Heated Kit Bit Of Help..

Jonnyp

IBA Member
#1
As the years creap up on me, I'm finding the idea of a heated vest somewhat appealing.....

There are a number of reviews online which I'm ploughing through but any advice would be welcome..

I don't generally feel the cold, I just don't like getting cold. So, a vest would be perfect but a full sleeve jacket is an option but could be bulky especially around the collar. My Rukka jacket has a foil liner, I don't want to replace that just add to it.

Keis, Exo2, Gerbing and Oxford seem the most common and I'm looking at the Keis X10, anyone got one that can comment?

Thanks

Jon
 

JON12A

IBAUK's new Shop Keeper
IBA Member
#2
Hi Jon

I have been through a few of these items myself and for me the vest was a better option to the jacket (gerbing) . Most vests are quite thin in construction and don't add too much bulk but give out more than adequate heat. I felt the gerbing jacket felt uncomfortable especially round the neck and under the arms. I really felt kippered up.
I am presently using the BMW vest and controller and its great. The vest has carbon panels that heat instead of wires wrapped between the inner layers. I like this as i used to get wires poking through the Gerbing and sticking into me. It also eliminates hotspots that i found with my Keise wired vest.
I have heard good things about the Aerostich heated vest but never tried one.
Even for cool summer / Autumn mornings the heated kit is a nice touch.
The only good thing i found with the jacket was that you could wear it too go out in at night on tour and this saves you from packing anything else.
I'm sure someone else will come along and have a better plan but that's my tuppence-worth.
 

Stephen!

Premier Member
IBA Member
#5
+1 for W&S. For 11 years I had only a vest and (rarely used) chaps with a binary switch. I knew not how much unnecessary suffering I was doing.

After a particularly miserable ride, SWMBO decided it was time to upgrade and the difference was amazing. I now have warm legs, warm arms, and warm hands (Jacket, pants, and gloves).

It might seem expensive but when you are happily riding along at sub-freezing temperatures and staying nice and toasty, it all becomes worth the price.

Edit: As for bulk, since I have a full-length heated jacket liner I no longer use the OEM First Gear liner. It has become unnecessary. I just wear the W&S liner whenever it *might* get cold enough to need it...
 

Jim Craig

Premier Member
#6
If you want a full heated jacket liner, I like the First Gear heated liner. I had a vest but my arms get too cold. The First Gear liner works pretty well and it's relatively inexpensive.
 

Jonnyp

IBA Member
#7
Thanks chaps.... oh this is going to get difficult...there was me with just a couple of options now, I have loads....

Keep'em coming..

:)
 

Aitch

Well-Known Member
#8
Read lots of reviews and purchased the Oxford Hotvest - it was really comfy but was slightly too big and they were out of the smaller size so returned it for a refund. In the end I went with an exo2 stormchaser jacket (rather than vest because it keeps the arms warm) and it gets excellent reviews. Pleased with it and you can get a controller to adjust the heat levels. To be honest I suspect theres not too much difference between them and which ever one you get you will be pleased with the difference it makes. One advantage of a jacket you can usually connect heated gloves (handy if you do not have heated grips). The Exo2 gloves get poor reviews (not reliable).

The Keis X10 has a low collar whilst the Oxford Hotvest has a higher one.

Whichever one you go for - be careful with the size - you may have to go one smaller.
 
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Jonnyp

IBA Member
#9
Thanks Aitch.

The size issue has been mentioned in most reviews I've read. So, I probably need to go and try a few. The Keis X10 is top of my list however, since John (JON12A) mentioned the BMW vest, I'm starting to think that may be a better option.

Jon
 

Megabuck

IBAUK Verifier
IBA Member
#10
I had a Keis vest - an ebay bargain from a few years ago. It worked okay, but I wanted an upgrade, so a couple of years back I got the Keis heated jacket and gloves. I've been underwhelmed with them. The jacket is okay, but quite bulky; the stupid thing was that, as supplied, the controller wouldn't plug in! One plug was incompatible with the socket on the jacket. Fortunately, among all the bits and pieces was a short extension which did the job. When it's on, it chucks out a LOT of heat; I very rarely have it on anything other than the lowest (of three) heat settings.

The gloves... there are leads at the end of the jacket arms that plug into them, and the good thing is that they are independent of the jacket's heat settings. Each glove has a rubber button on the back; press and hold to turn on or off, press to change the heat level. They have three levels, and the button lights up a different colour depending on the level selected. Not often I've used them on anything but high, in conjunction with heated grips.

The main issue with the gloves is that if there's heavy rain, they do NOT stay dry - not sure if they're just not waterproof, or if it's water getting in at the wrist. And when they're wet and switched on, they don't provide heat but mild electrical tingling to the hands! I also had a problem where an internal wire on one glove developed a break; I had to cut into the lining and do a bit of soldering to sort that out.

So overall, I'm not exactly a fan of Keis. Of course, I haven't tried any of the other makes, so there may be similar (or different) problems with the others.

Regards,
Martin
 
#11
Thanks Martin.

Keis do have mixed reviews especially on quality and your experience backs this up.

I saw last night they have a new vest and jacket launching next month. So, I may wait for them to appear. However, I'm thinking I'll go for the waistcoat/vest not a jacket and I don't think I'll go with gloves. My current ones with heated grips are fine.

I have one simple rule on waterproof kit, some may disagree but unless it says "Gortex" on it, it ain't waterproof. Simple as that.

See you soon.

Jon
 

Megabuck

IBAUK Verifier
IBA Member
#12
Hi Jon,

It may be worth a trip to the Bike Show at the NEC in November; you'll be able to find various makes there, with 'show special' pricing as well.

Regards,
Martin
 
#13
Good point.

I did, several years ago buy one at the NEC show, an Exo2 vest. It was for a mates birthday present. I think I got a tenner off it..

He's not used it that much...!

Jon
 

Winglider

Ex-Wiinglider
IBA Member
#14
I am a fan of Gerbin, and have got the full Monty, Jacket, trousers, gloves & socks (the socks are just heated undersoles built into a thin sock)
I have found them all very effective, the gloves may not be that waterproof but the do keep your hands warm and soon dry out because of the heat.

Gerbin also has a life time guarantee on the heating elements. I have had a brand-new pair of gloves supplied. when one glove stopped working after 5 years.
And a jacket repaired again after many years when a connecter failed. (but you must keep your original receipts for this to happen)
I think Gerbin is the best kit, but to get quality and service that they supply you have to pay for it. (But your worth it) Just remember how cold you have been on some of those winter rides.

Heated gear in my opinion turns cold days into riding days
Ask Slow Poke how cold he was in -7C on the ride back from Den Helda a few years ago.
(I was toasty)

I cannot comment on any of the other manufactures as I have never used them.
Steve.
 

GSears

Premier Member
#15
This year the Gerbin collars are on the small size. When I visited they stated next year they are moving the collars down a size. ie current medium onto a small. They have had a few enquiries about current collar size. So it might be woth a wait if you want a Gerbin.
 

Aitch

Well-Known Member
#18
Trying them on at the NEC is a good idea because the size is a bit of guess work and my local mbike stores tend to stock only one make (if you're lucky) - make sure you take your jacket with you to try it on over the wasitcoat. I was bit worried the high collar on mine might get in the way of the jacket.....
 

owl*

Rally Bonus checker
IBA Member
#19
Nobody has mentioned the temperature controller.
Go for a wireless one - having wires poking out from the vest and out form the bottom of a jacket are a pain.
I have gerbing gear with a W&S controller velcro'd to the cockpit.