It can be hard to leave the comfort of a heated home in the depths of winter, but (unfortunately) humans can't hibernate forever. Fillony wants to make it easier to brave the cold with its new PolarSeal heated sweaters. Like the Flexwarm smart jacket, the PolarSeal tops allow multi-zone, multi-level heating, but in a garment that can be worn over a t-shirt or under a jacket.
Heated clothing is a welcome development for those who can't stand the cold: the heated Avade jersey has become an invaluable part of our editor's motorcycle kit, and the Ravean down vest proved heated clothing can work as a fashion item as well. PolarSeal is based on the same logic, with a small battery pack powering heating elements in the top.
Using the compact square buttons on the left sleeve, the wearer is able to activate the heat on the upper back, lower back or both sections at the same time. There are three heating modes – Low is 40° C (104° F), Medium is 45° C (113° F) and High is 50° C (122° F) – which are once again dialed in through the buttons on the left sleeve.
Those buttons are completely shockproof, and can be operated in chunky winter gloves. The electronics are also water resistant, meaning you can wear it out in the rain without worrying about being zapped by your fancy high-tech heated top. However, hand rather than machine washing is recommended.
You'll need to supply your own power source, but the top is compatible with any 5- or 10-Ah USB power pack, which will be good for four or eight hours of constant heat, respectively, with both heating zones set to maximum. Being able to last a full day out on the ski slopes is certainly valuable, and something the Avade couldn't manage.
If you didn't know it was a heated top, there's not much to differentiate the PolarSeal from any other thermal top. It has extra-long sleeves with optional thumb holes, and the company says the material used is light, flexible and breathable. There will be unique cuts for men and women, and four colors are available.
At the moment, Fillony is seeking funding for the PolarSeal on Kickstarter, where it has raised around HK$600,000 (US$76,650) of its HK$390,000 ($49,800) goal. Pledges start at HK$999 ($129) for a single heated top, with deliveries set to start in November 2017.