Wearing the Keis J501 Premium heated jacket on a cold day is like being treated to a warm cuddle.
It is an expensive bit of kit, but if you’re a cold weather rider – or even if you’ve had enough of being freezing cold on a motorbike – then it’s a worthwhile investment.
I used to ride with a Keis heated vest, but since trying the jacket with its heated sleeves I wouldn’t go back. If it’s cold enough to warrant a heated undergarment you may as well opt for the full thing and keep your arms and neck warm too.
That’s the beauty of a heated jacket – your entire core is kept warm with the push of a button.
All you have to do is connect a cable to your bike battery and let a little plug poke out from under your seat. When the weather turns, just chuck the jacket on and plug in!
As well as being ultra-toasty, owning a heated jacket means you can leave all those thermal layers at home. Squeezing into a base, mid, outer and windproof layer is sweaty work and leaves my arms rigid and uncomfortable.
Photography: ALISSA POTTER
Popping a heated jacket on and plugging it in is effortless. With the press of a switch I can choose from three heat settings on this Keis jacket and I have only needed to go higher than a medium when riding in sub-zero temperatures.
The jacket also looks pretty good; the fit is excellent and I tend to wear it as a casual jacket when off the bike. It has two zip-up side pockets, a chest pocket and a dedicated pocket to house its wiring loom, making it practical when strolling around.
I wore this throughout a winter ride from the UK to Bulgaria in snow and temperatures that dropped as low as -12°C while my riding partner Alissa used the Gerbing heated jacket counterpart.
While we both had freezing fingertips and numb toes we didn’t feel the cold in our cores, which is important as a warm heart can continue to pump warm blood round the body. Our only regret was deciding not to take heated gloves to plug into our jackets’ sleeve connectors.
I only had to put the Keis jacket on its maximum heat setting once, and that was in -12°C in Slovakia. Otherwise it stayed on low, or medium if I fancied a treat.
The jacket itself is a snug fit, so as well as looking stylish off the bike it is close enough to my body to trap the heat it’s generating, meaning I don’t need to have the garment on high heat and often I can leave it without any heat at all.
The only downside to the jacket is if it’s worn with the wrong type of base-layer it quickly becomes a fantastic static conductor. But once you get the right, non-static base layer sorted you’ll kick yourself for not having worn a heated jacket sooner.
I’m chuffed with this jacket, which has become one of my favourite bits of kit and an absolute necessity for the cold leg of our trip around the world. If it’s kept me warm through constant freezing conditions day in and day out it’ll easily take on a British winter.
Fit & Comfort
The Keis jacket is a supremely comfy fit, it’s not tight on the neck and I have more than enough space to fit a thermal base layer underneath.
Ease of fitting
It’s very easy to attach the battery connection to the bike. However the controller can come loose from the plug when inadvertently pulled. I’ve taped it up to keep it secure.
Ease of use
The jacket fits under my outer jacket perfectly. It’s not tight or bulky. The controller is an easy reach and it’s easy to switch between the settings. The button could be a little bigger if I was being picky.
I’ve been very impressed with the amount of heat generated from the Keis jacket. The high setting is ultra toasty!
The Keis jacket is well made, light, stylish and looks good. It’s let down by being creating a lot of static electricity, though.
Andy and his partner Alissa Potter are travelling around the world on his trusty Yamaha XT660R and reviewing kit for us while they’re at it. Andy wrote this review from Bansko, Bulgaria. Read more about their travels at www.madornomad.com.