This first product review is about a new line of heated outerwear from RAVEAN called the RAVEAN 5V Heated Hoodie. It is going through the Kickstarter process right now (available for pre-orders).
Henry Deutsch (Owner Member) of RAVEAN contacted us and asked if we would do a review of their products. I told him if he would let us see a sample we would, and a few days later a RAVEAN 5V Heated Hoodie showed up in the mail.
This is our first product review and we are going to look at style, functionality, quality of fabric and construction, battery pack features and areas for improvement.
The heated hoodie came in Heather Gray (the only color available). I received a large and it fits true to size (it is comparable to a large from Mountain HardWear and 5.11). The hood is roomy and the sleeves have a nice cuff (the same material for the cuff is used at the waistline to minimize updraft). The cut is roomy enough to use my hands over my head without the sleeves pulling down too much or dragging the waistline up. You can’t tell on the outside that it is a heated hoodie, until you look inside on the left hand side just below the hood pull tie and see the control button. The RAVEAN logo is silk screened on the left front in black, and embroidered on the back left near the waistline. Overall it is a nice neutral design that doesn’t scream at you and that would fit in most social situations.
This thing is heated, and boy does it get warm quick (which satisfies their advertising claims). The control button is easy to use, and is placed where it would rarely get bumped by typical outdoor activities. I tested the heater on Prince Edward Island last week where the temps were getting low in the evenings. It kept me warm during my evening walks, and even when I stood still for an extended period of time to take photographs.
I was easily able to control the amount of heat I wanted using the toggle switch. A little bit of heat, or a fair amount of heat, or I could even be uncomfortably warm (it just wasn’t cold enough at PEI or in Houston to test it against really cold temperatures).
One of the nice design features is the two front zippered hand warmer pockets. I like the fact they are zippered and can keep my valuables from falling out (making this a candidate for a winter jogging outfit). It also has a vertical pocket on the inside right that has a top Velcro flap (again secure storage for movement activities), as well as a zippered music player pocket with earbud port on the inside upper right side. The downside to the music player pocket is that my iPhone 6 with case did not fit (but it came real close).
QAULITY OF FABRIC AND CONSTRUCTION
The fabric is a soft 60% cotton/40% polyester blend and does not have a wind proof layer. It feels like a quality fabric, and looks to wear well, but I didn’t have time to wash it 30 or 40 times to tell. The construction looks strong and there were no loose threads or sloppy seam sewing. The heating cables aren’t really noticeable unless you go looking for them. I tried to move them around but they seem attached pretty well between the inner and outer fabrics.
The battery is located in a vertical pocket on the inside lower left front with a Velcro flap closure. There is a USB cable that is in the pocket and is easily connected to the battery. The battery fits well in the pocket without a lot of shifting around.
BATTERY PACK FEATURES
The battery pack is a 5000 mAh battery which provides a lot of heat. It lasted on all 3 of my evening walks without requiring a recharge. The pack both charges and connects via standard USB connectors, so in addition to using it to charge your other devices, you could probably use a different and larger battery from a third party if you needed longer heating time (I didn’t test this and you will need to confirm it with the manufacturer).
The battery pack did recharge in under 90 minutes like advertised, and has a cool cobalt blue indicator light built in.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT
I tested this with my backpack, and that brought up some issues for consideration as a piece of SAR or backpacking gear. When wearing the backpack, I got some hot spots on my back where the backpack insulated and increased the heat from the system (mostly around my shoulder blades).
Like most jackets, there are seams on the tops of the shoulders. These didn’t seem to bother me much with my backpack on the short walks I took, but for a serious hike it might be something to consider.
When I sat down, the battery (which is in a vertical position) pushed against my thigh and waist. It wasn’t uncomfortable but it was noticeable and required adjustment once in a while.
The size of music player pocket needs enlarged so I can put my iPhone up there to listen to tunes when I walk.
A nice quality hoodie, with some cool features that I would use for day hiking (probably without a pack), or hiding for a SAR canine (where you are laying immobile on the cold ground for a long time), or walking around, or travelling. It doesn’t necessarily have any special features that make it great for SAR, but nothing really disqualifies it either.