Gerbing Heated Jacket Liner Review


Gerbing Heated Clothing has been providing cold-weather gear for the better part of five decades, since its inception in 1975. From its humble start as a side project for an aeronautical engineering machine shop, this marque has grown into an industry leader in the heated clothing field. It now offers neck-to-toe coverage with its wind-resistant materials and Microwire technology that delivers tuneable heating over various zones for max comfort.



I rode with the Gerbing Heated Jacket Liner – 12V Motorcycle product and the dual-zone controller that plugs into a harness installed on the bike’s battery. A single-zone controller is available if you just want the jacket liner without the heated pants liner. A battery pack is available that powers the jacket liner for a couple of hours if you choose not to install the battery pigtail.

It’s hard to put a price on an extended riding season — perhaps extended to year-round in many cases — or the comfort that proper riding gear can provide, but in this case, the price is right at the $250 mark for the jacket liner. Even without the heaters turned on with the digital controller, the windbreak effect alone is enough to handle a low-grade chill to give it some intrinsic weather protection. It’s also made of rip-stop nylon with good water resistance, so it might save you if you get caught out in light rain, though proper rain gear is still preferred.

To give you the most genuine and unbiased review possible, every product we review is tested daily throughout the normal course of day-to-day life for a period of no less than one week.

TJ wearing the Gerbing heated jacket liner
Gerbing Heated Jacket Liner – 12V

Expert Opinion: I quite liked the Gerbing jacket. It was light to the point of non-existence, as unbulky as one could hope for, and it’s still reasonably priced at two and a half bills. Even without the power turned on, the windbreak effect alone goes a long way toward improving comfort on chilly rides. It fits well, even with my toolshed, and the sizing seems to be spot on.

Materials
Ripstop nylon

Available Sizes
XS – 4XL

Color
Black

Pros
  • Quality comfortable build
  • Plenty hot for severe cold
  • Robust sizing chart for precise size control
Cons
  • Needs more elastic at the wrist and waist
  • No external heated pockets
  • The inner zipper flap could go all the way down

Gerbing Heated Jacket Liner First Impressions

Upon first handling the jacket, I got the impression that it was a well-made product. I didn’t notice any loose threads, crooked seams or any other blemishes. It’s lightweight and fits me well, plus it lies under my riding jacket with less bulk than expected, certainly less bulk than the usual layers I pile on for cold-weather riding. It also has a fairly neutral scent with no strong perfumes or plastic smells, so it shouldn’t bother people who are sensitive to chemical scents.

How It Feels When Riding

The liner has a liner of its own, and it’s silky to the touch, which is very comfortable, even in high-mobility areas. It resists bunching when you move, which is a nice feature. Riding in temperatures as low as 36 degrees F, I only had to set the controller to four of nine possible levels to be comfortable, and that’s at interstate speeds. My riding jacket has a mesh lining with pockets that hold the armor plates and the outer shell is fabric, so if your jacket is leather with less air infiltration, you probably won’t need to set it that high. My bike has a standard-esque rider’s triangle, and I felt no binding or resistance to movement as I went through the usual range of motions associated with handling my machine. With a short-sleeve layer underneath it on one of my rides, my bare arms made direct contact with the heated liner. It never felt cheap or plasticky, and it didn’t stick to my arms. Overall, it feels quite comfortable in which to ride.

Quality Is Apparent With Good Fabric and Robust Hardware

TJ putting on the Gerbing heated jacket liner
Allyn Hinton | TopSpeed

Based on the quality of the stitching, the feel of the materials, and overall performance, I expect this piece of equipment will stand the test of time. The electric wires are well insulated for long-wearing service, plus the plugs are beefy and easy to manipulate, even with gloves on. A robust zipper closes the liner with an over-flap that prevents air from penetrating through the zipper at the chest level for some extra built-in protection. The electric controller also feels beefy and substantial with a little more heft than you’d think by just looking at it. It rocks dual zone-control knobs that let you dial in for comfort and supports a pants’ liner, which itself supports heated foot gear, and also gloves for complete coverage.

