Subdued on the outside, wired and heated on the inside, Mountain Hardwear’s men’s Refugium and women’s Radiance jackets offer three on-demand heat settings and the capability to charge your iPod — or any electronics device — when its battery goes kaput.
Designed to be worn as a stand alone jacket or under a shell, the men’s version is available in neutral colors like black, “otter” (brownish) and blue. The women’s Radiance comes in black or white. Both have a causal look and cost $230. But that’s before you add the inner workings.
Inside the jacket, the pre-wired guts — provided by San Francisco-based Ardica Inc. — are prepared to make the heat and device-charging magic happen. But before you can say “abracadabra,” you’ll hear “cash or credit” one more time. Indeed, to fully enable these electronic jackets you first have to pony up an additional $145 for the battery pack and another $50 for a technology converter.
At $425 out the door, you have one of the most versatile jackets going. It has embedded heat modules to keep you warm and plug-ins found in inside pockets for charging electronics on the go. All this is powered by a battery pack from Ardica.
Weighing in at 1 lb. 8 oz., these jackets are not the lightest in their class. But on-demand heat translates to carrying and wearing fewer layers. And for those of you who want to go from first chair to last chair with the tunes going all day, it’s nice to have the backup of the battery charger.
The Refugium and Radiance will be available at limited stores — only 25 retailers so far, according to the company — starting October 1. www.mountainhardwear.com