The women's softshell vest (l) and men's jacket from Mobile Warming contain heating elements powered by small lithium-ion batteries that are sewn into each garment.
The 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, held Jan. 22-24 in Orlando, showcased thousands of new products great and small from hundreds of vendors. After walking the 10 miles of aisles in the Orange County Convention Center for two days, I've come up with a list of 10 products that caught my eye, and I'm rolling them out over a 10-day period. Here is the fifth one:
With most of the country in the deep freeze, it seems like a great time to explore clothes that can keep your warm on the golf course. I could name a dozen or more clothiers that produce outerwear that is easy to swing a club in while fighting off the wind and rain. But to me, the one company that stands out in making golfwear for those most challenging days on the course is Mobile Warming.
Based in Milwaukee, Mobile Warming creates golf clothes – as well as separate lines for motorcyclists and general outdoors enthusiasts – with a unique feature. They contain portable heating units powered by batteries that are sewn into each piece.
Specifically, the company's products – which also include a heated back wrap, heated mitts and even a heated golf cart seat – use what Mobile Warming calls far-infrared heat (FIR) and ultra-fine metal fiber heating technologies that provide active heat through a portable power-supply in the form of a small lithium-ion battery. Each garment contains heating panels on the chest and back lined with steel alloy fibers that insulate the upper body quickly and for up to 10 hours.
The Mobile Warming line of golfwear includes a rain jacket, softshell jacket, heated shirt and a sleeveless vest that the company says was designed with input from PGA Professionals. Among the benefits of these garments is that the heating system keeps the upper-body muscles warm and loose, and eliminates the need for multiple layers that can restrict the full-swing motion.
The battery units have a built-in control so wearers can choose from among four different levels of heat and, the company says, the batteries can be recharged 500 times (a charger is included). Each garment is made from lightweight Windshark fabric, which is waterproof, windproof and stretchable. And in case you were wondering, the garments conform to USGA rules.
Some of the pieces, like the heated shirts, can – and should – be worn under regular outwear. The shirts in particular are made of a stretchy antibacterial fabric designed to wick away perspiration, and even have mesh side inserts to help you regulate your temperature.
The price range for Mobile Warming gear ranges from $219.99 for rain jackets down to $159.99 for heated shirts and softshell vests, and there are lines for both men and women. They are available at select retailers and at www.MobileWarmingGear.com.