While I can’t speak for all of you, here in Chicago we’re still definitely getting hit with tastes of winter (interspersed with some very spring-like weather). In fact, as I write this, we’ve got a winter storm on the way. That means I’ll have my heavier down coat in play, but if you don’t want the bulk, then something like the Tranzend Ultra Coat may be what you’re looking for.
To look at the Tranzend Ultra Coat, it looks like your standard sort of outer shell jacket – something you’d use for protection from the rain, or as an outer layer on top of something warm. Well, the brand is claiming that this is actually all the jacket you need. How’s that? Well, you see, it’s got itself a battery pack that you can leverage.
By pressing the button on the inner chest portion of the jacket, you’ll start drawing electrons from that battery pack and pumping them out to panels in the coat that will provide you heat, at one of three pre-defined labels. In that way, they don’t have to have a lot of bulky insulation, allowing the jacket to have a slimmer profile. Depending on the level of warmth you’re requiring, the battery pack is supposed to last between 4 and 13 hours.
What I find curious is that they really don’t talk much about this battery pack, other than duration and the fact that it’s a 5V. Which puts me in mind of your standard sort of external battery pack for charging up anything over USB. So, here’s to hoping it’s a standard connector, so you could swap in another one if you needed, or even use the jacket to put some juice to your phone. It does seem that it should be removable, as the jacket itself is machine washable.
So, that’s the “tech” angle on the Tranzend Ultra Coat. Past that, it’s got a lot of the functionality that you’d want from a piece of outwear – 4-way stretch, waterproofness, and windproof. All of that sounds like a jacket that won’t breathe, but they’re claiming that their woven eco-friendly (from some up-cycled source) material is breathable, though you won’t know that for sure until you try it out yourself.
The Kickstarter for the Tranzend Ultra Coat is running now, and closes out on March 23, 2020. As of this writing, the campaign is only at about 35% funded, which I suppose makes sense. It’s a brand no-one has heard of, so of course you’re going to have questions around how the jacket performs and how robust those warming panels (read: how long will they last?) actually are. Earlybird pricing starts at $299 so it’s not a small roll of the dice you’re taking here. It’s a clever – and very work/dressier approach to staying warm in the winter. Unless some impartial reviews come out about it, though, this one may have trouble crossing that funding goal. campaign page
Tech Specs from Tranzend
- Eco-Friendly: Ultra Coat’s breathable material is made from recycled plastic bottles and coffee grounds.
- Self-Heating Technology
- Tri-zone heating panels connect to a portable 5V power bank.
- With one panel on each side of the front zipper and a third on the back, a controller offers three heat settings for optimal comfort.
- Battery power will last between 4 and 13 hours.
- Weather-Sealed Construction
- The eco-friendly yarn is tightly woven, ensuring Ultra Coat is odor-free, moisture-wicking, and windproof.
- Durable water repellent technology creates a high water pressure resistant membrane.
- A stitched-in interior snow skirt keeps cold air and snow from coming in the bottom of the coat, no matter the activity.
- Additional Features
- Laser cut microfiber pockets at sides and wrists keep hands warm and belongings secure.
- Magnetic earbud holder at the end of the collar keeps earbuds close.
- Detachable, magnetic hood is attached and removed easily, making Ultra Coat perfect for any occasion.
- Available in sizes S to 3XL, Ultra Coat is also machine washable and dryer safe.