Blazewear Battery Heated Vest
Blazewear Battery Heated Vest Review
by H.B.C. for webBikeWorld.com
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Owner Comments (Below)
Tourmaster Synergy Heated Gloves Review
A simple and (very) effective heated garment,
it has few bells-n-whistles and doesn’t need them.
Proven singlet design, very well made, lightweight with effective
insulation and even more effective heating panels. It does what
it is supposed to do, without fail.
The battery lives up to its claimed performance parameters
and with the optional double capacity battery upgrade the vest
could provide up to a full day of heat depending on the setting
A bit of a price premium compared to some other heavily discounted
brands but in my mind well worth the investment.
Anything this light and simple that keeps me this warm and
comfortable is good -- very good.
has long found a home within the motorcycling community and
for good reason.
Be it a vest, jacket liner, pants, socks, insoles or even
heavy duty outer garments, the warmth and comfort provided by
heated clothing is pretty much guaranteed to result in a real
return on investment, not to mention the safety factor.
But speaking of safety anyway, riding in less than perfect
weather conditions can be challenging, exhilarating and rewarding.
But, it can also be downright dangerous if certain conditions
and factors are ignored.
Low temperatures combined with wind-chill and inadequate
gear can quickly reduce even the hardiest of motorcyclists to
shivering individuals in short order. I have been there, done
that and now avoid recreating the scenario.
I also spend a lot of time (constructively) reminding other
riders regarding this matter. Piles of research and rider experiences
attest to the fact that frozen fingers and cold joints impaired
by exposure, fatigue and poor blood circulation result in real
and very perceptible delayed response times when receiving a
flash command from the brain.
So while the following might seem to be a given for many,
it bears repeating -- warm and comfortable riders and/or passengers
tend to be far more alert and cognizant. Situational awareness
is maintained, along with the physical ability to respond quickly
to unforeseen or, emergency situations.
Blazewear Heated Clothing
Blazewear was founded in late 2005. The company manufacturers
battery heated clothing that incorporate technologies such as
carbon heat transfer fabric and lithium batteries.
The heated clothing was first developed in England for use
by outdoor workers, but Blazewear also says that the heated
garments are popular with the elderly, people with disabilities
and others who experience cold-related ailments.
General heated product categories for humans include jackets,
vests, gloves, scarves and insoles, along with batteries and
related accessories. The Blazewear product listing also includes
a heated horse rug – something that I would have welcomed so
many years ago when I spent a fair bit of time in the saddle
and had two mounts to care for.
The Unisex Heated Rider Sports Vest evaluated here is just
one example of the heated clothing produced by Blazewear and
marketed in the USA by Blazewear Distributors, LLC.
Blazewear Heated Vest is nicely finished around the collar (L).
Dual adjustment tabs at the hem (R).
The Blazewear Heated Rider Sports Vest
This unisex garment is based on a very simple clothing garment
that can trace its origin back a long, long time. Also known
as a singlet, this garment is one of those most basic but seemingly
essential pieces of clothing adopted for a wide variety of uses.
As designed by Blazewear, the Heated Rider Sports Vest is
totally unassuming, less its distinctive Red and Black panels,
but is totally functional in virtually any environment or setting.
The garment features a waterproof (water-resistant) and windproof
nylon outer with a very light polyester thermal layer for warmth.
The vest fits so well and so comfortably that one forgets
it is being worn. Meant to be worn as a mid layer or outer layer,
the garment is very effective in keeping the core body area
warm, with or without the heating system activated. When more
heat is needed, it’s a simple matter to power on and set the
controller to the desired setting.
While far more simple compared to many other heated garments
on the market, the Blazewear vest is very effective. It features
three heating areas located for optimum efficiency: one on the
back and one on each side of the chest. Internal wiring is minimal,
hard to detect and never obtrusive in any way.
The heat controller and 2200 mAh Lithium Ion rechargeable
battery are integrated in one small, easy to handle module that
fits easily into its inside pocket on the lower left front of
the vest. The module is connected to the vest via a small coaxial
lead tucked inside the pocket.
A pressure sensitive On/Off LED switch glows Green when the
system is on and a small digital display indicates which of
the five temperature settings have been selected via the Up
and Down pressure controls located above and below the display.
The standard battery supplied with the system is claimed to
provide 1.75 to 4.5 hours of heating.
Once must remember however that battery life and therefore
use time are based on battery condition, temperature setting(s)
used, outer layers being worn and environmental conditions.
Regeneration of the battery using the supplied AC/DC charger
is a simple matter – it typically takes 2.5 to 3.0 hours to
bring it back to full charge. As per the included instruction
sheet, the battery pack is good for at least 400+ charges.
One thing that should be done initially is to fully charge
and discharge the battery once or twice which will ‘exercise’
the battery fully, something that typically results in longer
battery life and more efficient use or cycling of the battery.
Blazewear Battery Heated Vest Heat Controller (L) and Battery
offers optional components that can increase use time and provide
more flexibility in using the garment itself. A double capacity
(4400 mAh) component can add up to 3.5 to 9 hours of heating
time, again depending on use and conditions. Standard replacement
components - standard battery, car charger (NA cigarette connector)
and an AC charger are available as well.
