Launched this fall, LifeLabs is a fledgling outerwear company that claims its thermally efficient technical apparel is the warmest jacket on Earth.
LifeLabs is a new high-end technical apparel company that focuses on cold-weather outfitting as a means to more sustainable consumer practices.
It demonstrates its “conservation through thermal efficiency” philosophy with the just-released MegaWarm Jacket. Particularly, LifeLabs claims that its MegaWarm Jacket is not just sustainable but also the warmest technical jacket — period.
We haven’t yet seen the MegaWarm jacket in person. And until we have a chance to test it, we’re skeptical of its utility in technical situations such as polar travel. It’s simply difficult to guess how it will stand up to days of hard use, frigid environments, condensation, and other unforeseen factors. We look forward to testing.
But science may indicate that LifeLabs’ MegaWarm is, in fact, the warmest jacket available. Here’s what we know.
The MegaWarm Jacket
According to LifeLabs’ “The Science Behind MegaWarm” page, its MegaWarm Jacket received a 9.25 CLO insulation rating in laboratory tests. That number makes the MegaWarm toastier than the next-warmest coat, the 7-pound Canada Goose Snow Mantra (which also lauds itself as the “warmest coat on Earth”) by almost 40%.
Researchers developed the CLO system in the 1940s to measure how insulative an article of clothing is. The scale has long been an industry standard for manufacturers.
The system is based on what’s required to keep someone comfortable while standing in a room at 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% humidity. For reference, a thick sweater typically delivers 0.35 CLO.
To achieve a 9.25 CLO, the MegaWarm uses “ethically sourced,” 800-fill-power goose down. And less than a paperclip’s worth of aluminum makes up a thermal nanocoating.
But it sounds like powerful stuff. The brand claims that the jacket’s nanocoating reflects 100% of a person’s radiant body heat back to the skin. LifeLabs’ thermal technology means that the MegaWarm Jacket is ultralight and packable.
In keeping with the company’s sustainability commitment, the jacket uses 91% recycled materials by weight. LifeLabs treats the shell with a PFC-Free DWR coating. And LifeLabs uses compostable packaging for all of its products.
The MegaWarm Jacket ($399) is available in unisex sizes XS, S, M, L, and XL.
A Bit About LifeLabs Proprietary Tech
Dr. Yi Cui founded LifeLabs. Cui is a materials science and engineering professor at Stanford University and director of the school’s Precourt Institute for Energy, which focuses on climate and sustainability research.
In 2017, Dr. Cui founded EEnotech Inc., a nanotechnology firm that develops sustainable solutions to environmental issues, including water purification, grid energy storage, and intelligent wearable textiles. LifeLabs is a spinoff of EEnotech’s textiles division that commercializes two proprietary technologies: CoolLife and WarmLife.
‘Tis the season to bundle up, so the company’s initial collection utilizes Cui’s WarmLife tech. We would expect the CoolLife tech to make its premiere in warmer months.