Review: 8KFlexwarm heated jacket
Sometimes I am contacted to review a product and I think: “Hmmm, sounds like it could be so good but I bet it will be a bit crap.” It was like this when I was asked to test the 8KFlexwarm jacket. I was sure it would be useless. Except it is not. It’s surprisingly good.
The Flexwarm jacket (in gilet, jacket and hooded jacket for both men and women) looks like an ordinary insulated jacket. It looks a bit thin, if I’m honest, but that’s fine because it is heated. It’s also lightweight.
This video is helpful to tell you more about the jacket.
What is Flexwarm?
Flexwarm® technology is described as “a revolutionary new method of heating clothing that eliminates the cold spots and uneven heating found in traditional carbon fibre heated jackets”.
Flexwarm is an ultra-thin heating layer printed to the internal fabric that provides heat quickly and evenly throughout the jacket’s three heated zones.
Lots of warmth
I found the heated areas of the jacket very good. I have tried heated apparel before and the heat has been a bit weak or “all in one place”. The jacket can be controlled to offer different levels of heat and in different places. There are two heated zones on the jacket front and one at the lower back.
The heat comes via a rechargeable powerbank that fits into a small zipped inner pocket.
Control through your phone
You need to pay attention to the instructions because there are all sorts of achievable outcomes. You can set the jacket warmth zones and heat from the chunky buttons at the side near the hem, or you can use an app on your smartphone.
After a little bit of faffing – you have to pair the powerbank and the phone – I worked it out and found it easiest to use the phone app to adjust the settings.
You can have all of the heated zones on, or one or two. Each zone can be adjusted to give less or more heat.
It’s really good to have such versatility. I found I liked a lower heat in a couple of zones.
Obviously, the powerbank will decharge more quickly if you have the heating on full and the rate of decharge will depend on where you are. If you are in a cold and windy place, it will be less effective at keeping you warm so the powerbank will decharge faster.
The jackets comes in a range of sizes and colours.
The Flexwarm jacket is machine washable.
It is splash-proof but not water resistant, so you need to wear it under a waterproof jacket when it’s raining.
It is tested to European safety standards so you do not need to worry about the safety of a heated jacket.
Price: £200 to £250 from gillet to hooded jacket
My thoughts on the 8KFlexwarm jacket
The jacket is a great alternative to bulkier insulated jackets. I have an insulated jacket with me almost on every occasion but sometimes I need a couple yo keep me properly warm. With the 8kFlexwarm jacket I could easily get away with less layers by turning on the heat.
With all the heating elements on, the jacket has made me feel too warm in many circumstances. However, if I was on a freezing ski slope I think I might really like it to be that warm! Apparently, the jacket can achieve temperatures of up to 50C in 360 seconds.
I am not that keen on having heat directly on my lower back. I don’t know why and I think it might be a throwback to when I was ill with a virus after sitting against a radiator as a child. I associate a hot back with being ill. However, I think that’s just me being strange. I am sure most people will like the warmth on the back and front of the jacket.
I think I will most like to wear the jacket when sitting on a chilly chairlift during a ski holiday. In fact, I am looking forward to that warmth already.
So far, the jacket has been great at times when I have been standing around doing not too much in the outdoors or when I have stopped while doing a more energetic activity. I don’t need it when I am walking because I generate enough heat but it’s when I stop that I need to stay warm.
I can see people wearing the jacket when skiing or, for example, when spectating at outdoor events, such as a child’s Saturday morning football match or an outside concert.
Because you can turn the heat on and off, it’s easy to wear and not even turn on the heat.
Actually, as I write this I am wondering why I have not used it more. For example, at the weekend while reporting on the Skyrunning world champs in the Highlands, the jacket would have been great for keeping me warm. Why did I not take it with me?
To improve the jacket it would be great to see a two-way front zip.
Competition to win a free 8kFlexwarm jacket
To be in with a chance of winning a jacket, tell me long it takes, according to the company, to heat up the jacket to 50C. Add your answer to the comments on Facebook or Twitter, or tag me into your answer. You also need to hashtag #8Kflexwarm You have until Monday September 24, 2018, to answer. I’ll pick a random name to win. 8KFlexwarm will send out the jacket to you.