Wouldn’t it be great if your clothes could transform into a radiator to protect you from the cold? This is exactly what AVADE’s heated jersey is promising. Too good to be true or a sensible investment?
There are certain inventions it seems like the whole world has been waiting for. And for me, heated base layers definitely fit into this category. Ingenious and logical, we’ve all been there, hunched half-frozen over our handlebars in the winter. The cold can be kept in check whilst you’re on the move, but before, between, and after the efforts – especially as your sweat starts to dry and you’ve still got to mission home – it can be a bit unpleasant. Cramming dry clothes into your backpack can often be a little impractical too.
AVADE, a small Australian firm, are behind this heated base layer and so far it’s the only product to their name. Recognising the need for protection against the elements between the strength-sapping laps in the sport of motocross enduro, the idea was born. But, according to the manufacturer, it’s a product that crosses over to so many other activities, from fishing and golf, right through to mountain biking. It isn’t a replacement for the thermal first layer, but intended for added comfort in the periods between the hard efforts when you risk getting cold. We tested the AVADE out for exactly this purpose on a typical all day mountain bike ride. We’re talking short routes and night rides, not stretched-out, multi-day, chilly Alpine expeditions.
Fit and Comfort
At first glance the AVADE looks everything but comfortable. While the lightweight fabric makes a good impression, the wiring is more than a little off-putting. Three hand-sized carbon heating elements are in place: two on the chest and one between your shoulder blades. Wires emerge from these to meet on the right shoulder where they then follow a channel along the top of your right arm to a plastic button on your wrist. The 174g battery case can be found on your right side, and, including this, the jersey weighs in at 498g (size S). The jersey comes with an extension cable, so you can store the battery in your backpack or in a pocket if you prefer.
The first surprise comes when you put the jersey on: Despite the wiring, the AVADE fits really well. It has a long cut and a drop back so it covers your kidneys. The lightweight synthetic materials feels pleasant on the skin too. The wires on the right sleeve were initially a little irritating but, thanks to the clever way they’ve been integrated into the jersey, the fit remains good.
On the road with the AVADE Black
The first night ride said it all: The AVADE is a revelation. Even wearing a backpack the heating element on your back is barely noticeable. The wires and the battery are quickly forgotten once you’ve started and they don’t bother you during the ride either. Super easy to use, it is just a case of charging the battery, plugging it in, pressing the button and waiting for the warmth to hit you.
In combination with two other layers, the jersey still functions as a decent thermal layer without the heating on. But, as soon as the cold starts to bite, all it takes is a press of the button and within seconds the heating element produces a pleasant amount of warmth. You can choose between three heating levels: 30, 40 and 50 degrees Celsius respectively. Depending on the level, the battery should last between 3 – 6 hours. The location of the heating elements has been chosen well; with your rib cage warmed on both sides, the warmth spreads out across your body from this area. A satisfying side effect for those who have a tendency to cramp up and tense their shoulders in cold weather is the resulting relaxing effect of the warmth. The biting cold in your toes and fingertips is the first thing that reminds you that the AVADE only protects part of the body from freezing – but this, it does with aplomb.
While the AVADE cannot be machine washed, the removable battery allows you to easily hand-wash the jersey. According to the manufacturer, water won’t harm the heating element but rigorous wringing out is best avoided. Fortunately, even after multiple uses, the AVADE hasn’t retained any bad odours thanks to its high quality, quick-drying and moisture-transporting material.
The heated functional jersey from AVADE is an item of clothing that you’ll soon be inseparable from. Once you’ve got used to clicking the button, you’ll never want to be apart from it and the warmth it creates on your chest makes even the most bitterly cold weather bearable. Much more than just an innovative heating element, the AVADE top is incredibly well-made with a really functional choice of materials. For everyone who’s lusting after a bit more comfort during the colder months, the AVADE jersey is 122 Euros well spent.
Type: AVADE black
Price: 122 €/97 GBP/ 152$ plus 40$ shipping overseas
Weight: 498g with battery (Size S)
Available sizes: S–XL
Available Colors: black, white
6 months warranty on battery
Available at www.avade.com.au
Words: Hannah Röther Photos: Christoph Bayer
PS: Readers' Survey 2017 - Give feedback, win awesome prizes: We're giving away an exclusive Trek Slash 2018 in top spec! Click here to take part now!