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Elec/heated Vest or full sleeves


90RedRider

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Looking to buy in the off season for next yr. would appreciate any input. Is an elec vest good enough or do you need the full sleeve. Vest would seem to more comfortable for riding so you don't get to feeling like the michelin man with all the layers bundled under a jacket and pulling at the underarm as you try to go thru a range of motion. My jackets are pretty close to my size so when that is all I am wearing on warmer days they are not flapping in the wind. What do you think..

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I have both and prefer the vest; my arms don't seem to get cold as long as I have a good long sleeve layer on. For me, the main advantage of the full sleeve is the connectivity for using electric gloves. Heated grips are fine down to the high 30s but colder than that, heated gloves seem to work bettor for me.

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Shawnee Bill

Depends on how far you're riding, an hour or so a vest is ok, much farther and the cold begins to seep into your arms.

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I have a Aerostich vest and if I had a do-over I would go for a sleeved Gerbing jacket liner. After about 5hrs. saddle time, my body is warm and my arms a little chilly. A thermostat with remote temp control is a MUST HAVE with whatever you choose.

Bruce C

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I thought my widder vest was ok until I got a new stich roadcrafter... Those suckers are cold! My old Joe rocket with a quilted liner did a great job and my arms didn't get cold even down to 5-10F. But the stich is cold below 30, so I'll probably be getting a Gerbing jacket style liner before next fall.

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Louise and I... 2 up to DV....temps in the low 20's....Widder vests set on 3-4 was plenty....I was even wearing a sweatshirt over the vest....and a Joe Rocket mesh with liner....Icon Barrier jeans....

 

Whip

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Couchrocket

Here's another thought. Most electric jacket liners w/ sleeves also come with a sort of "stand up collar" that is heated. Most vests that I've had experience with don't.

 

And, I've found that the heated collar is WONDERFUL in really cold weather... and perhaps contributes more to my overall comfort than do the sleeves. The collar acts as a "heated gasket" that keeps my body warmth from escaping out the neck opening in my riding jacket.

 

So, for "cool only" weather, I'd go vest. For riding in COLD weather, I'd go w/ full jacket liner w/ stand-up collar!

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Here's another vote for sleaves, and yes that heated collar is wonderful and can be folded down when not needed. I take the insulated zip out liner out of my First Gear Voyager II and replace it with the Gerbings jacket liner with a digital thermistat. I wear short sleave shirts all year round and find the long sleave liner keeps me plenty warm. thumbsup.gif

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Shawnee Bill
Here's another thought. Most electric jacket liners w/ sleeves also come with a sort of "stand up collar" that is heated. Most vests that I've had experience with don't.

The System II Widder vest has a heated collar just as high and warm as the Gerbing liner, the older models didn't.

 

With my vest I wear a long sleeve tee-shirt or thermal shirt under the vest, a heavy sweatshirt over the vest, then a wind proof riding jacket. That will keep my arms tolerable for quite a while. But I bought a Gerbings liner just so I could get heat on my arms without the bulk. It really doesn't do a very good job of warming my arms, it has hot and cold areas in the sleeves, almost worse than no heat there at all because the contrast just makes the cold spots feel colder.

I am going to see if I can get my money back on it tomorrow. If I can I will replace it with a Warm n Safe liner.

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For long summer rides, I would opt for the gerbing vest, it stows easily and keeps you warm in the event that you encounter riding in an area where heated wear is required. In the winter I would go with the gerbing long sleeve jacket.

 

RD

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I have just the vest (Widder) and most of the time it is sufficient. However, be aware that the vest should fit snuggly on top of another piece of clothing. A T-shirt works well. My local dealer sold me an XL while I should have had a large. Now, I have to tighten my outer jacket so it is held tight to my body. Other than that, imagine being really cold and having a heating pad placed on your body. It really works that well. Next, try gloves and pants!!!

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Have the jacket liner, but I'm a real wimp when it comes to cold weather! I normally just have a turtle neck with the jacket liner under a Daren.

I don't think you can go wrong with the jacket liner, get the controller and you can stay pretty comfortable!

 

Steve

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I have the Aerostitch vest and it works fine in cold weather. I put the vest over a long sleeve T shirt and a wind proof golf shirt over the vest, and then my Hien Gericke jacket. That seems to do the trick and I am toasty warm down to 20 degrees. If it warms up to 40 I remove the golf shirt. I ride a RT which offers excellent wind protection, so this may not work as well with other models.

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I bought a liner with sleeves, heated gloves and a dual controller. That combination worked well for me, I have no real fairing and everything that stuck in the wind while in the 20s or low thirties got cold at speed. Being able to split control between the gloves and liner was very nice. I think it worked a lot better than cycling an on/off switch. The earlier comment about snug fitting is very true - mine fits looser in front than back (CE armor backpad presses the liner down). I sometimes found my back getting pretty warm while my front was getting chillier. The thermostat also allowed dialing down for stops - each night I found myself in a slow moving line for up to thirty minuts - like snow suits any gear that keeps you warm at 70 MPH at 30 degrees can get hot and sweaty at 5 MPH.

ArbyNav

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I use a widder vest with the arm chaps. It works very well. I thought that I would like to have the option of vest or heated arms which is why I went that way. In the end however I almost always use it with the arm chaps in place. Having heat on your arms especially when the temperature goes below freezing is a wonderful thing.

 

The Widder system with the arm chaps also allows you to attach heated gloves to the ends of the arms chaps. While the Widder can be used as a vest or with the arm chaps it is also a bit more fiddly to put on (the arm chaps use velcro straps to hold them in place). If my choice was between vest only and a liner I would go for the liner.

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Liner. Portable heat controller.

Liner, gloves, portable heat controller, for passenger.

thumbsup.gif

My commute next year will be over 100 miles and I'll probably opt for gloves too when winter rolls around.

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I had a WidderVest, it worked very well, I have a Gerbings liner now, it works even better... thumbsup.gif

 

Exactly. I had a Widder as well. Loved it. But I wasn't aware of what I was missing. Everyone kept telling me, so I eventually gave in and bought a Gerbing, with the full intention of selling it if it wasn't better. After the first cold-weather ride with the Gerbing, I sold my Widder instead. Right here on this board.

 

If memory serves, that buyer eventually sold it when he got HIS Gerbing. I don't know who has the old Widder these days. I'm sure it's still working fine because it was a quality piece. But I'll never ride again without the full-body comfort of a Gerbing.

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