Saturday, May 11, 2013

Firstgear Heated Gear Review

A couple weeks ago I had the privilege of trying out the Firstgear heated gear line. I have to say it was a love hate relationship. Here's what I used before I go any further:

As you can see I was prepared for a snow storm. Well, at least for a very chilly ride in the 30s down the Atlantic coast from PA to NC. I had tested the jacket with the glove liners a day before my trip to make sure all worked well. The following day I tested the pants and the socks, again all was well. When I started on my journey to North Carolina. I was approaching Dover, DE when the temperature began to drop. I hit the on button and WALLA.....nothing! Nothing at all! I realized the heat-troller I had didn't have enough wattage to run the whole darn suit. I was beyond pissed at that point. At the same time, as cold as I was, I really wasn't. 

(My eyes were closed, but here's a pic of the jacket)

Turns out the gear, even though not advertised, does help with wind protection. I honestly was amazed. When I pulled over to get some gas, I ended up disconnecting the bottom later and just keeping my core warm. Little did I know the jacket would become severally uncomfortable. There is heat around the collar and honestly there really doesn't need to be heat around the collar. I felt like I was going to burn my neck. The heat was so bad I ended up pulling over again and connect the bottom half instead. Boy was I a fool for that one! The pants in the thigh area were getting so freaking hot that it literally felt like someone was searing my leg with branding iron. I think if I had left the pants on I would have had third degree burns. The socks and the gloves were really the best part of the suit. The jacket being worn as a stand alone waterproof light weight riding jacket is pretty awesome too. Just not with the heat. Also, the wires, oh man the wires! There were so many wires in the jacket that they basically took up one pocket. Even in the pants the wires were annoying. The gloves and socks had a different type of technology. Seriously Firstgear or Warm&Safe (which ever you are) you need to work on the technology. Honestly, I would only recommend the glove liners.
What brand do you use? Love/hate? Let's here what you have to say about heated gear?