Date reviewed: October 2017 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: £179.99 | www.keisapparel.co.uk
If you ride into autumn and winter, there’s really not much better than heated kit. I’ve been using this X25 jacket, along with a pair of Keis X2i heated trousers, for a couple of years now…
As always, it’s important to try any bike kit on before you buy it. I have the size 52, though I’ve lost weight since I started using this, so it’s a little loose on me now. It still works great, but you’ll always get the best out of heated kit if you have a snug fit.
This breathable soft-shell design has elasticated stretch panels at the sides, while the heating elements, which have a lifetime warranty, cover the back, chest, collar and kidneys.
Stretch panels help ensure a snug fit
The X25 – like all Keis heated kit – comes with a wiring harness for your battery and a selection of fuses to suit the total kit you’re using. One weatherproof plug (which is a bit stiff, even after a good few uses) connects all of your gear to the bike, then sockets in the sleeves and inside can connect gloves and trousers, so there’s minimal faffing when you stop for fuel.
Power and control
The jacket comes with a heat controller that tucks into the left pocket (cleverly, this zip is upside down, so the cable passes out easily when you need to use it).
The water-resistant unit gives three levels and off at the push of a button, with three bright LEDs that are clear enough, though as the controller will be down by your leg, it can be tricky to see when riding. Having said that, it’s extremely easy to feel when you’re on full power, so just remember that one press after this is low, two is medium, and three is back to full. Press and hold to turn the jacket on as you start to ride, or off if you’re too hot. You can feel the heat change within just a couple of seconds when you power up.
The heat controller doesn’t affect any connected trousers or gloves, as these have their own settings.
I tested the current draw of my size 52 at 12V, and found it to pull just 5.4A, though this increases slightly at higher voltages, and varies depending on the size you buy. I can run all of my heated kit on my KTM 1050 Adventure (as well as the heated grips and seat) without the voltage dropping below 13.8. It’s not designed for use with a portable battery, though Keis does sell vests that are great for walking around off the bike.
I feel the heat most on my back, as my outer jacket’s back protector keeps this area pinned to me. The heat at the collar is soon lost unless you have a good, snug-fitting outer jacket, but it’s something you’d notice more if it wasn’t there.
At an ambient temperature of around 5°C, I tend to use the jacket on the medium and low settings; when I’ve ridden at zero degrees and below, I use it on full.
Other brands of heated bike clothing have proven just as effective, but the other system I tried had its controller in-line with the power supply lead, which made for slightly more bulk. I also prefer the way the supply cables to the gloves run down the arms in the Keis – on my previous kit they ran over the elbows and proved a bit uncomfortable.
You quickly take heated kit for granted – only when you turn it off do you remember how cold you’d be otherwise. From a comfort and safety point of view, heated kit should be considered an essential in winter. I know I wouldn’t be without mine…