The new innovation from Quiksilver is this Cypher heat vest. It is basically a thin sleeveless vest that has a “FAR” infrared heating system built into the back of the vest and is operated by a rechargeable battery. It is designed to be worn underneath any wetsuit to greatly improve the warmth of a regular suit.
A rechargeable battery powers the infra-red heating system that covers the lower half of your back. It has two settings, a warm and then a very warm dial. With a simple, single press of the button (which is easily operated from the outside of your wetsuit) you get the warmest temperature heating your back. With a double press of the button you can lower the heat and by keeping your finger on the button for 4 seconds you can totally turn off all of the warmth. The battery lasts for around 2 hours and takes 2 hours to charge either via the supplied wall charger or the cigarette lighter car charger.
Well the first time I tested the heat vest was when the air temperature was around 14 degrees with heavy cloud cover, drizzling rain and a strong westerly wind blowing (pretty much perfect conditions to test something out that is supposed to keep you warm)
I pulled up my wetsuit over the heat vest and zipped up, everything fitted well and I was comfortable. Hit the go button and instantly a rush of warm heat filled my back. Jumped on my board and paddled out through the rip and sat amongst the crowd of 6 or 7 surfers. The best way to explain how I felt as we all sat there waiting for a wave was, it was like I was in the first class section of the an aeroplane while the other guys were in the uncomfortable economy class seats.. It was total luxury.
Having the heat on your back makes your whole body more flexiable and because it heats your core, your entire body in turn feels a lot warmer. On the cold days recently my toes have been going numb, but with the heat vest my circulation must have improved, because my feet and hands were warm and the cold wind on my head and face didn’t bother me at all.
The battery that powers the heat is situated on your side, up against the ribs and it does stick out a little bit and you can feel that it is there, however it didn’t get in the way of my paddling, surfing nor did it press up against anything. Having the control of been able to turn it up or down at the push of a button was the best feature. When I was just sitting around waiting for a wave, I had the thing going flat out, but when I was paddling out after a wave and doing some exercise I turned it down a notch as I felt myself getting too hot.
The soft, thin heat pads run right across the lower back
Any surfers that suffer from back pain should look into one of these puppies, I have no doubt it will keep you in the water longer and mostly likely prevent you from causing further pain
I can see myself using this thing beyond the winter months. It would work well underneath a spring suit in autumn and spring. Great for those chilly morning dawn patrols when getting into a cold wetsuit can be a deal breaker, this vest will get you out there and warmed up ready for every surf.
The heat vest has gone beyond the surfing world. Water police, Jockeys, spearfisherman, snowboarders and elderly folk are just a few of the crew that are getting the benefits from this new invention.
Wall charger and car charger come supplied
The only thing I could hope to change with this product would be a smaller battery size, although I wouldn’t sacrifice that for less warmth time (you need it to go for at least two hours for a decent surf)
Is the vest is worth the investment? I think so, I couldn’t believe how much more comfortable I felt in the cold conditions using it. It can extend the life of your current wetsuit, it has you covered if you holiday to a colder place than what your suit is designed for (with out up grading) and best of all it keeps your muscles nice and warm so you will surf better with it on. Crew that don’t really feel the cold might not be as interested, but if you surf early mornings, have back pain, like to have long surf sessions or just like the feeling of been super toasty in the briny then you should take at further look
If these take your fancy go see Garth and the crew at the Jetty Coopers surf shop to purchase the Quiky heat vest.
CLICK HERE to go to the Quiksilver website to see more