My wife received an Ororo heated vest. You know, one of those vests that generates its heat from a rechargeable battery. She’s always cold, like – always cold. We live in Maine, after all. When we go to work, it’s cold. When we take the dogs out for a walk, it’s cold. When we go to the ice hockey rink to watch kids’ games, it’s cold. When we go to the beach in July… it’s sorta warm.
I’ve always been skeptical of these heated vests and jackets I see online. Warm clothes powered by a rechargeable battery? It just doesn’t make sense. It takes a lot of power to generate heat.
Yet – the online reviews were all quite strong. People seem to like their heated vests. Was my suspicion wrong?
If the vest worked, it could be the stay-warm solution she’s been looking for, and a great(?) addition to a prepper’s wardrobe. Powered through a USB port, it could be recharged by SunJack portable solar panels or a WaterLily turbine. No connection to the grid needed!
Unpacking the Ororo Heated Vest
The vest comes in a zip storage bag. Normally I think packages of this type are unnecessary and should be cut from the product and the price lowered accordingly. I could, however, see how people might appreciate having a zip case to store the vest during the off season.
Unzipped, you can see the inside of the vest, the opened box of charging parts, the battery itself, and the power cord coming out of the vest (bottom right inside pocked of the vest). The battery plugs in there and is stored in the pocket during use.
One thing that I did appreciate was the variety of outlet options that you can use depending on what part of the world you’re in (see below pic). Bonus is that you can use USB wall charging unit and plug any USB device into it. In other words, the heated vest comes with a world traveler’s USB charger.
The vest is puffy and lightweight. It claims to be water and wind-resistant. We didn’t test that claim, but the construction seems decent. It’s not a North Face, Patagonia, or LL Bean vest, but it’s not garbage either. It’s stylish.
How the Heated Vest Works
The vest has three different heat settings: low, medium, and high. The power is activated from a button on the chest of the vest. The manufacturer boldly claims that the vest will stay heated for 10 hours on low, 6 hours on medium, and 3 hours on high.
There are four heated areas of the vest (below pic)
Bonus Feature – the battery’s USB port built can be used to simultaneously charge your smartphone or other device.
How Does the Heated Vest Perform?
My wife took the vest to the ice arena to watch a hockey game and then stayed for open skate afterward. She was pleasantly surprised by the heat it generated. She kept it on high the entire time and said her back was sweating at one point. The game itself was about an hour and then it was followed by two hours of open skating. That was three hours of the vest running at high temp – confirming the company’s claim that the vest will stay heated for three hours on high.
The best performance was actually found in wearing the vest underneath an overcoat of some sort. This created another insulating layer over the vest that helped trap the heat. Since heat rises, of course, that heat could then be trapped further with a scarf wrapped around the neck creating a seal around the collar.
You can see the vest being worn underneath a fleece jacket. What you can’t see is the Ororo emblem on the vest list up red to indicate high heat. She was asked by others, who saw the emblem lit, if it was a heated vest. (All hockey moms get cold).
The Ororo heated vest is priced on Amazon at $129.99. For ten dollars more, they offer a heated jacket. Heated gloves are also available. Those are not cheap prices, but a decent vest or jacket from a name brand company costs the same if not more. Given the heating elements, the price seems fair to me. If this vest stands the test of time, it seems like a decent investment for the person that struggles to keep warm. As for sizing, my wife said the vest runs a little on the small side.
I rate the vest 4.5 (out of 5) mushroom clouds!