Winter is here and unless you own a vacation home in Cabo, you have two options to consider: bundle up until you look like Ralphie's little brother or employ a little technology to forget all about the drastic temperature dip. Here are 5 individual pieces of clothing that go beyond Gore Tex, fleece and down, providing a little electrical boost. Warm up and face the cold with a smile.
New for this winter, Columbia's Bugathermo Boots may have a funny name, but they bring a serious attitude to snow, ice and wind. The rechargeable, heated boots provide up to 8 hours of heat and three different settings. Two heating elements keep both your toes and feet warm. Controls are located right on the side of the boot so they're easily adjusted on-the-go. Plug the adapter right into the back of the boot and recharge without pulling anything apart. The boots also feature rugged construction and waterproof, breathable uppers, making them ready for the deepest adventures. A little more than your average winter muks, these cost around $250. The women's version is called the Snow Hottie.(UPDATE: The Woman's Snow Hottie may no longer be available. Perhaps these heated boots may work for you?)
Mountain Hardwear Radiance and Refugium Jacket (with Ardica Moshi)
Mountain Hardwear's insulated jackets are wired for heat, and the power comes from Ardica's Moshi rechargeable battery pack. Unfortunately, the two are sold separately, so the heating won't come cheap. Once you've got it hooked up, though, you'll enjoy up to 8.6 hours of sweet, electrical heat from elements in front and back. The Moshi Power System takes it one step further than heat and turns your jacket into a wearable power source, providing power or battery charge to electronic devices through a USB connection in the pocket. Mountain Hardwear is no stranger to quality, performance outdoor clothing, so even with the heat off, you'll enjoy a quality jacket.
The Refugium is the men's jacket and Radiance the women's. Both cost $230 and the Ardica Moshi will run around $150. Find out more at Mountain Hardwear.
Brookstone Fleece Heated Vest
Never one to leave the gadget making to others, Brookstone offers its own heated vest. A slim, comfortable fleece vest with carbon fiber elements built into the top front and back, the vest works perfectly as a layering solution. Turn the heat on and enjoy three settings controllable from inside the pocket. The rechargeable battery pack puts out up to 5 hours of heat per charge. Buy the Brookstone vest at Amazon for $130. Women's version is here. (UPDATE: These no longer are in inventory. Perhaps these heated vests and jackets can work for you?)
ActiVHeat WX4 Weightless Heated Gloves
The fingers are often one of the first parts of the body to get cold and numb, so protecting them with heated gloves makes a lot of sense. ActiVHeat's gloves have provided an interesting solution: instead of putting the battery or pack on the glove, they put it inside the jacket in an internal pocket. All wiring is worn under the jacket and a central control worn on a lanyard is used to adjust settings. This way, your hands are light, mobile and free to operate without being weighed down with cumbersome batteries. Three settings provide up to 4.5 hours of heat. The carbon fiber elements heat the sides of the hands, fingers and thumbs. Find the Weightless Heated Gloves at ActiVHeat's website starting around $85. The company also makes heated glove liners.
EXO 2 HeatSole Heated Insoles
Whether you're snowboarding or cross country skiing, you don't always have the luxury of wearing a new pair of $250 boots. The EXO2 Heated Insoles deliver the heat that you crave while allowing you to use whatever boots you need. The insoles are a one-size-fits-most solution with a small, rechargeable li-ion battery pack that straps around your lower leg. The EXO 2's deliver 5 to 7 hours of heat. Amazon has these heated insoles for around $140. (UPDATE: These insoles are no longer available. These heated insoles are under $30 and very well reviewed by users. Or these rechargeable heatedinsoles may also be of interest.)