Teacher’s Comments: Great for spring and fall rounds where the temperatures may swing wildly.
Serious golfers in Michigan play in cold weather. On any day when the ground is clear of snow, you’ll find golfers at local courses, bundled against the freezing air, plunking the ball from hole to hole. Cold weather golf presents a number of unique challenges, but none make the game as difficult as the layers of clothing which ward off frostbite, but prevent you from executing a regular swing. At times, golfers look like kid brother Randy from A Christmas Story or the Michelin Tire man.
What golfers really need is a jacket light and flexible enough to permit a regular golf swing, but warm enough to play in windy, 30-degree temperatures.
That technological miracle has arrived.
The Mobile Warming Rain Gear is a lightweight jacket that’s embedded with heating panels powered by a 7.4 volt rechargable lithium battery. Panels located over the chest and back keep the core areas warm enough to make even temperatures in the low thirties tolerable without extra layers of clothing.
Even better: the battery has four warmth settings, so as the air temperature rises, the jacket heat can scaled back.
In several tests of the Mobile Warming jacket this winter, I found that it works marvelously. On a couple of freezing rounds in January, I was quite comfortable with just a turtleneck and the Mobile Warming jacket on my core (I of course had a hat, earmuffs, gloves and lined pants). Indeed, I was actually too warm on both those rounds, feeling more than a bit sweaty at the end. I probably should have scaled the heat setting sooner than I did.
Profuse sweating in a jacket on a cold day normally results in an uncomfortable, clammy feeling and puts you in danger of hypothermia. Thankfully, in addition to being waterproof and windproof, the fabric of the Mobile Warming jacket is also breathable. Just be sure that the shirt you wear under the jacket also is breathable and quick drying.
The heat produced by the jacket has the same feel as an electric heating pad or blanket—not natural, but protective. I also found that—like a pad or blanket—it is relatively slow to respond to setting changes. If you increase the setting, it takes a while to feel the effects; lowering the setting is not immediately noticeable either.
Mobile Warming says that, depending upon the setting, the battery will last up to 10 hours. In practice, I’ve found that at the medium setting it lasts about four, and two hours at high. Fortunately, you can get an extra battery and swapping a fresh one is a snap. The battery is stored inside one of the side pockets, and just plugs in. I’m going to get a second battery for mine.
Aside from the adjustable warmth, the best part is that the Mobile Warming jacket doesn’t impede the swing. The cut of the jacket is just right for me, and the fabric stretches. I feel no hitch at all in my swing.
I’m going to keep this jacket in my golf go-bag throughout the spring and fall. The fact that it is so lightweight, and heat settings adjustable means that it’s perfect for those spring and autumn Michigan golf days that start out near freezing, then warm up to the 70s. With one light jacket, I can comfortably weather the usual forty degree changes (pun intended).
Another bonus is that its waterproof. That eliminates the need to tote a separate rain jacket.