Advancements in Heated Apparel

Heated clothing has come a long way over the years giving hunters more options to stay warm in the field.

Advancements in Heated Apparel

Hunters, anglers and outdoors enthusiasts of a certain age may well remember the heated gloves and socks available years ago — or perhaps they were given their father’s or grandfather’s itchy socks tucked away in the cabin’s cedar chest to wear when the weather turned colder than expected.

My father had some. My grandfather had some. Older friends of mine still have theirs. It was a rite of passage, it seemed, to wear the gray socks topped with red trim and a canvas battery pack with wires coming out for hunting season. As a kid I was more intrigued by them than excited about wearing them. I couldn’t understand how a battery or two, the same things that powered my toys, would help keep my feet warm. Even in the deer stand or while wearing our old rubber-coated chest waders when duck hunting, I preferred regular socks.

They were made by different companies. Gloves, too, were offered. The Frederic H. Burnham Company, incorporated in 1904 in Michigan City, Indiana, made battery-warmed gloves. Socks and gloves were the two main offerings of all the companies. My research didn’t turn up any jackets, parkas or other apparel. And as late as 1976 you could find “Lectra-Sox,” powered by batteries. What a cool name.

An issue with battery-powered apparel way back in the day was the power plant. The alkaline batteries didn’t last as long, occasionally leaked and could be fitful in extreme conditions. The wires and connections could be testy, as well. If everything worked as it should, toasty toes! If not, sad faces and, after the outing, trying to figure out what went wrong.

Today, decades later, we’re blessed with improvements. Batteries, including rechargeable packs, have better materials and last longer. Some heated products use Bluetooth or pocket-sized remote controls. Myriad products, including apparel, benefit from technological advances, from fabrics and metals to optics and insulating properties. Here are two items that might help your customers stay warm this winter.


Milwaukee Heated Gear

Hunting can be challenging in harsh weather conditions. Milwaukee M12 Heated Gear was developed for sub-zero commercial job sites, which means it should easily handle your customers’ hunting situations.

Milwaukee M12 Heated Gear combines patented Carbon Fiber Heating Technology with strong, durable RedLithium batteries to battle extreme temperatures. Materials were selected and developed to maximize durability and flexibility and outperform traditional fabrics against abrasion and tearing. Special attention was given to traditional high-wear zones. That means mud, rocks, climbing trees and other hunting situations your customers encounter shouldn’t be an issue.

Milwaukee M12 Heated Gear helps reduce the need for bulky layers by utilizing carbon-fiber heating elements to trap and generate heat across core body areas. Thermoregulation is the body’s way of maintaining our body temperature at, typically, 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. As conditions warrant, the Heated Gear’s three settings — high, medium and low — allow wearers to adjust the heat level with the touch of a button. It warms in less than three minutes, keeping those critical core body areas warm. The RedLithium CP2.0 battery has an 8-hour run time.

The Heated Gear is available in the Toughshell jacket, AXIS jacket and vest, hoodies and gloves. Each has special pockets and features, such as a zipper on the glove and extended cuffs. New for 2020 is the USB Rechargeable Heated Workskin Midweight base layer. Powered by the RedLithium USB 3.0AH battery, the Workskin’s carbon fiber heating elements provide even heat distribution throughout the chest and upper back. A one-touch LED controller offers two heat settings and a quick-heat function. The Workskin has a double-lined polyester body, fleece-lined arms, raglan sleeves, and seamless shoulders. Customers should be interested in this system of base and outer layers, which has sizes from S-3X for men and women.

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ScentLok Bowhunter Elite:1 Reactor Vest

New this year to the Bowhunter Elite:1 lineup is the Reactor Vest Plus, joining the Reactor pant and jacket as part of ScentLok’s multi-season system. Add ScentLok’s odor-taming capabilities and it’s a great one-two combo for increasing sales.

The Bowhunter Elite:1 line includes the versatile mid-season Voyage series, the 100 percent waterproof and insulated late-season Fortress series, and the Reactor series for warmth-on-demand layering. All BE:1 garments employ advanced, bowhunter-friendly designs, ultra-silent fabrics, and ScentLok Carbon Alloy technology. The Reactor series eliminates the noise and poof of “puffy” jackets and vests, which arguably are warm but can spook game. The Reactor jacket, vest and pant are layering pieces for additional warmth under other garments, although the jacket — and now vest — can be easily worn as a stand-alone. The hybrid design provides low-bulk insulation in the body’s core areas and stretch fabrics in areas of high activity.

ScentLok’s proven and trusted odor-taming capabilities are used by thousands of hunters. One selling point for the Reactor series, and other ScentLok products, is how it helps contain odors in the field. Human body odor is created by three things: bacterial, metabolic or ambient factors. Bacterial odors are a byproduct of bacteria on the body reacting with sweat, such as on armpits. Metabolic odors can be caused by ingested foods or other substances, such as medicine or alcohol. Ambient odors can be created by environmental factors such as smoke, gasoline, grease in a gas station deli, cologne or perfume, or even a vehicle’s interior.

ScentLok’s Carbon Alloy is the primary odor-adsorbing technology that targets the most extreme odor hot spots on your body, such as your underarms and torso. It also employs Fusix, which provides further odor control coverage in high mobility areas such as forearms and shoulders. Fusix is a printed coating of engineered carbon permanently fused onto the fabric. Customers will ask, “What makes it work?” Be ready to tell them.

The Reactor’s “on-demand warmth” isn’t just a fancy gimmick. The Reactor Vest Plus features three heating elements placed in core areas that can be activated at will to provide you warmth in a flash. A remote with a USB power cable in the right pocket activates the heating elements. With three adjustable settings, wearers can control the amount of heat for whatever comfort level is desired in the stand, on the ground, or while walking. ScentLok’s Carbon Alloy technology combines activated carbon, treated carbon and Zeolite between fabrics in a massive layer that adsorbs odors. The Carbon Alloy is reactivated in the clothes dryer. Reactor Plus is quiet, has 150 grams of Thinsulate insulation, and runs in six sizes to 3X and several camo patterns.

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