The incorporation of technology and apparel has grown in leaps in bounds over the years and that is why I chose to do a review of various products for men this season. Some of the chosen are still in their pre-order stage but noteworthy none-the-less. Here is a roundup of the ones that made my list: Ravean, Zipbuds, BackJoy, Sols and Vivobarefoot.
RAVEAN: I thoroughly enjoyed testing this hoodie while camping in the Pennsylvania Mountains. It’s not your average hoodie. Think of it more like a mobile electric blanket. The garment has a heating device powered by a lightweight battery with a USB port. The heating coils run through the front and back of the garment and have three levels of heat depending on your needs and activated by a light-up button on the interior of the lapel. It passed the warmth test and laundering. The battery can also charge any mobile devices with a USB port.
The hoodie is plush and comfortable and the only downside that I discovered was the plastic zipper – it jammed frequently and I am contacting the company to see if this has been corrected in manufacturing (after publishing).
See more of their latest designs here: https://www.ravean.com
Zipbuds: Some of the best technology advances can be so simple. That is exactly what I discovered with Zipbuds. The ear buds not only have an amazing sound but have resolved the issue of tangled wires. It used to drive me crazy trying to get my Apple Ear Buds untangled and the quality of sound was inferior. The Juiced 2.0 set has an amazing sound and there is a heavy-duty zipper that lets you adjust the earbuds to your size while keeping them tangle free during and after usage.
SOLS: With all the walking we do in the city, on a business trip or vacation, SOLS is the latest solution to help keep your step. The technology behind the product creates a 3-D printed image of your insole. From there, they craft an insert for boots, shoes and or sneakers that perfectly matches your feet. I recently visited their showroom on the West Side and had my feet measured by them — it took only a few minutes to make the impression and it was done with the camera from a tablet. You can do it at home but will need a partner to take the pictures. The online software guides you step-by-step for complete accuracy. The inserts are made in the U.S. and delivered within 10 days. SOLS help alleviate the pain and discomfort with improper shoes or when you are breaking in new ones.
VivoBareFoot: Pioneers in footwear, this company is a minimalist brand that designs shoes supported by the philosophy and science of healthy, natural movement to improve balance, posture and overall strength and flexibility. For active people and athletes, this brand is exceptional. I recently tested a pair while rock climbing and hiking in upstate New York. The “Trail Freak” style surpassed the test with its lightweight model and slip tie fastener to secure the footwear better then laces.
Learn more here: http://www.vivobarefoot.com/us
BackJoy: Using the science of movement to target key areas of the body and to help correct your posture, this garment is designed with Optiform — the fabric panels pull the shoulders back, correctly aligns the spine and promotes optimal form. I tried it and the snug fit did exactly what it said it would do. As an athlete, I find this garment to be an excellent choice for outdoor activities, spinning class and yoga.
Learn more here: http://www.backjoy.com
These are my selections for the latest technology + apparel and just in time for the gift-giving season.