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If you’re looking to take on the cold this year in style and comfort, investing in heated clothing items is a smart decision.

We all know that cold snowy days require warm clothing items, which are often inadequate and bulky.

But do you know that there is smart heated clothing for winter apparel available to keep you warm all season?

Instead of putting on layers upon layers of warm clothing items, which is quite uncomfortable and restrictive of your movements, heated clothing items are the ideal solution. 

That’s right. Heated clothing items, from electric socks to toasty jackets, are worth the investment.

You will stay cozy irrespective of the harsh weather. In fact, you can actually control how warm you wish to get. And it’s not just about staying warm; these warm leggings and pairs of heated gloves are designed to keep you smart and athletic. 

Why Heated Clothing

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Heated clothing items are originally designed for cold-weather activities and sports. Designed for trekking. For outdoor workers like carpenters and construction workers. For sports like snowmobiling, winter biking, diving, downhill skiing, and motorcycle riding

And since the London Olympics, athletes have used heated clothing to warm their muscles before the race.

Now everyone is wearing them.

Normal insulation clothing traps body heat, but if you stop exercising, or if it rains or you sweat, the insulation may not be effective in keeping you warm. 

With heated garments, however, you can stay toasty warm if your jacket is damp from rain or sweat. You will also stay cozy when you are resting and not generating heat.

Instead of continuously removing or adding clothing, trying to maintain a comfortable body temperature, there is a heated clothing item that suits your particular needs.  

Yes. Heated clothing items offer an economical and eco-friendly alternative to regular clothing.

There are also medicinal benefits. To ease pulled or sore muscles, calf and thigh pads are available.

For those suffering from Raynaud’s Syndrome or arthritis, heated gloves can be of great help. Aside from fighting the cold, you are keeping usual sicknesses like fever and cold at bay. 

With the advances in heating technology and the affordability of these gears, heated motorcycle clothing items have become warmer, safer more windproof, waterproof, lightweight and flexible over the years.

And with proper electrical circuitry, you can use these stretchable garments without the snag of hot spots. 

You don’t have to own a motorcycle or like hunting, fishing or camping to use heated clothing.

Heated clothing is now a mainstream technology useful and accessible to everyone.

You can save a lot on utility bills with heated clothing. With battery-powered vests, you can turn on the heat and stay warm.

If your workplace goes the shady path of trying to save money by lowering the heating cost, heated clothes can save you from misery. Fortunately, there is a broad range of heated clothing you can choose from.

For instance, you can wear a heated vest under a shirt or sweater. This not only provides a heated surface to warm up your skin but also traps in your body heat.

If you operate a computer, there are also heated fingerless gloves to keep your hand toasty while you work on the keyboard.

While some heated clothing items have rechargeable batteries, others (gloves, for example) can take their power from the USB port of the computer. 

Are they safe

Original heated clothing items are very safe.

Over the years, manufacturers have invested in its efficiency and safety to increase customer satisfaction.

Heated clothing items are not designed to get too hot or uncomfortable. The wiring is often waterproofed against damp conditions and even detachable in some brands.

When it comes to safety, it is understandable to be unsure about wearing clothing embedded with wires.

However, heated clothing items are perfectly safe.

Unlike the heating elements of your oven or toaster, heated clothing items don’t produce as much electricity to be searing hot. And since you can actually adjust the temperature in special apparel, there is nothing to be squeamish about.

Types of Heated Clothing

We can either classify heated clothing by either their function or technology.

By function

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The most common kinds of types of heated clothing are made for your feet and hands.

In severe cold, your extremities are the most likely parts to suffer frostbite. The cold does terrible things to the body’s blood circulation. Because of this, there are several heated boot liners, socks, mittens and gloves available right now. 

Of course, you can also get heated torso items such as leggings, jackets, and vests (that provide vital core heat to your mid-section).

By technology

Technologically, heated clothing items are either powered electrically, chemically and stored heat

  1. Electrical (battery heated). Electrically heated clothing items are designed with a standard voltage that powers the apparel. While the heat can be turned on or off in some, there are models that allow you to adjust the heating level.

Electrical systems also have rechargeable lithium or nickel-metal batteries. Some electrical systems may also come with extra features like Bluetooth integration, temperature sensors, and the ability to temperature control via a smartphone. In some models, the battery and controller can be detached so that the clothing item can be worn as a normal garment.

