Jump to content


Photo

battery heated vest/liner?

  • Please log in to reply
42 replies to this topic

#1 Wallcreeper

Wallcreeper

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 272
  • Joined: 07 Feb 2010
  • Loc: NH

Posted 13 October 2012 - 07:36 PM

So it is getting cold here in NH and last night I was freezing even though I was wearing 6 layers. I looked into battery powered vests and liners and found interesting ones by Gerbing, Ansai and Milwaukee.
I was wondering if anyone has any experience with battery heated vests? Do they actually keep you warm and for how long?
Thanks!

#2 Phil Sherman

Phil Sherman

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1569
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2010
  • Loc: Cleveland, Ohio

Posted 13 October 2012 - 10:24 PM

I believe that a vest has too much surface area for a small battery pack to heat well.

Check a sporting goods store and get some reusable heat packs. You boil them to "recharge" and when you snap the internal clicker in them they start recrystalizing, producing heat.

Make a belt to hold two of them over your kidneys. It'll help keep you warm.

Layering is the way to go for cold weather. Make sure you're wearing a hat because if you don't, over 60% of your total heat loss will be through your head. Clothing intended for hunters who spend the day sitting in a blind may work better than just adding multiple layers. You also need to have the correct types of material in the layers.

Ski shops sell battery powered add-in soles for your shoes. These work very well to keep your feet warm and some boots with thick insulated soles will also help. You could also try army surplus arctic boots but I don't know how available they are.

I have a couple of pair of wool gloves/mittens. They have half fingers and a wool glove covering that really keeps your hands warm when it's cold.

Cotton will keep you warm until it starts absorbing moisture then it becomes a heat conduit. Wool keeps you warm when dry and wet. The first layer of clothing should be polyproplene. It wicks moisture away from the skin. Follow that with wool then additional layers. Make sure that you don't have any "waterproof" layers that don't breathe. These will trap moisture in your clothing and make you cold.

If you're outside using a dob, you could also consider an infrared heater aimed at you and not the scope. It'll limit your viewing unless you attach it to the dob platform so it moves with the scope.

Phil

#3 Peter9

Peter9

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4757
  • Joined: 30 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Yorkshire - Born & Bred

Posted 14 October 2012 - 07:51 AM

I have a heated top coat from Blazewear, here in the U.K.

It is the best garment I have ever purchased for keeping me warm at the eyepiece. It runs on a Lithium Polymer rechargeable battery which has a 7 hour run time and five heat settings. It has just one large heating strip which runs down the back of the coat. I would not be without it and recommend it to without hesitation.

Regards. Peter.

#4 Pinbout

Pinbout

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8246
  • Joined: 22 Feb 2010
  • Loc: nj

Posted 14 October 2012 - 08:03 AM

I have a gerbing vest and it is very toasty, I haven't ran a fully charged battery out in one night yet. I want to get the glove liners!

the thought goes if you keep you core warm everthing else will stay pretty warm also.

I wouldn't do the electric feet thing. a friend of mine, who rides motorcycles in the cold all year round, had the gerbing electric socks and he said they really stunk after using them. I guess he had his heat up too high. :lol:

#5 charles genovese

charles genovese

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 654
  • Joined: 04 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Madisonville Louisiana

Posted 14 October 2012 - 08:30 AM

Forget batteries- get Thermocare- chemical reaction packs for heating sore spots -from the drug store. About 44 each. Put one inside your jacket. Lasts for 8 hours!

#6 tecmage

tecmage

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 2529
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2010
  • Loc: Glenview, IL

Posted 14 October 2012 - 08:52 AM

Forget batteries- get Thermocare- chemical reaction packs for heating sore spots -from the drug store. About 44 each. Put one inside your jacket. Lasts for 8 hours!


I was going to suggest hand warmers, but Thermacare works even better.

#7 csa/montana

csa/montana

    Den Mama

  • *****
  • Posts: 86525
  • Joined: 14 May 2005
  • Loc: montana

Posted 14 October 2012 - 09:06 AM

The Gerbing heated clothing line is pricey, but lasts! The heated vest is here:

Link

Motorcycle riders have used this product with great results for years, and now those into astronomy are also discovering that the products work well while observing in cold temps.

