In many parts of the world, winter is cold enough to require a change in wardrobe. What this means is no more simply throwing on shorts and sandals to run to the store, and if you’re thinking about enjoying any kind of outdoor activity, proper warm clothing is an absolute must. Luckily, cutting edge textiles are beginning to imbue their latest garments with tech, making it easy to stay warm during even the most frigid of weather winter throws at you.
While down and modern synthetic insulation are excellent at keeping you warm, heated clothes crank the warmth factor to a new level. Generally, there are two types: Motorcycle or heavy-duty gear that’s designed to draw power from your ride, or battery-powered gear designed for casual use. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best heated clothing currently available.
Ravean Heated Gear
The newcomer to the heated gear game, Ravean (pronounced like the techno party, rave-ean) crushed its first Kickstarter campaign. The designers wanted to make something they could wear in any situation — from climbing to office commutes and everything in between — so the Ravean jacket is designed to be light enough to wear layered, yet tough enough to keep you warm in the harshest of conditions. The result is a down jacket that’s already warm on its own and supercharged with built-in heated panels.
Tucked inside the jacket’s own panels are a set of ultra-thin heating inserts, powered by a generously-sized lithium-ion 12V 12000mAH battery. The jacket’s unique power-cycling feature is temperature dependent, so on warmer days, the jacket is more conservative with heating, allowing it to yield up to 10 hours of assisted warmth. The coldest days — we’re talking negatives on a Fahrenheit scale — put greater demand on the battery, possibly draining it in a matter of hours.
The coat also features built-in charging ports that allow you to use excess battery power to juice your mobile devices. Ravean’s battery supposedly charges devices up to six times on a full charge of its own — assuming you don’t use any power to heat up your coat, of course. And finally, as if it didn’t have enough features already, the jacket also comes with a carrying case and a pair of heated gloves. The gloves are designed to draw power from the jacket, so they won’t require their own power source.
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Gerbing 12V Battery Heated Fleece Jacket
Gerbing is another storied name in the growing community of heated clothing. Dutch athlete Johan de With set a new world record for cold open water deep diving while wearing Gerbing gear and said, “I was convinced that I could use some heated products and connect it to a portable battery.” Opting for gear inside his dry suit, he went with Gerbing’s heated waistcoat, glove liners, and socks. The 12V battery survived a depth of 554 feet — nearly 23-feet deeper than the previous record — without issue.
Specifically, Gerbing offers 7- and 12-volt clothing. The 12V line is designed to keep you warm when you’re speeding at 74 miles per hour, or for extended outdoor periods (say, if you’re fishing on a cold day). Stainless-steel microwires encased in a waterproof coating help distribute heat throughout the garment. Lithium-ion batteries and chargers are included and you can buy additional batteries separately.
Because it’s based in the Netherlands, United States customers may have to go on quite the hunt to cop Gerbing’s gear. However, the company recently put out the only heated, full-leg sport bib with an athletic cut you’re likely to find, so if you’re going to spend a lot of time in the great outdoors this winter, it’s worth reaching out to Gerbing for a pair.
If you just want something simple for your day-to-day routine, the Warming Store carries a broader selection of Gerbing gear than Gerbing’s own website. The 7V fleece is a good bet; if you’re thinking of getting a new fleece already, why not make it heated? It maxes out at 135 degrees, but its lithium-ion battery will last eight hours if you keep it to the lowest of its four settings.
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Warm & Safe Generation 4 Men’s Pant Liner
Warm and Safe‘s new Generation 4 pant liners are like heated, moisture-wicking long-johns. Unlike your typical long-johns, however, these are made of stretchy microfiber polyester and nylon taffeta. They’re also gender-specific for a more snug fit and lined with an antibacterial treatment that keeps them from smelling funky between sessions. The cords tuck into zippered pockets when not in use and they have a front panel positioned to block any wind capable of cutting through your legs when riding. Warm and Safe even takes old trade-ins in exchange for a discount on new pairs.
The most convenient feature of Warm and Safe’s products is that each piece of gear connects to one another — i.e. The pant liners and gloves plug directly into the jacket liner. They also work with Gerbing clothes and Harley-Davidson, meaning these allow you to pull power from your ride when capable. An entire outfit (pants, jacket liners, gloves, and socks) run roughly a grand but if you have the means, we highly recommend it.
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Ansai Mobile Warming Silverpeak Heated Ski Jacket
A hooded jacket just makes sense when temperatures get low. Fortunately, Ansai’s ski jacket has a water and windproof hood, plus a few cleverly designed heat panels with Thinsulate and reflective paneling. The heating system in Ansai gear uses three heating panels in the usual placement — two on the chest and one on the back — with steel alloy fibers.
Perhaps one of its best features is the fact the jacket gives wearers roughly 10 hours out of its 7.4V battery. The styling and materials for the line are a classic ski style as opposed to a biker’s aesthetic, so they won’t look out of place on the slopes. The jackets have an athletic cut, as well, so you can add even more layers if need be.
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EXO2 EXOGLO Heated Vest
The heating element Exo uses in its heated line of clothing are rubber-like polymers which heat up when a current is applied, whether it be from the integrated 12V battery or directly from a compatible ride. Since it’s a polymer, it’s difficult to damage but easy to shape. Additionally, EXO gear doesn’t have wires, meaning tears to the garment are less likely to cause a short circuit. FabRoc, a waterproof, windproof, crushable, and stretchable polymer-based fabric makes up the heat panels.
The ExoGlo Heated Vest offers wearers up to five hours of continuous heating time, depending on how hot they keep it. It’s intended as a mid-layer on the coldest of days and with an external layer constructed of Flylite, the vest is also water-resistant and windproof. There are three FabRoc heating panels, one large kidney panel, and two chest panels, designed to fully keep your body warm. Ladies can also check out the like-minded Bodwarmer.
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ActionHeat AA Battery Heated Socks
Strangely enough, ActionHeat’s strong suit is its accessories as the company boasts a slew of affordable, heated options which are simple to use compared to more complicated motorcycle getups. These include items like scarves, hats, balaclavas, socks, and vests — accessories that can add just enough warmth to get you through tougher commutes without requiring you to swap out a major piece of your ensemble. Its power pack runs on AA batteries and lasts roughly five hours. ActionHeat also makes heated insoles, which are perfect for adding extra warmth to your feet.
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Seirus battery-powered heated gloves
Seirus makes a large selection of self-heating ski gloves powered by the company’s Heat Touch technology, of which uses a 7.4V battery and Flexible Fusion panels to deliver warmth throughout the fabric. The Hellfire is one of the warmest models, featuring 280 grams of HeatLock hollow-core insulation and a fully waterproof shell.
The self-heating panel activates after a wearer touches its integrated button, allowing them to keep their hands and fingers toasty warm for up to 10 hours. All products in the Heath Touch line come in both glove and mitten versions with tabattery and charger included. Other models include the Torche, Ignite, and Inferno.
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