My Jacket & My “Back to the Future” Hoverboard

There are few things that I am still waiting to have explained to me:

– What was Willis “Talkin’ ’bout”?
– Why was Smurfette the only girl smurf?
– Where is my “Back To The Future” hoverboard?

These are the questions that shouldn’t keep a fashion blogger up at night. I should be kept up because I’m pondering, how I am going to get me one of D&G’s spring red leather jackets used in their current campaign? I was reminded of my unanswered childhood questions when I got a delivery from UPS a few weeks before The Super Bowl in Indianapolis. I was exhausted from working and really wanted to sleep as late as possible. (I also may have befriended Patrón the night before). I opened the door to see a smiling face handing me a significantly-sized box. I almost just let it sit on the floor until I wanted to wake up, but I am still a kid inside and had to open the package.

Inside the box was a “Circuit Breaker: Omni-Heat Electric Jacket”. I realized two things: 1) I will never complain about winter cold again and 2) The jacket would be the closest thing I would get to my hoverboard dream.

Before I continue I should add: Columbia sent me the jacket as a promotional gift to keep some of the members of “The Social 46” warm and to experience the technology. The gift in no way was an exchange for social media promotion. The gift had no connection with Pattern Indy. The product I found interesting enough to share with my readers.

I am familiar with Columbia as a popular active wear company, who uses technology to benefit the quality of their product. What guy wouldn’t love Columbia purely based off their motto: “Trying stuff since 1938”. I have owned one product from Columbia and it was a pullover. Columbia contacted some members of Social 46 to ask what our sizes were so we could check out their “Omni-Heat” technology. I figured it would be a pullover or a track jacket. Not to mention I had no idea what “Omni-Heat” technology meant. Instead I received the most technically equipped jacket I’ve ever owned. Here is why it is interesting for the fashion community: The world is moving closer and closer to hoverboard status. Fabrics and construction methods are getting more technical. We need to keep our eyes open to what is changing in regards to the use of technology in garment function, fabric, and construction.

The jacket tag reads:
– Heat on demand at the push of a button
– Two battery packs
– USB charging capability
– 5-7 hours of battery life
– Omni-Heat reflective technology included

I automatically figured it would be a bulky, ill-fitting jacket, like the majority of men’s winter jackets. Instead, I was surprised that there was creative use of stitching and a wide range of color options for the it. The jacket isn’t a bad fit for men, but I would’ve liked a little more shape in the torso. It has a really cool metallic liner that helps trap dry heat and repel moist heat. The metallic liner won me over before I understood how smart the fabric was. Colombia explains Omni-Heat technology better.

The only thing to get use to is the weight of the jacket due to the two battery packs inside the jacket. Quickly, you stop noticing the slight extra weight. The battery packs serve two purposes: 1) To charge your phone if it uses a USB cable and 2) Heat the jacket when turned on by the Tron-like button on the front of the jacket (Yes, it glows when activated). The jacket is like your own personal heater you can walk around with, and is pretty much the reason I will never complain about being cold during Midwest winters.

The garment construction side is just as smart as the two battery packs and lining. Columbia has used waterproof zippers to keep all of the electronics working well after a tumble down the slopes or a snowball fight. The seaming in the jacket is also waterproof, so no worries of water sneaking in through the stitching. With so much heat being transmitted inside the jacket, the designers at Columbia included zippers in the armpit areas of the jacket to release some of the heat. Tres smart, Columbia.

Although I’m still upset that it’s 2012 and I still don’t have a hoverboard, the technology in my jacket definely makes up for it. So can anyone please explain what Willis was talking about?

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