Posted on February 17, 2012
Given the questions we have been asked lately and the untruths, half-truths, and deceptive statements others are making, maybe it is time to really explain heated clothing. And who better than us, the people who fixed or developed most of what you have seen in the last 15 years. Let’s call this Heated Gear 101 and start out with clearing up misleading comments others make. 1. No one uses copper wire to make the heat in the gear but everyone uses copper in the wire that carries power. the only time I ever heard of using copper wire to create the heat was when someone got the idea that they could use 22 gauge copper wire with a Teflon over mold to do a homemade heated vest. 18 years owning a cable and connector company, so I think I can tell you that was a dumb idea. Metals like copper and steel don’t like being heated and cooled over and over. They get brittle and break. And the Teflon over molding, that is actually referred to as plenum cable because it goes through the plenum of the heating and cooling ducts and the Teflon protects the wire from the changes in temperature. 2. You can wash any of the heated clothing that is out there. The real players in this business build strong reliable products and you can wash it all. 3. All heated gear designed for use on a motorcycle can be run off a battery. What do they think a motorcycle uses. 4. Our liners heat up faster. In the old days, before the concept of running a number of short parallel panels was developed, people took 2 runs of heating wire to cover the whole vest. The speed of heating comes not just from the material used for heating but the shortness of the runs of each section. 5. Can I feel the wires? Put the liner on and see if you feel the wires. We don’t use insulation in our liners so when you are looking at the liner off your body you will feel the wires. But put it on and then see if we placed the wires in way that you fine a problem. Can you even feel them? Remember, we ride, so we are going to design our gear for people who wear them day in and day out over months of time and then use it as a jacket at night. But you can also get our Softheat Gen 4 liner. And Yes it is “far inferred” ( I should add, yes it is carbon), we just don’t think it is some mystical heating system. It is warmer because the heating material is flat. Flat makes a greater contact patch, more coverage then more feeling of heat. But this stuff is a pain to work with. Every panel has 6 solder points to 2 solder points in traditional Nickel Chromium nano wire. That makes it a lot more expensive to manufacture. More on that in Heated Gear 102 6. Our liner is 110 watts but it says 90 watts on the label so what gives. This magic number has to do with the voltage you measure at. At 13.8 volts our heated liner is the hottest out there. But can you get the 13.8 volts that a revved up bike will produce to the liner. If you adjust for resistance in the wires and the connection you could be at 12.8 volts. And if you are stopped at a light well you would be less. So I just made a command decision and said 90 watts at 12.8 volts. Then others say 105 watts at 13.8 volts. So I guess we need to start saying 110 watts at 13.8 volts / 90 watts at 12.8 volts. And again we are the warmest out there. Just do the numbers.
7. We just found a new one that a competitor has on their packaging. "This item may be covered by one or more patents...". Very good. They are not actually lying. It may be covered. It may not be covered. The fact that the item is not covered by any patents or the patents actually are not defendable since many of the things have been made by other companies for years, including us should tell you something. But it sounds good. It may be patented. Sort of like saying, "As seen on TV". It gives you a feeling there is something special about it when it is just another Chinese made product.