Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Calgary Alberta Canada
My opinion is to use corded hookup to your jacket/vest and wireless remote control for comfort and convenience. Jacket vs vest, I find my jacket keeps helps keep my hands warmer than using vests.
I use a company called First Gear, not as well known as Gerbings or Gordon and they did have some growing pains when they were first introduced. I use a close fitting lightweight heated jacket and gauntlet type heated gloves. The jacket fits under my riding gear just fine and the gloves make all the difference in the world to my hands with my poor circulation (diabetes). The wireless remote allows me to control the temp setting of my hands and jacket separately and I have it in a little leather case with a spring clip belt type holder. I clip it to the upper fairing vent, stays there while riding and easy to reach to adjust the settings for my hands and jacket. Having a wireless controller makes for much easier "on the go" adjustments instead of fumbling with a fixed controller at your waist, trying to see it and what setting it is on. The jacket is pre-wired with the heating zones and for the connections to the gloves. All wire connections can be concealed in zippered compartments so the jacket can be worn without cords dangling everywhere. I find that using the heated gear allows me to wear less bulky layers and use the outer shell of my riding gear to keep out the wind and moisture.
Do not use the battery tender pigtail and an adapter to power your heated gear, the wiring is too light gauge to handle the power demands of heated gear.
Buy the proprietary battery harness connection for the brand that you choose and use it to power your heated gear, you can usually get an adapter back to the battery tender pigtail if you need to charge your bike for prolonged periods of time. The proprietary battery harnesses are cheap, its the wireless remote controls that will set you back a few bucks.
The drawback for battery powered gear is the hassle of charging frequently and weight of the battery pack. In your case, you will be using it all the time, and you don't want the battery to die half way home on that 50 mile commute. That battery pack always seems to hang somewhere in a pocket and makes the fit of the garment more uncomfortable for me. Good quality battery powered heated gear will cost just as much or in some cases more.
Invest in good gear, battery or corded, and it will last you much longer.
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