FirstGear's Warm and Safe Electric Liners

CR Tested

Last issue I tested FirstGear's TPG riding gear, but I didn't have room to include another set of products I got at the same time and used almost exclusively in tandem with the TPG stuff. I'm talking about FirstGear's Warm and Safe heated liners and gloves, along with an optional Heat Controller.

I actually started wearing the gloves for cooler weather riding long before they ever got plugged into anything. They're exactly the kind of gloves I prefer, with some weight and insulation to them, (waterproof too) but not so stuffed that they restrict movement, bloodflow, or feel on the controls. On the rare occasion that I didn't watch the weather report and got caught in warm weather with them on, they were sweaty but not unbearable. Of course, they can be only lightly insulated because once they're plugged in they provide their own heat.

FirstGear's co-branded heated liners are made by Warm and Safe Heated Apparel. I had expected a replacement for the liners that came in the jacket and pants, but these are actually more universal than that. In fact, they're designed to be temperature neutral, so they can be worn all day (even when hot) flow some air when the vents are open on your jacket and pants, and when some extra warmth is needed just crank in the juice. We can't speak to their neutrality, as they were only worn in the cold, but they're made from a very soft, stretchy and comfortable material. The nice part about this is that in very cold weather, you can actually triple it up and wear your jacket liner, the heated liner and the jacket and really be toasty.

Getting it all on and hooking up the numerous coax plugs is an adventure the first few times. The jacket plug comes from left pocket and then has to find its way outside to the controller, as does the pant connector, and the two glove connectors have to be brought out the front of the sleeve. It's all a little more difficult than it sounds and requires some juggling to get everything aligned right. The trickiest part for me was finding a place to store the controller where I could get at it, all the suit plugs could get to it, and where it would maintain its battery connection. This meant the lead from the battery had to be long enough to not restrict movement on the bike, like standing at a stop, yet not so long that it flapped in the wind (and potentially unplug itself).

I got the dual portable controller, which allowed separate control for top and bottom, but I'm not sure I needed it. It seemed like most of the time I had both knobs set the same.

In any case, once I managed to stop yanking the plugs loose accidentally at gas stops, it was a whole new world of comfort, making even a very chilly (sub-freezing) mountain pass completely liveable. I didn't opt for heated socks, but there are ports for them on the pants (would have been nice in the pass). There are also separately controllable zones on the pant and jacket liners, accessible by even more wires stashed in pockets around the garments.If you like gadgetry, and you don't mind being intimately hooked-in to your machine, this is the way to go.-BB

Heated Rider Gloves $129.95
4.5 stars out of 5

Warm And Safe Heated Pant Liner $189.95
3.5 stars out of 5

Warm And Safe Heated Jacket Liner $199.95
3.5 stars out of 5

Dual Portable Heat Controller $99.95
3.5 stars out of 5

For a complete guide to the right gear for a cold ride, see our Winter Gear Buyers Guide at: