The 8 Best Heated Jackets
8. Venture Heat Men's Liner
7. Duran Heated Hoodie
6. DeWalt DCHJ061C1-S Max
5. Volt Women's Cracow
4. Bosch PSJ120M-102
3. Ororo Women's Slim-Fit
2. Milwaukee 2395-2X Black
1. Ororo Men's
The Effects Of Cold Weather On The Body
The human body seems to enjoy temperatures between around 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Any warmer or colder than this, and the body’s thermoregulation mechanisms kick in to balance it out. Average changes in weather patterns are easily regulated by these responses with no additional help. However, extremes changes in temperature can be devastating and require outside intervention to avoid potentially serious situations.
Prolonged exposure to cold weather can produce noticeable changes in the body. One commonly known consequence of exposure to cold weather is hypothermia. Older adults and young children are more at risk for hypothermia, but symptoms can appear in anyone who is outdoors in the cold for extended periods of time. Even prolonged exposure to mildly cold weather can cause symptoms of hypothermia. Cold weather also has a suppressive effect on the immune system, making it much easier for pathogens to invade the body.
Shivering is another symptom of exposure to cold weather. Shivering is a signal that the body is losing too much heat and needs warmth immediately. The body is trying to protect its core temperature by sending signals to the muscles to rapidly contract. This consumes calories and generates heat, but the effect is not enough to keep the body warm. Seeking shelter and adding warmer layers stops shivering in most cases. People with cardiovascular issues may also be more at risk during colder months. Cold weather is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it narrows the blood vessels. This can make it harder for the body to pump blood, and may increase the risk of heart attack in some people. Staying warm can help relax the blood vessels and may lower the stress on the heart.
Colder months can also influence some surprising secondary effects on the body. The reduction in sunlight exposure in colder months can reduce testosterone and sex drive in males. It is important to protect the body against the effects of cold weather by properly layering clothing and supplementing the body’s heat with external heat sources like heated jackets.
Choosing The Best Heated Jacket
Heated jackets can easily take the place of multiple layers of clothing in a cold environment when used correctly. It is important to base the decision to purchase any jacket on fulfilling the individual’s specific needs and preferences. The first thing to consider when purchasing a heated jacket is the fabric it is made from and the insulation it will provide. Some models are made of more breathable fabrics, and are meant to be used in moderate temperatures or areas where there is little wind.
Other fabrics are designed to withstand high winds, but may not provide as much cushion or comfort as desired. There are even fabrics that can provide both high insulation and comfort. This is a great benefit for extremely cold climates, but may be too hot for many circumstances. Even in cold environments, it is possible to get exertional heat stroke due to a high core temperature.
Another consideration when deciding among heated jackets is where and how the jacket works on the body. Some models are designed to fit over all other layers of clothing and protect the body against the elements. These may be great for cyclists or anyone exposed to high winds. Other models are designed to lie closer to the skin. Workers with required uniforms may find these jackets particularly useful. There are also jackets that can be used to work out comfortably in cold weather.
Power sources will be another important issue. Some heated jackets come equipped with rechargeable battery packs, while others require the use of an external power source, such as constant connection to a 12V outlet. Certain models also allow the user to simultaneously charge a mobile device through a USB port in the jacket while wearing it. Additional perks like this may make the difference between a happy investment and buyer’s regret.
Tips For Keeping The Body Warm With A Heated Jacket
A high-quality heated jacket is an indispensable modern comfort. Yet, it cannot be expected to keep the entire body warm by itself. The best way to ensure continued happiness with a heated jacket is to also employ other methods of keeping the body warm. Understanding how the process of heat transfer works will provide a better idea of how best to utilize tools like heated jackets. Conduction is the transfer of heat between two solid surfaces that are in contact with each other. This is how warmth from a heated jacket reaches the body. Convection is the process of transferring heat between a solid mass and a fluid or gas. A cold wind lowering the body’s temperature is an act of convection.
The most common way to protect the body from cold air temperatures is by putting on additional layers of clothes, which acts as insulation against convection. The cold air outside tries to reach the body, but is caught in the outermost layers of clothing. Thick inner layers of clothing, such as long underwear made of cotton or wool, help recycle the body’s heat. Adding external layers like heated jackets also protects against conduction from external surfaces like cold walls.
Eating is another great way to keep warm in cold weather. Eating more calories than the body can typically burn helps it handle the cold better. Excess fat stores provide insulation against the cold, and the body can burn these to stay warm. Alcohol should be avoided in very cold weather. While alcohol may raise the spirits and make a person feel warmer temporarily, it can actually drop the core temperature of the body, making it harder to stay warm.
The best way to deal with cold weather is being prepared for it at all times. Acclimating the body to cold and engaging in prolonged exercise can help keep the core temperature up when cold weather hits. Keeping a vehicle stocked with warm items like heated jackets, emergency blankets, and an extra layer of dry clothes can prepare people for most cold weather.