Back in the summer, in the middle of the heatwave I got an email asking if I would like to try the 8K Flexwarm® heated jacket. ‘I would love to’ I replied, ‘but maybe not right now!’ Fast forward to November, and those scorching temperatures are far behind us, so now was the perfect time to test my new heated hooded jacket.
So first of all, here’s the technical bit…
What is Flexwarm?
Flexwarm® is a “unique, ultra-thin (0.5mm) printable heating element… printed and layered between the inner and outer layers of fabric to create 3 fully controllable heating zones.” “Adaptive sensor technology (AST) is one of our most significant features, while carbon fibre is unable to detect and control temperature accurately (as it has no sensors inside). Flexwarm® adapts to your environment. Ensuring that our apparel is always at the optimum level of warmth for your body.”
There are three products available for both men and women, a jacket, gilet and hoodie, in a variety of different colours. I was sent the women’s hoodie in navy and decided to give it its first try on a day out this weekend.
Before wearing any of the Flexwarm® heated jackets you need to make sure you charge the power bank which is supplied. This charges via USB with the included cable and then plugs into the special inside pocket in the jacket. The power bank has two USB sockets so you could also charge your phone at the same time as powering the jacket. It also has a handy torch built in!
Once the jacket is connected to the battery there are two ways to control the heating elements inside. There are two buttons on the side of the jacket – one which is used to turn it on and then set the temperature to low, medium or high. The other button allows you to either have the front, back or both elements turned on.
Alternatively you can connect the jacket to your smartphone via the Flexwarm® app. This allows you to control the temperatures of the front and back panels separately.
At this point I feel I need to address my big, and only, issue with the 8K Flexwarm jacket. That is the sizing. I understand that the jacket needs to be quite close fitting for you to get the benefit of the heated panels, but the sizing seems to be super small. I am a UK size 12/14, I ordered the XL women’s hoodie, which is the biggest size they make and it only just fastens on me. You can see from this picture how tight it is across the hips and I am wearing size 12 jeans in this picture.
The actual measurements in the size guide are not too far out (although a hip measurement would also be helpful) but I just think it’s a bit ridiculous that the biggest size available only fits up to a size 14 at a push. I guess if you were a woman needing a larger size you could buy one of the men’s jackets but I would like to see larger women’s sizes available in future.
The women’s jackets do have a slightly stretchy panel on the hips which allows for a bit more room for manoeuvre. The jackets also have a two way zip so I can unzip it from the bottom to have it a bit looser, especially when sitting down.
Is it warm?
So now we’ve got the sizing out of the way, the big question is does the 8k Flexwarm heated jacket actually keep you warm? Well yes it does! On the day these pictures were taken it wasn’t actually that cold and what I thought was good about the jacket was that it was reasonably warm even without the heating panels turned on. With the heating on low it kept me the perfect temperature. I have since worn my Flexwarm jacket on the school run – it was 1°C the other day and I turned the heating panels up to full. It kept me nice and toasty in the freezing playground!
The heating panels do take a little while to warm up (in around 6 minutes according to the website) but once they get up to temperature you can definitely tell. It’s not like having a hot water bottle under your jacket but more like the warmth you get from wearing a few layers or a much thicker jacket.
The temperature is easy to control either from the buttons on the jacket or from the app. To be honest I’ve found it easier just to use the buttons on the jacket. The app does give you more control over the temperature of the back heating panel as there is a slider to adjust rather than just low, medium and high.
The 8K Flexwarm is a great jacket if you spend a lot of time outdoors. I know I’ll be making the most of it on the chilly school runs this winter. There isn’t a lot of room to wear more layers underneath it but it’s slim enough to fit under a bigger jacket if you wanted something longer (I can’t be the only one that gets a cold bum!). The 8K Flexwarm isn’t fully waterproof either (although it is shower proof) so you could use it to keep warm under a thinner waterproof jacket too.
At £250 the 8K Flexwarm hoodie is definitely aimed at the outdoor market who will pay a premium for high performance products. If I’m completely honest I probably wouldn’t splash out that much myself to wear it on the school run but it certainly fulfills the brief if you are looking for a thin, lightweight but super warm outdoor jacket.
And if you’d like to get your hands on an 8K Flexwarm jacket of your own you can win one simply by completing the Rafflecopter below. Please note the prize will be one 8K Flexwarm jacket in black. The winner can choose a men’s (size S-L) or women’s (size XS – M) jacket.
8K Flexwarm jacket giveaway
Terms and conditions:
- Giveaway will run from 23/11/2018 until midnight on 16/12/2018.
- There is one prize to be won.
- The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
- One entry permitted per person.
- This giveaway is open to UK entries only.
- Entrants must be age 18 or over.
- Data controller for the purposes of this giveaway is Toby Goes Bananas. Your details will not be used for any other purpose than selecting/informing a winner.
- Winner’s details will be passed to 8K Flexwarm, who are responsible for sending out the prize.
- Entrants must enter by completing the Rafflecopter.
- All entries will be checked.
- The winner will be chosen at random from valid entries after the closing date
- The winner will be informed by email.
- Failure to respond within one week may result in a new winner being drawn.
- Once drawn, the winner’s name will be displayed on this blog post
- Entry into the giveaway will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
**Disclosure: I was provided with a 8K Flexwarm heated jacket in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.