July 15, 2024

Gear Review: ORORO Heated Vest

Author: Evan Perperis
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Jacob Stone in the ORORO heated vest, you can see the red glow on the “ON” button showing that it is on high heat.

You may have recently read my ORORO Heated Jacket review on Mud Run Guide, in addition to picking up jackets for my Obstacle Course Race (OCR) America crew (8 day, 8 venue, 200 mile OCR journey in the winter for charity), we also picked up some vests.  Our initial thoughts were obviously the jacket will be much better since it covers more surface area, but several of the guys on the crew preferred the vest over the jacket and here’s why.

Packaging: 

Just as with the jacket, the vest came in a nice travel pouch great for your vest or versatile to use packing other clothes.  A nice touch to the product.

Initial Setup and Sizing:

The vest was intuitive, just as the jacket was.  Plug in the external hard drive sized battery pack (with options for plugs regardless of what country you are in), until it fully charged and put it into the vest.  Hold down the button on the outside of the vest and the heat turns on.  As with the jacket, the vest was true to size but if you are between sizes I would go with the smaller size.  The smaller size means the heating pads will be pressed up close against your body instead of having a gap between your body and the jacket.

Heating Areas: 

The vest has four heating areas, two on the front, one on the back of the neck and one on the back.  The big difference between the vest and the jacket was you could feel the heat pads when you put your hands in your pockets.

(From L to R) Jacob Stone in ORORO heated vest and Evan Perperis in ORORO heated jacket.

Benefits Over the Jacket: 

The vest proved to be more versatile over the week.  It allowed you to use it as a layer closer to your body and keep the heating pads close to your skin.  The thinner fabric of the vest also felt like it transferred the heat from the pads onto your skin better and faster than the jacket.  My pacer, driver, and Strength & Speed athlete Jacob Stone had this to say,

“I liked how the ORORO vest is light weight and still kept my body warm through single digit temps.”

– Jacob Stone

Field testing the vest sliding across a frozen stream at Newbsanity‘s Extreme Ravine in Binghamton, NY.

Flying across another stream in 15 degree weather.

Field Use:

Over the eight days of OCR America the crew used the vests on a daily basis.  On many days they didn’t turn the heat on since the vest is very warm even without the heaters on.  The vest says the heating will last for 10 hours, I can say that over the eight days of OCR America, no one in the crew had to recharge the vest.

When my pacers wore the vest for their laps, they quickly got too hot even without the heaters on.  After falling in some ice-cold water in 20-degree temperatures, I used the vest to warm up for half of the next lap.  It was nice to have the vest there as a backup/contingency just in case.  If you wanted to really use it as a jogging type vest, I think you would overheat.  I would also bring an extra buff or hat to pad the battery pack, which bounced around if you went into a full-on run.

Best Uses:  

The ORORO vest is just as good as the jacket if not better in some cases.  Obstacle Running Adventures podcast host described it as “Perfect for spectators during frigid events.”  Whether hiking, camping, watching sports games, hunting, skiing, snowshoeing or just walking to your car in comfort, you’ll find that you love the heat of the ORORO vest.  It is one of those items that you didn’t know you needed until you have it.  At a lower price point that is about $20 cheaper than the jacket, this may be a great option to say thank you to a family member or pit crew that you are forcing to endure the cold at one of your cold-weather OCRs.  The vest, like the jacket, is not designed for full submersion in water even though it has a water-resistant outside so leave it in the pit for events with water crossings like World’s Toughest Mudder.

Overall: 

If I was going to buy another ORORO product I’m honestly at a toss-up between the vest and jacket.  Both are great options that will keep you warm regardless of the temperatures.  Both are stylish and water-resistant.  Both have four temperature settings that heat up quickly.  With a wide range of products including vests, fleeces, jackets, hoodies, and gloves plus unique styles for women, ORORO is redefining your ability to operate in cold weather.

 

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