Strange name, big price tag - so is the ISPO Gold award-winning Kjus Hydro_Bot worth it? Alf Alderson puts the £1,299 jacket through its paces
Most of us will have experienced that horrible cold, clammy feeling of our base layers sticking to our skin after a tough skin up or a hard descent on a warm spring day. It is, of course, the result of our layering system being unable to wick away sweat more rapidly than we're producing it, and the resulting moisture cooling against our skin is uncomfortable at best, dangerous at worst.
The Kjus 7Sphere Hydro_Bot jacket claims to put an end to this with the revolutionary technology that's incorporated into the garment. In short, this prevents post-activity chill by actively pumping sweat away from the skin to the outside of the jacket when an electrical pulse is applied.
It's a process called 'electro-osmosis,' and works via two panels strategically located on the high-sweat zone at the back of the jacket. A membrane made up of trillions of pores per square metre is surrounded by conductive fabric which, on the application of a small electrical pulse from an integrated control unit, turns the pores turn into 'micro-pumps', actively pumping sweat away from the body and out of the jacket quickly and efficiently. The system operates at the push of a button on the control unit or via Bluetooth from an iPhone and Android compatible app.
Kjus says that this system is up to ten times more effective than regular breathable membranes, and the more you sweat, the more it transports that sweat away from your body, being the first ever garment to be able to match human perspiration rates in terms of breathability.