Previous studies have revealed that wearers had low skin temperatures and cold and pain sensations in the feet, when using sleeping bags under defined comfort and limit temperatures. To improve wearers' local thermal comfort in the feet, a novel heating sleeping bag (i.e., MARHT) was developed by embedding two heating pads into the traditional sleeping bag (i.e., MARCON) in this region. Seven female and seven male volunteers underwent two tests on different days. Each test lasted for three hours and was performed in a climate chamber with a setting temperature deduced from EN 13537 (2012) (for females: comfort temperature of -0.4°C, and for males: the limit temperature of -6.4°C). MARHT was found to be effective in maintaining the toe and feet temperatures within the thermoneutral range for both sex groups compared to the linearly decreased temperatures in MARCON during the 3-hour exposure. In addition, wearing MARHT elevated the toe blood flow significantly for most females and all males. Thermal and comfort sensations showed a large improvement in feet and a small to moderate improvement in the whole body for both sex groups in MARHT. It was concluded that MARHT is effective in improving local thermal comfort in the feet.
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