A Battery Powered Riding Vest for Cold Weather
Because I’m not pedaling when I go for a ride on my Triad or my Balto, I get very cold in the winter. On my first long ride on the Balto at 39deg Fahrenheit I figured out very quickly that I needed some sort of help to keep warm.
I found on Amazon a heated vest that used a USB power supply for it’s energy source. The vest is just a simple vest that was less than $50. It was sold as being mens or womens and isn’t a very well known brand. I just wanted any generic one that didn’t also come with a power supply. I had a plain for that.
The heat vest has a USB cable in the right pocket and can be powered by any USB power bank.
I’m not a big fan of wearing vests as outerwear and this one in my opinion doesn’t look great on me. So I wear it under my normal coat, but over a t-shirt. It doesn’t add to much bulk but it helps with warmth for sure. It’s really great to just be able to turn on and off heat anywhere I need it.
The buttons by the pocket with the cable control the heating functions.
I paired this vest with a USB extension cable so I could put a power bank within my inside pocket. The USB extension allows the battery to be located a couple feet from the jackets power port.
A cheap dollar store USB extension allows for relocation of the battery.
The battery and USB port adapter that I use for my power supply is a large 5AH Makita cordless tool battery and the Makita USB power adapter. The adapter also has a little clip on it so you can put it on your belt if you wish as well. That keeps it more stable but it depends on what you’re doing and how you have to sit on your mobility scooter.
The battery and adapter allow the jacket to run for many hours at a time. I’ve used it for a couple days on only one battery and without charging in-between. It’s been very long lasting and I don’t feel like I have to try to conserve battery power at all. The USB adapter from Home Depot cost about $20. There are adapters for other types of cordless tool batteries as well, so you can use other tool brand batteries, or even small cell phone charger USB battery packs.
I just use the huge battery from my Makita because I have it and I wanted to be able to use it a little during the winter (using batteries occasionally keeps them in good shape), so this is a handy use for a large battery.
Here’s a few pictures of the battery and wires with the jacket in various modes. I usually put the entire jacket power wire and a section of the blue USB extension in the pocket of the heat vest and then put the battery and adapter in a pocket of my outer coat.
I’ll continue to wear this vest and get a better handle on total time for my batteries and update this after I’ve solidified that.