There are few sensations quite as satisfying as pulling a shirt straight from the dryer during the chilliest days of winter and putting it on while it’s still warm. Unfortunately, that feeling never lasts for more than a minute or two.
For those of us who are always cold but dislike the feeling of bundling up under multiple heavy layers, a lightweight piece of clothing that stays warm for hours on end sounds like a dream. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, that dream might now be a reality.
The Flare is a shirt that actually generates its own heat thanks to three integrated carbon fiber heating pads connected to a hidden battery pack in one of its zippered pockets. Created by a company called Blanc, which proudly touts its product as the “world’s warmest shirt,” its heating zones are placed on the abdomen, lower back, and upper back to transmit heat directly to your vital organs, warming you up quickly and efficiently. While all of that sounds like it would be kind of bulky and annoying to wear, the heating pads are surprisingly thin and flexible, and the shirt itself looks as slim and light as any other.
The company is on a perpetual quest to “design the warmest shirt on the planet,” explaining: “One major challenge is how to keep warm but also to not overheat or sweat. Most of us layer up to keep warm but then end up getting too hot. When resting or starting an activity, you’re cold, but when active, you can overheat. We thought, what if there was smart clothing that adapted to the body’s needs?”
Three different warmth modes allow the wearer to customize the shirt’s temperature at the touch of a button (located along the hem on the left side). The low setting provides five hours of long-lasting warmth, the medium setting turns up the heat for about three and a half hours, and the high setting ensures you stay toasty no matter where you are and what you’re doing, whether you’re skiing down slopes or taking a long walk in the snow.
The Flare is made of lightweight quick-dry polyester that wicks moisture away on its insides and features handy thumbholes to help you keep the sleeves in place. It’s semi-fitted for a relaxed feel that’s still snug enough to transmit heat. The shirt comes with a 6000mAh power bank about the size of an iPhone 6 that remains snugly within the side pocket and offers about five hours of juice between charges. In warmer weather, you can take it out of the shirt and use it on its own to charge your devices on the go.
When it comes time to wash it, just take out the power bank and toss the shirt into the washing machine like you would any other garment. Blanc says it’s tested the shirt in harsh conditions and put it through many washing cycles to ensure that it could stand up to long-term use. The company offers a one-year warranty on both the shirt and battery.
The Flare is currently available for pre-order for $160 on Indiegogo, with shipping expected to begin in March 2019.