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The Thunderbolt electric heated socks is the culmination of over 20 years refining a practical method for keeping your feet warm on cold days.

Thunderbolt Battery Pack

The present Thunderbolt sock heating system represents the culmination of over 20 years refining a practical method for staying warm outdoors on cold days. Heated sock designer, Bob Williams, says he saw his first electric socks when he received a pair for Christmas in 1958. They were powered by two six-volt lantern batteries and produced good heat - for a short time. A major problem soon surfaced; buying replacement batteries became very expensive for a high school student!

Fast forward to 1975:

Realizing that a rechargeable battery was a must, Bob snipped the cord to the lantern batteries and devised an over-the-shoulder sling to hold a motorcycle battery. At last there was substantial rechargeable electric power for the socks. However, climbing into a tree stand carrying this battery with liquid sulfuric acid sloshing around wasn't yet the perfect solution.

The 1980's, enter the NiCad rechargeable battery:

At last on the market appeared a powerful, sealed, reasonably lightweight battery. Bob quickly bought a video camera battery and modified it to work with his sock heating system. Unfortunately, a problem with the nickel-cadmium battery proved to be its "memory" effect. Unless great care was taken during the recharge cycle the battery soon lost a significant portion of its electrical capacity. All in all however, the heated socks were becoming practical and easy to use.

1990, time to improve the key element - the sock itself:

Believe it or not, the original 1958 socks (with occasional washings) had lasted until the 90's, when Bob retired them in favor of a redesign, with a larger full-foot heating element (most electric socks just heat your toes). This proved to be more comfortable and passed more heat to the body through the circulatory system, so the idea was retained.

2000, battery technology makes another leap:

When the nickel-metal hydride battery became available, it offered a major advantage over NiCads: it greatly reduced the memory effect from recharging and allowed much more flexibility in using the electric socks. No longer was it necessary to completely discharge the batteries before recharging; they could be "topped off" before heading for the woods.

2002 brings significant increases in NiMH capacity:

Even though retaining the same physical size and weight, the electrical capacity of the new Thunderbolt battery pack has doubled, allowing twice the productive time outdoors for the user.

The future:

Since the Thunderbolt heated sock system is modular, improvements in technology can be incorporated as they become available. You won't have to scrap your complete sock system to upgrade.