Battery-heated clothing items are often classified according to their battery system. We have numerous types of heated clothing in the market. However, the most popular ones are 5, 7.4, and 12-volt batteries.

  1. 5 volt. With the 5-volt power bank, one power bank is used to heat the clothing item as well as charge personal electronics.
  2. 7.4 volt. The 7.4-volt battery, which is the most common kind of battery, is often rechargeable. The 7.4-volt battery system is usually found in heated jackets and gloves. Most 7.4-volt heated clothing items have a span of 2 to 8 hours on a single charge. Of course, this depends on the outside conditions and heat settings. On the other hand, if you choose a brand with an extended-life battery, you can power your vests and jackets for almost 16 hours. 
  3. 12 volt. With the 12-volt battery—specially made for snowmobiles, ATVs, and motorcycles—power is drawn from the vehicle’s battery. Because the 12-volt batteries have a higher voltage than (and more powerful than) the 7.4-volt ones, heating a larger area at a greater temperature is possible. Many 12-volt systems are also compatible with external accessories. For example, a 12-volt heated jacket may be equipped with built-in power cords extending from the wrists to power heated liners or gloves and extending from the bottom of the jacket to power heated liners or pants. A pair of 12-volt heated pants, too, would have built-in cords extending from the bottom of each leg to power insoles, liners or socks.
  1. Stored heat. Heated garments, powered by stored heat, have pouches or pockets in the clothing item where you can insert plastic gel packs. Before going out, you would have to heat it in a microwave (definitely a lot of trouble). When you are outdoors, the gel pack can hold heat for up to 30 minutes to two hours. Of course, this depends on wind conditions, the thickness of the gel pack’s protective insulation against outdoor temperatures, and the gel pack’s size.
  1. Chemical reaction. Heated garments, powered by chemical reactions, have pouches or pockets in the clothing item where you can insert single-use packs of chemical warmers. The warmers are packs that have heat-producing chemicals inside. These warmers are often placed in boots or vests. However, the warmth generated by these is often the lowest.

Battery-powered remains the best

Thankfully, this article is more focused on battery-powered heated clothing items, which are more effective and long-lasting.

Heated clothing for biker

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SARCHU, JAMMU AND KASHMIR, INDIA – JUNE 10: Motorbike tourist riding down on a Leh – Manali National highway on June 10, 2012 in Sarchu, India

Own a motorcycle and want to take it out on chilly weather? Heated clothing is the answer. If you love riding, you will love the heated clothing specially made for motorcyclists. With heated motorcycle clothing, the weather is no longer an excuse. 

For years now, experienced riders have understood the importance of heated motorcycle clothing. The earliest models of heated gear were made by people who enjoyed life on the road—no matter the weather.

Experienced riders understand that the colder it gets, the harder it is for the body to act on reflex. Bike control drops sporadically and hypothermia (the greatest killer of winter outdoor enthusiast) sets in. 

While riding, you need heat to stimulate the flow of oxygen-rich blood and dilate your capillaries to block hypothermia. Even mild hypothermia can impair brain functions and judgment—things you would need while riding.  

Of course, you can wear your heated vest under your motorcycle jacket, eliminating layers of clothing while improving your flexibility. More flexibility and a warmer body allow for a safer riding experience.

Like other heated clothing, heat in heated motorcycle apparel is generated by a rechargeable battery pack or your bike’s battery. One great thing is that the batteries are lightweight (smaller than a deck of cards). Your comfort and physical movements are not disturbed.

If your bike’s battery is your power source, the clothing warms up as long as the bike runs. 

The different manufacturers of heated clothing provide lines of compatible battery packs, adapters, connections and cables, many of which are compatible with other available brands of heated clothing available, and various brands of bikes. 

Note that heated motorcycle clothing isn’t just for riders. If you a person who loves outdoor spectator sports, boating, snowboarding or winter hunting, heated motorcycle clothing adds pleasure and comfort to your activities.

When choosing your item

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Choices

Heated clothing items are always a valuable purchase, but making the most informed decision is essential. There are things to consider before choosing. And because each model has important features, you have to identify which meets all of your needs and requirements.

Before choosing heated clothing apparel, examine the type of technology used by the heated clothing manufacturer.

Focus on newer technologies like smart fabrics—producing heat with low voltage while self-regulating to optimal temperatures.

