We’ve tried several heated apparel items over the years, and many are well made and do a good job of keeping Frosties warm. But when you make an investment in a piece of heated apparel, particularly in a jacket, you may find the item doesn’t go with every outfit, or isn’t long enough for the coldest days, or doesn’t pack well for traveling, and you’d rather select another coat for the occasion. HEATJAC Hot Liners address this issue.
Their patented HOT LINER vest is specifically designed to fit easily under any coat in your wardrobe. The warmth comes from two sources: First, the vest lining is constructed with Heat Reflective Material that reflects 95% of radiant (body) heat. Second, there are six inner mesh pockets – four are for holding extra-large air-activated warmers. (Use the other two pockets for keys, phones, wallets, etc.).
HEATJAC was originally designed for medical personnel working in cold environments to wear under scrub warm-up jackets and surgical gowns. Frosties who’ve spent any time in hospital emergency rooms or surgical areas know how challenging these environments can be for anyone with a low tolerance for cold temperatures, so these are great credentials!
Turns out the daughter of the inventor, Mark Silverberg, DDS, MD, Board Certified Anesthesiologist, is a Raynaud’s sufferer. So, he has not only personally experienced the issue of dealing with cold operating room temperatures, he’s watched his daughter deal with the challenges of suffering through freezing Chicago winters trying to manage her Raynaud’s symptoms. As an active outdoor enthusiast, she’s now HEATJAC’S biggest fan!
Given the background on the product, we were eager to give it a try, but were a bit skeptical of the fabric, as it’s quite thin, even with the reflective lining. I was concerned that pulling on the snaps might result in a tear. But the manufacturer tells us the fabric is a unique brand of housing insulation – the same insulation used in construction, in fact, more construction workers purchased these liners than anyone else at the Motorcycle Expo in Chicago. In addition to being highly durable, it’s easily laundered and doesn’t absorb sweat. This extremely lightweight fabric is good for those who like to hike or camp at higher elevations as it doesn’t add weight and folds easily to fit in a backpack. Another great use for these toasty vests: Pack one in the car or trunk and it can be a lifesaver if stranded in a storm or road pile-up for hours, as it’s always ready. The warmers are air-activated – no charging required!
When testing the vest indoors, I found two hot packs were more than adequate for toasty heat. I even had to remove my extra layers (Frosties are always layered!), as the vest was extremely warming. For outdoor testing, I waited for a below-freezing, windy day. I still chose to remove my layers to ensure I could feel the heat, and it turned out I really didn’t need them. I was armed with only a t-shirt underneath my winter coat (plus a scarf, gloves, earmuffs, etc., as it was late February…). Walking outside I was plenty warm, and in the car I was almost too warm, but not uncomfortable. However, I did turn down the heat, which is unusual for me this time of year. The vest really surrounds your core with heavenly heat!
While air-activated warmers do need a bit of time to start the warming process, these are extremely large warmers and you experience the heat very quickly. On the day I planned to use the vest outdoors, I took off my fleece pullover indoors and was in just a t-shirt loading up the hot packs in preparation for the test. I was really cold standing around upstairs in the single layer, but by the time I got downstairs before adding my coat and winter accessories, I was totally warm!
While the pockets can hold any brand of disposable warmers, the heat packs I tested are specially made to be used with these vests and can be purchased separately in bulk from HEATJAC. They heat at temperatures of 120 -150ºF for 6 to 12 hours or more. Tests have shown these warmers offer more heat and are more effective than others on the market. While we don’t have a way of confirming this claim, they truly performed well.
Note: I only used the heat packs a short while for the indoor test, so I put them in an air-tight zip-lock bag until ready for reuse, and they reheated just fine for the outdoor test a couple of days later. I’ve found this approach works with other disposable heat packs, so was glad to see it also applied to HEATJAC’S warmers.
One thing we love about this product – it’s low-tech. No batteries to charge, no app to download and connect, no wires to unravel, no manual studying required. Just open the heat packs, place them in the vest pockets and you’re ready for warmth!
One minor point on the wearing experience: Generally, the heat packs are pretty stable in the pockets, but at one point I bent over while wearing the jacket and a pack fell onto the floor. This won’t be an issue if the vest is worn under a coat or jacket, but while I was testing it indoors, all I was wearing was the vest as my outer layer. Make sure the heat packs are placed in the smaller vest pockets; the larger ones are for storage. That will help optimize the fit.
Special Offer for Raynaud’s Members
Offer Code: warmthforRaynauds10
A starter kit of the HEATJAC HOT LINER vest with 4 disposable warmers sells for $68, significantly less than the cost of a single heated jacket, while adding value to your existing apparel investments. Comes in sizes Small, Medium, Large and X-Large, but you’ll want it on the larger side to fit over clothing.
This great value gets even better because as a Sponsor of the Raynaud’s Association, HEATJAC is offering our members a 10% discount off your entire order on their site. Just use the Special Promotional Code warmthforRaynauds10 during checkout.
We hope you’ll give HEATJAC’S heating garments a try and will share your feedback with us on how they worked for you!
HEATJAC Hot Liner
P.O. Box 260
Deerfield IL 60015