Ample Warmth In The Places You Most Need It

TJ wearing the Gerbing heated jacket liner under his riding jacket
Allyn Hinton | TopSpeed

As a windbreak, the Heated Jacket Liner seems to be nearly absolute with its resistance to the driving air at speed. The coverage extends to the helmet through a tall standing collar with its own heat zone that also acts as a windbreak. I stayed comfy while under way but got a tad warm at longer red lights. Gerbing anticipated this and offers a controller that monitors the temps at the heat zones and automatically moderates according to user settings when unplugged and walking around. I was nice and toasty, though in full disclosure, my riding jacket has soft armor inserts that soak up the heat and give it back when unplugged, so your experience may be a skosh different depending on your gear. Also, if you wear a backpack, your back will be warmer than the rest of you due to the insulation the pack provides lying on your back. This could be a good thing when properly managed, as it turns out.

No Annoying Swish-Swish Under Your Jacket When Underway

TJ putting on the Gerbing heated jacket liner
Allyn Hinton | TopSpeed

Since it’s an underlayer, it’s not meant to be an outer shell, so leave that to your usual gear. As such, there is no wind noise associated with this product. It wasn’t noisy through friction either once my jacket was on, but without it, it has that nylon “swoosh” as my arms swing. Not a dealbreaker by any means. It’s also quiet where the collar meets the padding at the bottom of my helmet.

Ideal For Cold-Weather Riding

Naturally, a lot depends on the climate in a particular area, but let’s say I’d wear it from Fall through Spring here on the Gulf Coast, which is to say anything from around 65 degrees F down to freezing. Since we don’t get ice and snow here to hinder travel on the roads, the liner makes year-round riding quite comfortable. It’s great for cool nights that can sneak up on you almost any time of year, and since it isn’t bulky, it won’t displace much room in a saddlebag or tour pack, so there’s no excuse for leaving home without it. You can also wear it as a windbreak even if it isn’t quite cold enough for the heaters. One thing is for sure, you can almost always count on it being colder on the back of that bike than you think it is, due to the 20-degree wind-chill factor added when underway.

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Fit, Comfort, and Sizing Recommendation

TJ wearing the Gerbing heated jacket liner
Allyn Hinton | TopSpeed

I’m not the easiest to size for, but the 2XL fits nicely. It’s large enough around the middle without being too long in the torso or sleeves. It really hits the sizing sweet spot for me. However, some people may find the neck too big and the torso too long, so go a size smaller if you think your body/build may fall into this category. You want the shell to fit close to the body and not be baggy.

This product is rip-stop nylon outside and Taffeta lining inside with micro-sized stainless-steel fibers encased in a proprietary waterproof insulator for corrosion control. The plastic YKK zipper is likewise corrosion-proof.

Gerbing Heated Jacket Liner Sizing Chart

Unisex Sizing Chart

Size

XS

S

M

L

XL

2XL

3XL

4XL

Sleeve Length

32″

33″

34″

35″

36″

37″

38″

39″

Chest

33″ – 35″

36″ – 38″

39″ – 41″

42″ – 44″

45″ – 48″

49″ – 52″

53″ – 56″

57″ – 60″

Waist

28″ – 29″

30″ – 31″

32″ – 33″

34″ – 36″

38″ – 40″

42″ – 44″

46″ – 48″

50″ – 52″

Hips

33″ – 35″

35″ – 37″

38″ – 40″

41″ – 43″

44″ – 46″

47″ – 49″

50″ – 52″

53″ – 55″

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Gerbing Heated Jacket Liner Competition

Gerbing isn’t alone in this sector, far from it, so it wasn’t a surprise to find similar products from Hotwired and Volt Heat. Each has its strengths and weaknesses and is fairly well established in this particular niche. Both are also in the ballpark as far as features and price.

Gerbing Heated Jacket Liner Vs. Hotwired 12-Volt Bluetooth Heated Jacket Liner

  • TJ wearing the Gerbing heated jacket liner
    Gerbing Heated Jacket Liner – 12V

    Expert Opinion: I quite liked the Gerbing jacket. It was light to the point of non-existence, as unbulky as one could hope for, and it’s still reasonably priced at two and a half bills. Even without the power turned on, the windbreak effect alone goes a long way toward improving comfort on chilly rides. It fits well, even with my toolshed, and the sizing seems to be spot on.

