Best winter jacket ever for wheelers?Jan 17 02:37
No looking like the Marshmallow Man. That's been my goal every winter since my injury. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go to your closet and put on the biggest winter jacket you can find, then come back and read the rest of this blog (and you have to be in a wheelchair for this experiment to work).
Look in the mirror and what have you got? Chances are - one of your most unflattering looks (unless it's a cool leather jacket or a pea coat, but those don't count as winter jackets). Granted, staying warm is really what it's all about when wearing a serious winter jacket. And when I say serious winter jacket I mean coats from Colombia, down-filled or a synthetic-filled, those kind of winter things.
But here's the deal. There's actually something much worse than looking silly in a winter jacket, and that's not being able to move that well. If you're a person with paralysis or some other kind of disability that limits your movement, this is not just a mild discomfort, it's a dangerous matter. For example, driving my van is always more difficult when I'm wearing a jacket, but sometimes this is unavoidable when it's 5° out. I've even driven without one (freezing my quad butt for hours afterwards). What are we supposed to do?
Well, we don't have to freeze any more, or struggle. Pertex Quantum is here to save the day, an amazing that fabric I believe is destined to be used by wheelchair-users everywhere (if it isn't already; maybe I'm late to the game). Pertex Quantum is made from cotton canvas and superfine soft nylon yarn, made into a maximum thread count, producing a fabric that can both resist water and moisture, and it'll be the lightest jacket you've ever worn. And this fabric is unlike anything you've ever felt (thanks Nicholas for letting me feel your jacket the other day).
Although the fabric feels a little plasticy, it's a great tradeoff for the weight, which is why it's so great for people with limited arm movement. Pertex Quantum jackets with a down lining weigh just 1 pound (like this one). It's probably the lightest winter jacket in existence, and it will keep you warm in below freezing temperatures. This fabric was invented 30 years ago by famous mountain climber Hamish Hamilton, who was searching for a lightweight fabric that would also keep him warm (found it).
A lightweight winter jacket can and will transform your world. You can put it on easier, you no longer need ask for help, and dang, it'll even be easier to hang up. And a Pertex Quantum jacket can be broken down into your pocket, making them great for traveling, or if you use a wheelchair, just really really convenient. Say you've arrived somewhere and can't get to coat check. No problem; just put your jacket in your pocket. I mean, what other jacket can give you this option? lol
Sure you fashionistas out there may be scoffing right now, thinking this fabric is no tradeoff for looks, but if you have a disability and can't move your arms easily, not even the most in-style jacket can beat what Pertex Quantum can give.
You can find Pertex Quantum jackets at most high-end winter jacket stores, such as North Face or other mountain or outdoor gear stores.
What do you wear as your winter coat?
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.