Power Bank Basics
The battery used in heated clothing is just as important as the heating elements. When considering heated apparel, the weight, voltage and runtime of the battery are a factor that you should absolutely consider. Let’s have a quick look at these factors and why they are important:
This is a big consideration because an overly heavy battery can impact the comfort and functionality of the jacket. Large batteries can get in the way and make the jacket feel cumbersome and uncomfortable. A low profile, lightweight battery will not get in the way when you are out and about.
Battery weight will vary depending on the product. While a Gobi heated jacket comes with a battery that only weighs 8.39 ounces, a Ravean jacket battery comes in much heavier at 1.06 pounds. In general, the lighter the battery the better. Check the specifications of any jacket (or any other heated garment) to determine the battery weight and avoid those with a heavy power source.
The voltage not only determines how warm the jacket will get, it is also directly related to the weight of the battery. The bigger the voltage, the heavier the battery. The battery voltage will vary depending on the manufacturer and the product type but in most cases, it will be a 3.7 volt 5 volt 7.4 volt, or 12-volt battery.
Items such as heated socks tend to have smaller 3.7 batteries while a jacket may use a 12-volt battery. We recommend sticking with a 7.4-volt battery for jackets if possible as a 12-volt battery can feel a bit heavy.
This is how much power the portable charger holds in total. This number is usually measured in milliamp hours (mAh). As an example, many pocket power banks have capacity ratings up to 10,000 mAh while larger power banks can have ratings over 20,000 mAh.
The term mAh stands for Milliamp Hours and it indicates how long a battery will last if power is drawn constantly from the power bank. As an example, a 3000 mAh battery will power a device drawing 100 mAh for 30 hours. This rating will impact how long a power bank will run your heated gear as well.
This is the amount of power that is required to recharge the power bank itself. In most cases, the battery input ranges from 1Amp up to 2.4Amps. When it comes to input, the bigger the number, the faster it will charge so a 2.4-amp power bank will charge your device twice as fast as a 1-amp portable charger.
This refers to the amount of power the charger can give to other devices, and it will impact how quickly it will charge your device. This is usually measured in amps and watts. As an example:
1 AMP/ 5WATT power bank: This will charge a smartphone and tablet but it may charge them a bit slowly, this is not the ideal power bank for charging a phone or other device.
2.4 AMP / 12WATT: A power bank with these specifications will charge most smartphones and tablets at the fastest possible speed and will easily power heated gear.
4.8 AMP / 24WATT: This is one of the fastest power bank speeds and will easily charge two tablets simultaneously.
As technology continues to change, these ratings continue to head up, leading to quicker charging times.
This is the type of socket or connector that the power bank includes. In most cases, the power bank will have more than one port. These can include a USB-C port as well as a USB-A port. In some cases, the power bank may also charge devices wirelessly.
Another major factor with heated clothing batteries is runtime or how long they will keep your clothing warm. The voltage of the battery will impact runtime so there can be a trade-off between weight and runtime.
As an example, Gobi Heat, which uses a 7.4-volt battery claims they get 10 hours on low setting, 8 hours on medium, and 6 hours on high while an Ororo jacket which also uses a 7.4-volt battery gets 3 hours on high, 6 hours on medium, and 10 hours on the low heating setting.
The importance of battery runtime really depends on how you use your heated clothing. If you plan on being out in the cold for an 8-hour workday, a long runtime will be more important than if you only use it to shovel your walk after a snowstorm.
Charging a heated jacket battery is as simple as plugging the battery into a standard wall socket or in some cases, a car outlet. Charging time will vary depending on the product and manufacturer but in expect to need 3 to 4 hours of charging time to fully charge a heated clothing battery. Some brands, Gobi is an example, come with a car outlet charger so you can charge your heated clothing on the move.