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2020 FirstGear Heated Gear Review


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Published in: Gear

2020 FirstGear Heated Gear Review intro

I recently tested heated gear from the folks at FirstGear, specifically a few bits from their 2020-year lineup: 12V Jacket Liner, Pant Liner and 5V Puffer Vest. Though I’m pretty old school (K.I.S.S.) when it comes to my approach on ADV motorcycling gear, I was curious about how these items would incorporate into my lifestyle, both on and off the bike. The following are some of my insights after putting the gear through real-world situations.

FirstGear HeatedGear FB

When using the 12V Jacket Liner and the Pant Liner, you have the option to use this gear as standalone heated clothing powered by a proprietary 5-volt Lithium battery pack that’s charged via an AC outlet. Charging takes approximately three hours. The battery pack level is gauged by a set of four tiny lights.

FirstGear HeatedGear Battery

I noticed that if you plug in both the pants and the jacket and choose the medium level of heat, that the battery depletes in about four hours. Heat levels show visually by a variable-colored LED button on the clothing (as separate from the battery’s gauge). The same button also cycles the heat levels or turns the gear on/off. It’s a simple and intuitive design.

FirstGear HeatedGear button

However, with the Puffer Vest, you can power it with either the proprietary battery pack or substantially extend the time with any off the shelf USB type of Lithium battery pack.

FirstGear HeatedGear vestAll three articles of clothing I tested have pockets which can also be used to store the rechargeable battery pack. The power connectors appear to be solid with positive connectivity, I don’t think they’ll come undone with typical body movement.

I tested the gear while riding in 48-degree temps along mountain highways and noticed a significant difference in warmth when the gear was powered up. And, it was nice to have the option to run the gear off the portable battery once I got to the campsite. When riding, you can connect the heated gear directly into the bike’s battery and charging system via an SAE connector.

Besides the Puffer Vest, pant and jacket liners, FirstGear also offers heated gloves, glove liners, and over-sock liners. All of this gear can be daisy chained to create an entire outfit covering your toes to your torso to your fingers with comforting electric heat. I doubt the battery pack would last long with all these items tethered at the same time, but with just the Puffer Vest alone, you can stay warm for a fair amount of time independent of the bike.

Another accessory that I found usefully convenient is the handlebar mounted remote control. It puts the heat controller easily at your fingertips while riding rather than having to fumble around to locate the control button on the garments.

FirstGear’s 2020 heated gear system is a collection of handy gadgets that will keep you warm and toasty, both on and off a bike.

FirstGear-usa.com

MSRP: 12V Jacket Liner: $375.95 | Pant Liner: $217.95 | 5V Puffer Vest: $179.95

PROS:

  • Can use any “off the shelf” 5V-battery bank on the Puffer Vest
  • Easy to operate
  • Indefinitely powered heated gear when attached to your bike

CONS:

  • Lithium battery doesn’t last too long when connected to two or more articles of heated gear
  • Battery pack feels heavy and bulky when in the pocket
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