The Breakdown

The Gerbing Gyde 7V Torrid vest is a versatile heated vest with no strings (or cords) attached.
Aesthetics 90%
Build Quality 90%
Comfort 96%
Heat 84%
Versatility 98%
Value 84%
Pros
Versatility / Quality construction / Comfort / Simple controls
Cons
Not as much coverage as plug-in models / Battery life on extended rides

Introduction

Gerbing has been producing heated gear for more than 40 years. They have two product lines, identified as 12V and 7V. The 12V line of products is aimed at Powersports, as they require the gear to be plugged into a 12-volt power source. The 7V line of products uses a rechargeable 7-volt lithium battery as a power source.

As I would be testing on two bikes and didn’t want to add additional wiring to both, I went with the 7V cordless option.

It was the last week of July when the request came out to review heated gear. The current temperature was around 30 Celcius ( 86 F) with a humidex of 35 C (95 F). I know this isn’t the extreme heat that a lot of southern regions get, but for just north of Toronto, it was hot.

I have not used heated gear in the past, and always wanted to give it a try, so I jumped at the opportunity. I did have one caveat, I would not be testing until late September or October.

*Note: Gerbing Heated Clothing provided the V7 Torrid Heated Vest for the purposes of this review

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Features

From Gerbing:

Product Description:

The Torrid Softshell Vest gives you unprecedented warmth and flexibility in the most extreme conditions. Built to protect you with four-way stretch softshell material, a bonded fleece back and four patented Microwire™ heating zones, you won’t want to leave home without it.

Gerbing Gyde Torrid Shell Features:

  • Four-way stretch softshell material with bonded fleece back
  • DWR finish repelling snow and rain
  • Four Microwire heating zones: collar, chest (2), and back
  • Reaches temperatures up to 135 F
  • Equipped with a dual-mode 7-volt battery and wall charger
  • Ideal mid-layer or outerwear piece
  • Four Zone Heated for Targeted Warmth: Neck, Chest (2), Back
  • Water and Wind Resistant
  • Retains Heat

Battery (4 Heat-Settings indicated by Lights & Heat Times):

  • 100% (4 red/blue lights) – 2 Hours
  • 75% (3 red/blue lights) – 3 Hours
  • 50% (2 red/blue lights) – 5 Hours
  • 25% (1 red/blue lights) – 8 Hours

First Impressions

The theme of the review could easily be versatility. When I first tried on the vest my first impression was that this could be used for so much more than motorcycling. Unlike the 12V heated liners which require you to be tethered to the bike, the lithium battery in the Torrid vest opens up so many more options for use.

In fact, the first time I used the vest wasn’t on the motorcycle. One of my riding buddies Norm recently moved to a beautiful old house without a garage for storing his bike. It did, however, have an old shed at the back of the property with limited access.

So on a cool drizzly day, with help from another riding friend Pete, we set about to remedy this problem. I gathered up all the cordless tools I thought we would need to create wider access to the backyard and shed.

On my way out the door, I decided to add another cordless tool… the Torrid 7V vest. I was glad I did. It worked great, I couldn’t wait to give it a try on the bike.

My first ride was on a cool morning, but with the forecast to warm up. The vest fits easily under my motorcycle jacket. As I am, what I like to call well-insulated and tend to run a little hot, I set the temperature on the vest to the lowest setting and headed out.

What I found was that the vest did a great job of taking away some of the chill. As the day got a little warmer I was able to turn the vest off, but it still acted as a very good mid-layer.

Gerbing Gyde 7V Torrid Heated Vest Includes:

  • Vest
  • 7V 3400 mAH Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery Pack (25.16Wh)
  • Wall Charger
  • Detailed Instructions
  • Gerbing Lifetime Warranty

Gerbing Gyde 7V Heated Torrid Softshell Vest and included items

After several weeks of riding, and other uses, these are my thoughts on the Gerbing Gyde 7V Torrid Softshell Vest.

Construction

Shell

The shell appears to be well constructed with a bit of stretch in the material for extra comfort. The main zipper feels strong and smooth and is backed with a rubber seal.

There are four pockets: two exterior hand pockets, one exterior chest pocket, and one interior chest pocket. There is a small zippered pocket inside the left-hand pocket to hold the battery and plug. So, that kinda makes five. All the pockets, inside and out, are zippered.

