Wireless technology may be the height of cool. But wired technology is what makes the new Heated Down Jacket from Ravean tops in warmth. A rechargeable and removable 12-volt 4,000 mAh lithium battery pack is stashed in a pocket of what looks like just a lightweight down jacket; it powers up carbon wire heat panels embedded in the two front pockets and on both sides of the jacket's upper back and chest. Connect the battery's 12-volt port to the jack in the pocket, and you are all connected and ready to heat. Despite the all-in-one wiring system, the jacket's pocket heaters and upper jacket heat panels run on two independently controlled power circuits, letting you heat one or both zones to suit. Two separate pushbuttons on a rubberized control panel near the collar power each zone on and off, and cycle through low, medium, and high settings.
The higher the heating power, and the lower the ambient temperature, the faster the battery drains. Power can last as long as 10 hours or just one or two hours in teeth-chattering climes. Then you and the down jacket are on your own until you recharge the battery, which takes about 90 minutes using the included wall power cord. Did I mention the battery has a built-in USB port that lets you juice up your cellphone (using your own cable), while warming yourself? But wait, there's more. The jacket's wiring system extends down the sleeves. Those little power jacks hidden behind the cuffs plug into - surprise - heated gloves (with touchscreen capability, no less). The gloves hitch a ride on the pockets' power circuit. They are included in Ravean's Heated Jacket Combo Package, which also nabs you a zip-off down hood.
Ravean Heated Down Jacket Combo, with zip-off down hood, heated gloves, 12-volt battery, and wall charger, is $230 in men's or women's sizes at www.ravean.com.