Fabrics with more dependable insulation and more even heat distribution. You want something that heats up in just a few minutes and lasts for hours. 

Waterproof brands are also great. Even when it is not snowing, you don’t want to the frozen by cold rains.

A waterproof clothing item is even more important if you are involved in water-related activities or will be exposed to a continuous flow of water. 

For bikers, the wind can feel good on the skin on a warm day and feel terrible during winter.

To save yourself from chilling winds, go for a windproof heated clothing item. Look out for sturdy, wind-resistant material to protect you from the elements.

Thickness is another factor. Heated clothing items essentially save you from the bulk of wearing layers upon layers of clothing.

To enjoy your flexibility, focus on clothing apparel that delivers enough heat while still being relatively thin. Fewer layers mean more fun and more movement. Avoiding frostbite shouldn’t mean making it harder to move. Go for heated clothing items that would make packing and carrying your camping gear easier.

The thickness and lining of the clothing are related. Go for brands with a soft and smooth inner lining to enjoy the most flexibility. If you want to wear your sweatshirts underneath your heated jacket, the lining is very important. In fact, high-quality lining means extra insulation—a necessity for winter.

In addition, ask yourself: does this heated clothing item really fit?

sizing-chart

sizing chart

Check for the sizing charts to see which product is right for you. Different manufacturers have different sizing tables. Finding the best size for you means trying them on (if possible) and making some allowances for extra layers that you may put on underneath the heated clothing item.

Of course, your comfort is paramount. You want a heated jacket that will let you enjoy the wintery outdoors for as long as possible.

You want to be able to adjust the heat to a comfortable body temperature. With a simple click of the temperature controller, you should be able to go from warm to really warm in a moment. A functioning temperature control lets you change to different levels of heat. If the weather is unpredictable, going for heated clothing apparel with temperature control is the most convenient option. You should be able to customize your warmth from low to medium to high.

The heating ability of your clothing says a lot about its efficiency. Different clothing of different qualities will provide different degrees of temperature. Note that people react to the same level of heat in different ways. What might be perfect for one person might just be too warm for another? Therefore, you may want to wear a heated clothing item before buying to determine whether it is warm enough for you.

The positioning of heating elements in your jacket is very important. Make sure they are places where you’re most vulnerable to the cold—these include your mid-back and upper back and your right and left chest. These heat zones are very vital.

You can also choose jackets with heating elements that connects down to your core.

For more heat, go for jackets with heating elements located along the sleeves and inside the collar. But note that the greater the number of heating elements, the higher the cost.

Of course, you want something rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries that charge fasts and last for many hours. 

The higher the voltage, the greater the heat output and area of coverage. For example, 7.4-volt batteries provide good heat output and are often lightweight, compact, and affordable.

With 5-volt batteries, however, with lower heat output than the 7.4-volt batteries, you can charge your USB compatible electronic devices—phone and tablet via a USB plug.

If you have a motorbike and require more power, go for 12-volt heated batteries. These often don’t come with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. In its place, the wiring harness is connected to the bike’s battery—serving as a power source. 

As a person with taste and style, you still want to look good and fashionable while staying warm. Since there are many styles to pick from, the style to purchase should come from your personal preference.

Some manufacturers only produce heated clothing in a single unique design. From zippered hoodies to trendy gloves, others produce unique and different styles. To select the right style, you may want to consider your current styles and the current pieces of clothing in your closet. 

For jackets, make sure they have pockets. This will help in storing your personal items while enjoying an outdoor activity. Pockets will save you many worries, but you have to consider the number of items you want to bring with you. Whether it is external or internal pockets, ease of access and convenience should be your focus. And are these pockets secure enough to protect your personal items from the elements?

Choose items that are easy to clean. Know if you would have to hand-wash, air-dry or remove the heating elements to make it machine-washable or dryer-safe.

Warranty vector stamp

Lastly, durability should be your watchword. High-end heated clothing items are not only resilient to wear and tear but their batteries also have a multi-year lifespan too. Also be on a lookout for a manufacturer’s warranty on the product.

Cons of heated clothing

Finding high-quality heated clothing can be a hassle when buying for the first time. And of course, there are a few drawbacks to heated clothing. 

Sometimes the heated clothing would not heat up as fast as you want. Taking longer than expected. Probably because the battery or wiring is faulty or one simply forgets to recharge the battery.

