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Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

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Wallcreeper
sage


Reged: 02/07/10

Loc: NH
battery heated vest/liner?
      #5468888 - 10/13/12 08:36 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!


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Phil Sherman
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/07/10

Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: Wallcreeper]
      #5469090 - 10/13/12 11:24 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


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Peter9
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/30/08

Loc: Yorkshire - Born & Bred
Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: Phil Sherman]
      #5469415 - 10/14/12 08:51 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.


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Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: Wallcreeper]
      #5469427 - 10/14/12 09:03 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.


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charles genovese
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 02/04/06

Loc: Madisonville Louisiana
Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: Pinbout]
      #5469460 - 10/14/12 09:30 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!

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tecmageModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/13/10

Loc: Glenview, IL
Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: charles genovese]
      #5469484 - 10/14/12 09:52 AM

Quote:

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.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: tecmage]
      #5469506 - 10/14/12 10:06 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.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5469536 - 10/14/12 10:33 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......


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Geo.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5469609 - 10/14/12 11:17 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.

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ratskrad
member


Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: Heber Utah
Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: Geo.]
      #5469671 - 10/14/12 11:55 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.

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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: Wallcreeper]
      #5469979 - 10/14/12 03:12 PM

Quote:

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.


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EddWen
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/26/08

Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: Wallcreeper]
      #5471509 - 10/15/12 12:53 PM

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.

Quote:

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!




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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: EddWen]
      #5471533 - 10/15/12 01:02 PM

Quote:

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!


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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5472641 - 10/16/12 01:11 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,


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calibos
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/18/07

Loc: Ireland
Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5473069 - 10/16/12 10:55 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.

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

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


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EddWen
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/26/08

Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: calibos]
      #5473176 - 10/16/12 11:55 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.


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Agatha
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/04/12

Loc: Coulee Region, Wisconsin
Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: Wallcreeper]
      #5473450 - 10/16/12 03:16 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.


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calibos
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/18/07

Loc: Ireland
Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: Agatha]
      #5473497 - 10/16/12 03:59 PM

Cool. Thanks Edd and Linda. Perfect!

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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: calibos]
      #5473527 - 10/16/12 04:15 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!

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Mike Harvey
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/01/04

Loc: Orlando, FL.
Re: battery heated vest/liner? new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5473776 - 10/16/12 06:35 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


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