Geeks not only appreciate good gadgets (well, any gadget is good), but also how an item comes about can be of interest. NASA with space exploration has created new technologies that have changed our lives in many ways some of which we weren’t even aware. NASA have given us such things as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), anti-icing systems and freeze drying technology and now they have provided us with aerogel.
Oros (formerly Lukla Endeavor) has developed SolarCore aerogel as insulation to be used in performance apparel making it warm, thin, lightweight and comfortable. This year there is a new jacket, gloves, beanie and pants being launched. So, what is this aerogel? Aerogel is an extremely lightweight material that is actually 90-percent air and is a very low thermal conductor that has made it a good insulation for insulating space suits, the space shuttle tiles and the Mars Rover for NASA while other industry uses include blanketing oil pipelines. SolarCore aerogel insulating the Oros apparel means that the thin insulation does not make you bulky and puffy and restrict movements like it might for goose down and other thermal-filled jackets.
The following are features of their new products and why you may want them. First, the Oros jacket weighs only 40 ounces (2.5 lbs and 38% lighter than the first generation jacket) and is lighter than similar high end thermal ski jackets. Not only is the jacket very lightweight but it is waterproof, windproof, has a removable hood and other surprises (hint: one of the surprises is an overload of pockets – interior and exterior). New Oros gloves incorporate SolarCore aerogel and have special technology which allows them to be self-heating without batteries or other such methods. Lastly, Oros beanies are knitted and insulated with SolarCore aerogel focused where you want it most. They plan to continue adding to its smart line of high-tech, aerogel performance gear, including pants.
This leads to the question as to how you can purchase any of these products. The Oros jacket, gloves and beanie are available now until March 1 on Kickstarter where the company has set a $310,000 but the founders are out to raise $1 million. They are more that half way to their goal. The early bird beanie is $35 (retail $50), gloves are $99 (retail $150) while $275 (retail $400) can get you the jacket. Delivery is in October so you still have to struggle through the cold through the rest of this winter in the US as well as the southern hemisphere through your next winter. But it will be the last one you’ll be cold.