#8 csrlice12

csrlice12

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11479
  • Joined: 22 May 2012
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 14 October 2012 - 09:33 AM

Yea, but "Hell's Viewers" just doesn't have that same oomph to it.....

Can't you just see us all riding into town, setting our scopes up....Oh the mayham that would ensue......

#9 Geo.

Geo.

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3030
  • Joined: 01 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Upstate NY

Posted 14 October 2012 - 10:17 AM

In the UK, where running your bike all year is common heated coveralls are used. I even found a site for a DIY suit. You have'ta get the Teflon coated resistance wire from NJ. Probably used in electric blankets.

#10 ratskrad

ratskrad

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 42
  • Joined: 04 Feb 2009
  • Loc: Heber Utah

Posted 14 October 2012 - 10:55 AM

I work in a ski shop that sell heated vests and jackets. We sell the ones made by Ansai. The vests and jackets have three heating elements with one in the back and one on each side of the chest on the front. The battery will last all night but not at the highest settings. If set high to get warm you turn it down to 25% or 50% to just maintain the temp that you want. They do work.

#11 Lorence

Lorence

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 854
  • Joined: 15 Sep 2008

Posted 14 October 2012 - 02:12 PM

So it is getting cold here in NH and last night I was freezing even though I was wearing 6 layers. I looked into battery powered vests and liners and found interesting ones by Gerbing, Ansai and Milwaukee.
I was wondering if anyone has any experience with battery heated vests? Do they actually keep you warm and for how long?
Thanks!


I spend more hours outside every day than most spend outside in a week. In the winter temperatures often drop below -40 around here. I'm still outside for hours. I've never put on six layers of clothing in my life.

If you are going to say that sitting in an observatory makes the cold feel worse then climb a telephone pole and stand up there for a few hours in the winter. I've done both and still have all my fingers and toes.

Describe what you were wearing and the weather conditions at the time. What did you have on your feet, hands and head. Five sweaters and a parka won't keep you warm if your butt is hanging out or if your clothing is damp.

The bottom line is that if you are cold you are not dressing properly for the conditions. You could own a sporting goods store of winter clothing and still freeze. All the winter clothing I need could be packed into one suitcase, except for the boots. They'd fill a suitcase by themselves.

I have a Milwaukee heated jacket. I've only worn it a few times. I found the heat was too localized in the upper torso area and that it was uncomfortable even at the lowest setting. I got the thing at a charity auction. It wasn't a total waste, at least the money went to a good cause.

#12 EddWen

EddWen

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1097
  • Joined: 26 Apr 2008

Posted 15 October 2012 - 11:53 AM

I have a Gerbing battery-powered vest. I wear it under a 'North Face' jacket. On even the coldest nights, I never have to select a setting above '4' out of 9, so it keeps working as long as I'm in the observatory. Outside air tempertures down to 10F. The vest keeps the pockets of the jacket warm for your hands.

I think a quality ski-jacket or parka is important. North Face and others who make quality 'technical' products are more efficient, and worth the higher cost, than the run-of-the-mill stuff, designed to be cheap and fashionable, found in the majority of stores.

So it is getting cold here in NH and last night I was freezing even though I was wearing 6 layers. I looked into battery powered vests and liners and found interesting ones by Gerbing, Ansai and Milwaukee.
I was wondering if anyone has any experience with battery heated vests? Do they actually keep you warm and for how long?
Thanks!



#13 csa/montana

csa/montana

    Den Mama

  • *****
  • Posts: 86525
  • Joined: 14 May 2005
  • Loc: montana

Posted 15 October 2012 - 12:02 PM

I think a quality ski-jacket or parka is important. North Face and others who make quality 'technical' products are more efficient, and worth the higher cost, than the run-of-the-mill stuff, designed to be cheap and fashionable, found in the majority of stores.



Agreed, the initial cost is higher, but in the long run, will be well worth it. One thing many overlook, is a warm hat! Most inexpensive of cold gear; but very important!

