This lightweight and stylish base layer vest has made a great first impression on me. It kept me toasty even when the thermometer dipped into the miserable, damp cold 20s. I have a lot of confidence this vest will continue to keep me warm, even in the coldest days of winter.
The heating areas are located along the top of your back and on each side of your chest to insure your core stays nice and warm. The vest utilizes a 7.4V rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which is stored in a large pocket located inside of the vest. The heating element has three settings: low, medium and high. And if I may say, "high" is very toasty. The heating pads are easily removable so the vest can take a trip through the washer. I would suggest to air drying the vest to keep it from shrinking or wadding up. Drying time is short because the material is fleece.
I've seen the lithium-ion battery last around five to six hours on a full charge. The time varies if you are on low, medium or high and depends on how hard it has to work to maintain that temperature. The temp is controlled by pressing a conveniently located illuminated button located on the left side of your chest. A simple press and hold for three seconds turns the heat on and then one press for each level. Red indicates high, blue indicates medium and white indicates low. This vest is great for the early season/late season angler, hunter, camper or any outdoorsy person needing to stay warm on cool evenings or freezing cold mornings. There is a pocket located on the upper left side which easily stores your cell phone or any gadget you may need quick access to. There are two other big side pockets too and both are very roomy.
Overall, even if you don't turn it on, its added base warmth and additional settings are all pluses in my book. The price tag is $143.99 on Flambeaus' website and given prices of some outerwear these days, this price is in the ballpark for comfort. The battery is rated for 1500+ charges (so several years of wear) and replacement batteries are very reasonable at $35.96 for a twin pack. For those of you saying I need a camo vest, well there is one available and it sells for $179.99. It always costs more for that camo look.
For more information, please visit www.flambeauoutdoors.com.
Review written by Gary Elliott, facilitator of www.Facebook.com/GarysOutdoorNewsandReviews and @garys_outdoor_news_and_reviews.