I’ve reviewed lots of coats and jackets here on Wild Tide but I’ve never reviewed a jacket like the Men’s Heated Hoodie by 8K Flexwarm. What makes this jacket so incredible is that it is self heating and actually creates heat to keep you warm. So, when I was offered the opportunity create this review, I lept at the chance. 8K Flexwarm have provided a heated jacket for review, but as always all views and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
I think it’s really important when reviewing high-end and premium products, like the 8K Flexwarm Heated Jacket, to really put them through their paces and make sure they are worth their price tag. In order to get a really good idea of how the jacket stands up to constant use, I took it away with me on our recent trip to a cold and wintery Belgium.
During our time there, we explored the countries biggest cities Brussels and Antwerp as well as picturesque and more rural spots like Bruges, Ghent and Flanders. A week of wearing this jacket everyday, as well as regular wearing once we got home, has given me a really good insight which I can now pass on to you.
The first thing I noticed about the jacket when it arrived was its good fit and stylish cut. An insulated jacket such as this can easily make you look quite pudgy if it’s too baggy and not well fitted. Luckily, 8K have done a really good job with this jacket and it fits really nicely. It also has a simple, modern design, which looks smart and stylish without creating unnecessary fuss.
Available in black, green, silver and navy, you can choose a colour to suit you. All of the jackets have colour coded zips on the chest and pockets. The chest zip has been designed with a very simplistic look and 8K’s choice of colours and colour coding really helps with this.
I personally went for the navy jacket as I feel like navy really goes with most other colours and is quite versatile looking good, everywhere and anywhere. Other nice features include elasticated, ribbed cuffs, which do a brilliant job of keeping the heat inside the jacket.
8K make these Flexwarm jackets in both hooded and non-hooded versions. Personally, I think the hooded version is the obvious choice as it provides extra protection from the cold around your neck and head. So, I opted for that, but it is all down to personal preference and the non-hooded jacket would allow to add another, water-proof layer over the top easily.
One minor drawback of the 8K Flexwarm is that it isn’t fully waterproof and is just suitable for light showers. I found that it worked very well in light rain, although the sheer fact that it has wires and electrical components made me a little worried when it really started to rain and I must admit I did use an umbrella to keep most of the rain off! These jackets are best used for cold, dry weather but are also thin and lightweight enough to be worn underneath a waterproof jacket.
Let’s get to the important bit – the heating element! It is powered by a 7500mAh Power Bank which is included with the jacket. This is stored in a small internal pocket on the left hand side of the jacket. It is pretty small for a power bank of that capacity although you can still feel it inside the jacket, however, you do quickly forget it is there. It has been designed to be slim, which is great as it doesn’t spoil the silhouette and close-fitting design of the jacket.
The Men’s 8K Flexwarm heated hoodie jacket is ultra-lightweight, weighing in at just 556 grams and an additional 173 grams for the battery. I was very impressed at how thin the jacket is and how much like a normal jacket it feels, considering it contains electrical heating elements. Traditional carbon fibre heating methods contain thick, spaced out wires are uncomfortable and allow for cold spots.
8K have created their own Flexwarm heating technology, which is an incredibly thin (just 5mm!) heating layer that provides very quick warmth over three heating zones. What is most impressive is how natural it feels and how it flexes naturally inside the jacket, making it as comfortable as any regular down jacket. I had expected a portable battery to not last very long when heating a coat. However, I was impressed by how energy-efficient the jacket is and even with it on full power, it lasted a full day. Turning it off and on again after it had warmed me up.
What I really like about the Flexwarm technology is how it is controllable. There is a front heatzone and a back heatzone and using two illuminated buttons on the left hand side of the jacket, you can choose to heat the front, back or both sections of the jacket. Not only this but you can also cycle through three different heat settings. I really like this as depending on how cold the day was, I could choose an appropriate heat setting.
Another great piece of design is that the front heating panels run underneath the front pockets, so your front two pockets act like hand warmers! I loved this and spent most of the week in Belgium with my hands warm and cosy in my pockets! If I was to critique the jacket at all, I’d say that personally I’d have rather the buttons were not illuminated on the outside of the coat or there was the option to turn off the lights. I know some people would really like this but I felt like it drew attention to an otherwise discreet yet highly technical item of clothing. Having said that, the illuminated buttons are down on the left-hand side and aren’t particularly noticeable.
For the real gadget lover, the 8K Flexwarm jacket has another trick up its sleeve! You can actually control the jacket from your phone using the Flexwarm app. After simply ‘pairing’ the jacket to your phone via Bluetooth (I never thought I’d Bluetooth a coat!), you can control all of the options easily from your phone! The Flexwarm heating inside the jacket has built-in sensors which enable the jacket to regulate its temperature to suit your surroundings. This means that if you go indoors into a building, the jacket will produce less heat to keep you at your optimal chosen temperature – very smart!
A final but brilliant feature of the jacket is that the lightweight power bank is dual-port and can simultaneously power and heat your jacket and deliver high-speed charging for your smartphone. When travelling and doing things like taking lots of photos, as well as using google maps and TripAdvisor, I find that my phone runs low on battery before the day is out. Having a jacket which I could use to charge my phone was really useful.
I absolutely love this jacket – when I first heard of heated jackets, they sounded like a bit of a gimmick. The Men’s 8K Flexwarm heated hoodie jacket is no such thing. It is a highly functional, stylish and very practical item of clothing. I loved how you could wear a sleek and classy looking jacket in cold weather as its heated elements and lightweight battery kept you warm all day long. The jacket is easily operated, works flawlessly and most of all, the coat itself is very comfortable with or without the heating on. I would wholeheartedly recommend this jacket to anyone who likes simple style and dislikes the cold!