There are many experienced riders that will tell you that one of the most important items in your arsenal of riding gear is a heated vest. It can make a world of difference if you are caught off guard while riding in an unexpected change of weather, or it can easily add a few extra weeks of riding to your season.
One of the inherent downfalls of the heated vest though is being tethered to the motorcycle with the power cord. Many times people have forgotten to unplug themselves from the bike before dismounting only to possibly damage the cord, plug or the vest itself.
This is where the TechNiche International battery-operated electric vest shines. Using its own long-lasting 7.4-volt Lithium Ion battery and integral temperature control unit, the need to be tethered to the motorcycle is eliminated. Having its own battery pack that easily slips into the inside pocket makes this vest practical anytime you are in the cold, or in need of some extra warmth, whether you are on a motorcycle or not.
The battery’s charger easily fits into one of the vests pockets so it doesn’t get misplaced. The LED control unit displays the charge remaining in the battery as well as the temperature setting. The easy-to-use control unit uses simple up and down buttons to provide five temperature settings that control three heating pads in the vest, two along the right and left chest and the third across the lower back. The ultra thin carbon fibre heating elements are easily removable for washing the soft lightweight fleece lined vest. The zipper is plastic and made of small teeth so even with little stress the zipper can pull apart. After realizing this, I didn’t put as many layers of clothing under it, in order to relieve the stress.
Even though it only has three heating elements it did a good job of keeping me warm while riding in the far northwest of the continent when, at times, the temperature dropped to just above freezing. The vest literature claims battery life will last for up to 12 hours on the lowest setting and the heating elements can provide a temperature of 70 C at the highest power setting.
Wearing the vest eliminated the need for many layers of shirts under it making for less bulk and more importantly, it does not have to be tethered to the motorcycle making a practical warm clothing option anywhere, anytime. As an added bonus, the battery pack has a small built-in LED light that can be used to illuminate the immediate area.
Retail price is $224.99
The company also makes cooling vests and other styles of heating vests. Keep an eye out in a future issue for reviews of other products offered by the company including the cooling vest.
For more information go to www.techniche-intl.com. The TechNiche International vests are available wherever Kimpex products are sold, www.kimpex.com MMM