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Love The DCT
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I read an evaluation of this vest on WebBikeWorld.com. The best feature I liked about the vest was that it is powered by a 14.8 volt 3300mAh lithium polymer battery pack and does not require a hookup to the battery on the bike or to an external battery if you are not riding. The vest also has three heat settings. Low is 104 degrees F., medium is 120 degrees F., and high is 140 degrees F. Based on the very favorable review, I decided to order one.

Jett is located in Mitcham, Victoria, Australia, and advertises delivery of 4 to 6 working days via Express Post. I placed the order online during the evening of Jan 15th (already Jan 16th in Australia) and I received the vest the morning of Jan 22nd. Cost was $275 AUD which is $215.82 and shipping was $45 AUD which is $35.32. I also received a free spare battery pack worth $82.50 AUD which is $64.75 for mentioning I read about the vest on WebBikeWorld.com.

The vest is made in China, is black in color, v-necked, made of an outer and inner shell of 100% nylon, has an inner right side pocket with a velcro closure for the battery pack and two pockets on the outside. There are two elastic drawstrings. one at the bottom, one midlevel, and the vest is closed with a zipper in the front. The battery pack is 6 3/4" L X 2 3/8" W X 7/16" thick. It has a single connector which connects to the controller. The switching power supply battery charger charges a fully discharged battery in 4 hours. The controller has two connections, one to the battery, and one to the vest.

The controller has two buttons, an "On" and a dual function "Off" switch which cycles through the three heat settings and turns the vest off. Hold the On" button down for 3 seconds to turn the vest on, and a green LED illuminates. Press the "Off" button for two seconds to switch between the heat settings. Medium setting is indicated by the LED changing from green to orange color. The LED changes from orange to red on the high heat setting. Holding the "Off" button down until the LED turns off completely shuts off the vest. Once turned on, the controller can be tucked into the inner pocket, or it can be adjusted to extend beyond the bottom of the vest so it is easy to reach while riding.

Build quality of the vest, wiring, batteries, and connectors is very high. There were no loose "threads" in the seams or the stitching. The vest can be washed. Just remove the controller and battery pack from the inner pocket.

The heating elements are in the upper and lower back only, however, they put out an incredible amount of heat. When turned on, the heat is nearly instantaneous. So far I have used the vest twice with outside temps down to 10 degrees F, and the low setting was more than adequate. The medium setting was quite warm, and the high setting was too hot. Perhaps when the temp drops down to well below zero, the high setting would be appropriate. However, 140 degrees F is still very hot, even through a tee shirt. Jett advertises the batteries being able to power the vest on high for 4 hours, medium for 5-6 hours, and 8 hours. I have not tried the medium and high settings for battery life, but so far on the low setting I got 7.5 hrs out of the battery pack.

So far, I am very pleased with the vest, and it will be nice to use it while ice fishing and snowmobiling if we get any snow this winter. It will also be great for riding the bike in the early spring and late fall. Best feature is not having to worry about running a wiring harness to the bike's battery and unplugging yourself when you get off the bike. No worry any more about ripping the wiring loose if you forget to unplug yourself. Overall opinion for the time being, the Jett vests beats the Widder and the Gerbing.

Murf
 

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Thanks for your write-up. I'll keep the option in mind.

Herb
 

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Fred H. said:
Nice write up. Sounds like a good alternative to Gerbing.

Can you plug it into 12Vdc from the bike to recharge the batteries?
Looks like it is powered by 14.8 volts... would you ever get the batteries fully charged? I would think that would be bad on the batteries.
 

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tommyboyTX said:
Fred H. said:
Nice write up. Sounds like a good alternative to Gerbing.

Can you plug it into 12Vdc from the bike to recharge the batteries?
Looks like it is powered by 14.8 volts... would you ever get the batteries fully charged? I would think that would be bad on the batteries.
The alternator output for most "12V" systems is USUALLY in the range of 14.2 to 14.8 ... should be enough.

I have to wonder why is this one so special
... there are a lot of less expensive vests for sale if you google on "battery heat vest china"

Dennis
 

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Bought one for my wife. She loves it. Got the extra free battery. I like the mobility of it. But would like a plug in style. Wife keeps forgetting to charge battery's

Cementhead 1300.
 

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Nice review.

I don't know how the heat only in the upper & lower back could compare with Gerbings which is basically all over including the sleeves. But, obviously you are very pleased with it.

I'm impressed with the battery pack life span. How much do the batteries weigh?

I would think you could plug directly in to the bike (and bypass the batteries) and when you leave the bike to walk around switch back to battery power.
 

