We’ve seen heated gloves before, that warm up those chilly extremities within seconds, and now Polar Seal is bringing the next generation (as far as they are concerned) heated clothing to market. Polar Seal is a mid-layer piece of clothing. There are two heating zones, the upper back and one for the lower back. In these zones extremely thin heating elements have been placed that can be operated by two buttons on your sleeve. There are three settings, low, middle and heat; maximum temperature is a cosy 50°C / 122°F and it is limited by a controlling thermostat. The two heating zones can be separately chosen.
Power is delivered through the use of separate regular USB power banks. You can fit your powerbank in the left side back pocket where it connects to and in-built USB cable. As for the duration of heating it depends on the powerbank you use, how many zones you choose to hear, and at what level you are heating yourself.
“Using a 10,000 mAh power bank, one heating zone at a low level, your zip top will keep you warm for up to 8 hours. With a 5,000mA power bank, two heating zones at maximum level, your zip top will keep you warm for around 4 hours.”
So those are the specs: the promise for the product is to keep you warm when you want and need it. We haven’t had the opportunity to review the tops, and I would be curious to feel how it works. Just because sometimes I can be so friggin cold. Even with good merino layers and stuff, the chill can hit you, certainly when you been going at it all day and your body is tired.
The fabric used is a mix of polyester and elastane which normally would produce a well breathable garment. I think that that is crucial, to keep that element in the clothing. I do have my doubt I would ever turn on the heat during my sporting activities, certainly because they are placed on my back. Especially when wearing a back pack, it is not the zone where I feel the cold at those times. That is where you sweat most profusely. And let’s not forget, sweating is your bodies way of letting go of excess heat. So to place warming elements exactly there, kind of seems to counter your body’s possibility to cool itself. Which during high-intensity activities it really needs to do.
Where I do feel cold is the front of my body, I have no back pack there and it takes the impact of the wind as I am moving forward at speed. There are many hybrid garments that are made based on this insight, using wool for the front of the garment and less warm materials for the back.
I do think that the heating possibility when you are in rest would be a huge comfort. Resting after an intense pitch climb, sitting in the ski-lift buffeted by alpine winds as you near the top of the lifts, standing outside the local beer “stübe” exchanging hero stories with your buddies; when your body turns from high-intensity activity and the internal heating system is turned own many a notch, that’s when I think an external heating system would be a good idea.
Be careful what you get used to
One last thought that crossed my mind: many years ago I had a girl friend who always slept with an electric blanket back home. Sleeping in any other bed, she would always be cold. #justsaying
We’re curious about your thoughts! Let us know in the comment section below!