Posted on January 12 2016
So we have been doing this a little over Two years now and I believe there is still room for improvement. There are tons of companies that manufacture heated apparel. However using a primitive resistive/metal wire based heating system will come back to bite you. Case and Point Fuelwear. They raised a little over $80K on IndieGoGo in 2014 and customers are still waiting for their heated vests. Now this definitely gives all heated apparel manufacturers a bad reputation especially on crowd funding campaigns. You can read the details in the comment section of their IndieGoGo campaign page here
Apparently the company has decided to shut down. Manufacturing is a complex procedure. The days of opening a factory and making a quality product are far behind for several company. It is just easier to buy from an overseas factory. Now it might be cheaper but there are several drawbacks. Quality for one. But most importantly putting all your eggs in one basket is never a good idea. Relying on a foreign factory to make all your products and shipping them directly to your customers is not a good idea. You can't maintain the quality standards. Lesson learnt.
On another note there is another heated apparel company that raised a little over $1.4 Million on kickstarter for supposedly " The World's First Heated Down Jacket", although Gerbings and a few other brands have been making heated down jackets for quite some time so don't understand how this is the world's first. Orders taken in Before Oct 23rd were supposed to arrive with customers before Christmas and guess what? Did not happen. Factory issues were once again cited for the problems which also include sizing issues with the heated hoody.
One thing that these company fail to mention which is the whole point of heated apparel is what heating technology they are using. It is cool to show a Jacket lying flat being driven over by a PickUp and jumping in a cold pool to show the jacket still works (however done in several cuts so who knows if the jacket stayed on). Also claiming they have a Patent on the technology is outrageous. Heated apparel tech has no technology patents. Heated apparel has been around since 1945 when WWII bombers used gloves with metal wires sewn into them and powered by a battery to keep their hands warm. Far Infrared heated apparel also can't claim any patents. Now there can be design patents on the way the apparel is made but the technology itself cannot be patented. They ran out 20 years ago.
We have a modular system in place for manufacturing. We have sourced a battery factory that makes our Lithium Polymer batteries. We have a factory that makes our Far Infrared Heating pads to our specifications. We also have another overseas factory that makes the apparel with our control buttons sewn in. Everything arrives here in Canada where we test and package the products before shipping out to customer. What this allows us to do is offer a product that has high quality control standards and if there are any problems it is easy for us to change that particular supplier. We don't rely on one factory to make the entire product and ship it from overseas. This means that duties are far less for our customers and shipping costs are also very low. Here are the comments from the latest crowdfunding campaign for the company that raised a fair bit of money on KickStarter:-
Most of the complaints are about the shipping costs and duties charged.
Fired Up X will also be doing a KickStarter campaign with some of our new products that are set to launch next year. Stay tuned for more details.