    Materials
    Ripstop nylon

    Available Sizes
    XS – 4XL

    Color
    Black

    Pros
    • Quality comfortable build
    • Plenty hot for severe cold
    • Robust sizing chart for precise size control
    Cons
    • No knit cuffs at the wrist and waist
    • No external heated pockets
    • The inner zipper flap could go all the way down
  • Hotwired 12v Bluetooth Heated Jacket Liner
    Hotwired 12V Bluetooth Heated Jacket Liner

    Expert Opinion: The Hotwired 12-Volt Bluetooth Heated Jacket Liner struggles in colder weather, and with heat distribution, leaving it with a warm side and a cold side on the torso heaters. Not recommended if riding below 40 degrees F. Beyond that, it hits many of the same design points as the Gerbing liner.

    Materials
    nylon

    Available Sizes
    XS – 3XL

    Color
    Black

    Pros
    • More budget-friendly price
    • Effective and comfortable
    • Carbon-fiber filaments for lightweight heat
    Cons
    • Compatibility issues with other brands
    • Low overall heat
    • Uneven heat distribution

Hotwired makes a 12-Volt Bluetooth Heated Jacket Liner with a nylon outer shell and carbon-fiber heating elements. The factory claims the Bluetooth control will work with both Apple and Android devices, though to date there have been some complaints about the App and its Android compatibility. A total of six heating zones hits all the same major areas as the Gerbing, but the integrated temperature control has only three presets while the App unlocks a total of 10 settings. The wrist has a tight, stretchy knit cuff that makes it easy to slip into gauntlet-style gloves. Sizing seems to run a tad on the small side, so be sure to size up if you are close to the size break.

Gerbing Heated Jacket Liner Vs. Volt Heat MOTO-12V Heated Jacket Liner

  • TJ wearing the Gerbing heated jacket liner
    Gerbing Heated Jacket Liner – 12V

    Expert Opinion: I quite liked the Gerbing jacket. It was light to the point of non-existence, as unbulky as one could hope for, and it’s still reasonably priced at two and a half bills. Even without the power turned on, the windbreak effect alone goes a long way toward improving comfort on chilly rides. It fits well, even with my toolshed, and the sizing seems to be spot on.

    Materials
    Ripstop nylon

    Available Sizes
    XS – 4XL

    Color
    Black

    Pros
    • Quality comfortable build
    • Plenty hot for severe cold
    • Robust sizing chart for precise size control
    Cons
    • No cuffs at the wrist and waist
    • No external heated pockets
    • The inner zipper flap could go all the way down
  • Volt 12V Moto heated jacket
    Volt Heat MOTO-12V Heated Jacket Liner

    Expert Opinion: The Volt MOTO-12V Heated Jacket Liner hit all the major high notes, but falls short by one heated zone for slightly less granular control. It now has compatible pants and socks to complete the ensemble. The knit cuffs help prevent cold-air intrusion as well, even when moving your arms.

    Materials
    Rip-stop nylon

    Available Sizes
    S – 2XL

    Color
    Black

    Pros
    • Separate jacket and glove zone controls
    • Hand-warmer pockets
    • Excellent warranty
    Cons
    • Slightly bulkier than the Gerbing
    • One less heat zone
    • Limited size availability

Volt Heat puts together a decent product with the same sort of multi-zone heating as the Gerbing, and the same sort of digital, dual-zone controller as well. It has knit cuffs at both the wrists and the waist to prevent cold-air intrusion at these points. Overall, this jacket meets the Gerbing when the mercury drops to deliver comfort, even down past the freezing point if you have the nerve for it. Volt uses a triple-layer build that has a windbreak shell and a heated layer with insulation in between to keep the cold out and the heat in.

Is The Gerbing Heated Jacket Liner The Right Jacket Liner For You?

This product has the potential to be a game changer for cold-weather riding, especially when used in conjunction with their pants and gauntlets. It lets you gear up for the cold, with minimal bulk, and allows for a wide range of temps with its controller without any annoying relayering involved. If it interests you to ride in comfort when others have parked their bikes for the season, this could very well be the right jacket liner for you.

Check Out The Gerbing Heated Jacket Liner On Amazon



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