It’s water-resistant insulation made of polyester filament clusters.
One of the primary differences between a regular jacket and a heated jacket is the placement of the carbon fiber heating element between the fabric layers. Usually, a heated jacket has three heating zones, including your right and left chest, middle or upper back.
Furthermore, some manufacturers extend the heating elements to the core and include more heating elements in your collar and along the sleeves.
Stored Heat in a Jacket
Not everyone can afford a battery powered heated jacket. Furthermore, it’s also a hassle to recharge the battery daily. That’s why different manufacturers focus on developing fabric heating technology to make lightweight, stylish, and insulated jackets.
Many heated jackets come with pouches and pockets to insert a gel package. For instance, you can heat the gel in the microwave before going outdoors and place the gel pack inside the pocket.
As a result, you can enjoy the warmth for 30 minutes to two hours depending on the following factors:
- Gel pack size
- Insulation thickness of the gel packet
- Outdoor temperature
Graphene Heated Jacket
A graphene heated jacket, such as Gamma jackets, comes with a built-in heating system. It’s infused with graphene that evenly distributes the heat throughout the body, leaving no cold spot. Another benefit of using graphene in the Gamma jackets is that it’s breathable and superconducting to keep you warm and dry.
If it’s freezing out there and you don’t want to rely on your body heat, you can turn on the battery with just a press of a button. Fortunately, you can select any of the three available heat settings keeping in view your comfort and outside temperature. Then, all you need to do is plug in a USB Type-A power bank, and you are good to go snowmobiling.
We have talked enough about the heating mechanism of the Gamma jackets; let’s briefly discuss the functionality. This jacket is unbeatable for practicality, courtesy of the ten-pocket system.
You can store your wallet, keys, battery, metro card, and other essential accessories in different pockets. Additionally, you can carry your travel documents in any of the two concealed pockets while traveling.
One of the primary reasons behind using graphene in the heated jacket is to keep it lightweight and flexible. Graphene is essentially a nano-lattice; however, it’s stronger compared to diamond.
That’s why Gamma jackets outshine the rest of the heated jackets because of their strength and durability. Furthermore, the ultra-thin graphene layer doesn’t hinder your arm mobility while working outdoors in the winter.
Lucky for you, this heated jacket is resistant to scratch, water, abrasion, and other wear and tear. So if you are into skiing and snow sports, the Gamma jacket is a perfect choice to be the outer clothing layer.
You no longer need to wear multiple layers of bulky coats. Instead, one Gamma heated jacket is enough to keep your body warm.
On the other hand, the jacket comes with permeable pores to wick away the moisture and sweat in warm weather. Hence, your body remains cool and dry.
Lastly, the jacket offers exceptional insulation and resistance against high-speed winds of up to 50 miles per hour during high-altitude hiking. Another great news is that the Gamma jacket comes with fingerless gloves to keep your palms warm.
The harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays coming from the sun can penetrate windbreakers, jackets, and raincoats. Prolonged exposure to the UV rays damages your skin and, in the worst case, causes sunburns.
That’s why the Gamma heated jackets prioritize your safety with their UV-proof properties. In addition, the jacket itself comes with an SPF rating of more than 100 to prevent sunburn. As a result, you stay cool even on hot, sunny days.
The key takeaway of the above guide is understanding the working of a regular and battery powered heated jacket. Once you remove the battery from the heated jacket, you can convert it into a regular jacket which you can wear in the spring and autumn seasons.
As a result, buying a heated jacket is a one-time investment. That’s why the Gamma jackets qualify to be one of the best heated jackets that come with a one-year warranty to ensure safe spending.
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