In the continued march towards becoming a cyborg, we have a new addition to our wardrobe. First, we had the backpack that generated power from walking, and then we had the new rechargeable heated boots from Columbia. Now, we have a new jacket from Mountain Hardwear that not only uses heating elements to keep the wearer warm, but can also recharge all of our electronic gadgets too.
The new Radiance and Refugium jackets use the Ardica Moshi Power System to provide up to 8.5 hours of heat on the lowest setting and 3 hours of heat on the highest. They system will also provide power to any device that can be run on 10 watts of power or less, including phones, GPS systems, iPods, and so on. Additionally, it’ll charge a device using USB up to twenty types before the Ardica system itself needs a charge itself. The jackets have an MSRP of $230.
So, if I use the Mountain Hardwear jacket in conjunction with the Columbia boots and that fancy backpack, can I conceivably stay in the field indefinitely? I could walk around all day charging everything up with the pack, recharge the boots and jacket in the process, and then enjoy the comfort of warm toes and upper body all day long too. With all of this fancy gear coming out, how long before some gear company puts it all together and makes a system that covers us head to toe, with everything interconnected? With my luck, I’d slip into a river somewhere, short circuiting the whole suit, and probably giving myself a nasty shock in the process.
But seriously, has anyone tried these new powered gear items yet? I’m curious as to how well they work. Similar devices in the past were always a bit gimmicky, but technology has come a long way since then. I’d sure like to know how much of an improvement all of these items are over past attempts.
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