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Gear Review: Radiance Jacket by Mountain Hardwear

If you are looking forward to Winter but not the cold that accompanies it, Mountain Hardwear has constructed a jacket for you. The Radiance Jacket ($230) is pre-wired for the Ardica Moshi Power System ($145).

When fully charged, the battery powered energy pack will keep you warm for a little over eight and a half hours when set on the low setting and three hours when set for high. The heater fits into an internal pocket in the back of the jacket that sits between your scapula with extra heating coils in the front just above the pockets. Simply pressing the black button on the top of the jacket turns on the heater. The contrast between the lightweight jacket and the stiff battery is quite noticeable though. Known for their lightweight yet warm jackets (I ski in an older version of the company's Flip Jacket), the power system makes the jacket heavy.

I sat in my cold house (why houses in Northern California aren't well insulated is beyond me) and cranked the jacket to the high setting and was quite toasty. I was sweating in minutes. I have no doubt it would keep me warm on the slopes or sitting at a snowy football game, I am not sure I want to pay $375 to stay warm. Think of all the hot chocolate you could buy, even overpriced ski lodge cocoa, with that kind of dough.

If you're an electronics junkie, the jacket will charge them. To learn how

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The left pocket of the jacket houses a USB cable, they come with a variety of adapters making it useful for charging your iPhone, iPod, camera, or BlackBerry. The Ardica System takes more than a few hours to fully charge, but it can fully charge your phone multiple times once it's charged.

I think the concept of a warming jacket that helps you stay wired (or at least charged) is cool, but I am not completely sold on the technology. While the jacket is cute and streamlined — it would fit well under a shell to keep for added wind and water protection — but if it is so cold that I need a heater to keep me warm riding up a mountain, I might just opt for a lodge day. What about you? What do you think of the Radiance Jacket?


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aistea311 aistea311 7 years
Hey Anonymous, exactly where do you see that someone wrote "Hardware" instead of "Hardwear"? Get your facts straight.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Oh man, this would be GREAT to wear when I go out with my husband on the snowmobiles or if we're going to be out by the lake when it's about 20 below out.
Camarogirl67 Camarogirl67 7 years
FitSugar - not sure if you're in the city or where you are in Norcal, but maybe because houses there are older? I'm in a cabin built in '46 near Lake Arrowhead and it's not insulated! Sorry, OT.
amandaaa amandaaa 7 years
i think this is pretty cool...i live in chicago and it gets freezing. and it's pretty cool that it can charge your phone too. but that's pretty expensive!!
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
Architect here. This would be awesome for doing field work outside in the winter! We use hand and foot warmers, but this would make things warmer. If it went down and covered your bum, it would be even more ideal!!!
Beaner Beaner 7 years
I live in VT and when skiing or snowshoeing, I start off cold, but get so hot with just my regular coat that I'd be overheating with a heated jacket. Seems like a cool idea for riding the chair lift, but then I'd turn it off once I started skiing. But then again, I'm too cheap to spend almost $400.
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