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Tag: vest

The Thawdaddy Heated Vest

Last year I went on a search for a light and thin heated vest that would fit under pretty much any riding jacket I have. Most heated vests have some bulk to them and it makes sense. To be the most effective they not only need to produce heat but help keep as much heat as possible trapped near the body.

But what if you don’t need the “most” heat? How about just “some” heat?

In my case I wasn’t looking for the hottest heated gear out there. I had two goals. The first, augment my winter weather riding jacket with some active heating to allow riding in colder weather without significantly adding another layer. The second, extend the seasonality of my lighter riding gear and allowing me to wear more comfortable and less bulky jackets when it would normally be a bit to cold for them.

Enter Mobile Warming’s Thawdaddy battery-powered heated vest. The Thawdaddy is the smallest heated vest I’ve encountered and as such it meets my criteria for fitting under pretty much any of my riding gear. Of course small size and light weight likely means the electrical storage / heat generating properties of the vest will be compromised. But is it enough to reach my goals detailed above?

Click here to read the full review over at WebBikeWorld.com

Hit-Air MLV-C Airbag Vest – Preview

Product: MLV-C Airbag Vest
Manufacturer: Hit-Air
Sizes: Medium (covers S – XL), Large (covers XL-3XL)
Color(s): Black, White, Red, Blue, Brown, plus special edition colors
Made In: Japan
Price: $479.00 base ($509.00 as tested)


Introduction

Recently I posted that I had purchased an airbag vest so as one can tell from the title of this writing, I chose to go with the Hit-Air MLV-C Airbag vest. Here’s a look at why I chose the Hit-Air brand and why I chose to go with a vest instead of an airbag integrated jacket.

Why Hit-Air over Helite?

The two major players in the motorcycle airbag vest/jacket arena are arguably Hit-Air and Helite. There are also a handful of others making vests using a tethered system like the one used on these devices. After a lot of research I chose to go with the Hit-Air brand.

(Note: There are options from Dainese and Alpinestars that use electronic sensors to activate their airbags but I wanted to focus on the tethered systems for this review)

Deciding wasn’t easy as both manufacturers offer a quality product. Helite, for there part, does a bit more marketing than Hit-Air so their name may be more familiar. Marketing isn’t everything (but sometimes it is, I’m looking at you Betamax) and I wouldn’t have guessed that Hit-Air got started several years before Helite based solely on name recognition alone.

In terms of options, Helite has three with their Turtle vest, a race version, and a custom leather option. Hit-Air has several offerings for vests, seven by my count, and that is just the vest options. There also appears to be 13 jackets available from Hit-Air that include their airbag technology so Hit-Air has the most variety of options.

The Helite Turtle vest has an integrated back protector that sits over the inflation bags in the vest. This is a great feature for impact protection. The Hit-Air vest offers optional back protectors for their vests that installs via hook and loop fastener on the inner side of the vest under the airbag.

I like the optional nature of the back protector in this case, especially since I have CE level 2 back protectors installed in my riding jackets already. This last point I would consider a toss-up so no points either way. In the end I chose the Hit-Air, but then I had to answer the next question…

Which one?! Read on to find out.

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