Fit, Form and Function
the course of two plus months, the vest has been used constantly
for a variety of activities – riding of course, working out
in the garage and yard, long walks and just keeping the body
warm when needed.
The vest is extremely light-weight and just plain comfortable.
It features a full cut with minimal tapering and for me, the
fit was perfect. The arm-holes are just right, providing clearance
for the arm clad in a long-sleeved light shirt or fleece – no
restriction whatsoever. The collarless neck is well cut and
provides lots of room.
Unlike so many other motorcycling garments on the market
that only have a single or one-way zipper, the full double zipper
on the vest is very much appreciated: allowing the smooth running
zipper to be opened from either the top or bottom. If the vest
is too long or bunches up, the ability to open up the bottom
In one particular instance, the vest proved itself by keeping
my spouse warm during Remembrance Day/Veteran’s Day ceremonies
on a cool November day in Ottawa. Having just returned from
an overseas tour where high 30s C to plus 40 C temperatures
were the norm, the garment kept her warm for close to four hours
before the battery finally ran out (controller was set to ‘2’).
On cool ride days when some heating assistance may or may
not be required, I find that wearing the vest over a long-sleeved
body shirt or a very light fleece and under a good wind-proof
outer layer is just the ticket.
Outside of the warmth it provides, I typically forget the
garment is being worn, it is that comfortable. Depending on
the wearer’s riding position and fit of any over-garment, the
battery may be felt even though it is quite small and well secured
in its pocket. When wearing a loose outer jacket and sitting
in an upright position I can’t feel the battery at all.
When wind-chill begins to take its toll or ambient temperatures
drop, it is a simple matter to turn the system on and set the
controller to the desired temperature. For most rides, a setting
of two or three is sufficient – the technology used is that
effective. Operating the vest at these settings will provide
three to four hours of operating time.
Clockwise from top left: Blazewear Heated Vest battery
charger, battery, protection plugs, owner's manual.
Motorcycle Books, GPS, Electronics,
Training Videos, Clothing and More at the
Care and Handling
Rider Sports Vest is as easy to care for it is to wear. Simply
remove the battery, cover the plug with the (provided) cap,
close the zippers, wash with similar colors and then hang it
to dry, which it will, quickly.
Vital Statistics of the Blazewear Heated Vest:
Weight of vest with battery is
Weight of vest alone is 402 grams.
Weight of battery is 124 grams.
Standard Li-ion Battery is 7.4V
with a 2200mAh rating.
is a great tool for motorcyclists. New technologies and innovative
designs have provided us with a wide range of components and
garments from which to choose. Mounted on your favorite two-wheeled
conveyance, the choice is yours – wired or portable.
Battery powered garments still tend to be ‘lightweight’ in
terms of performance and use times although significant enhancements
in battery and distribution technology are closing the gap.
There will always (likely) be some performance differences
between wired or portable garments, but depending on the power
supply and efficiency of the garment, the effectiveness of battery
powered garments cannot be overlooked and they provide options
for some situations that just cannot be matched by wired garments.
The Blazewear Heated Rider Sports Vest is a really good example
of what choices we have in heated clothing.
It can be worn anytime for almost any activity where that
extra core warmth is desired or needed. As a lightweight mid-layer,
it is perfect for motorcycling as long as its limitations are
Product Review: Blazewear Heated Vest
||2009 List Price:
$195.99 USD (Street price approx. $170.00)
|Colors and Sizes:
Black/red. XS to XXL
||Made In: China
(vest; battery unmarked)
Date: December 2009
|Notes: Warranty: Warranted
from manufacturing defects for a one year period
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From "G.U." (12/09): "In
my opinion this vest is poorly designed for motorcycling. The
most vulnerable area of the body when riding is around the neck,
where cold air enters between jacket and helmet. So the vest
at least needs a tall, tight fitting collar. With the limited
power available due to using batteries, I would design the vest
to have a collar and only have the heating elements in the collar
and upper chest."
Editor's Reply: Actually, most motorcycle
vests are made specifically without a collar, because
winter jackets have tight and tall collars, making it sometimes
very difficult to fit anything else underneath the jacket collar
without making it too tight around the neck. I sometimes have
problems fitting even a turtleneck under a winter jacket collar
and I usually use a neck "gaiter" or wind block on
the outside of the jacket collar to block the wind. So in fact,
I'd much prefer a vest with no neck. Check out the motorcycle
vests we've reviewed and you'll find that they have specifically
designed with a low neck.
From "M.D." (12/09): "(With)
regards to battery handling:
'Avoid frequent full discharges because this puts additional
strain on the battery. Several partial discharges with frequent
recharges are better for lithium-ion than one deep one. Recharging
a partially charged lithium-ion does not cause harm because
there is no memory. (In this respect, lithium-ion differs from
nickel-based batteries.) Short battery life in a laptop
is mainly cause by heat rather than charge / discharge patterns.'"