Winter is going be a little warmer this year — and we’re not just talking about global warming. British clothing brand 8K has just launched a new line of innovative heated jackets and vests.
This stylish outerwear isn’t stuffed with puffy feathers or layers of insulating fiber, though: the 8K collection actually offers a more high-tech solution to the winter chills. More specifically, the pieces put Flexwarm technology to toasty use, providing their wearers with evenly-distributed heat that can be adjusted via an accompanying smartphone app. Prefer more heat on your back? That can be easily arranged.
“Heating technology in clothing has been around for a while now, but this has always been primarily aimed at the workwear market,” says Scott Brenchley, 8K’s CEO. “We felt that there was a gap in the market for a collection of outerwear that seamlessly blends fashion with technology.” We agree.
The company says it’s “syncing technology with fashion,” and it hopes to turn both city folk and outdoor adventurers on to it’s newest line. That’s where the stylish tailoring will play a key role, as it’s responsible for making the pieces look and feel just as much at home on the subway as they would be on the hiking trail.
Part of 8K clothing’s versatility can be credited to its slimline design: bulk-free jackets mean active people can move about freely while shielding themselves from the harsh winter elements.
Flexwarm is a very thin (just a skimpy 0.5 millimeters) printable heating material that’s divided into three “heat zones,” any of which can be set to three different heat levels. The separate heating zones make it easier to target your cold spots and prevent you from overheating anywhere, and their levels can be adjusted on the fly. When you’re battling the cold, you’ll appreciate the line’s fast-acting heat system, which can reach temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius in just 360 seconds.
Of course, all this technology needs a power source. The clothes come with a 7500mAh power bank that can be used to charge your phone as well as your jacket, and the company says you can expect to get a good six hours of comfortable heating from a single charge (Flexwarm is reportedly 50 percent more energy-efficient than old-school carbon fiber heating systems). The power bank can also be stashed safely out of the way in one of the jacket’s inside pockets.
8K’s new jackets and vests all come in designs tailored to both men and women, and they are all machine washable. So if you love outdoor sports and happen to get a little muddy once in a while, there’s no need to freak out. The Flexwarm layer is so thin that it can actually be printed onto fabric, which makes it fine to wash (just remember to remove the battery pack first!). The clothes even come with their own wash and carry bag. A two-year warranty will give you even more peace of mind, no matter how you much you put your jacket through.
The company’s intuitive smartphone app makes heat control a total breeze. Just decide where you want to be warmer, select that zone on the app, and indicate exactly what temperature you want it to be. After that, simply shake your fist at winter and bask in the warmth of your cozy new jacket.