This Incredibly Thin Jacket Keeps You Warm Without The Bulk

Photo: Courtesy of Lukla.
When the weather is still throwing inches of snow on the ground (really, Mother Nature, it’s spring now!), it’s hard to spend more than 10 minutes outside unless you’re layered up till you look like a down-stuffed cream puff. A jacket equipped with NASA-tested technology could change all that. The Lukla Endeavor is a lightweight, breathable, yet still super-warm jacket that uses a space-age material called aerogel as its insulation. Currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter, it can be nabbed by outdoor adventurers for a cool $350. Aerogel is an insulating material made up of 10% silica and 90% air, making it one of the lightest known solids. While it was first developed more than 80 years ago, it began undergoing NASA tests on a space shuttle mission in 1998, and is now used in the Mars Rover, space suits, and space gloves. It was just recently adopted into consumer winter apparel in 2013, but the production costs and available aerogel quantities made products extremely expensive. But now, it seems the price point could be coming down to a more reasonable level. While the final number is still TBD, Lukla’s early Kickstarter price of $350 isn't much more than a high-quality down jacket. And as far warmth, Lukla cofounder Massimiliano Squire told Refinery29 that it ensures proper breathability by using a proprietary aerogel patterning system based on thermal images of the human body. If that's not enough, the jacket also has a "pit zip" under each armpit for extra air circulation.  Lukla expects its Endeavor jacket to ship in November this year — just in time for the snow and ski season. Until then, though, we hope the winter chill finally surrenders to sunshine. 

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