Jacket Liner, Heated Vest, Heated Pants, And More - A Mini Buyer's Guide To Heated Clothing

In this issue's Street Survival, we cover the essentials for staying warm on cold-weather rides. However, sometimes multiple layers of clothing simply won't do the job. What then? Electricity. That's right, 12-volt, DC-powered heated clothing plugged right in to your motorcycle's electrical system. In most cases, it's as easy as accessing your bike's battery terminals to get connected. With a variable power controller-necessary with any heated clothing-these garments keep you warm and toasty on the coldest of days and nights. Most of the manufacturers listed make a variety of heated products. Though there isn't a standard connector, many companies sell adapters that allow for mixing and matching of brands of clothing and power controllers.

Heated Jacket Liner - Gerbing's Cascade Heated Jacket $425
If you're particularly prone to being cold, you might consider heated jacket liners. They fit looser and therefore don't provide as much core body heat as a heated vest, but they more than make up for it with warmth to the arms. Liners also utilize strategically placed wires and light insulation, but Gerbing's Cascade Heated Jacket goes further-the three-quarter-length riding jacket is made from heavy-duty, waterproof Cordura and ballistics cloth with CE-approved armor in the elbows and shoulders. Special ports on the sleeves allow you to attach heated gloves to a removable, heated liner within. Multiple zippered vents increase the jacket's versatility.
Heated Vest - Widder System 2 Lectric-vest $137
The key to avoiding hypothermia is in maintaining core body temperature. That's why a vest alone, keeping your torso toasty, will help keep the blood flowing to the extremities, too. Heated vests are designed to fit snugly to get the warmth directly to your body. The vest utilizes strategically placed wire to provide the best distribution of heat. The Widder System 2 Lectric-vest uses a light Thinsulate insulation to hold in heat and reduce overall bulk. It also features a heated, fold-down collar and can be augmented with Widder's Lectric-ArmChaps.
Heated Pants - Tour Master Synergy Electric Heated Pants $140
In really frigid stuff, a heated vest or jacket liner might not be enough. Heated pants are just the extra piece of the warmth equation for you. As in a vest, wiring is placed to maximize warmth; since it's your front side that's meeting the wind, the pants are like backward chaps, with the heat reaching the front of your legs and hips. Synergy Electric Heated Pants are unique in that the heating elements consist of lightweight, flexible, carbon-fiber strands instead of wire.
Heated Gloves - Tour Master Synergy Electric Heated Gloves $140
On a cold day, it's usually your fingers and hands that feel the chill first. When your hands get cold, you begin to lose dexterity and feeling, essential to operating the bike's controls. Unlike heated grips, heated gloves get the warmth directly to your digits. Just make sure the heated gloves you choose have a heating element going to each finger. These Synergy Electric Heated Gloves have a goatskin outer for abrasion resistance, plus a waterproof and breathable barrier for weather protection.
Heated Insoles - therm-ic Basix with ThermicSoles $120
Heated insoles heat your feet without tethering you to your bike. A slip-in, anatomically formed insole with a built-in heating pad replaces or goes on top of the insole of your boot. A ribbon of wires runs up the back of the boot and connects to a small battery pack clipped on to the boot cuff. This model from therm-ic has multiple settings to vary the temperature as well as the running time (up to 12 hours). They can be removed from your motorcycle boots and used in your ski and snowboard boots, too.
Alpine Accessories: http://www.ecom1.sno-ski.
Heated Socks - WarmGear Heated Socks $50
This is the more well-known way of keeping your feet warm on chilly days. These heated socks from WarmGear are made of a soft, thick polyester knit, are midcalf tall and have a special wire zigzagging along the length of the sock from the toes to above the ankles, providing warmth all over the foot. WarmGear recommends wearing them with a thin sock liner; they can be hand-washed, too. The socks can be connected to heated pants or used on their own.
Nonelectric Heat - Grabber Warmers, starting at $40 for multipacks
Tear open a plastic bag and get instant heat for up to 24 hours? Yes, that's how easy it is to use these Grabber Warmers. Inside the bags are pads for your toes, feet, hands or body that contain a specially formulated combination of minerals. When exposed to air, the pads begin a chemical reaction creating heat. The nontoxic items can be placed with your inner clothing layer between the pad and your skin or in direct skin contact. They're perfect for the rider who rarely ventures out in the cold. Individual packs cost as little as $1.50 at sporting goods stores.