Heated vests opinion.

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by tremmy, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. tremmy

    tremmy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Latrobe Valley
    Looking at getting a heated vest for my wife. Has anyone got any opinions on the battery powered vests, as this would better suit. pillion comfort down to about 5 C would be what we are after. Any real life comparisons, battery life etc would be most appreciated.
    Cheers
    #1
  2. Nadgett

    Nadgett Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    616
    Location:
    Slovenia
    I have an exo2 Stormrider vest. I use the battery and get about 3-5 hours from a charge depending on the setting. Down to around 5C I set it at 1 or 2 and still have charge left when I get home 3 hours later. Below that I set it at around 3 or 4 and it keeps me comfortably warm, but I don't often ride more than an hour or so when it's that cold. I bought a spare battery but I've never run out of charge on the first one.
    #2
  3. Schwah

    Schwah n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    What kind of length rides are you typically going to be using it on? That could make a big difference on whether a battery powered one will work for you or not bceause the battery will only last so long. I bought the Gerbing's battery powered microwire vest about this time two years ago, along with an extra battery. I mainly use it commuting on the bike (about an hour each way on the interstate) and it suits me just fine. It's got two heating panels on the chest, and one in the middle of the upper back. So coverage isn't as much as you'd get with one that hooked into the bike's electric system, but it's a tradeoff to keep battery life acceptable.
    Battery life greatly depends on what setting it's on. 50% seems to be good for a real gentle heat; enough that I notice it's there if I think about it but nothing too crazy. I figure I'll probably get around 4-5ish hours out of the battery at that setting, though I've not left it on long enough that the battery died.
    Once the temperature outside gets much below 40F, I usually set it at 75%, and the heat is much more noticeable. It lasts probably in the 2 1/2 to 3 hour range or so at that setting.
    I almost never have it set up at 100% as it gets pretty toasty at that setting and kills the battery pretty quickly; probably no more than 1-2 hours at that point.

    Overall I rather like it and it works well for my typical use, though I'm considering a full plug-in jacket liner as I think I'd like to have heat on my arms as well.
    #3
  4. Nadgett

    Nadgett Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    616
    Location:
    Slovenia
    I forgot to mention: the exo2 vest has the option of either connecting it to the bike battery (which heats up all the panels, front and back) or its own battery that fits in one of the pockets (only heats up the back panels).
    #4
  5. this is a RV

    this is a RV Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    380
    Location:
    Festus MO
    I can see cutting it half running off a battery but why the back? You need to keep the heart warm.
    #5
  6. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    46,765
    Location:
    Gates of Moscow
    The best I've heard from a battery model is 6 hours on medium heat.

    As for a vest, that's how I started, with one for my wife. But nowadays, I can't suggest strongly enough to get a full jacket liner. I have one myself, and I'll never go back to just a vest. I wear a t-shirt, the liner, and a Darien jacket (which is just a shell), and I'm good down to the teens. Plugged into the bike, of course.

    You will not regret the money you spend on this, I promise you.
    #6
  7. * SHAG *

    * SHAG * Unstable

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Oddometer:
    4,461
    Location:
    Bradford, Pa
    :stupid Just go ahead and get what you will eventually end up with. A full jacket liner hooked to your bike battery :deal
    #7
  8. RogerWilco

    RogerWilco Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    333
    I, like so many others, resisted "plugging in". Once I finally decided to give it a try, it was discovered that it only takes about 15 seconds extra to connect the cables. I have the Gerbing full jacket liner and the gloves.
    Any gear that is powered from the motorcycle itself will provide considerably more warmth, and over a larger percentage of area, on most any garment.
    We did, however, find out that a BMW G650GS doesn't generate enough watts to power the bike, plus a jacket and gloves.
    #8
  9. Nadgett

    Nadgett Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    616
    Location:
    Slovenia
    It keeps me warm down to the freezing point. I don't want to ride on ice.
    #9
  10. rboett

    rboett posser noob 205

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,881
    Location:
    nwa
    + 1, I really noticed it when one of my sleeves went out. nice to have warmth down your arms. helps.
    #10
  11. outsidein

    outsidein Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    439
    Location:
    Canada
    In short don't get a heated vest, get a heated jacket liner instead. There is not a significant difference in price, especially when the required controller is included.

    A heated jacket liner keeps the neck and the arms warm. It also can replace the insulated jacket liner in a motorcycle jacket were as a vest cannot since it is only a vest. It also provides a connection point for heated gloves if they are later added. It has a lower temperature comfort point. Finally because of the increased insulation it provides it can often be run on a lower setting than a vest and provides more even heat and is less subject to hot and cold spots.

    Battery models are fine in slightly cool but not cold conditions. Most are designed for general use where being exposed to a cooling breeze is not a factor. A heated jacket liner uses up to 100w of energy in cold weather at highway speeds. Batteries are usually maxed out at 10watts.
    #11
  12. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    46,765
    Location:
    Gates of Moscow
    This brings up a point: Check to see which liner will fit your power availability. You can get some that only draw 65w on high. They vary by manufacturer.

    Though I run my 100w one off my dr350 fine, so long as I turn off my heated grips.
    #12
  13. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,468
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    another vote for heated jacket, not vest .. your arms gets coverage and just as important. heated gloves needs wiring that's part of heated jackets.

    old style Gerbing don't have hot spot issues newer models have. preference is older heated jacket/pants with insulation. allows double duty during outdoor activities when not connected to your bike.

    don't know about other brands, but old style insulated Gerbing are more functional. microwire thinner profile mates good with gloves.
    #13
  14. greer

    greer Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,889
    Location:
    Glasgow, Kentucky
    If at all possible, go jacket, jacket, jacket. Can't say it enough. I've been there done that, and sleeves make all the difference.

    Sarah
    #14
  15. BCC

    BCC I know better

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,003
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    I am considering getting my wife a dual source heated Harley Davidson women's jacket. It can be powered using a lithium battery or any 12v source (like a bike).

    I beleive it is waterproof, insulated, cut for a female and not overtly branded. I'm not sure who makes it. Gerbing makes the men's single source.

    Me? I now use a heated jacket after years of using a vest. Jacket much nicer. Mine is wired to the bike.
    #15
  16. ph0rk

    ph0rk Doesn't Care

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,315
    Location:
    Nowhere
    If you are a vest person (I am), a heated vest is better. Particularly if you're planning on adding it to a layered system - that is under your jacket liner instead of replacing your jacket liner.


    Hell, I have removable windblock sleeves on mine (unheated) and they're even too much often enough.

    I neet to upgrade soon and will probably go full jacket because I don't think the powerlet rapidfire stuff comes in vests, so I might have to leave my sleeve and pit vents open above 30 degrees, depending. If the rapidfire stuff is as comfortable to wear as the ads claim, it might be worth it.


    I'd also strongly suggest going with the coax barrel connectors rather than SAE connectors to connect it to the bike, especially if you commute.
    #16
  17. wee-twin

    wee-twin Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    200
    Location:
    Westchester County, N.Y.
    I was looking at vest as well, but went with a jacket as everyone suggested. Worried about to much electic load I got the 65w jacket from warm&safe. They give us a generous ADV discount as well.
    #17
  18. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,571
    Location:
    Manassas, VA
    I can't imagine wearing my riding jacket, my heated jacket liner, and a t-shirt and wanting to have the sleeve and pit vents open when riding in 30 degree weather. Unless we're talking 30C....
    #18