Thermal loss is another problem: heated clothing not staying hot as long as the manufacturers stated it would. Thermal losses could be because of issues with the circuitry or a hole in the clothing material. Or problems with the heating zones. And if the item has just an on-and-off switch, you are left with no option of heat levels. 

There may be issues with the short service life of the insulating components. This is common in knock-off brands. 

Of course, comfort comes with a price. A heated jacket, for instance, can be costly (a few hundred dollars) depending on its advanced features like higher heat level/voltage or greater battery power. But if you want to be warm, safe and flexible, you shouldn’t skimp out on your comfort.

Battery lifespan is a big issue too. Since your heated clothing depends on battery life, you have to be prepared for your batteries to wear out over time. If it is not a manufacturing defect, you might not get free repair or replacements.

Summary

At first glance, a heated clothing item looks like your regular winter clothing. Like regular jackets, heated jackets have a windproof and waterproof outer shell, insulating layer and lining. Some come with high collars and hoods to protect the neck and head region.

This is where the similarities stop. 

Heated clothing, however, have wafer-thin and super-light heating elements between the fabrics. These heating elements are often powered by high-capacity lithium-ion batteries (but other high-end jackets can be powered by motorcycle’s battery). Most heated clothing items are connected using a USB cable to their power source.

Note: not all heated jackets come with their own batteries upon purchase. You may have to purchase the battery separately.  

Heated clothing items are quite versatile. Whether you are a sportsperson, engage in physical activities during cold weather, or just want to stay warm, you can find one that suits your needs.

Resistant to strong winds, breathable, waterproof and stylish, you don’t have to stay holed up inside the house. 

For skiers and snowboarders, lightweight heated jackets (made of polyester and nylon) are good. These heated clothing items are great for everyday use too. Whether you are driving to work, walking your dog, or working around the farm in the middle of winter. But if you live in a frigid region and need extra layers of protection, go for heated puffer clothing. 

Looking for affordable and effective heated clothing?

Learn more about the heated clothing options you have here.

 

  1. Thanks for this very informative post. Heated gloves sounds great. Especially this time of the year. I need to browse your site more. The information is very practical.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for reading the article and for your comment.
      Heated gloves are great and this is especially true when you are outside in the dead of winter. When the temperature drops the hands and fingers get harder to use and to manipulate.This is where heated gloves come in handy by allowing you the warmth to effectively use your hands.
      Take care of yourself and keep warm.
      Bob

  2. Very informative post!
    I did not know that there were products like this out there. These sound like an excellent gift for someone who enjoys being in the cold weather often.
    I regularly have to wear many layers when it is cold and find that doing this is inconvenient. Having a heated clothing item could be great for staying warm but with the ability to move around easily.
    I like to live a very active lifestyle and that can be challenging when it is cold outside. Using these heated clothing items for my daily exercise could be very valuable.
    You provided all the key information to buy heated clothing and whether it is right for you.
    Thanks for sharing this information!

    • I’m glad you found my site and could give you the information you needed.
      Heated clothing is excellent for staying warm in cold winter weather. When you’re active or exercising in the cold you will find yourself sweating and this will cause you to get cold. Heated clothing gives you warmth regardless of the sweat which is on your body. Regular clothing doesn’t wick away the sweat thus it is cooling the body and keeps your body cold. Heated clothing continuously warms you which is great when you stop moving around and sweat is making your body cold. Thanks for reading and for the comment. Let me know if you have any questions or if I can help you I any way.

      Bob

  3. Where can I find Heated Clothing? I’m interested in the motorcycle line of clothes.

    My brother is also a biker, and he even looks like the stereo-typical American Biker too. Big dude, long hair, sleeve tattoo halfway down his left arm. I upgraded from Harley to an Indian. He already has a Chieftain, so it’s cool when we go riding. Not too many Indian Motorcycles on the road. I’ve got a Scout Sixty. It’s bad-a$$!

    Anyway, the idea of a 12V jacket plugged into the power outlet might just entice me to ride when the temperature drops below 40F. Where can I find them?

    Thanks for a great article!

    • You can find a whole line of motorcycle heated clothes here http://shrsl.com/20i2g. You’ll find 71 different motorcycle heated items on the site from motorcycle heated jackets, heated gloves, heated body liners, and socks. All of which will keep you warm while you are riding.

