Heated vests are essentially powered by rechargeable batteries that produce sufficient heat to keep you warm during the cold winter months. Over the years, heated vests have become increasingly popular, with fashionable and high-quality designs from brands like Ororo, Volt and Lenz taking the lead.
Due to their modern appearance, you can easily wear them over your current clothing, and they are perfect for any situation where battling the cold is a top priority. This can include hiking in cold conditions, or simple outings.
For warmer environments, heated vests obviously aren’t necessary, but for colder countries, or if your city (or ski mountain!) is freezing during winter, heated vests are a life saver and are well worth it.
There are numerous options available on the market today, but not all provide the same features or benefits. It’s a good idea to understand what you’re buying.
How long do heated vests last?
Commonly, heated vests will last for up to 10 hours of continuous heat if your vest is using a rechargeable battery. However, all vests are different and some models include several heating levels, which means that you can get more hours from a low heat setting, and less hours from a high setting as it uses more battery.
This is a good feature for when you are moving about, or when you’re entering different environments during a cold winters’ day. As you move about, your body will start to warm up, so you can reduce the heat intensity and save your battery life.
Some vests don’t include a battery, while inferior models may only last a few hours. A select few, though, can also provide heat for 15+ hours.
Are heated vests dangerous?
No. Heated clothing from reputable brands such as Arris and Ororo are completely safe and have been tried and tested by tens of thousands of people. Flexible carbon fiber heating elements are common, and they provide heat when connected to the battery.
These elements will never touch the skin and can also be put in the washing machine. For the best experience, you should follow the user manual that is included with your vest, as not all vests are made equal.
You don’t need to worry about electrocution as the voltage is very low and most good quality vests are also weatherproof, and suitable for cold/snowy conditions.
Cheaper vests that don’t follow the same quality standards may impose risks though. When ordering a vest from China, or if you’re paying well below the average prices, be extra careful as burns may occur. In most cases though, what you’ll find is that the battery life is shocking, and the heat is abysmal in cheaper or knock off versions.
How do you use a heated vest?
They are pretty easy to use, with some allowing for multiple temperature options, and complete control over which areas of the vest you’d like to activate.
Simply throw on the vest and make sure that the battery is charged. You may even find that the vest is warm without turning it on!
To control the settings, you’ll either use an included remote control, or you will be fiddling with the in-built buttons which are quite straight forward. Most of the time these buttons will be on the front on the vest, near the chest area.
Can you wash a heated vest?
Some vests allow you to machine wash them, while others are strictly hand wash only. Always read your instructions and make sure that you remove the battery before washing, and run them on a gentle cycle. Don’t use heat to dry it, but let it hang and give it time to dry.
How much do heated vests cost?
You can find heated vests for as cheap as $20-30, or as expensive as $300+. When ordering any piece of heated clothing though, whether that’s a heated vest, jacket, gloves, or socks, we recommend that you don’t cheap out. High quality heated vests offer great value for money, and this is supported by their warranty.
Furthermore, cheaper products tend to break more easily, don’t produce enough heat, and are made with lower quality material. You want your gear to last, and not to break apart after a few uses.
What to consider before buying a heated vest
- Style & Features – Look for vests with pockets to keep your hands warm, and USB ports to charge your phone which out and about. Other great features include rechargeable batteries, hoods, headphone ports, and zippers.
- Voltage – The higher the voltage, the hotter the vest can get on its highest temperature. Most range between 5-12V which is fairly good.
- Battery Life – Some heated vests can go through a whole day or more with a single charge, while others will fall flat after just a few hours. Take note on how long you will be using the vest for, and order accordingly. Some vests may promise 8 hours battery life, and they instead only run for 5 hours. It’s a good idea to check reviews or the companies reputation if you are hesitant.
- Material – Cheaper material will wear and break, while stronger material (lightweight, insulted fabric) can be well worth the investment. If you are going to be wearing your vest outside when it’s raining or snowing, make sure that your model is weatherproof.
- Cost – Before looking, have a budget in mind and plan for what accessories or extra features you require, such as a headphone jack and waterproof pockets.
In conclusion, are they worth it?
If you’re heading into winter, or if you’re always cold, heated clothing is definitely worth it. In some occasions, the heat may also promote blood circulation, and can help with muscle and joint pains.
Some heated vests are also unisex which is great for sharing your vest with a partner or a friend. To get extra warm, you still have the option of layering up with multiple coats or hoodies over your vest. If you’re getting too warm, simply turn the vest off.