This startup wants you to survive winter using solar powered jackets


As this winter’s comically mild temperatures continue to shock New Englanders, Houston-based startup, ThermalTech, offers a comforting solution to the feared winter that may or may not lie ahead. Headed by cofounders Carlos Cortes Manica and Fatima Rocha Arguelles, the startup’s team of highly equipped engineers has released a patented solar absorbing jacket designed to keep its inhabitants warm with a lightweight feel.  

ThermalTech has launched an initial Indiegogo campaign where buyers can choose one of the three different gendered style coats at $149 a piece.  The multicolored “Street” and “Explorer” jackets are intended for 30 to 55 degree Fahrenheit, while the “Extreme” offers a more intense option for temperatures dipping as low as 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

ThermalTech has embedded a stainless steel fiber into the coat, which has the potential to revolutionize the outerwear industry. According to a video released by ThermalTech, the fiber generates an additional 18 degrees of heat to the coat’s wearer in only two minutes, capturing energy and body heat to produce optimal temperature levels. In addition to the lightweight design, the company has promised that the jacket is weather and waterproof, making it an ideal selection for winter recreational use as well.

This Indiegogo campaign is not the first development we have seen in the solar clothing industry.  Designer Tommy Hilfiger partnered with solar invention and manufacturing company, Pvilion, to release a solar powered jacket intended to charge a mobile device in 2014.  This high-end designer exclusive was available for a much steeper $600, but still sold out in a matter of months. The Hilfiger coat included retractable solar panels, which lined the shoulders of the men’s cut and the upper-back of the women’s fit. The panels connected to a small battery pack in the front pocket equipped with two USB ports to charge an iPhone or other mobile device on the go.

In a period where renewable energy innovation is becoming more efficient and affordable, solar clothing developments have bridged a gap between renewable technology and practicality.  ThermalTech, like many other clothing brands, is capitalizing on a market period where sustainability is very much (pun intended) a hot industry.  The solar absorbing jacket has taken what Hilfiger’s earlier design attempted to accomplish and added something even more attractive—affordability. So whether it’s to combat the fear of the winter that inevitably lurks ahead or the global warming that has us wearing shorts in January, trade in your Canada Goose and consider ThermalTech’s solar powered jacket this season.