#14 Raginar

Raginar

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6138
  • Joined: 19 Oct 2010
  • Loc: Rapid CIty, SD

Posted 16 October 2012 - 12:11 AM

Layers are good. Start with some quality cold weather under-armor. I spent 10 days 'surviving' in eastern Washington; a single set of winter under-armor served me well in that environment. The other key is removing sweat from the equation; if you are sweating in the cold, you're wrong. You need to control your body temperature by removing layers/adding layers to keep your body comfortable. The dudes who fell out or had issues had let their feet/body soak with sweat.

Wind breaks are important; the gortex jacket I wore was clutch; it kept me dry and it prevented the wind from getting at me and sucking the heat from my body.

The other key is moving around. Establish a work/rest cycle that keeps the blood moving. Go outside, do some jumping jacks and get your body burning calories to keep you warm. Then, go back to the eyepiece for 15-20 minutes.

Technology is great, but I think you can get by with some quality clothing and some creative work.

Good luck,

#15 calibos

calibos

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1750
  • Joined: 18 Nov 2007
  • Loc: Ireland

Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:55 AM

Its amazing the way some ideas just pop into your head out of the blue. I've cogitated on and off on body heating pads for observing in the cold for years. I always ruled it out based on the fact that a convenient battery system doesn't deliver enough heat for long enough and conversely a battery that does deliver enough heat for long enough is not convenient. All the while thinking in terms of batteries you would be wearing on your person. I simply read the thread title and the idea popped straight into my head without any cogitation.

Can I ask do any of these Skier or Biker Heating kits have a shared power connection. ie. Combo Glove, Shoe, Chest/back systems? The Bikers perhaps? that plugs into the bike to get plenty of power?

Cause like I said, I just had an idea. :D

My 16" dob will have a powered ground board which means I am not limited to a particular battery size or amp hours to run all my scope mounted electronic and heating gear.

Whats to stop me connecting an umbilical from the heated suit to an output on my rockerbox. I am pretty sure one could come up with a connection that is held to the rockerbox output via magnets, such that forgetting you are connected to your scope via an umbilical and walking away from the scope, doesn't result in a scope lying on its side in the dirt :D

ie. The umbilical connects and detaches from you rockerbox easily via a magnetic connection.

#16 EddWen

EddWen

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1097
  • Joined: 26 Apr 2008

Posted 16 October 2012 - 10:55 AM

Gerbing makes both external 12V, and battery powered stuff.

I didn't want to be tied to a cable, so I went with the battery powered vest. The battery is a lithium type, a bit larger than a pack of cigaretts, has an adjustable current setting, will last all night with a full charge and mid-range setting, under a good jacket.

#17 Agatha

Agatha

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1311
  • Joined: 04 Jun 2012
  • Loc: Coulee Region, Wisconsin

Posted 16 October 2012 - 02:16 PM

I currently have an order in with Gerbing. It is for the "Core heat vest liner" and also a heated seat cushion. Both are on back order. But only for a month or so. That's OK. I think it will be worth it. These are both 7V rechargeables. I can't wait. :)

Best, Linda B.

#18 calibos

calibos

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1750
  • Joined: 18 Nov 2007
  • Loc: Ireland

Posted 16 October 2012 - 02:59 PM

Cool. Thanks Edd and Linda. Perfect!

#19 amicus sidera

amicus sidera

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4212
  • Joined: 14 Oct 2011
  • Loc: East of the Sun, West of the Moon...

Posted 16 October 2012 - 03:15 PM

I see a lot of folks are using battery-powered heaters, but what about small, adjustable 120v electric heating pads? A couple of observers I knew years ago had these pinned into the inside back of their winter jackets, and although their use was limited by proximity to an outlet, they seemed to work very well, indeed... they just had to keep aware of the cord coming out of their jackets!

#20 Mike Harvey

Mike Harvey

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1080
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2004
  • Loc: Orlando, FL.

Posted 16 October 2012 - 05:35 PM

I have had one of the Gerbing battery-powered jackets for several years now.
True, they're not inexpensive...but they work (and you could easily spend over $200 just trying to find a good winter observing outfit and end up looking (and feeling) like the Michelin Man).

