Most of us have been there.
Miles from home, muscles cramping from the cold, concentration waning and wishing we’d packed better.
In the coldest conditions, a heated jacket or liner can keep you warmer, better focused and safer.
All jacket liners on today’s list come with the necessary cables for easy connection to your motorcycle’s battery and can daisy chain to other heated clothing. Some have an optional battery pack (sold separately).
Best Heated Motorcycle Jackets and Liners Reviewed
Here are our top picks.
Gerbing MicroWire Pro Heated Jacket Liner
Gerbing’s MicroWire Pro is a premium, stylish, packable design – cut to fit snugly under an outer jacket. It has a minimalist, utilitarian look but is very feature-complete.
The durability and build quality of Gerbing are well known, and they offer a lifetime warranty on all heated elements.
Heated panels are in the chest, back, collar and sleeves and the jacket contain over 30 metres of heated wire for even, near-instant heat.
A complaint we’ve heard about this liner is that the elasticated cuffs can be a little thick when worn with an outer jacket and gloves. If you have a particularly bulky set of gloves, or your outer jacket is already a snug fit – you might need to look elsewhere.
Feedback suggests that the sizing is just right if worn over a single base layer. Anyone looking to wear multiple layers underneath should consider going up a size.
I tried a medium (I’m 5’10’ and 65kgs) in a high street store, and it was very comfortable under a long-sleeved t-shirt.
Again, the fact that this can be packed safely into a side case or backpack makes it an excellent choice for touring or unpredictable, longer trips.
The option of a battery pack (sold separately) allows this one to serve various functions off the bike.
If I could afford it, this would be my jacket liner. Sadly, I’ll have to stick to my heated vest for another season.
- Built to last and looks great
- Can be packed
- Heat controller must be bought separately – check prices.
Keis J501 Premium Heated Jacket
The Keis J501 is designed to be worn as a heated inside layer or casual outer jacket in dry conditions.
Its breathable, soft shell construction includes elasticated side panels for an optimum fit.
Feedback on this and other elasticated Keis gear suggests going down a size. This is especially true if you’re after a snug fit to wear as a mid-layer under your existing jacket.
Most people wear it over a single base layer with an outer jacket on top.
Unlike most of the kit on this list, the J501 includes a heat controller in the base price. This makes it an ideal choice for anyone expecting to ride in different temperatures.
One downside; a rechargeable battery pack can’t power it, so it’s strictly for riding – no golfing or hiking in this one.
- Includes free heat controller for variable heat
- Quick heating micro carbon fibre heating element
- Can’t be powered by Li Ion battery packs – must be connected to motorcycle battery
Macna Centre Heated Jacket
The Macna Centre Heated Jacket is dual-powered and has connections for matching heated gloves and trousers.
The jacket can be operated via the smartphone app once you are all connected via Bluetooth; it has 4 heat settings and a battery level indicator. You can power the jacket off your motorcycle using a 12V cable if you wish.
Construction is pretty simple from Polyester, with waist pockets and a separate battery pocket. Elasticated cuffs to hold the arms in place under your riding jacket are a nice touch.
It is pretty bulky, so you might want to remove the liner in your riding jacket to accommodate the heated jacket instead.
- Dual power options
- Heated trouser and glove connections
- Smartphone app
- 4 heat options
- Bulky under your riding jacket
Keis V501 Premium Heated Vest
The premium heated vest from Keis is designed to warm your chest and back under your riding jacket.
It comes with connection cables to your motorcycle as standard; however, you must buy the temperature control unit separately.
Instead of hooking up to your bike, you can purchase batteries to power this dual-powered vest instead.
The vest has convenient pockets for stashing small personal items and dedicated zip pockets for cables and the control unit, so you aren’t walking around with wires everywhere like a weird robot.
You should go at least one size down for a snug fit, as these come up quite large. Some people have even had to go two sizes down.
- Quality construction
- Cable and controller pockets
- Option to use batteries instead of connecting to bike
- Sizing comes up large
- Have to buy battery pack and temperature controller separately
Alpinestars Heat Tech Vest
Alpinestars have entered the mix with their Heat Tech vest.
This vest has 3 heat settings, automatic heat control for cold rides, can be controlled via the Heat Tech app on your phone, and a 12V cable or battery pack can power it.
The battery is included with the vest, although at the price, it would be pretty poor if it wasn’t included.
Alpinestars have designed the garment to be elongated at the rear for greater coverage, and the Heat Tech distributes the heat evenly front and back.
- Battery included
- Automatic heat control for cold climates
- Heat Tech smartphone app
What to consider before parting with your hard-earned.
Unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer, your heated clothing comes without a dedicated controller unit. Without a controller, your heated vest/jacket will typically have two settings – on and off.
Some riders find the default setting on too hot for most weather.
If you’re riding through a variety of conditions or interested in squeezing the most out of a battery pack – a controller unit can be a great addition.
Check out these options:
- Gerbing Temperature Controller – Single
- Gerbing Temperature Controller – Dual
- Keis Temperature Controller
We’ve also written more about motorcycle heated clothing controllers here.
Safety is one of the primary concerns people have when using electrically heated gear in wet conditions.
Heated clothing is insulated, fused, and rigorously tested for safety. It’s designed not to overheat, and all electrical components are protected by a waterproof membrane – making it safe to use in wet conditions.
Some of the gear on our list has a water-repellent finish. This can be great if you get caught in a shower on a supermarket run, but it is no substitute for your waterproof, windproof outer jacket.
Typically, heated jackets have a power draw of about 7A.
Your motorcycle battery should have about 28A available. Operating your bike (ignition, lights, indicators, etc.) requires about 12A.
Conservatively, that leaves you with 12A + to power your accessories.
All jacket liners are fitted to run directly from your motorcycle battery and come with a standard motorcycle loom connection.
The battery pack option is only useful if you plan to jump off your motorcycle to take in the sights and switch over to portable heating. If your other interests are golf or hiking, you might want to consider a jacket liner with the option of battery power.
The manufacturer’s guidelines will state whether your liner is machine washable or not.
Some people (myself included) prefer to hand wash their heated gear no matter the instructions. Machine washing tends to reduce the life of regular clothing – and this stuff is expensive.
If the product is listed as hand-wash only – use laundry detergent, warm water, and a basin. Hang to drip dry.
When storing your jacket liner, hang it out of direct sunlight and any sources of localised heat.
If you store your liner with the battery connected, leave it with a half charge, as tests have shown that fully depleted or fully charged batteries deteriorate faster.
If you have the money and want the option of portable heat off your bike – the MicroWire Pro is a well-made and great-looking piece of gear.
For more on heated clothing