FirstGear

Heated Women's Motorcycle Gear

warmnsafe_womens_heated_jacket_liner_frontgyde_7v_calor_vest After a chilly ride the other day, I thought about what I'm going to do to keep my fingers from freezing to death while out riding. Because at 50F + windchill it feels like 40F; it's COLD! 

So what is the best option for staying warm while riding your motorcycle? Two Words: Heated Gear.

warmnsafe womens heated jacket liner
In 2011, when I was first introduced to the world of Heated Jacket Liners. TOASTY!

You might be debating whether or not to go this route. If you've decided you're going to take the plunge, it's important to know what the best options are for us as women riders. Before I dive into some recommendations, let's review some basics.

How Should My Liners Be Worn?

When it comes to wearing heated gear, keep in mind that heated liners are meant to be worn Underneath. You need to block the wind so that you can actually feel the heat. These also do not offer any type of protection when it comes to abrasion resistance or impact protection. Also, it’s crucial that it fits CLOSE to your body, as fitted as your riding gear. How else are you going to feel all that delicious heat?

However, keep in mind that you must also wear a baselayer because the heating elements are hot so you need to wear a long sleeve shirt of some kind as a barrier between your skin and the gear. Not a heavy sweater or thick fleece jacket, but a breathable winter weight baselayer.  Otherwise you will get burns as you turn up the intensity!

So the order of layers is:

  1. Thermal, winter weight baselayer
  2. Heated Jacket Liner or Pants
  3. Armored Riding Jacket or Pants

7Volt vs. 12Volt

As you start shopping, you will see these terms thrown around on various types of gear. It’s important to know the difference, especially when riding motorcycles. One will work very well for us, the other will not.

7Volt or 7V, refers to Battery Powered Heated Gear. That means there's a little battery in your pocket that allows you to adjust the heat while you're out and about. It lasts anywhere from 3-6 hours depending on how much heat you're using during any given time. I actually have a 7V vest that I bought just for working at the time (3 years ago) because the store I worked at was So cold inside. I tried using it just riding across San Francisco, but it didn't have enough heat no matter what jacket I wore over it. You cannot plug this into your motorcycle's battery to power the vest. And you only have heat squares that cover the upper chest and back. Another reason why this doesn't provide enough heat to your body while riding.

gyde_7v_calor_vestScreen Shot 2015-10-19 at 7.03.00 PM

You will see a ton of 7V(olt) options on the market from many brands including Gyde (formerly Gerbing), VentureHeat and MobileWarming, but these 7V options do NOT provide enough heat to keep you warm at riding speeds. Maybe if you're riding a bicycle, but bump that speed up to 45-55-65-75mph and now that 7V vest can't keep up. And, you don't have heat down your sleeves, back, arms and neck like you do on a 12V jacket.

12Volt or 12V, refers to heated gear that you can plug directly into your bike's battery to provide continuous, intense heat. YES! Now you have more options to stay warm.

warmnsafe_womens_heated_jacket_liner_frontwarmnsafe_womens_heated_pant_linerfirstgear_heated_glove_liners

The reason I would recommend the women’s specific lines is because the fitment can be much better in the shoulders, sleeves, waist and bust. You also don’t have to size up to accommodate your chest/bust fit as you will with mens lines. 

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Now, let's go over what the options are for 12V gear and the various combinations you can put together to stay warm. I'm going to list the options on WarmnSafe.com's website. Remember that all the women's heated gear offered through FirstGear is a WarmnSafe product. When you buy any of the women's specific heated accessories, you will find both logos on the garments.

12V Options:

1/ Generation 4 Women’s Heated Jacket Liner. $199.99-$239.99 This version uses a new heated material that sounds less bulky and softer overall. I’m very tempted to upgrade to this one because I’m hoping it heats better than the wires do. The wires are large and you can definitely feel them in the Gen 3 Liner. It also has a newer collar and reflective piping on the back, which I’m not sure how you would see since you should be wearing this Underneath your riding jacket. These liners are NOT meant to be worn alone.   The 90Watt generates more heat, and I believe it draws very similar power to the 65Watt. 

