UPDATED: OCTOBER 2019
A few years ago I wrote this post about heated motorcycle gear options for women.
When I wrote that post, there was only 1 option for 12V gear for us; WarmnSafe.
But now we have a 3 Options for 12 Volt Riding Gear. Quick Refresher:
12V(olt) heat offers the most heating to anyone who rides a 50-75mph on a motorcycle.
7V(olt) heat is great to go to a football game, or slower city speeds (10-20mph)
You can find a ton of 7V products on the market because there are far more women doing everyday activities like going to games, bicycling, walking to work, etc.
This post is all about 12V Gear because you can find plenty of 7V options on the market. 12V products are far less common and will be the focus of this post.
When you want something that will provide the most heat possible and keep you warm all day riding at highway speeds, you need 12V gear.
Keep in mind that this means you need a rock solid outer jacket to wear over all of these options.
One thing to note when it comes to ANY heated gear choices that have integrated controllers. Even though alll connections are the same with all these brands, you don’t want to mix and match integrated controller options with NON integrated controller options because you can’t control the heat of those options through the garments that don’t have integrated controllers.
Basically, you’ll never mix Gerbing and old FirstGear/WarmnSafe with new FirstGear or Olympia.
So here are all the options currently available for 12V Plug In Gear:
1/ FirstGear Heated Jacket, Pants and Gloves
Our newest option on the market is FirstGear. For Fall 2019/Winter 2020 (yikes, is it already the future), they’ve released 3 new items:
Heated Jacket Liner
Heated Pant Liner
You can still purchase their previous generation liners and gloves (for both genders). But this release will probably replace the old product lines eventually.
Both liners and the gloves offer all new integrated controllers. This means that you won’t need to purchase any separate controllers. The jackets, pants and gloves all have these controller buttons, so that also means you won’t want to mix and match brands that require them.
What I especially love is the added protection that FirstGear is offering on the new gloves. Double palm sliders! This is difficult to find on regular gloves, let alone heated. I can’t wait to upgrade my heated jacket liner now.
They are also using new micro alloy heated elements in the garments, so that means less wires! The heat also covers all zones: neck, sleeves, chest, back, front of thighs to knees.
(Photo of Jacket LIner is not a women’s specific liner)
The fitment seems to be just like the first generation liners, so check out my review of my older WarmnSafe Liner (which were sold as FirstGear Liners previously). I think they’re right in between Olympia (only slightly slimmer than FirstGear) and Gerbing (boxy).
Also, bonus features: the jacket liner folds into itself (like some rain jackets). And the pants include a small pouch that you can stuff them into for traveling.
FirstGear Kits v. Non Kits
So when you are shopping for FirstGear Liners, you’re going to see these awesome kits just for the Jackets. They will be priced ~$75 more than the options without a kit. These include a fancy portable battery! Yep, that means exactly what you think it means. You will be able to plug in your jacket to a small portable battery. Keep in mind however, that it will only be useful for short rides, I’d say less than an hour at most. I’d recommend this option if you have a very short commute and don’t have enough available power for your bike.
I also know what you’re thinking. ‘That’s Great! I can just order a battery if I need to”. Unfortunately not, you can’t buy their battery separately. You’ll have to invest in the Antigravity option or similar below for Gerbing.
2/ North Bay Heated Jacket and Pants by Olympia.
When it comes to Women’s 12V Heated Gear, Olympia is the first company to offer an option with an integrated controller.
The reason I love my Warmnsafe Jacket is because it fit me so well. It’s stretchy and fitted, and was always comfortable under my gear. I always loved the fact that it also heated my collar, sleeves AND neck.
One of the issues with Olympia is the lack of heat in the sleeves, in my opinion. As a coldblooded rider, I need heat everywhere, not just my core. I know that keeping my core warm helps with extremities but I simply prefer as much heat as possible. Unless you’re a small person, you just don’t get how cold we are, even when we are layered with the best base/midlayers in the world!
Even with the best baselayers, and the warmest winter jackets to block as much as wind as well.
Just like FirstGear, the controllers are a single button on both garments! NO external controllers!
The button is raised so you can feel it through your main jacket. And it seems like an easy reach whether you’re right or left handed.
And I know what half (yes, that many of you) of you are thinking. Pink? Yep, even I can get past it because it’s such a great jacket.
I got my hands on one of the men’s ones today and if the woman’s jacket is the same material and stretch comfort, you are going to love it. Even with the hot pink, I do like the overall style of this jacket because you could easily wear it by itself with a battery like the Antigravity one below.
The fitment of this jacket is not as boxy as Olympia and not as forgiving as FirstGear.
I would recommend this option for the longest/slimmest fit of all 3 choices. It’s not a full European cut, but between all three I find that it’s narrower than the other two brands.
The other issue I have with Olympia is the lack of gloves. But it means that you will have to use the FirstGear Gloves above so that when you plug them into the sleeves, it will draw heat from the jacket to the gloves.
Even though Gerbing doesn’t offer a 12V women’s product line, they’re worth mentioning because of the fitment.
They’re a great option for the curviest of women out there, I would say ~45”-55” chests and/or waists, especially if you’re shorter waisted with very broad shoulders.
For example, you’re 5’8” and your bust is 45” and your waist is 42”. this will have plenty of room around your waist and just enough room over your hips. Not quite a full woman’s fitment for hips but since the waist has a little give around the hem and the roomy fit, it’s a great option for many women out there.
Like I said, they run VERY boxy. Even for the men, the Gerbing lines run big and almost everyone sizes down.
Another bonus that I discovered recently is this AMAZINGGGG PORTABLE BATTERY with a Coaxial Input! (e.g. you can plug your heated jacket liner into it!)
Aside from this bonus feature, it also acts a fully portable jump starter for your motorcycle, car or truck! We have the smaller one just for our bikes, the Sport Power Supply. It totally works and fits easily under most reasonable seats.
4/ WARMNSAFE / OLD FIRSTGEAR
If you read my first post about heated gear, you’ll read all about WarmnSafe Options.
I know this is confusing. But basically the older FirstGear Heated Liners that you see online (with wires hanging from them) are all branded by WarmnSafe because that’s who technically manufactured these liners. I believe that’s no longer the case with the new FirstGear Lines.
If I upgrade my heated gear, I’ll definitely be upgrading to new First Gear. I like the protection of the gloves and the integrated controllers. I’m done with external controllers.
So for all the hardcore women riders out there that need heated gear for your next trip to Alaska, NovaScotia or Canada I hope this is works out for you. Please, report back!