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Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
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  #1  
Old 19 Aug 2006
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Heated Vests - which one?

I'm off to Alaska within the next 2 weeks.

I want to buy a heated vest, but don't know which one to buy. I'm looking at Widder, Gerbings, and http://www.exo2.co.uk/exo2motorcycle.html which looks interesting, not actually having any wires.

Anyone able to recommend one? The Evo2 seems particularly interesting, but I guess there must be some drawbacks, otherwise they'd have cleaned up!

Also, not sure how beneficial the sleeves and collar options are, or if a waistcoat creates enough heat at your "core" to keep the rest of you warm?
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Old 19 Aug 2006
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Thumbs up

Try http://www.heat4jackets.com/ for the budget option!
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  #3  
Old 19 Aug 2006
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Hi Ian,

I can recommend Widder's stuff. Mine's now over ten years old yet still works perfectly.

Could I suggest that you select one without a collar, as you'll never get the top button on your bike jacket fastened if it has one!

Regards

Reggie AKA The Cameraman
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  #4  
Old 19 Aug 2006
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My wife and I both had vests for years and they were OK, not great.
We bought the Gerbing heated jacket liners and they are so much better than the vests.
They are a thin material and do not add the bulk under you jacket as much as a vest does. They are much easier to pack when not in use.
The best is that the sleeves are heated. That makes a big difference.
When your arms are cold your hands will be cold.
We both have the Gerbings jacket liners with the collar and we both like a warm neck.
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  #5  
Old 19 Aug 2006
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I've had my Gerbing jacket for nearly ten years. I realize you lot in the UK have been a bit slow on the uptake on heated gear. When I was in Oxford in
2001 I let my buddy try the Gerbing. He was astounded on his 20 mile commute to work. He ordered one immediatley.

Widder is a cruel joke by comparison and so are most of the Euro units who
are new to the heated clothing game. Go with Gerbing. Get the thin jacket
liner. As stated above, heated sleeves are the Dogs Bollocks.

You can ride in below freezing temps in relative comfort.

Also see a new US company called Warm & Safe. Very nice jacket that
I'm testing at the moment for the magazine.

BTW mate, you are WAY too late for Alaska. You'll not get far, trust me.
Talk to any locals. August 15th is the absolute cut off. You may see some of the Southern bits and Canada but further north, Alaska will be weathered in.

Cheers,

Patrick
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  #6  
Old 20 Aug 2006
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Heated vest

I have been using widder heated gear since 1980. Works great and draws very little current (really look at current draw and bike output). I have run sidecars in temps that were below freezing with all the snow and ice etc. My latest in the year trip to alaska was in the first two weeks of sept. On that trip I rode up from wash. state and back in two weeks, the gravel started 100 miles out of dawson creek. In 2004 I left montana in june with my widder electrics on because of the rain and cold and ended up in inuvik NWT in 85 degree weather. By all means have some kind of electric gear. It makes the trip much more enjoyable and can keep the hypothermia and resulting stupid moves from causing trouble.
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Old 21 Aug 2006
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Another vote for Gerbing ; good quality, the optional "heat troller" thermostat works well for warmth regulation.

I wouldn't underestimate the benefit of keeping your neck, and therefore all the blood that flows through it warm !

By far the best motorcycling accessory I've ever bought (and I've bought a few ... ).

Phil
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  #8  
Old 21 Aug 2006
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The heated collar on the Gerbing is the BEST!
Makes quite a difference in overall core temp. During crevass
rescue training we were told you lose most of your heat through
your head and neck. If you can keep these two areas warm you
can reduce dramatically the chances of going into Hypothermia.

And as stated above, the heated sleeves really helps to keep your hands
from numbing up, thus making control of the motorcycle better and safer.

Mike Coan at Warm&Safe makes the original Heat Troller. Gerbing cheated this
guy and stole the name and out sourced the copied design to China. Many
have failed due to an unresolved fault. See Warm & Safe to obtain the
upgraded Heat Troller and even get a credit for your old one.


Patrick
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Old 21 Aug 2006
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FWIW

If you go the "Warm and Safe" route you can get a great deal - we are an affiliate and get a cut too. Mike makes quality stuff, and really tries to do the job RIGHT.

Just go to http://www.heat-troller.com/horizonsunlimited.php for a 20% discount!

And yes, heated sleeves and neck make a big difference. Susan has that on hers, and loves it. Just the body part makes a huge, not-to-be-underestimated difference. Until you've ridden with a heated vest you can't comprehend the difference - highly recommended. We carry ours 99% of the time! (Mine is 24 years old and the wires still work fine, though the actual vest has long ago gone, worn completely out. We sewed the wires into a nice down vest - heaven.
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  #10  
Old 21 Aug 2006
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Thanks Grant, but based on the advice above I've already ordered the whole kit in Gerbing's, as I need to get sorted out this week. Sorry to miss out on a sponsor.

Maybe a bit OTT when most people settle for the jacket liner only, but I usually get coldest in my feet, legs, and hands. It should all be with me tomorrow. I can't wait for some cold weather! I'm sure I'll find plenty in Alaska....
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Old 21 Aug 2006
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Good luck in AK Ian.
For cold hands heated grips are a must. They will work with any
bike. Go to Dualstar.com and order the heated grips they offer. Takes
about 1/2 hour to install. They are about $30 and work great,
I have them on my bike.

Also, remember to use a thin silk glover liner under your winter glove.

For cold feet, first off, keep your boots dry. Use over booties for long term
wet exposure. I have Gor-Tex Oxtar Explorer boots. I use thin silk socks with
winter socks over. I've tried electric socks, no good ones found yet.

Gerbing also make electric pants.

Good luck, have a safe ride!

Patrick
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Old 21 Aug 2006
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mollydog,

I reckon I'll be as warm as is possible! I've already got factory-fitted heated grips on my GS, and regards Gerbing's I've ordered the whole lot - Jacket liner, Trouser liner, gloves, and socks, for a 10% discount from UK importer. I did offer them the chance to sponsor me but unfortunately they weren't the least interested!

Seems a little extravegent, but if ever a trip warrants it, it must be this one. I do have over-gloves and over-boots which should keep my extremities dry for longer. Not sure why I haven't taken the easy option and just started further south. Just the more I look into it, the more appealing AK and the Cassiar etc. become. The remote/extreme parts of my trips are always the highlights.
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  #13  
Old 22 Aug 2006
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Ian,

you'll find even a thin balaclava helps as well, and they take up very little room when you're not using 'em. They're also very efficient when worn in a sleeping bag,

Phil
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  #14  
Old 22 Aug 2006
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Talking

Although i haven´t tried the Widder, i feel i don´t need to after using a gerbings...well worth the money! It also works well as a jacket for around the town and has convenient pockets inside and out. The plug'ins for the sleeves stash away into their own little hiding spot when not in use.
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Old 23 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkyphl
Ian,

you'll find even a thin balaclava helps as well, and they take up very little room when you're not using 'em. They're also very efficient when worn in a sleeping bag,

Phil
Thats right! I'd forgotten about my Windstoper Balaclava that I bought at
the BMF show in the UK. Fantastic for riding or camping. A real life saver
IMO. I used it in the Sierra last year in 27f weather. Tucks into your jacket at the front to block wind blast off your neck.

Patrick
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