The Different Heated Jacket Liner Generations Explained
We only started to make the Heated Jacket Liner when after selling the Heat-troller through Gerbing and Harley for a number of years, helping Gerbing with the problems they were having with wire melting, connectors not working right and developed the wire panel system they used, they then decided to copy the Heat-troller and have it made in China. Since we had just developed a new platform for the Heat-troller which they never received, we decided to start making the Heated Jacket Liner based on the design that Sue had developed for my touring style. No insulation, body tight by using stretch panels, light breathable material coupled with the heat panels adjusted for gender and location on the body, the coax connector and dual controller functionality. We still make the Heat-troller mostly in Oregon.
The original design "Generation 1" was made in Pakistan using people that Gerbing had used when they manufacture there. Odd, you can't find a label saying Made in Pakistan but lots that say Made in the USA.
When we moved the manufacturing to Thailand to get better quality and because we liked hanging out there, understand we are bikers first and this was still just an extension of our hobby, we decided to call it "Generation 2" as a nod to Star Trek.
As more people started to use the liner, we made changes to the fit and finish, positioning of the heat panels the interconnect wires and even the make up of the heat elements. That became the "Generation 3".
Through all this time we were making changes to the Heat-troller to make it better. All the Chinese ones were, and still, are copies of the version 6 Heat-troller with a part missing. We left it off the build information that Gerbing used to get it copied in China.
As always, the design for the Men's and Women's Liners are different, because Men's & Women's needs are different. All our heated clothing is designed that way. Even the placement of the heat panels and the level of heat are different in different parts of the Heated Jacket Liner since the way the air flows on the bike and the way the Liner gets pulled towards or pushed away from the body. Heat panels are placed in the chest, arms, neck, and upper and lower back. On all our heated liners, there are zippered hand pockets. Hidden in small zippered pockets are integrated plugs for connecting gloves and pants. No more dangly cords when sipping coffee at the café, our sleeve glove plugs are also in small zippered pockets.
Both Generation 3 and 4 have the outside shell made of wind stopping, water repellant, wicking, breathable microfiber polyester. The Gelanots stretch material keeps the liner tight to the body while blocking the wind. The inside shell is nylon taffeta, breathable, soft & smooth so it slides over your clothing along with spandex anti-bacterial side panels. These materials are not chosen because they get through customs cheap but because they work the best. A pocket in the hand pocket for the remote heat-troller receiver.
The "Generation 4" Heated Liner is designed with a number of features that we and our customers, consider essential - not gimmicks, not untried, unproven fads. One of the first features is below the surface. Our NEW Soft Heat - light and flexible, safe and efficient, no hot spots, but then none of our heating methods have hot spots, no nonsense, no magic, pure science, heating system. We don't believe in fads or Chinese magic. Heat is heat and our heating method is the best because we know how to make it, how to use it and we rely on it.
The next features you notice on the Generation 4 Liner is the reflective material. Scotch Lite Reflective Piping on the Women's Liner and Illuminate Reflective Material on the Men's. Since our Heated Liner functions so well as a jacket when you get off the bike, we decided to make it safer for when you cross that dark parking lot at night and with the reflective material around the collar, it adds to being seen on the bike.
Remember, I did say we design for our riding use. I hate carrying rain gear and I ride in race style leathers that are not waterproof. One day we were coming out of the Julian Alps of Slovenia to Italy when we were hit with rain storms. We got down the mountain into Italy and the sun was shining to the north and I said to Sue, we go that way. Don't care what's there as long as it is not raining. We ended up in some village, got a room took off my wet gear clothing and my upper body was red from the dye in my leathers. So much for water repellant. I decided there and then the next generation would be Generation Waterproof!
Trying to use Gore-Tex is a major pain. But Gelanots was not. We were able to buy in 440 yards which allowed us to make samples and test different color ideas. Gelanots is a waterproof, breathable membrane just like Gore-Tex. But for a small company like us, they treated us with great respect. They are a Japanese company and I would have like to see the same treatment from Millikan, a US company.
The Generation Waterproof Heated Liners come in a few colors as well as heat levels. Think about this as not just a heated liner, not just a waterproof insert, but also as an after ride jacket that you can wear in all sorts of weather when you park the bike. If you tour, like we do, every bit of space is critical. Having this waterproof liner keeps me from having to carry a jacket with. As always, the design for the Men's and Women's Liners are different, because Men's & Women's needs are different. But in the 90 Watt Waterproof Liner, we went a little further adding a packable waterproof hood to the women's liner. We also added an outside chest pocket on the 90 Watt version. We put it on the left side to avoid stacking. The zippers are waterproof YKK with the main zipper being a new design that is waterproof but does not have that rubber feel and has the same pull as a normal zipper. Seams of course are sealed. We were able to make them in different colors but we will slowly go to Black only as we sell out of the Red, Yellow and Grey. We thought the colors were a great idea.
We also have a 65 Watt Generation Waterproof Heated Liner. The difference, other than being less expensive, is that it has no chest pocket or hood. Also only available in black for men and dark grey for women.
When we say 90 Watt and 65 Watt, that is at 12.8 Volts. But a running motorcycle or car will be at 13.8 Volts minimum. That means the Watts of heat are closer to 106 W and 85 W.
Now there is the Heated Base Layer. Where did that come from you ask? We started looking at how to make a 7.4V heated product from friends with all sorts of off bike needs. While you can run our 12V heated gear off a battery, a 12V battery is too heavy to carry around or it has not enough amps to handle the load. So, no matter what the other guys say, you notice, they don't actually have a 12V battery to sell that can handle 8 Amps or even 5 Amps. And if you run the 12V heated gear on a 7.4V battery, the heat is down to about 30 Watts if it was a 90W liner. Not much heat if you need to go through the normal clothing people wear in the winter. So we started to think in a different way and created a 7.4V line of heated gear starting with a heated base layer. since it is right against the body it can provide enough heat while still being comfortable to wear all day. Then I thought, why not have it work on 12V as well so one could get in the car and use it and then when they get outside they can go back to battery. We developed a controller that would do that. And then the next thing we know is that bikers also liked the heated base layer idea but to use it they would need the new controller and gloves and pants all designed for 7.4V. Because if you try to run gear designed for creating 40W of heat at 7.4V and then run it at 13.8V on a bike, there is real potential to get burned if somehow the 12V control got cranked up. In thinking about all this I realized this was a crazy financial burden on the biker. So we designed the 12V Heated Base Layer. it integrates with all of our present and past 12V heated products. And the interesting thing is that bikers that already have our Heated Jacket Liners are also buying the Heated Base Layer. As fate and forethought would have it, you can use the remote control from our Remote Control Heat-troller with multiple receivers without having to sync it when switching between the gear. that way if you want to keep the receiver in the Heated Jacket Liner, you can, and then just buy another receiver for the Heated Base Layer. The fabric is a polyester/nylon blend that aids wicking. It has a stretch to it so you wear it like a base layer, snug to the body. Hand washable, like all our products. Heat in the usual, for us, places: chest, arms, neck, upper back and lower back. Adjusted for location and gender.
Look, there is a lot of heated gear out there, but you have to decide. Do you want to get the gear designed by the people that use it, or from some copycat in China?