REVIEW – When I was a kid, we planned a ski trip to the mountains of West Virginia. The forecast was shaping up to be VERY cold, so my dad got me a pair of heated socks. They were wool socks with a bunch of D batteries in a holder that strapped to your calf. They got only moderately warm and only lasted about 30 minutes. Until the Kemimoto heated vest showed up, that was my complete experience with heated clothing, so my expectations were low. Much to my surprise and delight, heated clothes have come a long way in 25 years.
What is it?
The Kemimoto Classic Heated Vest is a heated vest that comes with a large detachable battery.
What’s in the box?
- Kemimoto Classic Heated Vest
- USB charging wire
- Battery Size: 9600 mAh
- Heating elements: 6, back of neck, 2 upper back, one lower back, two lower front
- Heating levels: three, high, medium, low
- Heating elements: carbon fiber
- Shell fabric: 100% polyester
- Lining: 100% polyester
Design and features
The Kenimoto Classic Heated Vest is a versatile piece of heated clothing that gives you a lot of control over how long the battery lasts and how hot the vest gets. The vest itself is really designed to be worn underneath other clothing, so from a style perspective, there’s not much there. It’s black, with two handwarmer pockets. The right pocket contains a smaller zippered pocket where the battery pack resides, which simply plugs in with a standard USB-A plug.
The controls of the vest are pretty simple. Master power control is on the battery pack, and then the vest has two buttons on the left upper chest. The two buttons correspond to the heating elements on the front and the back. There are two large heating elements on the lower front, and on the rear, there is one large element on th lower back, two smaller elements on the upper back, and an additional small heating element on the back of the neck. The buttons change color based on the temperature setting (blue = low, white = medium, red = high).
I’m quite impressed with the Kenimoto classic heated vest. While it’s intended for use with motorsports (Kenimoto is a motorcycle and UTV accessory company), it’s really perfect for anyone who wants some additional warmth. I used the Kenimoto classic heated vest while walking my dog in the early morning cold, and it is quite a pleasant experience. It heats up very quickly – just a few seconds really.
I almost always ran the vest with the front and rear elements on high. If you zip the zipper all the way to the top, it pulls the back of the collar against your neck. There is a heating element in the back of the collar, and the warmth on the back of my neck was really my favorite part of the experience. So, the vest is very warm. But how long does it last? On our 20-30 minute walks in the morning, with all heating elements on high, the vest would go from 100% to about 80%. That means I could usually get 4-5 walks before the battery was fully dead, but I usually charged it earlier. Of course, if I used fewer heating elements or kept them on low or medium, the battery lasts much longer. One chilly day in the house, I used the vest while working, for about 4 hours on low, and only lost about 20%. So the battery lasts quite a while.
The 9600 mAh battery pack is charged with any regular USB charger, and depending on the amperage of the charger, takes several hours to recharge. There is a small LED display on the battery that indicates the charge state in percentage. My only complainant about the vest is that the control buttons on the left upper chest are a bit difficult to see while wearing the vest. You really have to crane your neck down to see them, but I really could not identify a better place for the buttons.
What I like
- It’s very warm!
- Thin and silky material make it easy to wear under other garments
- Battery lasts a long time
What I’d change
- Nothing, really!
Heated clothing has some a long way since I was a kid! If you’re always cold, or like to be outside in cold weather (especially in a sedentary activity like hunting or watching sports), the Kemimoto Classic Heated Vest could really be perfect.