Despite popular mythology to the contrary, it really does get cold in Southern California. When 70 mph drops 14-degree ambient air temperatures on the Antelope Valley Freeway to a bone-numbing 14 below zero, not even bundling up like Ralphie's little brother in A Christmas Story can stave off the shivering. And if your core temperature dips below 95 degrees, you're headed for the hospital. The simplest way to keep warm in that kind of cold is an electric vest.
Light and compact enough to fit comfortably-even under a snug outer layer-Gerbing's Heated Vest Liner draws power from your bike's battery via a fused coaxial connector. Heat is evenly distributed throughout the garment thanks to Hi-Density Heat Panels in the chest, back and collar; resistive wires are sewn into special fabric pads that are in turn sewn to strategic spots within the vest's lining. Drawing 4.5 amps (54 watts) from a 12-volt electrical system, the panels generate up to 135 degrees inside the Thinsulate-filled, Teflon-coated nylon shell. Whereas most electric vests have us wishing for more heat, we rarely cranked the Gerbing's Portable Temp-Controller ($69) past halfway. Two zippered outside pockets and one inside pocket provide ample room for incidentals.
From the electrical connectors to the zippers to the person at the other end of the phone when you call, Gerbing's provides a first-class product, backed by a lifetime warranty on the heating elements and 30 years' experience. If there's a more effective way to stay warm, we haven't found it yet.
Gerbing's Heated Vest Liner
Rating: Five out of five stars
Feel like you've slipped into something fresh from the dryer no matter how cold it is outside.