Re: Thermalution heated vests
Well today I tested the Thermalution rashy. It was a sunny day in the far north of New Zealand, but the air temperature was only 13 celcius.
First up, it's very comfortable. It feels a bit strange when you first put it on because of the batteries at your side and the heating element in the back, but under your wetty you don't even notice it's there. It also heats up very quickly. I turned it onto low just as I left my vehicle and about 10 seconds later I could feel it heating up.
Normally I wear an Ebomb Pro 3/2 with a 0.5mm longsleeve Ripcurl Hotskin underneath. Today I only wore the new vest underneath, which gave me a bit more freedom in the arms. I was definately warmer than I would've been with the hotskin. I normally come out after 2 hours or so with numb toes, but today my toes were fine and I wasn't too cold.
The actual heating effect is like having hot sun shining on your back. After an hour or so I started to get a bit cold, so I turned it onto high, which made me comfortable again. All in, I reckon I was in the water for about 2.5hrs, and the battery just died as I was getting out. It's a good product, the only downside (other than the cost!) being that if you get flushed, the heat dissappears and it takes a few minutes again until you're warmed back up. I tend to get a bit of flushing when I duckdive, but if you have a flush free suit then it'll perform even better I'm sure.
By the way, the sea temperature according to MSW was 15 degrees.