Heated Vests - Any users? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-08-2019, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Heated Vests - Any users?

I just saw a video about heated vests, which got me thinking more about getting one for those chilly days. Can anyone out there that has used one relate their experience with one from a fishing perspective? Brand, battery life, heat range, etc. The ad I saw was pretty intriguing.



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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-08-2019, 05:35 PM
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I live and work in northern Canada, Dakota has a line of such, many fellow crew members have them and rave about their comfort. Long battery life, rechargeable etc. I have a heated fanny pack for my hands, wonderful for cold days.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-08-2019, 06:36 PM
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I'm more concerned with my hands and feet. The hands aren't to bad and can be warmed several ways. For the feet a heated sock would be nice. I have seen them but never heard a report on them.

To help with the hands I use the hot packs but the larger ones for feet. I will keep one in my pocket and stick one on the cork of my rod while holding it. Works well.


Which way to the river?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-08-2019, 06:43 PM
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I will admit to being a total wuss about cold. I have “Mediterranean genes” and also grew up in South Florida so that might have something to do with it. I’ve fished a couple of times even on the Oregon coast (aka the Riviera of winter Steelhead fishing) where I and the people with me could feel heat seeping out of our cores with no real recourse or remedy available for many hours. I also got to the edge of hypothermia once while backpacking - its close to being the WORST thing imaginable, physically and even psychologically. So I’d be game for anything, even something as hammacher schlemmeresque as this. Just having it in the emergency backup bag might be great. The hands are (for me also) the bottleneck for actual fishing, but the core in the worst case scenario is what can make you really suffer.

That said, I assume for waders there is one especially important seemingly required issue I’d like to hear about from you guys. If it is that cold you are presumably already battened up tight with a wading jacket and one or more belts over it all. Still, there is a theoretical possibility of submersion of the device while wearing it. Electric heating units, even light portable ones, require a lot of current. I’d be worried in that worst case senario (a) the vest, or more likely the battery pack would stop working forever, or (b) I would. I know some are designed to even be machine washable, presumably with the battery pack removed, but the above is a totally different scenario. I’m usually the coldest when actually OUT of the water during these trips, so still it might be useful to bring alone as a backup, but what do people know about THAT issue?

Or should I just stick to a snickers bar and some jumping jacks?

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-08-2019, 07:06 PM
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My core usually stays warm as do my feet. My beat up 50 year old hands do get cold quickly but there are remedies for that. There are winter days when you are in water a little deeper than usual so I think a heated cod piece would be more helpful than a vest for sure.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-08-2019, 09:54 PM
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got one and wore it today in the warehouse at low heat..Low lasts 6-7 hours
med. 4-5 and hot to 3 or so...very nice, liked it a lot and am thinking i might get the heated insoles that you don't have a wire to a battery on.

want to layer down in winter, tired of being he Michelin man out there
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-09-2019, 10:42 AM
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We use those stick on body warmer packs ( like the hand warmers but bigger). Keep a pack handy and unseal it and put it in the middle of your shoulders when you feel chilled. Usually last about eight hours.
These work great so I can imagine an electric vest would be even better.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-09-2019, 04:01 PM
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How on earth do you get hypothermia while backpacking!?!! Sweaty and smelly I get. Insect-devoured, sure.

Jumping jacks? Done that. Thought that is a harsh way to warm up when really cold.

If there is dry, clean ground available, there is nothing like push ups to warm up quickly. Otherwise, a brisk hike is the best in my experience. If my partner and I have the entire run or runs to ourselves, I plan the fishing so I break it up with walks.

I must share genes with Thor Heyerdahl who in his older age and wisdom retired to Italy. My hands get cold very quickly.

I suffer Reynaud Syndrome which can be really painful when your digits turn pasty white. A 5 kilo chrome bright steelhead carefully released in 2,5 celsius water may be a joyful moment but the pain is still very real.

I tried butane powered hand warmers but they kept going out. So if the daytime air temperature is not forecast to go over 5C (41F), I wimp out, stay at home, perhaps go cross-country skiing where I am more than comfortable down to -15C (5F).

