Idea - DIY Heated Jackets (Need help)

I just came across a website selling heated jackets ( and I started thinking it wouldn't be hard at all to make something like this.

It needs three heating pads, one larger one on the upper back, and two smaller ones centered over each pectoral. Seems like it would be a good idea to have to power lines run to a battery pack in the front that could be removed and recharged (would probably also toggle the power for the jacket). And of course you could probably build in a wall plug option.

ANYWAY! Does anyone know of any small, electrically powered heating pads? Or (cheap) devices with such pads in them? I found a heated cushion seat for roughly $60, but Brookstone charges roughly $200 for the jacket and $60 for one pad (even the larger back one) isn't economical.

Thanks for reading,

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Big Bwana8 years ago
If you open up a set a of heated gloves all they contain is a short length (( about 2 inches )) of Nichrome wire in a silicone coated fiberglass jacket covering it so it doesn't melt or burn you and they power this with one D size battery, now I didn't measure the resistance of the wire but you could try using some Nichrome wire from a broken toaster or hairdryer, and the silicone coated fiberglass jacket can be bought from most store that sell wire like home depot, yes you have to by the wire and pull the jacket off but it's not hard, or if you can salvage a old stove most the wiring also has this coating on it .... And measure the resistance / foot of the wire and figure out how many watts you want to heat your coat, and what voltage battery your using and ohms law will tell you how long a piece you'll need to cut... Also most people only need a few watts of heating to feel warm and if you go with more then 25 watts you'll find, you get to hot and start to sweat, unless your sitting there and not moving and it's -40 out ....
Don't forget to consider windchill, though. I'm nutty enough to think it was a good idea to go riding during our below-zero cold snap, but even if it's only forty degrees out, a breeze (or a motorcycle ride) can reduce the effective temperature sharply.
jkiesel (author) 8 years ago
Yeah! Thanks a ton Bwana - that's exactly the sort of information I was looking for (though the idea of finding a cheap set of gloves sounds appealing too). Just because I'm curious, what did you need to rip open a pair of heated gloves for? Curiosity? Regardless, I'm glad you did. Thanks again.
I bought the gloves in a sporting goods store for ( $20 CDN so that what $15 USD )) and the ones I got you don't need to rip them apart you can just flip them inside out and you can see every thing, and it's just a thin Nicrome wire covered in a silicone fiberglass jacket sewn right in the palm / finger area of the hand, all it does is keep your fingers warm, the rest of your hand really doesn't get that cold, it's the fingers that get cold and then your hand feels cold, also in the gloves there is no controls, and no thermostat , just a one piece of wire and a D size battery (( which runs it for about six hours )) and the socks are the same the wire goes right where your toes start (( I Opened them up in the store <> it's a big store and no one seems to work there but I couldn't see spending $40 on a pair of socks and I do plan to make my own for the days I spend outside shoveling snow ((( Yea it is snowing right now, oh how I love northern Alberta ... )))
(out of topic)

i have to go cya bye my jacket batteries are dying i have a tv show to see

just can imagine how addicting those things can be

(and put aside the bulk of D batteries or ecoimpact of non rechargeable batteries used with it)
wacky Big Bwana8 years ago
Big Bwana, Thanks, I will follow your recommendation and see if I can make my own gloves.
jkiesel (author) 8 years ago
A smaller electric blanket would probably be a good starting point for the back pad. I'd like this to be as no-hassle as possible so I have to rule out chempacks and water bottles. Does anyone know of any other small heating elements that aren't blankets?
caitlinsdad8 years ago
Look for an electric blanket to gut out. I don't know how much power you have to pack to make it warm enough. Otherwise, just look for those microwaveable heating gel pads used for medical therapy or hot water bottles to place in your jacket. Good luck.
. Wouldn't be surprised to find out that modern electric blankets/heating pads step down the voltage, but all of mine have 120V elements. . . There was a previous topic on this subject, but I can't find it. :(
I'm sure they're nice but could never sleep under one knowing that it's really just a live wire from the wall.
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