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Is This the World’s Warmest Jacket?

A recently launched material science company and apparel brand is claiming credit for creating the world’s warmest jacket.

LifeLabs, a textile innovator and lifestyle label created by Stanford University scientist Dr. Yi Cui, released the MegaWarm puffer jacket on Wednesday. The product makes use of the company’s thermally efficient technology, dubbed WarmLife, which was developed to reflect human-generated radiant heat back toward the wearer’s body.

The company, which Cui founded in 2016 to help consumers save energy related to heating and cooling, released its first lifestyle products in October. LifeLabs’ apparel offerings leverage technology like WarmLife, which uses a nano-layer of aluminum to coat polyester, nylon, cotton and other material blends, fully redirecting body heat instead of allowing it to escape. The result? Garments that keep wearers warmer both indoors and out, theoretically cutting heating costs and carbon emissions in the process.

The MegaWarm jacket has received the highest CLO rating—used to measure the warmth and insulation provided by materials—on earth, LifeLabs said. With a score of 9.25 CLO, the product delivers 38 percent more warmth than a Canada Goose Snow Mantra jacket and its 6.70 CLO. It also ranks above The North Face‘s Summit AMK L6 Parka (6.06 CLO) and Arc’teryx’s Leaf Cold WX Parka SVX (7.91 CLO).

What’s more, the product was designed to retain heat without added bulk or weight, and is lighter and more packable than some other options on the market. (The MegaWarm jacket is 55 percent lighter than Canada Goose’s offering, for example.) Cutting down on material and resource usage also shrinks the product’s ecological footprint by 25 percent compared with standard alternatives, LifeLabs said.

LifeLabs' Megawarm jacket is lighter than comparable styles on the market, the brand said.
LifeLabs’ Megawarm jacket is lighter than comparable styles on the market, the brand said. LifeLabs

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“Remarkably light for its scale and coverage, the MegaWarm Jacket defies common standards for insulated apparel,” Cui said, noting that the jacket’s WarmLife technology employs “less than a paper clip’s worth of aluminum” to generate heat.

Cui, who helms Stanford University’s Precourt Institute for Energy, tapped The North Face alum Scott Mellin—who directed the development of the outdoor leader’s breathable, waterproof FutureLight technology—to inform LifeLabs’ product strategy as CEO this year.

Mellin said the MegaWarm jacket illustrates “our mission to reinvent how people think about performance and sustainable clothing.”

“MegaWarm is the warmest jacket in existence, with uniquely sustainable technology powering its warmth with less material and a lighter carbon footprint,” he said. “Our technology has the power to change the way we keep ourselves warm,” he said, adding that he sees “endless applications” for the technology in different climates and technical industries.