When it comes to fighting harsh wintry conditions, I have always debated whether I should try a heated vest. Not only do they take up less space than a multi-layered jacket, but they also offer superb warmth without restricting arm movement.
However, as good as heated vests claim to be, most suffer from one drawback. Their batteries cannot offer more than a few hours of continuous heating. So, I got really excited after I finally got to test Kemimoto’s Heated Vest.
Here are my thoughts after a couple of months of using it.
The Kemimoto Heated Vest is your best bet to stay warm and cozy in frigid weather. It has strategically placed heated elements to keep the entire torso and upper body warm. It also comes with built-in hand warmers and has the looks that won’t make it look out of place at an office party.
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How I Tested?
In the freezing weather of Alberta, Canada (which is where I live), I put the Kemimoto Heated Vest through its paces in various outdoor scenarios.
I wore it a few times in an outdoor shooting range in Kananaskis Country, skiing in Banff National Park, and hiking to the Green Monster Icefall in Kananaskis. Keen-eyed visitors of the provincial parks in the area may also have seen me with the vest on.
However, it wasn’t just in the outdoors that I donned it. During one of the recent (and the most brutal) cold spells in Alberta's history, when the temperatures stayed below minus 35* Celsius (-31 F) for days, I kept the vest on every time I set foot outside my front door.
Having used it for so long and in such extreme weather conditions, I am finally in the position to give an unbiased and objective review of this heated vest.
Is it Easy to Use?
During one of the initial trials of the Kemimoto Heated Vest, I ventured into the snow-covered slopes of Banff Sunshine Village ski hill. As I glided down the slopes, the vest provided a snug yet cozy experience, joining forces with my jacket to keep me ultra-warm.
What I specifically liked about it was that it didn’t restrict my mobility. Not once did I feel its bulkiness coming in the way of my freedom of movement. The vest adapted seamlessly to my body movements, allowing for a full range of motion without hindrance.
After assessing its performance during this dynamic activity, I wore it to an outdoor shooting range in Kananaskis County. The goal was to evaluate its functionality in situations where movement is limited. To my surprise, the ease of use remained the same.
Whether adjusting my stance or aiming, the vest never came in my way. I was able to focus on the activity at hand without being hindered by any disruptions. This tells me that you can use it as an everyday vest to go to work, buy groceries, or even while shopping.
Kemimoto Heated Vest is a great piece of clothing that is a perfect addition during the cold season. Easily tucked under most outer layers, it will keep you warm even during the extreme temperatures.
Does it Offer Adequate Heating?
In addition to its ease of use, I also enjoyed the vest’s three heating modes, which kept my torso warm regardless of whether I was indoors or outdoors.
The low level heat mode is ideal for situations when you cannot recharge the battery for hours, provided the weather is mildly favorable. However, on days when the snow is falling like crazy, the medium or high-level modes might prove to be a better choice.
Whichever heating mode you pick, four heating zones (2x on the abdomen and 1x each on the neck and the back) will kick in. My favorite among them is the one on the neck, as exposure to cold air tenses up my shoulders, causing severe neck pain.
As a bonus, the pockets come with heating pads, so no need to put your hands inside the jacket to keep them warm. I can see the heated pockets coming in handy when you’re walking to the park or running errands outdoors in frigid weather.
What about the Kemimoto Vest’s Design?
One of the thoughts that crossed my mind the first time I saw this vest was that I could easily wear it to work. That is how sharp-looking it is. Anyone who doesn’t know it’s heated can never guess there are heating elements hidden inside the windproof fabric.
In situations where a more traditional and streamlined look is desirable, you can wear the vest with the collar folded down inside. Alternatively, wear it up for a stylish appearance. Such versatility makes this vest suitable for formal and semi-formal occasions alike.
Apart from the looks, I liked the practicality of the internal chest pocket and zippered pockets on both sides of the torso. They allowed me to partake in my favorite outdoor activities without worrying about the whereabouts of my smartphone, wallet, and car keys.
What About the Battery?
Let’s put aside the technical stuff first. This heated vest comes with a 1,000 mAh battery and carries multiple certifications, including CE, FCC, ROSH, and PSE. Per the manufacturer, it also meets the standards that distinguish reliable vests from unreliable ones.
To be honest, I wasn’t interested in the certifications it comes with. I was more concerned with how long the battery lasted in the harsh wintry conditions I’d be putting the vest on.
On that count, it delivered. A 6-hour battery timing (on the mid-level heating mode) helped me stay warm throughout the day in freezing cold. I’d like to think the battery life would have improved on the low heat level, but then I’d have to put up with average warmth (not desirable).
Another thing I like about the battery is that it’s placed in a convenient location. That doesn’t mean you won’t know where the pack is. With other thoughts on your mind, you may even forget that there’s an entire battery pack underneath the vest.
Finally, the battery pack has an extra charging port to juice up your phone while staying cozy. At least that’s what the manufacturer states. My experience, however, indicates that using the connector will hit the battery life hard. So, you better charge your smartphone at home.
Kemimoto Heated Vest with a Hood
How do You Care for the Kemimoto Heated Vest?
Although its manufacturer says it’s machine washable, you’d still want to air-dry it to avoid damaging the wires or heating elements.
However, if you are intent on machine washing it, take some precautions.
First, unplug and remove the battery packet, as it shouldn’t be submerged in water. If you can, do the same with wires or any other electrical components you feel confident of being able to easily detach and reconnect post-wash.
Second, place the vest inside a mesh laundry bag. Make sure it is loosely packed inside the bag for the water to circulate freely. This will help you get a good wash. Depending on its type, you may want to zip or secure the bag to contain hot water.
Finally, set your washing machine to a gentle or delicate cycle. I always use cold water and a small amount of mild detergent, as hot water and harsh fabric softeners can make its fibers come loose.
Does it come with a Warranty?
You get a 45-day full-refund warranty on this heated vest, provided it’s returned undamaged. It’s also covered by a 3-month warranty against manufacturing defects.
Where could it Improve?
There are a couple of areas where this vest could have done better.
First, unlike the case with many competitors, there’s no app for the vest. You have to manually switch the modes using the button on the chest pocket.
Secondly, I’d have liked this vest more if its battery lasted longer in extreme cold. The fact that it doesn’t means you’d have to manage an external power bank when planning to spend more than a few hours in frigid cold weather.
Why You Can Trust My Review?
My many years of experience in camping, road trips, backpacking, and embracing the wilderness have equipped me with valuable insights and knowledge, which I’m excited to share with you through my reviews and guides. I especially love reviewing outdoor gear and want to share my insight with my readers so you could make an informed decision before purchasing these items.