18 November 2007

Chilli Heated Vest

I've had mine for four years I think and haven't worn it that often, reserving it for the really cold days when I think a bit of added support is necessary.

When I bought it I took the option to have the optional extra Chilli Control unit, a thermostat, as well rather than run the jacket straight off the battery. It does mean that the heat level can be variable.

Dur to that fact that I wear it when it is very cold, I tend to have it turned on almost to the maximum. The know on the unit seems to have about 270° of movement and I bet I used the last 20° of that most of the time. In Chilli speak "full on" is 100% so I guess I use the top 10% at all times.
On the bike you have to decide where you are going to site the thermostat. I am dead against abusing paintwork, so on the GS there is a small section of frame exposed just by the left knee. A bit of Velcro on the frame and the back of the thermostat is sufficient to hold it in place. When it isn't perhaps freezing (inc wind chill) this is a satisfactory arrangement, however, the lead from the unit to the jacket is not really long enough. When it is very cold the wire is quite thick and it goes extremely rigid, and the slightest movement of the rider, Me, on the seat allows the plug to slide off the jacket. I have seen some bikes with the unit mounted on the fork top yoke. I assume that an extension cable must be available to allow this! In fact after today's ride home when it fell off three times, I have written to Chilli.
Today on a ride to the Oakdene I was pleasantly warm on the way up with the dial turned to about 90%. However, on the way back it was appreciably colder and I had it full on for a half hour dash back down the M20.
Would I recommend the waistcoat? Yes, most definitely.
Any improvements? Yes. Make a version with sleeves.

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