The Best Motorcycle Heated Vests

Top motorcycle heated vests
Top motorcycle heated vests

When the weather is cold – as it is for huge chunks of the year in the UK – a motorcycle heated vest can be a great way to stay warm on your bike. Staying warm in winter is a safety issue as much as it is a comfort one and heated kit is a great solution.

The issue is, of course, that if you dress for the cold parts of the ride, then as it warms up, you’ll need to start to remove layers and they’ll need to go somewhere. Alternatively, if you dress for the warmer hours, then you’ll get cold if you set off early or get home late.

Motorcyclists who ride year-round and deep into winter will know how useful heated clothing (and heated grips) can be. For me personally, gloves are essential when the temperature starts to approach zero and while I am generally okay in my winter outers to around that sort of temperature, much colder has me reaching for a motorcycle heated vest.

Like heated gloves, they offer warmth and comfort for a small amount of space within your clothing; they are thin so take up little room but contribute enormously to keeping you warm. Some riders prefer the all-over heating of a jacket but many prefer a vest, as it’s generally the core – the torso – of the body that tends to need heat the most.

There are two typical types of motorcycle heated vest; battery-powered and ones that can be run directly from the bike’s battery. The former is obviously more versatile, as you can keep it on – and hence, warm – when you get off the bike, for example when you’re exploring or fuelling up. However, the disadvantage is that as and when the battery runs out, you’re left literally in the cold. Hard-wiring to the bike’s battery means that you can stay warm for as long as you’re riding.

Ultimately, the choice of which to use is yours but for long-term use, we’d tend to favour the hard-wired option, perhaps with a backup battery just in case.

The Best Motorcycle Heated Vests At A Glance:

  • X99 Electric Heated Vest
  • Rrtizan Motorcycle Heated Vest
  • Keis V106 Vest
  • Blaze Motorcycle Vest
  • Gerbing Vest
  • Aerostich Windstopper Electric Vest
  • Warmawear Universal Vest

Dodgy imagery aside, this motorcycle heated vest from X99 is a best-seller on Amazon and features five heated areas; the central upper back, two at the lower back and two on the front, low down, to keep the torso warm. It is powered by USB so any power bank or, conceivably, a USB socket on the bike (the material doesnu2019t specify a current draw) will work and it has adjustable shoulder straps and side zips for a range of fits. Heating temperature quoted is from 43C to 65C in three steps and it is machine washable.

Editor's Pick - We've tested this product and would spend our own money on it.

Another category best-seller on Amazon, this vest from Rrtizan is thicker and more quilted so should offer a little more inherent warmth before the electric heating is activated. Also featuring three levels of heat via the main on/off switch (40C, 50C and 60C), its heat is produced by five panels across the lower torso and the upper back. It too is powered by any USB source, including power banks and potentially a bike's socket and is waterproof, according to the manufacturer, with elasticated side panels for fit.

A fair step up in price but this is heated clothing designed and developed primarily for motorcyclists. Keis equipment (it has gloves, insoles and heated jackets as well) uses the same form of heating as you get from the sun on cold, clear days and is supplied with a hard-wiring kit to connect to the bike's battery though you can also get an optional battery pack. The vest comes with no heat control but a separate controller (£36) offers three levels of warmth and the vest can be linked to gloves and trousers for integrated heating. I've used this and it is impressive.Seal of Approval - We've tested this product and have found it performs well.

Currently great value, presumably as we're coming out of winter and into spring, this motorcycle-specific vest from Blaze is designed to connect directly to the bike's battery only (see below for a battery version) and, according to the manufacturers, can be worn under regular textile clothing or leathers. It has four heat zones, gets up to 52C and is both wind and water-resistant. A high neck helps to keep draughts out, particularly in sporty jackets or leathers. A ladies cut is also available.

Also currently discounted, the Blaze active gilet is designed to be used with a portable battery pack (£50 single or £90 double) pushing the price up but making it more flexible. The battery pack will also charge a mobile phone, which is handy though it can also be used as a thermal garment without any heating activated. The gilet is a more traditional vest, with a V-neck and slim fit and is both wind and water-resistant. It features three heating zones that get up to 52C.

Designed to be worn tight against the body for maximum heat contact, this vest from motorcycle clothing expert Gerbing contains more than 25 metres of heating element to offer warmth at the chest, back and collar. It also has a Thinsulate lining to help keep the wearer warm when the electric heating is not activated and is water-repellent. It comes with a hard-wire kit to the bike's battery and a four-setting heat controller but a standalone battery pack, with its own built-in heat control, is also available at £159.99.

Hailing from the USA, this vest from Aerostitch has a short neck to fit inside your outer jacket and it is packable, folding down into one of its two pockets, cagoule-style. It's windproof and comes with a wiring harness to connect directly to the bike, with three options; to fit BMW's accessory socket, QuiConnect 2 (simple male/female plug) or SAE (two-pin connector like on many battery chargers). There's also a version with an inflatable bladder for further insulation and fit.

A variation on a theme, this minimalist vest is more of a harness, with an integral battery box (takes four AA cells) as well as the capacity for an external USB battery pack for added capacity. There are also pockets for disposable heat packs for flexibility. Designed to sit inside coats, it provides heat to the back and front straps and is adjustable in its fit.

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