      Always good to hear from bikers as they have unique insights into motorcycles and riding. Congratulations on your upgrade to an Indian bike and let me know if you have questions about the heated motorcycle clothing or if I can help you in any way.

      Take care,

      Bob

  4. Thanks for a great and very informative post, Bob! I have probably heard about heated clothing before but have never paid much attention to it. This sounds like a great option for outdoors activities during the winter, especially ice-fishing or other activities where you don’t get to move a lot.

    • Thanks for reading my post and for your comment. Heated clothing is outstanding for both activities where you don’t move around much and for those activities where you do move around and then stop to rest. When you’re not moving around heated clothing is heating you and keeping you warm. In many activities you are exercising and producing sweat which cools your body. When you stop, you feel cold due to the sweat. With heated clothing, you will still feel warm as the sweat will not be affecting your body as the heated clothes warm you.

  5. Hi, Bob,

    Thank you for putting this information together, I can’t stop being amazed by how far the technology can go nowadays.

    What I really appreciate in the winter coat is its lightweight, while still providing a great amount of warm.

    We are preparing for a family vacation to the mountains area this winter season, what would you recommend in terms of winter coats for men, women and a 3-years old girl?

    Thank you in advance for your advice!

    BR,
    Ionut

    • Hi lonut,

      I have always loved the mountains and I know you and your family will enjoy spending your vacation there.

      I’d recommend the most versatile jacket in the heated apparel industry for women, the Sahara 3 zone heated jacket. It is wind, water, and abrasion-resistant and gives you 3 heating zones for comfort.

      For men, check out the Toaster 5v Bank Heated Hoodie made with a soft polly-cotton blend. It comes with 3 temperature settings and is powered by a universal USB power banks instead of a proprietary power bank so you can power it with a variety of standard power banks.

      I haven’t researched the kids market so I don’t have a recommendation for you there. Your request though will have me researching the kids heated market and I will post an article with the information.

      You can get more information at the link on the bottom of the article for all the heated jackets mentioned above and others you may be interested in.

      Thanks, lonut.

      Bob

  6. Hi Bob,

    Great and comprehensive article. Admittedly, I haven’t followed this industry and was really only aware of heated gloves and break open hand warmers.

    I became interested because I do work outdoors and found in your article valuable information: smart fabrics? Low voltage and self regulating heat? New to me and worth exploring.

    Working out in the cold elements daily you’ve covered what I need to know and I’ll follow your advice. I never would have imagined coming in from a long day in the cold and hanging my coat up to recharge.

    Brian

    • Hi Brian.

      The heated clothing industry keeps getting better with more clothing options to keep you warm and comfortable.

      Working outside in the cold can be difficult and with these types of clothes, you’ll be able to stay warm. You’ll be seeing heated pants and shirts soon as well as liners that go under your clothes for extra warmth.

      Thanks for reading and your comment.

      If you need anything just reach out and I’ll answer your questions.

      Take care.

      Bob

  7. What a nice post you wrote! I really enjoyed reading it and I could not be silent about your post so I decided to leave my comment here and say Thank You for sharing this quality post with others.
    Actually this is exactly the information that I was looking for information about the heated clothing for winter and when I landed on your website and read this post, it answered all my questions in detail.
    So I’m happy that you decided to write about this topic and share it with people. It’s very useful and can definitely be used as a great source for everyone who is interested in this topic.
    I will come back to your website again for sure and I’m looking forward to reading your new posts.)

    Thanks!

  8. Wow, Bob, this is awesome!
    I’ve never thought of heated clothing before. I’ve gotten my husband heated socks for hunting but didn’t realize there were so many options.
    Living in Canada, this type of jacket would be awesome for our long winter season!
    We also have a motorcycle which he loves using. I’m not on it as often because my seat is higher up and farther back, so there’s a large space between us. Needless to say, I get a lot more of the “weather” than he does behind the windshield, lol.
    I might have to look into this for myself!
    Cheers,
    Suzanne

    • Hi Suzanne,

      A motorcycle jacket is a great piece for keeping warm when your riding. The right motorcycle jacket can be plugged into your 12 volt motorcycle battery until you stop riding, keeping you warm for the duration of your ride. You’ll also be able to plug in your heated gloves and heated socks as some jackets are fitted for plugging them into the jacket thus charging them. This ensures there is no loss of power in any of those garments. Thanks for checking the post out.

      All the best,

      Bob

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