It’s really, really cold in PyeongChang, so Team USA has special jackets with heating technology. Yes, for real.
The Ralph Lauren jackets are equipped with special technology that will keep U.S. athletes nice and warm at the upcoming Opening Ceremony. If you want one for yourself, it won’t come cheap.
After the jackets sold out online in mere minutes, they quickly — and predictably — popped up on eBay with listing prices ranging from $2,830 to nearly $7,000 (face value was $2,495). Yikes.
What makes these jackets so special? Here’s how Ralph Lauren describes the impressive heating technology, which is all packed in an American flag-designed panel:
Thanks to an American flag, on the interior back panel, printed via a highly advanced, conductive carbon and silver ink, each jacket has the ability to augment the natural warmth of 750-fill-power down with modern technology. The water-repellent jackets are equipped with a slender battery pack with three heat settings (that lasts up to 11 hours at full charge), allowing athletes to maximize their own comfort based on outside conditions—and internal excitement.
The heat is controlled completely by the athlete. The folks at CNET were able to try it out:
Hidden beneath the jacket’s puffy padding is a thin power cord that starts at the panel and snakes its way down to the right-side front pocket. Open the pocket, and you’ll find a wad of cords and a removable, rechargeable battery pack emblazoned with the Polo logo.
The battery pack controls the heat settings with two simple buttons. One turns it on, the other is a large, glove-friendly button to toggle between low and high heat.
The biggest challenge for the designers was adding the heating element without the interference of bulky wiring setups. The design team all made sure the required battery pack did not pack on additional weight to the jacket.
“Other heated garments are available, but they are heavy and full of stiff wires,” said Michael Burrows, a global venture leader for DuPont, who helped with the design. “Ralph Lauren was looking for something better.”
Added David Lauren: “This time, the team took it to a new level, using flexible fabrics to heat a jacket in a way that we had never seen before. Beyond adding extra warmth, the technology added a modernity to the iconic style of the Olympic and Paralympic outfits. And the American flag pattern was a clever touch.”
Pretty cool, huh? Too bad they won’t be more easily accessible.
More Olympic coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• U.S. speed skater Shani Davis angry over not being name flag-bearer
• Shaun White found similiarities between himself and Michael Phelps in ’14
• Twitter reacts to openly gay U.S. figure skater declining to meet with VP Mike Pence
• North Korea’s Olympic participation might be violating international sanctions
• At DMZ, scars remain even as South Korea tries to heal
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