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Product review: Oxford heated vest

Oxford heated vest, £79.99
Miles covered:
3000 miles/six months

What's good? Personally I find riding involves enough faffing with kit without also having to plug yourself in.

Power leads from conventional heated vests to the bike's battery can end up scuffing paintwork. And you're tied to the bike they're wired to. Not so with this.

Its rechargeable battery, which is smaller than a mobile phone and fits neatly into a pocket, lasts about two hours on the highest of four settings, long enough for my 80-mile ride to work. When I get there, I recharge it.

On the lowest setting it lasts about five hours. The vest is also a useful insulating layer even when the heat is off. And it's a better-looking product than some of the competition.

What's not? An inconvenient truth is that rechargeable vests aren't as warm as the kind powered from your bike. They rely on heating elements in key areas ­- your kidneys and chest ­- whereas the former heat you all over.

This vest is great for spring, autumn, and even chilly summer morning runs. But come December, I suspect I'll be digging out my plug-in one.

Rating: 4/5

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