Review: Firstgear Heat Pump Vest

Apr 05, 2014 View Comments by

Review: Firstgear Heat Pump VestIt’s not what you think. Though its name would seem to imply that the vest is actively heated, it isn’t, well at least not with electricity. Do you remember when your mom, uncle, or whomever used to extoll to you the benefit of dressing in layers when it’s cold? Have you ever wondered why wearing several thin garments keeps you warmer than wearing one thick coat or jacket? The reason is that the air trapped between the layers acts as an insulator to prevent your body heat from escaping. That’s the principle behind the Heat Pump Vest from Firstgear. To our knowledge, this is the first article of clothing that allows you to adjust the amount of air that is insulating you from the ambient temperature. The Heat Pump Vest uses a bladder of air which you can inflate using a bulb type hand pump located in the vest’s left front pocket. You can also easily deflate the vest for packing, or if you get too warm. Using this system you can vary the amount of insulation you’re wearing—effectively similar to adding or removing layers—simply by inflating or deflating the Heat Pump Vest.

The vest features a Polyester/bamboo lining that is soft, comfortable, and moisture wicking. The exterior nylon shell works great underneath the outer jacket. Though it’s only a vest, the Heat Pump keeps your extremities warm by ensuring that warm blood continues to flow from your well-insulated core. I actually prefer to wear a vest underneath my main jacket as layers of sleeves can quickly reduce the flexibility of my arms. I found that the Heat Pump kept me quite warm, with just a base layer underneath and a riding jacket on top, in temperatures down to the low-40s. The vest is not windproof (or waterproof, of course) so if your outer jacket isn’t either you may get poor results. Of course, for really, really cold weather nothing can replace electrically heated gear, but for moderately cold temperatures, the Heat Pump Vest works admirably well, with no batteries required.

Firstgear Heat Pump Vest

Sizes: XS-2XL
Color: black
Price: $179.95


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About the author

There’s something relentlessly romantic about riding a motorcycle. I’m blessed to know that feeling. With a background in photography and a love for motorcycles, I’m interested in the beauty and honesty of the open road. You’ll find me riding Carolina’s roads on my Suzuki SV650.