With the outdoor sector getting ready for winter, the demand for clothing that is heated continues to expand. It’s a bit challenging to figure out what’s going fit your needs so here’s a short guide on how to choose a heated vest or jacket based on your usage plans.
1. Size and Fit of Jackets
Although sizing may vary from one store to the next, you must ensure that your jacket fits properly so that the heat elements to be effective. So always check the manufacturer’s sizing chart on their site, and if you’re not sure which size to get, err on the smaller side.
Keep in mind that some jackets are designed to look more fashionable than they are warm. They typically contain less insulation than more serious winter cycling clothing. Consider purchasing a more serious winter cycling jacket if your existing jacket isn’t working well in colder weather.
2. Thermal Layers
Most heated jackets require the use of an extra layer to shield your body from the elements of heat inside. The most well-known materials used for the layers is Thinsulate, which is supposed to be light and extremely effective in capturing heat. You’ll likely be wearing the layer on your skin as you do not want it to rub up against the jacket’s exterior. So if you’re considering buying a heated jacket that doesn’t come with an additional layer for warmth, remember that an additional layer may be necessary.
3. The time for charging and battery life
All jackets on the table are supplied with a charger and battery pack. Some batteries are fully charged in under two hours, while others need eight hours. Of of course, the more heating elements that your jacket is equipped with the more time it’ll need to charge. But if you happen to have to be stuck somewhere and don’t have access to your charger, you can try an external battery pack to to boost your battery.
Also, take note of the estimated battery life for each jacket, to are aware of the length of time you will stay warm and comfortable before charging or swapping out batteries. If you’re able to, find a jacket that uses Lithium-ion batteriessince they tend to keep their charge better than other types of rechargeable batteries.
4. Heating Levels
The majority of jackets we’ve tested have both high and low heating settings. Low setting is adequate if you intend to only stay outside for a brief time and conserve energy. If you’re planning to go for a ride with higher speeds or to commute for a prolonged duration, the higher setting is suggested.
5. Comfort Controls
While a lot of jackets come with an integrated remote control or controller, you must have some kind of control over how much heat your jacket generates. If you are moving from a hot area to a cold space it won’t cause you to start shivering when you turn it off. Every heated jacket should include a temperature control.
6. Battery Life Indicator
It’s frustrating when you discover your battery is in a dead state just before getting home, just like with your car’s fuel tank. One method to avoid this scenario is to check the indicator on the battery’s life prior to your departure for your bike ride and checking that the battery is fully charged. Jackets will tell you how long your battery will last, based on its heat level. This is to ensure you don’t end up stuck in the freezing cold.
7. Fit and Style
Always keep in mind what kind of activities you will be using your jacket to perform. The looser cut is the best in case you are planning to use it for outdoor activities. An oversized jacket is recommended to find something flexible that is wearable every day.
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