The outer chest pocket is bonded with rubber for added water resistance. The interior, including the collar, is lined with fleece for added comfort.

Colorways

The 7V Torrid comes in four colors: Blue, Black, Green, and Camo. The following colors are from the Gerbing website.

Gerbing Gyde 7V Heated Torrid Softshell Vest colorways

I have inspected the material and zippers after several rides, everything is wearing very well and looks as good as new.

Battery Charging & Heating

The vest includes one 7V Lithium battery along with a wall charger. The interior contains four heating zones. Two on the chest, one in the back and one on the collar.

Gerbing Gyde 7V Heated Torrid Softshell Vest heating zones

I charged the battery overnight, as recommended by Gyde. Simply plug the charger into the wall and plug the cable into the battery. When the light on the charger changes from red to green the battery is fully charged. Gyde indicates that a full charge should take about 3 hours and I found that to be accurate.

Gyde also recommends that you maintain at least 25% charge when the battery is not in use to help prolong battery life.

Usability is simple.

Gerbing Gyde 7V Heated Torrid Softshell Vest battery

After charging the battery:

  • Locate the power pocket inside the left outer pocket. A nice touch, the pull tab on the left outer pocket has a red pull tab.
  • Open the power pocket to locate the power plug and plug it into the battery.
  • Press and hold the power button located on the battery until the LED lights illuminate.
  • Push the power button to select the temperature you would like. (4 red lights = high heat, down to 1 red light for lowest heat)
  • Place the battery into the pocket and close the pocket.
  • To turn the heat off, press and hold the power button.

To check the battery level of charge:

  • Disconnect the battery from the power cord.
  • Press and hold the power button.
  • LED lights to indicate the remaining power will illuminate (4 lights indicate a full charge, 1 light is 25% charge.

During my use, I found the battery life to be very close to the numbers provided by Gyde:

  • 100% (4 red/blue lights) – 2 Hours
  • 75% (3 red/blue lights) – 3.5 Hours
  • 50% (2 red/blue lights) – 5 Hours
  • 25% (1 red/blue lights) – 7.5 Hours

Additional Battery Upgrades

For extended cold-weather riding and for peace of mind, I would lean toward a 12-volt system that plugs into the bike directly. Two hours on the high setting would not be enough in these situations. This could be achieved with multiple batteries, along with a 12-volt dual car charger. I did not have a car charger to test, so I am not aware of how long it would take to charge the battery while mobile.

If like me, you run a little on the warm side, you might be able to ride all day on two batteries.

Additional batteries cost about $40 each, the dual car charger is about $20 and there is also a dual wall charger available for about $20.

Gerbing Gyde 7V Heated Torrid Softshell Vest battery pocket

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Overall Build Quality

Gerbing has been making heated clothing for many years. You don’t stay relevant this long without a reputation for quality. The 7V Torrid vest appears to be very well put together. During my review period, I have not encountered any problems with the build quality.

Fit & Feel

Sizing

The 7V Torrid vest comes in 5 sizes; Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, and XX-Large

Using the size chart on the Gyde website, I selected the XL. My chest size is 47 inches, which falls between Large and X-Large.

Gerbing Gyde 7V Heated Torrid Softshell Vest chart

Use this size chart from Gerbing to determine your fit. Try on the gear for the best fit as sizes may vary by style.

Comfort

I found the vest to be very comfortable to wear. The 4-way stretch outer shell allowed the vest to form to my body. The bonded fleece interior allowed for a soft feel, with no shifting between the interior and exterior. I always wore the vest over a base layer. To get the full impact of the heating elements the vest should fit snug. The stretch material easily allows for this.

Heat coverage is two patches on the chest, one on the back and across the collar. I would like to see larger heat zones, but this may be a limitation of the 7-volt system. I really liked the high collar for heat and wind protection.

Overall, I found the 7V Torrid vest to be very comfortable.

Gerbing 7V Torrid Vest front and back view

Care & Storage Instructions

The vest should be hand washed only. Do not dry clean.

  • After removing the battery and tucking the cable into the power pocket, hand wash gently with a mild detergent in cold water.
  • Rinse thoroughly and gently squeeze out the water, do not wring or twist.
  • Lay flat or hang to dry.
  • Do not iron, do not put in the dryer, do not use a heat source like a hairdryer.
  • Once dry, gently tap the plug to confirm it is dry.
  • Check the plug periodically for cracks or exposed wires.
  • Before storing, ensure the vest is completely dry inside and out.
  • Store the vest folded, laid flat or on a hanger.