  • 65watt; XS-XL $199.99 This version is probably being discontinued as Large is no longer available. You do save $40, however.
  • 90watt; XS-2XL; TALL SIZES available! $239.99. This is such a great option for those of you who need longer sleeves and torsos.

warmnsafe_womens_heated_jacket_liner_back warmnsafe_womens_heated_jacket_liner_front

2/  Generation 3 Women’s Heated Jacket Liner $199.99, XS-2XL I'm wearing this one in the picture above, and it's also the one that's sold through the brand FirstGear. No difference from the one sold on WarmnSafe's website, just comes with a FirstGear logo. If you're already considering spending $200 on a heated jacket, you may as well spend a few dollars more and get the Generation 4 model above. This one is still offered in 65W and 90W options, however Tall sizes are not available. Read my full review here.

3/ FirstGear Heated Pant Liners. There are two options for the pant liners as well!

  • Gen4 Heated Pants Liner: XS-XL, $199.99; I’ve seen this one in person and it fits like a legging. Not as thin of course, but thin enough to wear under your riding pants. I was impressed by how well they fit. They seem true to fit.  “Heated zones cover thigh and knee and upper butt“

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  • Generation Windblock Heated Pant Liners: XS-XL; $239.99 Looks like the Windblock version has a couple key differences:
    • NEW WindBlock Pants Liner! Front Panel Made From Stretch Gelanots to Block the Wind.
    • NEW Run the Pants and Socks together or on Separate Heat-trollers
    • I can't tell any differences aesthetically, they look the same on the outside and the fit appears to be the same as well.

4/ Warmnsafe Women's Heated Gloves.  $129.99, S-L I’m pretty sure these gloves run loose. If you need XS, I would recommend the Heated Glove Liners instead. I personally prefer riding gloves that offer more protection such as palm sliders and hard knuckles, so for me, these don’t work. But if you’re searching for a toasty glove to ride in, you’ll probably love these.

warmnsafe_rider_classic_style_womens_heated_gloves

5/ Firstgear Heated Glove Liners, Unisex XS-2XL; $79.95. These are the ones I want! These liners should be thin enough to wear under your gloves. If you have the jacket, then all you have to do is plug each glove into the cable on each wrist. Atomic Skin also offers liners, but you cannot plug them into another brand's heated jacket.  

 

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warmnsafe wrist zippers

So there you have it, all the heated stuff, all the time. Stay warm, everyone.

Time to go ride!

Petite Women's Motorcycle Gear for Winter

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Hi Joanne, Been following you for a while and love your site! I'm from Australia (living in Canberra) and wanted your advice on, believe or not, some gear :). The winters in Canberra can be quite chilly (down to 0-4 degrees celsius in winter) and I'm looking for a good winter jacket. I have some Rev'it gear - Ignition 2 for spring/summer/fall) and the Siren (predecessor of the Indigo for fall/winter). Wondering if you have any suggestions? I've been looking at the Rev'it Sand (looks quite bulky), Dainese Elysse (not sure what this is like other than reading on the internet). Are there any favourites of yours for winter?  For Canberra winter mornings can be as low as -3C (26F) degrees to about 7C (44F) degrees. In Sydney, which is 280km away, their mornings are probably 9 degrees and they will consider that cold!

Thanks so much and might I add again that I love your site! :) 

Cheers, Kathleen.

We went back and forth a few emails, so I won't bore you with those details. After getting Kathleen's sizing/measurements, I was able to give her a few ideas. Kathleen rides a Ninja 300 and is on the petite side, (5'3", 119lbs).

In general, I recommend anything with Gore-Gex because it offers the best waterproof/windproof layer, and for breathability.  As far as cold weather gear, it depends on your body type. I only make recommendations based on what fits you! I need to know your height, weight, chest (over the bust), hips, inseam measurements to give you some ideas. Believe it or not, the Revit Sand suit is the lightest year round suit, because the shell is ultralight. It would probably be the least warm for this reason.

I think a Dainese Jacket would work well for you. I would also highly recommend a heated jacket liner such as this one:

Firstgear Womens Heated Liner, size XS http://www.revzilla.com/product/firstgear-womens-heated-jacket-liner

You would substitute the thermal layer in the jacket for the Firstgear liner. I also have a review of the previous version of this jacket (made by WarmnSafe) including installation here.

Given the temperatures you're attempting to ride in, you'll need it! If you're like most women, you're colder on top vs. bottom. I think this outfit would be awesome since it's GoreTex (which provides the best waterproof/windproof liner!):

  • Dainese Zima Gore-Tex Jacket: Size 40; Unfortunately Revzilla only shows color Black/Dawn Blue. I have no idea what that color is. I can't find any samples online! You would need a 40 since your chest measurement is 35.5. This combined with your weight of 54kg/119lbs, you'll need the smallest size available. The nice thing about the Zima is it's waterproof on the outside, only the thermal liner is removable. I've tried it on and it's awesome! Here's a link to some pics of me in it.
  • Dainese Travelguard Gore-Tex pants: Size 40; Again, Gore-Tex is such a great windwall and fully waterproof. It only has a removable thermal liner. I like the fact that there is hip armor and adjustable knees! I never see adjustable knee armor on Dainese pants.

