Any electric vest can keep your teeth from chattering, but Powerlet’s rapidFIRe liner serves up enough warmth to keep you smiling for hours.
How? Carbon Nano Core panels comprised of bundled carbon-fiber strands warm your skin with Far Infrared Rays—a safe slice of the energy spectrum between visible light and microwaves used in everything from saunas to medical therapy. Pro Form stretch panels on the outside allow unrestricted movement while keeping the wind/water-resistant liner close to your body. Slip one of these between a long-sleeve T-shirt and any good riding jacket and you’ll never be cold again.
Once connected to your battery or a suitable 12-volt power socket, those carbon panels heat up less than 30 seconds after the controller is switched on, delivering more even, penetrating warmth than any conventional electric liner. Powerlet’s basic hard-wired single controller ($78.95) lets you dial heat up and down, drawing 8.5 amps at its maximum setting. We’ve never needed more than 75 percent power, even on three-dog nights. Disconnecting an internal cable cuts power consumption from 105 to 60 watts, drawing around 4 amps on the lowest setting—compatible with standard 5-amp BMW and Ducati power ports. The liner stows in its own built-in stuff sack when you don’t need it. A dual wireless controller ($154.95) fits in your pocket or just about anywhere in the cockpit, letting you manage another heated garment with a separate dial.
It’s not cheap stuff in any sense of the word, but after more than a year in all kinds of weather, the rapidFIRe liners still keep us more comfortable more of the time than anything else. Anyone riding closer to North Dakota than Southern California knows you can’t put a price on that.
POWERLET RAPIDFIRE HEATED JACKET LINE
Verdict: 5 out of 5 stars.
The best high-tech personal heat source for anything short of space travel.