Heated Liners Review - FirstGear Vs Tourmaster
TourMaster Heated Jacket Liners - Review
Friends, this is the one that separates seasons like men separating the boys. Heated motorcycle jacket liners will extend your riding time comfortably as opposed to just parking it in the garage and waiting for it to warm up. As long as the roads aren't icy, you'll be able to ride. For ourselves, we find just the gloves and jacket liner to be sufficient for winter riding in our neck of the wintery woods, which reaches down into the 10's & 20's in Southern Utah, Northern Arizona, Nevada mountains and the like. For the rest of our body areas, just some good warm boots and warm socks seems to handles the cold weather. But make no mistake, you can go ALL THE WAY down to your socks with heated gear.
Here's a few thoughts about the Tourmaster lineup of > Liners.
Reviewed - XXL Tourmaster Liner – First let me say – I love Tourmaster and Tourmaster products, despite the fact they are.... drum roll please (Made in China)! Yes, that's a disappointment.
Here's a point or two from myself as an end user now for a few years.
Jacket Arm Reach: 5 out of 5 stars
Since this is the only heated jacket liner I've ever owned, I can only give you information from that perspective of the Tourmaster liner. Myself, I have long arms, 37” reach and weigh around 230 this month. The arms in the liner itself covers my long-ole arms, which is surprising and does it very well even when leaning forward and gripping the bars of my Hayabusa.
Body Length: 5 out of 5 Stars
It has a tail and covers your backside well enough – I'm 6' tall.
Weight: 4 out of 5 Stars
Tourmaster XXL- weighs in at 2.9lbs. with the controller attached and wire for the bike connection as opposed to Firstgear which is clearly using the car salesman's approach of nibbling up a sale. So between this and my leather jacket lets just hope it's a real cold day because that's a bundle without even getting to the juice yet. Firstgear's shipping weight is 5lbs without a controller.
Guarantee: 5 out of 5 Stars
I used my heated jacket liner a few times and then for some reason it broke and wouldn't heat. Most likely I jammed it in one of my saddlebags and tore a wire, or unscrewed and screwed the controller in so many times it broke the wire from within. I called them (Tourmaster) and without any questions, they replaced it immediately even sending me a new controller. > I just like that, that went a long way. Firstgear's site says they offer a 5 year warranty on jacket / pants.
The Controller: 3 out of 5 Stars
I give this one a little less rating because it's sort of a pain but is included in the price. It connects under the front of your jacket liner to heat up the works, by which I mean everything is controlled by means of one controller that hooks to a plug at the battery. Just an opinion as I killed my battery by leaving my stuff heating with the key off. Hooking to the battery works, but it's better to hook it up somewhere else, just in case you forget to turn the heated liner off - It will give you a dead battery very quick.
Furthermore, the glove plugs into the sleeves, pants plug into the jacket liner and insoles (no socks) plug into the pants liner and for all this you have one controller and 3 buttons. The advantage of having one controller, even with thick gloves you can pretty much change temperatures easily. In the sun the buttons are not as readable, and the buttons glow Red, Yellow, Green. So the cord of the controller that plugs into the jacket liner is VERY thick with this mouse on the end containing these buttons. On the other end, you screw and unscrew that thing every time you get off and on the bike, or you walk around with this thing dangling between your boys or what have you. That can be a little annoying and a bit of an over-kill. What we found that DOES work, is this, curl the cord upwards and put it in the left pocket of the liner's jacket then zip it shut. Walla.... (Wifees Discovery). In fact we never take it off, just curly it up and leave it in the pocket. The only downside is, is that the controller sets in and around the gutt area, under the jacket making your gutt look bigger if it isn't already.
While traveling, they give you a little spandex product with some Velcro that attaches the controller to your upper thigh. So the control buttons are clearly visible when riding if you need to change temperatures, hopefully. Me, I just assume pull off and adjust it. Also, if you don't have the thigh tie to keep the controller fastened to your leg, then your fumbling with it all the time, it just bobbles around in the wind hitting the tank, or laying on it and turning it off.
The biggest problem with the controller is its inability to control various garments seperately, such as the jacket, gloves, pant and insoles with varying temps. << 1st Version...
Does it Work? 3 out of 5 Stars
Wearing all this without being turned on is warm!
