Motorcycle - Heated Gear
Let me start by saying that heated gear is not an absolute requirement to ride a motorcycle in winters. While most folks can ride without heated gear in freezing temperatures, heated gear does add a lot of flexibility, comfort and convenience to the riding. Heated grips/seat surely help but they are no comparison to the benefits of riding with complete heated gear. You wont know until you ride with one!
Heated gear is primarily two types - one that connects directly to your bikes battery (12v) and the other that uses some sort of external/portable battery power (7v or even 5v). External battery operated ones work good if you are a typical short ride person. They usually last for a couple of hours. If you are an all day rider and investing in heated gear, I highly recommend the 12v gear that connects directly to your motorcycle battery.
Rest of this article talks only about 12v heated gear since that is the more popular choice amongst seasoned riders. Top section is a heated vs non heated gear comparison and bottom section compares the two most common/preferred (in my opinion) heated gear brands
In summary, both (Gerbing and Hotwired) are great products and you cant go wrong with either. It just depends on what works best for you. Hopefully this helps clarify a few differences and helps folks make the right choice! Another company to offer a different perspective - Warm n safe.
Gerbings Ex-Pro Collection
That’s an outer jacket/pant along with seamless integration of their heated liner. The heated liners can be removed/unzipped just like separate liners. wiring for the gloves comes from within the jacket so you dont have to hold on to cables when wearing the jacket. You can wear the heated ExPro liner with another jacket as well though it doesnt have collar heat. The pant liner can also be removed though it doesn’t have its own zip. I never tried using it with a non ExPro Pant but I don’t see that to a big issue. The ExPro pant also comes with an additional layer of wind protection. So the pant has a total of 3 layers vs the jacket has a total of 2. ExPro does come with basic armor protection. They do have tiny vents which make them 3 season wearable. I absolutely do not recommend wearing ExPro in the summers, even after removing all the layers.
Gerbings 12v Heated Liner
Nothing special about these as compared to a Hot Wired, Warm N Safe or other companies except the fact that they come with a lifetime warranty on their heated element
Gerbings Dual Controller
It took me more than a year to realize that the primary connection of the dual controller only supports the jacket. Even though the gloves get their heated from the jacket, the gloves ARE NOT controlled by the primary controller but the secondary. The secondary controls gloves, pant liner and soles/socks
When using heated gear, always carry a spare 15amp fuse. I was on my ride in Alaska in freezing temperatures and my gear stopped working. After some troubleshooting, figured out that the fuse was blown. I am used to carrying all different types of fuses on my bike so it wasnt an issue. Without heated gear, I might have had to look for a hotel/motel bearby and cut that days ride short.