As the outdoor industry is getting ready to go into winter, the demand for heated clothing continues grow. It can be a little daunting knowing what’s going to work for you, so here’s a short guide on what to look for in a jacket or vest based on the needs of your.
1. Size and Fit of Jackets
While the size of your jacket will vary from retailer to retailer, your jacket has to be properly fitted so that the heat elements inside can do their job. Therefore, always refer to the sizing chart for the brand on their site. Also, when you’re unsure of the size to buy, you should go to the smaller size.
Take note, however, that not all jackets are designed for warmth. They are usually much less insulated than other winter cycling equipment. If you feel like your current clothing is not up to the task as the temperatures drop think about investing in a more serious winter-time cycling jacket.
2. Thermal layers
The majority of heated jackets require the need for an additional layer under to help shield your body from the elements of heat inside. One of the most commonly used fabrics used to make these layers is Thinsulate, which is supposed to be light and extremely effective in capturing heat. You will probably need to put the fabric against your skin as you don’t want it touching against the outer layer of the jacket. If you’re thinking of buying an item with heating that doesn’t include an additional layer of warmth, you should be aware that additional layering may be required.
3. Charging Time & Battery Life
The jackets that are included in the table above come with their charger and battery pack. Some batteries will charge fully within two hours, whereas others require up to eight hours. The more your jacket holds warmth, the longer it’ll take to recharge. If you get stuck in a place without access to your charger, consider using an external battery pack to help improve the battery’s performance.
Additionally, keep track of the estimated battery life for every jacket, so that you are aware of the length of time you will remain warm without worrying about recharging or switching out batteries. If possible, try and choose a jacket made with Lithium-ion batteriessince they tend to hold their charge longer than other types of rechargeable batteries.
4. Heating Levels
The majority of jackets we have reviewed come with both high and low heating settings. The low setting is adequate if you intend to only stay outside for a short period of time and will save energy. If you are planning to take a longer ride or to commute for a prolonged time, the high setting is recommended.
5. Comfort Controls
Although many of the jackets are equipped with a remote control or built-in controller, you need some kind of control over how much warmth your jacket produces. This way, when you’re moving from a warm space to one that is cold, you won’t start shivering as soon as you turn your jacket off. All heated jackets should come with temperature controls.
6. Battery Life Indicator
Similar to your car’s fuel tank, it can be frustrating when your battery dies right before you’re due to return home. This is preventable by ensuring that your battery is fully charged and checking the battery indicator before you embark on your bicycle ride. Jackets can inform you of how long your battery is likely to last based on the heat level. This is so you don’t freeze in the cold.
7. Fit and Style
Remember the main purpose of the jacket you’re wearing. A loose cut is ideal if you plan to use the jacket for outdoor pursuits. A fitted jacket is ideal when you’re searching for something flexible that can be worn every day.
For more information, click men’s heated jacket