Having lived for so long in Southern California and Florida, I'm REALLY SENSITIVE TO COLD weather but, even when there is frost on the scope, I'm perfectly comfortable with the jacket set on a 'medium' heat setting. I don't need to wear anything but a long sleeve shirt under the jacket and nothing additional over it.

Combined with a fur "mad bomber" hat, long-john bottoms, a pair of fleece-lined jeans and some insulated boots I can sit at the scope all night and not feel uncomfortable.

PS - withOUT the battery, the jacket is perfect for "mildly-cold-weather" and looks good too!

Mike Harvey

#21 Pat at home

Pat at home

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 328
  • Joined: 16 Mar 2007
  • Loc: Campbellton, New Brunswick, Canada

Posted 16 October 2012 - 05:38 PM

Here is another supplier of heated clothing and accessories including rechargeable battery packs.

http://www.gearscanada.com/index.html

#22 Retsub

Retsub

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 137
  • Joined: 08 Dec 2006
  • Loc: Houston,Tx.

Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:56 PM

Thanks to all for this really good thread. Considered the Milwaukee jacket and could use the battery for other things too. Have looked at quite a few products and it seems all the heaters must run at the same time and no switching off. Q. Lorence, what do you wear different than us ? Couple of years ago we went to Jackson Hole, WY. December, snow and ice, below freezing and wore Patagonia layers and down and kept warm. Came back to south texas and took our scopes out at about 37 deg f and lots of dew, wore the same stuff and more and got cold ! Humidity can be a huge problem and not need to be below zero. Gerbing's has a excellent site and many details. Will probably order the softshell or fleece vest and a extra batt. Need beter head covering. Any suggestions ? Thanks. *BW*

#23 roscoe

roscoe

    curmudgeon

  • *****
  • Posts: 3517
  • Joined: 04 Feb 2009
  • Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT

Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:57 AM

I just got a catalog from Cabella's, the sporting goods company, and they have a new line of lithium-battery powered heated coat-vest-gloves- etc.
Russ

#24 Bob Griffiths

Bob Griffiths

    Getting Grouchy

  • *****
  • Posts: 10673
  • Joined: 10 Oct 2005
  • Loc: Frederick Maryland

Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:51 AM

Plus plus plus (+++) on the Gerbring heated clothing...

I use the heated jacket liner...and heated glove liners as well as socks...

The jacket is worn over a t-*BLEEP* (no regular shirt) but under a 2x hooded sweatshirt .. The glove liners have heating elements between each finger as well as on the back of the hand..I purchased a size to small to get a tight fit which allows me to type at the keyboard in my observatory as well as swap out eyepieces..I wear then under a standard pair of finger less mittens (end fold back) The socks I have are the ones made for riding NOT walking) s they have heating elements on the bottom of the foot as well as on top... so I wear them Over an old pair of socks

(hey also make socks that are made for hiking without the heating elements on the bottom..

The electronics are guaranteed for life the clothing itself is not naturally..

gloves and socks connect to the jacket ..the jacket connect to a 12V 35 AH battery via a 12 foot power cord... so I have to keep track of the darn cord but I painted it white so I can see it easily..

Total was around $500.00 BUT worth ever darn penny and then some.. I'm very comfortable all the way down into single digits (F)

The cost is less the the cost of some eyepieces

www.heatedclothing4you.com ..

Mike has been Gerbrings number 1 dealer for the last dozen or so years ..guy sells out of his home but mostly to police departments

One of my absolute best buys ...heck I even use the clothing (sans socks) to run my snow blower in the winter

Bob G.

#25 Agatha

Agatha

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1311
  • Joined: 04 Jun 2012
  • Loc: Coulee Region, Wisconsin

Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:27 AM

Bob,

I have been wondering where you were . Good, it is perfect for you to join in with your input. It was all because of your frequent mentions of Gerbing that I have finally placed an order, even though on back order. Thanks for all of your info. I can't wait to try my vest and cushion. It may be the only thing that gets me out in the awful MN cold. I will of course pay close attention to my other layers.

Best, Linda B. :)






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics