Keep Warm with the HOMI Pro Jacket

The HOMI Jacket is currently on Kickstarter. The project has already passed its goal, but there are still a few days left for those who want to get in on this project at substantial savings compared to what it will cost at retail. I was sent an early version and am pleased to share some initial thoughts.

The HOMI Jacket had a reasonable goal of $15,000 on Kickstarter. It quickly surpassed that and is, at the time of this review, funded to the tune of $220,000! I had turned a bit sour on Kickstarter in recent months as two of the projects I backed never materialized, and neither the creatives behind the project nor Kickstarter seem to care even a bit about backers being bilked. The HOMI Jacket is different. Not only has the company already begin production, but I was shipped not one, but two of the jackets (more on that later), and I can attest to the fact that backers won’t wake up to discover it is nothing more than vaporware. Knowing that a project is already in production lets backers feel confident in their investment. That’s especially important since, even with the Kickstarter discounted price, this jacket isn’t inexpensive. I should, however, note that even at full retail, this product is still less than many competitors.

Before I get into the review of the HOMI Jacket, I want to step back and talk about three of the jackets I’ve previously reviewed. Each offers something unique that makes it stand out.

Jacket #1:

The first jacket I want to mention is designed to keep you warm without the bulk. The old standby for those looking to stay warm in winter is a coat filled with down. They work well at keeping you warm… until they don’t, since down jackets tend to go flat and lose heat efficiency over time as the feathers absorb moisture from either sweat or the elements. Also, down jackets operate under the rule that more down equals more warmth. That means down jackets that will keep you toasty in sub-zero weather are often large, bulky, and heavy.

This jacket avoids those issues by using a Thinsulate lining, which is designed to stay as heat efficient on day 300 as it was on day 1. It is, in fact, one and a half times more efficient at keeping you warm than a traditional down jacket without the bulk. And, since the jacket used Thinsolate rather than down, it won’t lose its ability to keep you warm when it gets a bit damp. You won’t, however, have to worry about it getting wet since the outer shell has a water repellent rating of 100, and waterproof YKK zippers were used in its construction. If you do become too warm, however, the jacket has “quick zip vents” under the arms that can be opened to quickly cool you down. Add in the fact that the jacket is lighter and less bulky than a traditional down jacket, and you have your new travel buddy. Wear it when you head out from your cold, northeastern home and then simply stuff it in your suitcase when you get to sunny Florida. At just 840 grams, which is 20% lighter than the average water bottle, it won’t add much weight or bulk to your suitcase, so you don’t need to worry about those airline overage charges.
Also, it has a removable hood with a hidden magnetic face mask that, when unused, sits tucked away inside the hood until you need it.

Thanks to the Thinsulate, the jacket is fifty percent warmer than a down jacket, won’t flatten and lose warmth over time, is machine washable, dries quickly after getting wet or being washed, and is so slim that it doesn’t look nearly as warm as it is. It is a great jacket, and I’ll have a link to it at the end of the review.

Jacket #2

The second jacket I want to mention falls into a category we covered extensively a few years ago. These jackets are designed for people who carry a lot of gear and are either looking to avoid bringing a carry on during their trip or simply want to have access to a good amount of gear with them without the need for a backpack or briefcase. The jacket I have in mind here has a total of 13 different pockets. These include a 2 smartphone pockets large enough for today’s phablets, two AirPod pockets so you can keep your AirPods within reach, two tablet pockets, an eyeglasses holder, two theft-proof pockets (great for travel!), a quick access sleeve pocket that’s ideal for a commuter card, pockets for items and keeping your hands warm, and more.

Moreover, these pockets are located in exactly the places you need. The commuter card pocket is on the lower right sleeve. High on the left sleeve is a second small pocket for items you need to access. There’s a phone pockets on the left breast. On both the left and right chest, there is a hidden security pocket that is large enough to hold several small items or, if you prefer, a tablet. There are pockets next to the zipper on the inside of both sides that’s ideal for a wallet or passport. And there are pockets on the interior of both the left and right sides. The AirPod pockets sit on the inside just below the collar. And, of course, there are pockets for your hands exactly where you would expect them to be. These have pockets within the pockets and have both snaps and zippers for extra security. In short, this jacket is an organized person’s dream (and a disorganized person’s nightmare.)

All of the pockets have weatherproof YKK zippers, so whatever you place inside is as protected as you are.
Sure, no-one is going to use all the pockets at one time, but having so many different pockets that are intended for a variety of uses means this jacket can work the way you need to work no matter where you are or what you are doing. It is a great jacket, and I’ll also have a link to it at the end of the review.

Jacket #3

The third jacket I want to mention is the most tech-oriented jacket of the three. This one has a heating system built into it, so you stay warm even in the coldest of situations. It isn’t the only heated jacket on the market, but the people who designed it took note of what was already on the market and worked to improve on them in every way. The jacket employs carbon fiber heating and is powered by any external battery pack that has a USB-A port. The Japanese carbon fiber technology used for the jacket is patented and, according to the manufacturers, is of far higher quality than other carbon fibers on the market. As they claim, “Our Japanese carbon fiber has a 95% purity, one of the highest purities possible.” The three heating pads, one by each hand pocket and one in the back, are more durable and uniform in their heating than other offerings. The pads are adjustable so you can heat your lower back or your upper back, you can heat your hands or fly the heating pads up to heat your chest, and they heat in just 15 seconds once activated. They are even machine washable and won’t lose efficiency over time the way others heated jackets do.


To take advantage of the built-in heating system, there is a cable in the left pocket. You simply provide the battery pack and connect it to the cable. From there, you press the medallion on the front left chest. It looks like simple branding, but one long press turns on the heating system and heats you to 42 degrees Celcius. Another press of the button increases the temperature to 46 degrees Celsius. Depending on the size of the external battery, you can get up to eight hours of comfort per charge. And lest you worry about a jacket that has heating pads and requires a battery getting wet, the battery is safely sealed behind waterproof YKK zippers, and the jacket carries an IP68 rating. That means it can be fully submerged in 1.5 meters of water for up to thirty minutes without suffering any damage or degradation of efficiency. It is a great jacket, and I’ll also include a link to it at the end of this review.

So there you have it. Three jackets that each serve a specific purpose. The first is a thin, warm jacket that is easy to pack and will keep you warm even when it gets wet. The second is a jacket that has enough pockets for you to leave your back or backpack at home. The third has a built-in heating system that keeps you warm even on the coldest of days.

And, of course, all three jackets are the same jacket. That’s the beauty of the HOMI jacket. It employs Thinsulate to keep you warm no matter what is going on; it has an abundance of pockets so you can organize and carry all your gear, and it has a built-in system that keeps you extra toasty on those cold winter days. It is comfortable, it looks great, and it is priced to compete with jackets that offer far fewer features and much less warmth.

The HOMI comes in two versions. The HOMI Lite performs best at 23-80 degrees Fahrenheit, while the HOMI Pro works best at -4 to 70 degrees.

Both are water repellent, have waterproof zippers, breathable vents and are windproof. Both have a hidden phone pocket, theft-proof pockets, an eyeglasses holder, and a quick-access sleeve pocket. Both also have an automatic shutoff system, so you don’t run down your battery unnecessarily.

The HOMI Pro adds large tablet pockets, a magnetic facemask, a high, soft collar, padded shoulders that hold shoulder straps in place, and more. The HOMI Lite will retail for $319 but has a Kickstarter price of $259. The HOMI Pro will retail for $429 but is available on Kickstarter for $309. In both cases, the company has already started manufacturing. That not only means you won’t see your “investment” disappear the way I ave with some projects I backed, but it also means you won’t have to wait for late fall/winter 2020-2021 before seeing your jacket.

Features:

  • LIGHT-WEIGHT EFFICIENT WARMTH TECHNOLOGY: The HOMI jacket contains Carbon Fiber Lithium Ion-powered heating elements that deliver incredible warmth while maintaining a thin, stylish design.
  • STYLISH COMFORT: Our Pro jacket keeps you comfortable from -4°F degrees to 70°F degrees. With multiple heat levels, you can avoid old cumbersome, bulky, multi-layered jackets that you need to shed as it warms up.
  • VERSATILE DESIGN: With 13 storage pockets for all your urban and outdoor gear, plus detachable battery packs that can warm you or charge your phone, you’ll be ready for anything.

I got my review sample and was immediately impressed by the quality of the materials and construction. It looks and feels like a quality product.

It was a fairly warm day, so I removed the hood. The jacket is super comfortable, and I loved wearing it. Today was a different story, though. The temperature dropped, and there was frozen rain pouring down. It was a great day to stay inside, but my golden doodle Nava was having none of that; she wanted her walk, and she wasn’t taking no for an answer.

Look translator- “I love my dog, but on days like this…”

So I zipped the hood back into position, placed an external battery pack inside the pocket and connected the cable, and headed out. The jacket was warm, and the hood kept my head toasty. I started getting cold, so I turned on the heating system.

It was initially confusing because it is hard to see if the medallion/button lit up but once I figured things out, I found myself immediately more comfortable. The heating system works!

When my hands got cold, I simply put them in the pockets, and, after a short time, they were no longer icicles. By the end of the walk, however, I was feeling pretty hot.

So I unzipped the quick-zip vents under each arm. Cold is circulated in and cooled me down. After a few minutes, I zipped them back up and kept walking.

As the company explains:

The Last Jacket You’ll Ever Buy: The HOMI Jacket can adapt to even the most unpredictable weather! With 3M technology cotton padding and a highly breathable design, the wearer enjoys the comfort of a windproof and rainproof adventurous experience without feeling sweaty or bogged down! When the temperatures are low, you can turn on the heat with a simple press of a button… no need to pull out a phone to turn on an app! When it’s warm, take down your hood, unzip the breathing ports under the arms, and enjoy all the comforts of a light-weight windbreaker!

I love this jacket and think you will too.

The HOMI Pro is thin and light, and it can be worn in a wide range of climates. It is extra warm when you need it to be but not so warm that your sweat to death when its chilly but not cold. It feels great to wear, and the padded shoulders on the Pro model I was sent really do make carrying a back or backpack more comfortable. You can choose to use the heating system, or if you don’t want the added weight of an external battery pack, you can simply remove it and use the jacket on its own. That kind of versatility and comfort are rare and, having used the jacket in a number of different situations, I can attest to the fact that the HOMI Jacket delivers. Check it out here on Kickstarter … but hurry, the campaign is ending soon.

You can also check out the product page.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the HOMI Pro

What I Like: Comfortable; Lots of pockets; Pro version has a removable hood with face mask; Side vents to cool you down; Heating system really works; Heating pads can each be in two different positions for comfort; Waterproof; Thinsolate that is far superior to down

What Needs Improvement: I’ve had some difficulty knowing when the jacket was powered on but, for the most part, that was “user-error”


About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.