With the outdoor sector getting ready for winter, the demand for clothing that is heated continues to grow. It can be difficult to determine what size jacket or vest will suit your needs. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you select the most appropriate size based on your requirements.
1. Size and Fit of Jackets
Although sizing varies by retailer, your jacket has to fit properly so that the elements of heat inside can do their job. Therefore, always refer to the manufacturer’s sizing chart on their site, and should you be unsure about which size to choose, go to the smaller size.
Be aware that not all jackets are created to keep you warm. These types of jackets often are less insulated than more advanced winter cycling equipment. You may want to consider purchasing a more robust winter cycling jacket if you feel your jacket isn’t performing very well in colder conditions.
2. Thermal layers
Most heated jackets require need for an additional layer to shield your body from the elements of heat inside. Thinsulate is the most popular option for these layers. It’s light and can hold heat efficiently. This layer is recommended to be applied to your skin to keep it from rubbing against the surface of your jacket. If you’re looking to purchase a heated jacket without the added warmth, it may be necessary to layer it with more.
3. Charge Time and Battery Life
All of the jackets included in the table above come with their charger and battery pack. Some batteries can be fully charged in under two hours, while others require eight. The longer the jacket you wear has warmth, the longer it’ll take to recharge. If you find yourself in a position where there is no place to plug your charger in an external battery pack is a good option to provide your battery with additional juice.
It is also important to keep note of the expected life of the batteries for each jacket so you’re aware of how long can stay comfortably warm without needing to recharge or swap out batteries. Look for jackets that use Lithium-ion batteries, if you can. They tend to last longer than the other kinds.
4. Heating Levels
The majority of the jackets in our list come with two levels of heat: Low and High. If you’re only planning to stay for a short period and you want to cut down on power then the lower setting is more than sufficient. If you’re planning to take a longer ride or commute for a long period of time, the high setting is suggested.
5. Comfort Controls
Many jackets have a built-in remote control, however it is important to control the heat that the jacket is able to produce. If you are moving from a heated space to a cold one the jacket will not cause you to start shivering the moment you turn off. All jackets that are heated should include a temperature control.
6. Battery Life Indicator
As with your car’s gas tank, it can be frustrating when your battery goes out just as you’re due to return home. One method to avoid this scenario is to look at the indicator of battery life prior to leaving for your bike ride and checking that the battery is fully charged. Certain jackets will tell you how long your battery will last depending on the heat level you have selected to ensure you don’t find yourself stuck outside in the cold without any warning.
7. Fit and Style
Be aware of the function of the jacket you’re wearing. A looser cut is best when you intend to use the jacket for outdoor pursuits. If however, you’re looking for something more versatile and can be used as part of your everyday outfit, then you’ll choose a form-fitting jacket.
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