Remember that dreaded Polar Vortex last year where it felt too cold to even step outside for more than 5 minutes? Many people were enjoying their time on the slopes during those days of record-breaking frigid temperatures, and what helped many of them stay warm in subzero temps was heated clothing.
Gloves. Boots. Jackets. Even bags. They all have the options of coming heated, but what exactly does that mean?
Gloves are easy enough to figure out. A little battery operated heater can help keep the warmth flowing or there’s a small pocket that allows you to slip in a handwarmer.
But what about jacket or a boot? Well, it’s the same concept as a battery-heated glove, but on a grander scale. The heated jackets basically utilize a micro-wire type technology to keep you warm. How does it work? You have access to a small remote and can adjust the heat settings like you would a heating pad on your favorite chair. So, if you’re a cozy temperature while skiing down but the wind howls as you sit still on the long chairlift ride back up, you can dial in a warmer temperature so you feel nice and heated all the way from the base back up to the peak.
Boots are a little different.
Heated boots will involve a small device that generally sits on the back of your ski boot – this holds the battery and allows for changes in the setting – while the heating device itself sits amid the footpad inside the boots. The battery packs can vary in size regarding how long they last but they are generally quite small. Depending on how high you want the heat will depend on how long they last. A battery may indicate that it last 30 hours, but this may be on the lowest setting.
You’ll also have to be aware if your boots can accommodate this feature. Some boots may have to be outfitted in order to allow the heat generating footbed to work.
Another type of boot heaters are ones that go in your boots prior to hitting the slopes. These are great for the hotel room or condo. You simply put the heaters inside the boot and they are nice and toasty when you stick your feet in. Combined with the thermal properties and insulation of the boot, a lot of the heat will stay present inside well after you’ve left the room.
Finally, boot bags. Just like pre-heating your boots prior to wearing them out onto the mountain, a heated boot bag keeps your boots warm so you’re not dipping your toes into cold boots that have been sitting in the trunk of your car for the last hour. Heated boot bags also will aid in drying out your gear.
Some boot bags can be heated by plugging the contraption into your car’s cigarette lighter or an outlet in your hotel room or lobby. Imagine heating and drying out your boots as you enjoy some lunch. Even better, this is a nice way to warm up some of your other clothing as well.
Why Be Cold?
We all love hot chocolate, but lift tickets are pricey. So isn’t it better to stay out on the mountain for as long as you can as opposed to heading indoors to warm up? With heated clothing you’ll be able to maintain a nice temperature so you can enjoy more time and be more comfortable while skiing or snowboarding.