Warm & Safe heated riding gear is the best answer I’ve found to beating the cold without working up a sweat in the warmth. These electric liners and riding gloves can be turned on and off as needed, and their temperature can be varied instantly from zilch to hot and back again.
Like heated hand grips, once you discover the joys of heated clothing you’ll never put up with getting cold again.
The Generation 4 jacket liner, which I’ve used through the past two winters, is about the same as a light fleece under your jacket. You can wear it as the air temp rises into the 20s before you feel the need to remove it, yet when the frosts bite in winter you just dial up the heat and don’t need to add a jumper. It’s great stuff with real heat when you want it.
The fundamental aspect of the Warm & Safe clothing is the carbon-based material it’s made from. It conducts heat, meaning the entire surface of the material gets hot. It’s not like an old electric blanket with hot strips running through it. No, the heat is uniform over every square centimetre.
The only wires are the few that directly connect to the material. In my case, I also have heated gloves, so wires run from the lower front of the jacket into each sleeve.
I can control heat in the jacket separately from the gloves thanks to the two-stage remote unit, the so-called Dual Remote Heat-Troller. It sits on the bike anywhere you want to mount it (the supplied stick-on Velcro was adequate at first, but I used cable ties later) and it’s wireless. It has two colour-coded knobs.
Gloves on max, liner on medium — or whatever combo was most comfortable — and away I went in sub-zero weather. The only trick to getting the best effect was to exclude cold drafts.
You can extend the setup with pants and even socks. I sampled them last year and wow, what an effect! My main tip is to have the socks on their own circuit because you’ll want a very different temperature for them.
The Ultimate Touring gloves are soft and very comfortable leather with a fleecy lining and things like knuckle protection.
Getting the Warm & Safe gear set up initially took about an hour, including wiring it to the bike. After that it’s a no-brainer. Plug the jacket to the bike, and the gloves to the jacket. From there I could dial in whatever heat I wanted, controlling jacket and gloves independently.
To go out when it’s less than freezing and not even feel the chill is a revelation. It’s great being able to dress up for the cold without rugging up in layer upon layer. It’s equally good to be able to adjust the heat up or down without having to stop the bike, let alone change into or out of clothes. The Warm & Safe gear works a treat.
Prices: Gen 4 jacket $270, Ultimate Touring gloves $195, Dual Remote Heat-Troller $160
Sizes: XS-3XL, men’s and women’s. Tall also available