Of course, these are higher on the budget but given what you need and the size that you are, I think these are the best option. A heavyweight winter baselayer like this or this is perfect too.

UPDATE 6/6/2014:

Kathleen emailed me back to let me know what she found!

Hi Joanne,

Wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you!

I bought the Zima - actually found in a store in Sydney, tried on the 40 and bought it. I absolutely love it - it fits really well.

Haven't got the heated liner yet, as I've only had the Zima for a few days so wanted to see what the fit was like, etc. Next on the shopping list is the heated liner and some new pants.

Loved your advice so thank you again.

Scooter or Motorcycle gear for Women

Ladies, if you ride a scooter, or are looking for something lightweight to wear just while riding around town, here are a few of my suggestions for protective jackets that aren't as technical, yet still comfortable and protective. Some are even waterproof and lined to help keep you a little warmer for winter. All of these jackets will be articulated well for an upright riding position. If you're farther forward, in supersport position, you'll want to consider a more aggressive motorcycle jacket, since they'll be articulated better for that type of fit.

Under $200:

REV'IT Ginger $169.99 Sale! Fit is ideal for narrow shoulders/arms, narrow waist and shorter torsos.

FirstGear Contour Waterproof $149.95 Fit is deal for broad shoulders, chest.

Over $200

These are going to be over the $200 mark, but are going to provide you with a few more features and maybe a better fit. Unfortunately I can't get some of the pics to load, but you can find most of them on Revzilla.com.

REV'IT CR $229.99 Fit is narrow in the shoulders and arms. If you're a size 0-2, order a Size 34. This one fits so comfortably, it’s not terribly warm, so you’d have to wear a good fleece or baselayer underneath to add some warmth.

GoGo Gear Military Waterproof $259.00 Fit is good for both petite and curvy body types. The smaller sizes are narrow and the larger sizes seem to be generously cut in the shoulders/chest.

REV’IT Siren $299.99 Fit is very narrow through the shoulders/arms. This is an ideal jacket if you’re really petite through these areas. The cut is also a little shorter than other 3/4 jackets. If you have a shorter torso, you’ll find this fit to be just right. I love this jacket and forsee it as a winter option...

Olympia Airglide 2 Waterproof $249.99 Fit is ideal for broader shoulders, arms, waist, chest and shorter torsos, as well as curvy hips. This one comes with 2 liners, a windproof/waterproof liner, and a thermal liner. It’s great for year round riding since it’s well ventilated without the liners in the summer. If you have trouble finding gear to fit your chest, this one won’t disappoint as the cut is very generous right where you need it.

Dainese BONN Lady $279.00 I love the simplicity and look of this jacket. It's simple and looks like you're average winter coat, but with thoughtful features such as armor, a removable hood, thermal liner and sealed zippers. It appears to be water resistant and should hold up in a light rain/fog or misty ride home. This one isn't available on Revzilla's website. If you call them, you can certainly find out if they can order it for you.

AlpineStars Stella T-Lux $249.95 This one is a little shiny in person, but it looks really good when you put it on. I really like this one. I’m a fan of the military look, personally. The fit is fairly narrow across the shoulders, arms and waist, so it runs a little on the small side. If you’re a size 0-2, an XS should fit you.

RS Taichi Drymaster Team Winter ~$250.00 (I can't remember the exact price, but it's less than $300 and over $200) They're using their own waterproof technology called Drymaster. I'm contemplating this for the city too, but not sure if I want something warmer. It would be fine for riding around San Francisco, but I wouldn't wear it at freeway speeds, given the speed and winter temperatures. It's extremely lightweight and fits me like a glove. The fit is in between a European and American fit. Not too narrow, not too curvy/generous, but just right. This is also not available on Revzilla's website. Unfortunately I can't find it on any online retailer sites. Scuderia in San Francisco is a dealer however, and even has them in the store. :( This one is sold out for the season. Unfortunately RS Taichi only made so many available. Guess we have to wait until 2011.

That's it for now. Stay tuned for my winter recommendation post for women's motorcycle jackets and pants.