Blazewear Battery Heated
Blazewear Battery Heated Vest Review
by H.B.C. for webBikeWorld.com
| 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,
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 used.
A bit of a price premium compared to some other
heavily discounted brands but in my mind well worth the
Anything this light and simple that keeps me this
warm and comfortable is good -- very good.
Heated clothing has long found a home within the
motorcycling community and for good reason.
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
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
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
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
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
Blazewear Heated Vest is nicely finished around the
collar (L). Dual adjustment tabs at the hem (R).
The Blazewear Heated Rider Sports
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
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
Blazewear 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
Fit, Form and Function
Over 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
Care and Handling
The Heated 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
Vital Statistics of the Blazewear Heated Vest:
Weight of vest with
battery is 526 grams.
Weight of vest alone is
Weight of battery is 124
Standard Li-ion Battery
is 7.4V with a 2200mAh rating.
Heated clothing 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
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 appreciated.
Review: Blazewear Heated Vest
||2009 List Price: $195.99
USD (Street price approx. $170.00)
|Colors and Sizes: Black/red.
XS to XXL
in: China (vest; battery unmarked)
Notes: Warranty: Warranted from manufacturing defects
for a one year period after purchase.
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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.'"