Cold? Forget Layering, Get the Ring

An extremity-warming system developed for snipers and helicopter pilots may provide just what the cold-weather angler needs most: warm fingers. The system relies on a high-tech ring which transmits data to a vest that responds by raising the body’s core temperature. “‘When the trunk gets cold, it draws the heat from the extremities into the core. So what this thing is doing is the very opposite,’ Mr. Rodgers said. ‘When it notices that the hands are getting cold, it extends the heat into the core, which allows more to go back to the extremities. That’s kind of neat, actually.'” And it might actually remove the idea of threading size 22 flies in the snow from the realm of fantasy. Chris Lambie in the Halifax, Nova Scotia Chronicle Herald.

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  • Marshall,
    The only part of this that is “new” is the sensor ring using Bluetooth tech to control the thermostat in the heating vest.
    The idea of heating the core to keep the extremities warm is not a new approach to outdoor survival or comfort enthusiasts. Deer hunters, motorcyclists, snowmobilers, and others have been using this concept for a long time. And for the past couple of decades, they’ve been using battery-powered heating elements in core clothing (vests, base layers, etc.) for a boost. Most were homemade until very recently. And most were controlled manually by a simple on/off switch that they could get to. In the past couple of years, I’ve seen a few “new” products hit the market targeting snowmobilers and skiers such as solar and battery-powered heated ski pants, jackets, and gloves. They are ridiculously expensive and touted as a brand new concept based on “emerging technology.” That’s kind of funny to me and a bunch of old Ozarks hillbillies I’ve met in the woods over the years.
    The biggest problem with the products I’ve seen is going to be durability. Stuff made to MILSPEC won’t likely have that problem. But consumer-grade heated ski gloves? I’d like to see those last more than a day or two! And why these brainiacs who are investing in bringing this stuff to market have overlooked deer hunters, ice fishermen, and duck hunters is beyond my comprehension. They obviously didn’t hire a very good marketing consultant during R&D.
    I’m not so sure the Bluetooth ring sensor on the finger is the best way to go for the outdoorsman. I can see it for a helicopter pilot or sniper (for whom it was designed). But a simple toggle switch that can be easily accessed by the wearer to turn the stuff on/off at will should suffice and be more reliable for the typical outdoorsman. Also, I’m not so sure anglers would want to be sticking their hands in the water with an expensive sensor ring on their finger.