In addition to wool or fleece finger mitts, a thick wool Andes-style toque that covers the ears and back of the neck seems to help me the best.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 08:59 AM
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I first looked at this link because like Enso I also suffer from Raynauds and similarly like Botsari I've felt the effects of hypothermia. This discussion encouraged me to research causes more so than the quick solutions I've looked at in the past (heated socks, gloves, etc.) and has led me to understand the following. The first being that when we humans start to feel cold it's a result of a temperature drop in our bodies core. That leads to vasoconstriction (constriction of blood vessels) which reduces blood flow to the skin and extremities (hands, feet). As our core temperature continues to drop we start shivering which causes muscles to fire thereby increasing blood flow and warmth at the core. At some point shivering is not enough and we slip into hypothermia. After that a myriad of things can cause death. Even the simple act of standing up or warming up to quickly can result in a heart attack. So in order to avoid all of the above the most important thing one can do is keep the core warm and the body dry. Why dry you ask? It turns out that test show that on average heat is wicked away from our bodies 25 times faster when wet. This is probably why Botsari suffered hypothermia. Working up a good sweat hiking and then losing all that body heat afterwards of a rate 25 times faster. And so finally I looked at the voltage/amperage (V/A) involved with heated vest which is relatively low. Lethal DC voltages are considered to be 20V or greater. Below 20V the bodies conductance or resistance is such that any V/A one is subjected to should be harmless. That's not to say that individuals in extremely poor health couldn't be affected to some degree but even then risk is minimal. Most vest manufacturers use 7 VDC batteries with some as low as 5VDC and others at 12VDC. For manufacturers it comes down to battery size vs weight vs cost. A 12VDC battery cost more than a 7 or 5VDC along with being heavier and bulkier. 5VDC batteries use in newer vest seemingly were introduced with USB ports so it's battery can be connected to your phone and or be charged by a USB port. And so in conclusion for me I plan to buy a 7VDC vest. I don't plan to have it turned on as I hike to the rivers I fish because overheating leads to sweating that even layering can't help. I will though turn it on before the hands and feet start to go numb and the shivering starts which at times can be a cold damp 42 degrees. 12 degrees warmer then what it will be when I go fishing later today.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 11:26 AM
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I too have explored the heated clothing products. So I'll offer my experience which I'll admit is limited.

I own a pair of the Lenz heated socks. They are ok.......battery life is fair at 3-4 hours on high to 8 hours on low. But honestly only offer a little extra relief. Not what I expected considering the cost paid for them. A pair of of the one time use hothands heated insoles probably offers the same amount of comfort. If you are a die hard cold weather wading angler...then maybe the cost is inconsequential to you.

As far as the vests.....I looked at these 7 years ago. At the time....they were being marketed for bikers that like to run all year round for some reason. Gerbing was the brand. At the time the line offered heated vests, pants, gloves and socks with battery packs interchangeable for all of them. The cost at the time for the vest...$350....I simply could not bring myself to justify this expense.

Recently I stumbled onto the heated jackets. Milwaukee and Dewalt both offer lines that use rechargeable batteries used by their power tools. I watched a few Youtube product reviews and was intrigued. The one dude compared both products and from what I could tell.....Milwaukee appeared to be the best constructed and convertible to the longest battery life (18 hrs I think) with an optional adapter kit.

I stopped in at the local Kaman store the other day and asked if anyone there had one of these heated jackets and what the price was. One of the younger fellas had one and explained he used it for hunting. It was nice...but expensive. He was fortunate enough to get a good discount...I was quoted $350 for the version I was looking for...and that was with a slight discount. This didn't include the battery adapter and batteries I would have to buy.

They are water resistant and machine washable....but what if I fell in? Would the unit short out? So this concern along with the fact a rather heavy battery pack would be poking my side all day, the cost with all upgrades and the number of hours I would actually get to use it ........ I have passed for now.

I am curious what others have to say about their experiences with these products as I think there is a niche there for the fishing community.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 12:02 PM
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Although Iím sure a %100 submersion-proof one could be made, Iím about %85 sure after checking a few out online that there arenít any. But I might get one and quickly layer it under my puffy jacket when Iím OUT of the water. That is usually when Iím most miserable anyway.

ďGravity is a harsh mistress!Ē, The Tick
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 07:37 PM
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I have seen the Milwaukee ones firsthand at an electrical supply shop, but did no research even though my wife offered to buy me one (I was dumb and said no due to the cost). They seemed ok to my casual glance.

If they use the same Milwaukee M18 lithium ion batteries that are used for their cordless tools, they should be awesome. I use them at the job. They are far superior to the yellow and black tools and batteries that we used to run. If you get the 9 amp-hour batteries you should have a ton of run time.

Not that I have any real technical knowledge, but I wouldn't worry about the safety aspect of accidentally taking one for a swim, just the potential replacement cost of a battery pack (and I'm not even sure a short dunking would kill one, just unplug it from the vest and dry it out before using or charging again). If they're marketing those vests/jackets to construction guys, they know we're gonna get them wet and dirty and expect them to keep working without shocking or burning us. That said, I would try to avoid wearing one for strenuous activity to avoid corroding the terminals (sweat is salty, and salt is corrosive). So I would carry one, not wear one, for the walk in. Put it on when you're ready to start fishing. I would also try to keep it clean so I could avoid washing it as much as possible, hopefully extending its life.

If ya got the scratch, buy one and report back in!
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