Brookstone and Warmthru Battery Heated Vests
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
Battery Heated Vest Review
Our review of the revolutionary Jett battery heated vest has
generated more interest than just about any product that we've reviewed in
quite some time.
Many visitors have asked about other battery heated vests
and we tried three different types.
We reported our initial thoughts in the
Battery Heated Vest Review, but we
wanted to take a closer look and this is our updated report.
A company apparently either manufactures or distributes several different battery heated
vests, which are sold under various brand names by both small and large
As we reported in the addendum, the "Electra" battery heated vest, sold by
Hammacher Schlemmer, is sold on the Hammacher Schlemmer website
as of this writing for $129.95 plus shipping and handling.
We had problems with that vest -- the batteries would not
take or hold a charge. After contacting the manufacturer, we
learned that some of
the batteries used in these types of vests have a limited shelf life and
must be used and recharged on a regular basis.
The company said they
redesigned the batteries, but apparently some
of the older versions are still in stock (as of this writing, December
2006). We have since returned the vest for a refund.
So we decided to continue the search, based on your
enthusiasm and interest in this topic. Several visitors told us about
(U.S.A.) "Tri-Zone Heated Fleece Vest", which is the black vest shown in the
We also received an email from
manufacturer of battery heated clothing in Scotland (see the recent
wBW review of the
Warmthru battery heated gloves). They sent us one of their vests
to try; it's the tan-colored vest in the photo above.
We had problems with the batteries in both of these
vests; they have been reluctant to take and hold a charge. The
shelf life of the batteries seems to be very limited -- if the vests aren't
used within a couple of days, the batteries lose their charge.
Although we initially could not recharge the batteries in the Warmthru vest,
we were able to get them recharged again after the third attempt.
We're not certain why we're having the battery charging problem with these
|Brookstone "Venture" Tri-Zone
||Warmthru Battery Heated Vest
The bottom line is that it's our opinion that the
Battery Heated Vest provides a much higher level of
noticeable heat than any other battery heated vest we've tried as of this
nearly equivalent to the best of the wired heated vests we've tried and the Jett's
highest setting is almost too hot when the vest is worn underneath a
cold-weather motorcycle jacket.
In comparison, the Warmthru vest is a distant second; if
it's kept on the "Hi" setting, it provides some heat, but it feels to me more like a good insulating vest rather than a vest that has its own heat
source. I rate the Venture Brookstone Tri-Zone Fleece vest is last and it doesn't
seem to provide the kind of warmth I need.
It should be noted that the Jett, Brookstone, Warmthru (and
Hammacher Schlemmer) vests are not specifically designed for motorcycling.
The Jett vest is more "motorcycle user friendly" than the others, because it
has a short extended control switch, it fits nicely underneath a motorcycle
jacket and it has a flat battery pack that is relatively unobtrusive.
NOTE: As of July 2007, the manufacturer of the
Brookstone vest claims to have
improved the product, but we have not evaluated the updated designs.
Both the Warmthru and Brookstone Tri-Zone vests use two
smaller, square shaped batteries that can be felt when the vests are worn
underneath a snug-fitting motorcycle jacket.
The batteries in the Warmthru vest are located in small
pockets inside the right and left sides of the front of the vest. The
batteries in the Brookstone Tri-Zone vest are located rather unfortunately
in the outer zippered hand pockets instead of in their own dedicated
Switch inside the Warmthru vest.
One of the two batteries in the Warmthru vest.
The Warmthru vest is made from 100% polyester, while the
Brookstone vest is constructed from a heavy fleece material, which makes it
more bulky underneath a close-fitting motorcycle jacket. It also has a
high thick fleece collar, which may not fit under some winter motorcycle
jackets, many of which have collars that are too tight to begin with.
Also, the black fleece on the Brookstone jacket picked up a
huge amount of lint, hair and dirt as I used it. It's very hard to keep
clean -- see the photo below. Black fleece is probably one of the
worst fabrics in this regard.
The Warmthru vest seems light weight in comparison, but our
example has many loose threads, which doesn't provide much confidence in its
The Warmthru vest weighs 1.0 pounds, while the Brookstone
vest is the heaviest at 1.6 pounds and the Jett weighs 1.3 pounds.
This may not seem like much of a difference, but the combination of the
weight and the heavy fleece make the Brookstone vest seem heavy and
bulky while riding a motorcycle.
Both the Brookstone and Warmthru vests have hidden switches;
the Brookstone switch is located inside a zippered pocket on the outside of
the left chest and the switch on the Warmthru is located in a small Velcro
covered pocket inside the right chest area.
The Brookstone vest switch
controller is a two-part affair and is relatively bulky. It is
supposed to control both the heat level and the location of the heat (front
or back or both), but the vest doesn't put out enough heat to notice a
The location of the switches on both of these vests makes it
impossible to change the heat settings while riding, although both vests put
out so little apparent heat that the setting can probably be left on "Hi"
The batteries, switches and chargers are slightly more
complicated and use more parts than the Jett vest.
The switch on the Brookstone vest is located inside
a pocket on the outside of the vest.
One of the two batteries in the Brookstone vest.
The batteries are located in the outer hand pockets.
Some of the loose threads on the Warmthru vest.
The black fleece of the Brookstone vest attracts lots of lint.
There's no question that battery heated clothing is a revolution for
motorcyclists and we're certain that it will only get better as this type of
clothing evolves. Although the Jett vest could use a slightly longer
cable for its switch and perhaps a more centrally located battery pack,
based on our experience, the vest puts out much more heat than the other
three battery heated vests we've tried.
Review: Warmthru and Venture Battery Heated Vests
Retail Price: Warmthru - £98.50 (~$193.00) + S/H.
Brookstone - $150.00 + S/H.
|Colors: Warmthru - Tan.
Brookstone - Black.
in: Both vests made in China
The Warmthru vest comes with a UK electrical plug and a U.S. adapter is
available for an extra £6. Adapters can also be found at various
retailers in the U.S. Review Date: December 2006
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From "L.K." (4/10): "I have had 3 Warmthru heated
vests in the last 12 months. On every one the switch has broken,
often getting stuck on high to start with and then when it does turn off
it will never turn back on. Sometimes the switch broke in a matter
of days, sometimes months. It is now out of guarantee and I have
no vest and no refund."