German company Novonic is looking to take on Ardica to win as portable heat supplier to the outdoor industry. Through a combination of innovative textiles and electronics, Novonic has created the first flexible, conductive fabric that can be used to not only transmit heat but also for numerous applications such as transmitting data, blocking radiation or measuring your pulse.
Novonic has taken their washable, conductive fabric and woven panels into a micro-fleece vest with mesh interior and a windproof, breathable laminate membrane. Connected to a rechargeable lithium ion battery pack and controller, heat can be delivered to the vest at the push of a button.
Weighing just 120 grams, the battery pack is light and delivers 7.4V at 2200 mAh. Two levels of heat can produce temps of between 93ºF and 108ºF by simply pressing the button. An LED on the controller shows the current heat level as well as battery charge status.
Rossignol uses Novonic in their Hit Jacket series. Four heating panels are integrated into the jacket's lining (torso, sleeves, collar) and are linked to the rechargeable battery controller stored in the left pocket of the jacket. When you feel cold, simply turn on the system by pressing the button and the warming panels heat up in a 20 minute operating cycle. This can be repeated up to 6 times on one battery charge.
The Novonic solution appears to be a much lighter weight option for delivering portable heat than the Ardica Moshi system used by Mountain Hardwear and Spyder. You don't have the coolness factor of being able to charge your iPhone at the same time however as you do with Ardica. But do you really need that?