Gerbing 7V Torrid Vest care instructions

Conclusion

It is now early November as I am writing this review. As you can see from the picture below, winter has come early to the Greater Toronto Area. This picture reinforced one of my initial impressions of the 7V Torrid vest, and that is its versatility. As my wife and I headed out to walk the dog (Chewbacca), I threw on the vest with a light jacket over the top (removed for photo). It worked very well.

Gerbing 7V Torrid Heated Vest worn in the winter wilderness with Alan and Chewbacca

I turned the power up for the start of the walk, turned it down part way through and powered it off when I was completely warm. This reflects the way I used it when riding. I turned it on until the outside temperature warmed up or I personally got warm. After I felt warm, I would either turn it down to save on battery power or turn it off and use the vest as a mid layer.

I think the strength of the Gyde 7V Torrid vest is in its versatility. For riding, as this is a motorcycle website after all, I think it works best for shorter rides on cold days or taking off the chill on an early morning ride. For riders that head out for extended cold weather trips, I would still lean toward a full heating system that is powered by the bike.

Overall, it is a great piece of riding gear, with so many more uses beyond the bike.

Pros

  • Versatility
  • Quality construction & materials
  • Comfort
  • Simple controls

Cons

  • Battery life on extended rides
  • Heat coverage compared to plug-in

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Gerbing
  • Price (When Tested): $199
  • Made In: China
  • Colors: Blue / Black / Green / Camo
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Review Period: Fall 2019

Shopping Now? We Recommend:

webBikeWorld works closely with Revzilla, 2WHEEL, and Amazon to provide our testers with quality products to review. While we have an affiliate relationship and receive a commission from items purchased, this addition comes at no additional cost to you. It is the primary way we pay for our site and reviewers.

RevZilla

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Gerbing Gyde V7 Heated Torrid Softshell Vest Image Gallery

 

5 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Rob
    December 2, 2019
    Reply

    Nice review and interesting product. I like the flexibility of it not being tethered to the bike. It feels like you almost need two systems one tethered and one not for the ultimate in all conditions riding.

    • Jim Pruner
      December 2, 2019
      Reply

      Hi Rob!

      Allan will likely respond too, but I couldn’t resist when I saw your comment about a dual system.

      Unfortunately Gerbing doesn’t seem to offer that option, but I reviewed a Fieldsheer jacket last year that came with a heated liner which DID work plugged into the bike or to a portable power pack. Link here: https://www.webbikeworld.com/fieldsheer-hydro-heat-textile-jacket-hands-on-review-sheer-joy-in-the-field/

      The heated liner is made by Mobile Warming and it worked ok with the portable battery, but not as good as when it was plugged into the bike. You can look up Mobile Warming and see if something there catches your eye if this Gerbing vest doesn’t offer what you want.

      Cheers!

    • Avatar
      Alan Buller
      December 4, 2019
      Reply

      Hi Rob.
      Thanks for the comments. I agree that a dual system would be a great option. I am not sure if the wiring and structure of the 12V vest would cause issues… but I like the idea. The other issue might be cost.
      I think as battery technology improves the need for a tethered option will reduce greatly.

  2. Avatar
    john olsen
    December 3, 2019
    Reply

    For those concerned about battery life, get this: Gerbing makes an excellent more than double capacity battery WITH A REMOTE CONTROL. Instead of unzipping and digging under your riding jacket to change the battery power setting, you simply push a button on the remote, even while riding. I keep the original battery as a spare but rarely use it.

    I have this vest and agree with the reviewer that it’s a great product, on and off the bike. It’s definitely worth the price.

    • Avatar
      Alan Buller
      December 4, 2019
      Reply

      Hi John. Thanks for taking the time to read the review, and to comment.
      You are correct, the extended life battery would be big a benefit for longer rides.
      I assume the extended life battery would provide 4 hours on the hottest setting. This will likely meet the needs of most riders. I think there will still be riders that want to be able to crank up the heat for longer periods.
      Some riders may take issue with spending $200 on the vest plus another $130 for the extended battery.
      As the battery technology improves, and the costs come down, this will definitely be the way to go.
      Not to mention they are so damn versatile.

      Thanks again.

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