When science meets design, the possibilities are endless. That's the intersection occupied by LifeLabs, a US-based materials science company that researches, tests, and develops textiles to create outerwear that changes how we think about fabrics and their environmental impacts. Guided by CEO Scott Mellin, the former global VP of mountain sports at The North Face, LifeLabs leans into a motto well known to modern design lovers the world over—less is more. Case in point, the hyper minimalist MegaWarm Jacket.
Accoridng to LifeLabs, the MegaWarm is the world's warmest jacket, which is as bold a statement as they come. But LifeLabs affirms that the tech inside its stitches makes it true. Do we believe them? We'd like to, but as any journalist and/or outdoorist knows, it always pays to harbor at least a little skepticism. Let’s break it down and find out what truly makes this jacket unique (and so damn warm, reportedly).
Firstly, the MegaWarm Jacket is fully suited with a waterproof and patented metalized shell and an efficient and lightweight construction that allows for freedom of movement despite the massive puff factor. Meanwhile, the MegaWarm elevates the standard for insulated apparel with a CLO rating (the metric system used to measure the warmth levels of various materials) of 9.25, the highest rating of any jacket in existence.
LifeLabs acheived such a high rating by mixing 800-fill goose down insulation in a boxed baffle layout with its proprietary WarmLife technology. WarmLife is a fabric innovation wherein the jacket reflects radiant body heat back at the wearer using a very small amount of aluminum—about as much as is in a paper clip, according to LifeLabs. The result, the company says, is a jacket that's 30% warmer than similar designs.
Beyond warmth, the jacket has a fully adjustable hood and lined hand warmer pockets, plus a rib-knit baseball collar and rib-knit cuffs that seal in heat.
So, is this the world’s warmest jacket? Tough to say without testing it ourselves. But from the provided materials we can conclude the science checks out, and that it sure looks pretty dang sleek for an oversized puffy jacket. Until we get our hands on one we'll just have to take the materials scientist and chemist who founded the brand at their word.
(Sidebar: TRUST THE SCIENTISTS!)