Riding a motorcycle when you’re cold sucks. It’s uncomfortable. It’s also a safety issue. Reflexes slow down and reasoning suffers as your body diverts resources toward staying warm. Some riders bundle up in layers attempting to retain body heat. Others wear a heated jacket liner to add heat without so much bulk. Now Warm & Safe goes one better with its new Heated Layer shirt that adds controllable warmth directly to your skin.
The Heated Layer is a pullover shirt made of form-fitting fabric that’s soft and comfy. There are seven heated areas (chest, arms, neck, upper back and lower back). A quarter zipper shores up the tall neck and the cuffs seal more completely than a jacket liner to prevent drafts. Clever zip-open pockets near the end of each sleeve reveal coaxial connections for heated gloves or glove liners. The coaxial main power cord exits on the side instead of the bottom, so you can tuck the shirt into your riding pants to further prevent drafts. It plugs into a fused battery harness (included) to draw 12-volt power.
The newest generation dual wireless Heat-Troller remote control uses Bluetooth to manage your warmth preference for your Heated Layer and gloves, separately. (A dual Heat-Troller controls two heated circuits for one rider.) It comes pre-paired to the wireless Warm & Safe gear and can be re-paired as desired. It’s also waterproof and small; simply attach it to a convenient flat surface with the hook-and-loop provided.
When you plug in your Heated Layer, by default you get 30-percent power, even if the wireless Heat-Troller is off, which is surprisingly convenient. Just turn the appropriate knob on the Heat-Troller to adjust your shirt or gloves further, if desired. Making an adjustment uses power and the appropriate LED flashes a couple times, but then it goes into standby mode to conserve power. It shuts down automatically five minutes after power to the heated garment is disconnected. After several months the batteries still test “good.”
The Heated Layer packs small into a zippered storage bag, but when temperatures rise and you turn off the heat, the breathable fabric makes the Heated Layer a pretty good wicking layer. The Heated Layer shirt is washable (delicate cycle, hang dry). To extend time between washings, I wear a thin, snug T-shirt underneath. Warm & Safe also offers a 7.4-volt battery powered version of the Heated Layer, although it’s better suited to skiers or outdoor types who aren’t riding a 12-volt power source.
How does it feel riding with even, controllable warmth right on your body? Tremendous. I left home at first light. It was 28 degrees. I wore the Heated Layer shirt with a 4-season jacket and my Warm & Safe heated gloves. Temps only reached the 30s during the day, yet I was perfectly warm—never hot, never cold, and without bulky layers. I can envision riding comfortably in even colder temperatures, as the Heat-Troller was never adjusted past half its output.
Warm is good. The Warm & Safe Heated Layer shirt comes in men’s and women’s sizes for $179.95, and the Dual Wireless Heat-Troller is $139.95.
For more information, visit warmnsafe.com.