The jacket works wonders. On one occasion we did a 750 mile run from Kanab, Grand Canyon N, Grand Canyon S then into Vegas in one long day. Toward the latter part of the day it got cold, real cold as we headed towards Williams. We were traveling in mid 30degree weather, we had our leather jackets on, heated liners up on high and heated gloves and driving at 85mph for hours at a time, at around midnight was the last part of our day arriving back in Vegas, shivering and very GLAD to be home. I can only remember being that cold one other time in my life at Eagle Valley campgrounds in Nevada. The problem of being cold other than being out in the cold whether had a couple small annoying things.
For one, your supposed to have a long sleeve t-shirt under the heated liner, where I was only wearing a short T, so I was only getting warm where the wires were located in the liner jacket. When I took off the jacket I had red burn marks from the lines all down my arms, like long veins – well that's my own doings. The instructions clearly say, wear a thin garment under the liner and that includes your bare arms with the Tourmaster liner, not a sweat, a thin garment.only $25.99Not Available
I had a horrible transitional neck wrap that just let the cold creep endlessly down the top of my leather jacket and up the face of my helmet. My bike doesn't have a windshield to speak of, so all the wind hits you at the neck-shoulders and up. The Schampa Tall Neck Dickie fixed that problem.
I didn't have my non-heated liners on under my leather pants, just leather pants – that wasn't nearly as bad as the next event of the glove (below). Since I don't own the heated pant liners we just make do with a regular non-heated liner, unfortunately. Honestly, after having on just what we are wearing, you become so ridged you start to feel like a Marshmallow man.
Tourmaster These are long gloves covering the cuff nicely and of GOOD QUALITY, water proof and very thick. On the heated side of everything the gloves I'm sorry to say are pretty much worthless around the thumb area. Why? There are no heating elements in the thumb, so the thumb just sets there getting num, hour after hour. Not sure about the new 2.0's but it doesn't say a word about fixing the thumby wires, whereas Firstgear specifically states they have heating elements in the thumb. Why would they make such a beautiful heated glove and not have heating elements in the thumb?
The New 2.0 Synergy Equipment from Tourmaster allows the temperature setting for each garment, from what we understand. Perhaps the gloves were fixed as well but we're not really sure on that. We'll believe when we see it.
Cost: 2 out of 5 Stars
I think the heated products by Tourmaster & First are WAY expensive and WAY overpriced for all us normal sorta-guys with normal pocket books.
$0.00 Controller Included
$211 Jacket Liner
$212 Heated Gloves
$170 Heated Liner Pants
$125 Heated Liner Chap
$00 No Heated Sock
$57 Heated Insoles
A Look at Firstgear > Never Used
$35 to $126 Controller
$20 Wire Harness
$179 Jacket Liner
$116 Heated Gloves
$237 Heated Pant Liner
$54 Heated Socks
$20 Wire Extensions
Conclusion: Who would I go with? Firstgear or Tourmaster for a first purchase?
Consider this. Is electric heated gear computer technology now where we have to start a process called 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0? I don't know if there is a solid reason to have purchased Tourmaster's problematic 1.0 (I don't believe they were ever called 1.0) for hundreds of dollars then turn around and have them come out with a 2.0 and still not fixed the thumb issue. It appears 2.0 was designed to meet the competitive challenge of multitasking temperatures from one piece of gear to the next, which 1.0 did not do. On the other hand, maybe it just sounds cool. I mean, it sorta does. Made in China.
Yes, Firstgear is more money but they are still on version 1.0, meaning they did it right the first time? They have always had multiple methods of interchangeable temperature control and believe they've always had a heating method in the thumb area of the glove. Made outside of the USA. If it was made in the USA, I'm sure their site would be bragging about it, it just doesn't say. Sorting out all the controllers still leaves me baffled with this heating gear. They even put out a video on syncing the controller?
Who would I choose? In all fairness to them to be more forth coming with a solid review, being able to try out the product on a temparary basis would be nice. It's a close toss up, Tourmaster is a very good product and cheaper but don't know where they are headed with this .0 stuff. Made somewhere other than the USA. Plenty of distribution centers though
So, weighing in on the cost of FirstGear and the anxiety level of figuring out their controllers AND the fact that they too build somewhere else other than the USA. I'll have to stick with for the moment - Tourmaster. Except for the thumby thingy, Tourmaster has been OK by me and I know their stuff is very, very good quality.
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