My wife received an iHood 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? I know these aren’t designed for anything like a winter hike up Mount Katahdin, but 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?
According to the company:
IHOOD® heated apparel, the designer bring advanced design concept and humanized experience by avoiding the disadvantages and deficiencies of multiple products. As a brand with latecomer advantages, IHOOD® will bring more popular, fashionable and comfortable heated apparel for customers.
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 iHood 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. Where this isn’t the typical winter vest, just stuffing it in a storage bin isn’t the ideal solution. Containing it with all of its components into a designated storage bag keeps it all together.
Unzipped, you can see the vest itself, the batter, charging plug, and mesh bag for washing.
One thing that I did appreciate was the variety of charging options that you can use depending on what devices you currently have. The variety means you likely already have the USB-based charging cable around the house eliminating the need for a standalone iHood cable.
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. I 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 first step to operating the iHood heated vest is to charge the battery. You can see in the pic below that a light indicates the percent charged. The will charge from empty to full within 4-7 hours. My batter came at 77% out of the box, so it hit 100% rather quickly.
The battery sits inside an inner pocket where it is plugged in and activated separately from the battery on/off switch. I had reviewed a competing vest and found the placement of the battery in the iHood to be slightly better when wearing. It is out of the way and there is no fiddling with it to make it comfortable when moving from standing to seated position.
Bonus Feature – the battery’s USB port built can be used to simultaneously charge your smartphone or other device.
The vest has three different heat settings: low, medium, and high. A blue light indicates the low setting (60 degrees), white indicates medium (65 degrees), and red indicates high (75 degrees).
The power is activated from a button on the chest of the vest. Pressing and holding it turns it off or on. Pressing it briefly will switch it between the different levels.
There are a variety of different heated areas in the vest:
- 2 on each side of the front vest (4 total on front)
- 2 on the back (collar and back area)
- 2 on the hood (left and right ear)
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.
iHood Heated Vest Verdict
The iHood heated vest and their other products are not cheap, 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.
Here are their men’s and women’s versions of the vests:
- 【Battery/Power Bank】: Included 7.4V 14400mAh large capacity power bank, the battery will last approximately 9.5 on low, 6.5 hours on medium, or 4.5 hours on high.
- 【All-area Heating System】: This heated vest uses an all-area heating system and has a strong warming effect. You can enjoy outdoor activities such as skiing, cycling, fishing, camping, hunting, and golf without wearing too many clothes.
- 【Battery/Power Bank】: Included 7.4V 14400mAh capacity power bank (Rated capacity 8700mAh), this big capacity battery could last approximately 9.5 on low, 6.5 hours on medium, or 4.5 hours on high.
- 【Unique Function: All-area Independent Heating System】: iHood heated vest uses an excellent and distinctive heating control chip to simultaneously or separately drive three different heating areas (1: back + collar, 2: left and right chest, 3: left and right ear). The strong heating effect allows you to happily enjoy outdoor activities such as skiing, biking, fishing, camping, hunting and golf without wearing too many clothes.
If this vest stands the test of time, it seems like a decent investment for the person that struggles to keep warm. Be mindful of sizing. The vest pictured is a men’s small. I can wear it but it’s tight on me. We chose the men’s small for my wife, however, slightly oversized (intentionally) it allows room for her to wear clothes underneath.
The iHood heated vest, unlike competitors, has the unique advantage of the heated hood. This may make it the right choice for some consumers.