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Love The DCT
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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Fred:

I'm not sure if you could use the bike to recharge the battery pack, as the alternator may not produce enough voltage. The battery pack is made up of four 3.7 volt individual lithium polymer batteries wired in series for 14.8 volts.

The supplied battery charger is a switching power supply. Input is 100-240 volts AC, 50/60 Hz, 1.5 amps. Output is 16.8 volts DC, 2000mA. The connectors are not the standard 12v cigarette plug style connectors. Take a look at the pictures in the email I sent you.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
zonker:

The battery pack weight is about .3 pounds. There are four batteries that make up the battery pack. Each battery weighs 43 grams for a total of 172 grams which is just a tad over .3 lbs.
 

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Love The DCT
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Discussion Starter #11
zonker:

The battery pack weight is about .3 pounds. There are four batteries that make up the battery pack. Each battery weighs 43 grams for a total of 172 grams which is just a tad over .3 lbs.
 

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Love The DCT
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Discussion Starter #12
tourman:

I wasn't a fan of battery vests either until the advent of light weight high power density lithium polymer batteries. These batteries are a favorite of the RC model crowd because of their light weight and high power output.

No need to connect to the bike battery anymore and then having to unplug yourself everytime you stop and get off the bike, or forgetting to unplug and damaging the wiring harness and/or connectors.
 

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Found it

Was there a link to the site that I missed. I just bought a Gerbing Vest off of ebay to play with. Trying to power it for a gal that parade rides horses and doesn't like heavy jackets covering up her costumes. She about froze at the Fort Worth Fat Stock Show a couple of weeks ago. Gerbing"s light wt. batteries are only rated for gloves and have a really short use time. and they are pricey. I ordered a relatively small 12v 12 ah sla wheel chair battery that I am going to try and use. Need to make a pouch of some sort to hide it in if I can't find a place on the horse to mount it. I've had a recommended location but don't think it will fit in there. Not familiar with the lithium polymer batteries or how I would adapt them to this application.

If this works, I'm going to make her some gloves or maybe liners and socks.

Wouldn't trade my Gerbings but this might be a solution for her.
 
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murf said:
So far I have used the vest twice with outside temps down to 10 degrees F, and the low setting was more than adequate. The medium setting was quite warm, and the high setting was too hot. Perhaps when the temp drops down to well below zero, the high setting would be appropriate. However, 140 degrees F is still very hot, even through a tee shirt. Jett advertises the batteries being able to power the vest on high for 4 hours, medium for 5-6 hours, and 8 hours. I have not tried the medium and high settings for battery life, but so far on the low setting I got 7.5 hrs out of the battery pack.
Murf
Murf,

You don't say, but were you riding with this vest or were you just outside in 10 degree weather? I just wonder how this would do when riding 60mph?

Was the vest the only heated gear you were wearing?

I have heard that if you keep your core warm, the rest of the body stays warm. I am wondering if I would be warm with this vest under a Mesh Tex jacket, with mesh gloves, and jeans. I do not plan to ride at temps below 30 probably though, so take that into account in your answer.

Also, after reading the webbikeworld evaluation, I need to ask about sizing. At 5'8" 180-185 lbs, I wear medium in most shirts and jackets. Would your experience lead you to order a size you wear normally?

I value your answer as I am just about ready to order something...
 

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Murf,
Great write-up. I rec'd my vest several weeks ago but have only worn it around the house to see how long the battery lasts. Alternating between low and med, the battery lasted over 6 hours. Tomorrow I am riding over to Centerville, TX (2-3 hours each way) and back and will post my impressions. I too am very pleased with the quality.
Ken
 

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It sounds interesting. How long does the battery last? Is there any thing you can do if the battery dies on a ride, like plug it directly into the bike?

Some of us here electrified our gear a few years ago by adding 30 ga. teflon wire to our vests, pants, etc. I did my Joe Rocket Codura jacket liner for about $10 and get 60 watts of heat out of it.

The one place we DIDN'T place the wire was in the lower back. That is out of the wind and aganist the backrest. Your front and arms are the most important heating areas.
 

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Love The DCT
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Discussion Starter #19
BuffaloChuck:

I haven't used the Jett vest on the bike yet because it is still winter. I got an extra battery pack with the vest. I'm wearing it while doing outside work in the very cold weather and nasty windchills here this weekend in MN. When the one battery runs down, I swap it out and put the spare one in. Takes 4 hours to charge up a fully discharged battery.

I intend on doing the same thing if the battery runs down when riding the bike this early spring. The charger and cord does not take up much space and easily fits in one of the saddlebags.
 
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