Brookstone softshell heated jacket

<i>$199.95, brookstone.com</i><br>
<br>
Described as windproof, water-resistant and able to provide up to five hours of heat in three zones (the battery, about the size of a chunky BlackBerry, is stored in a pocket) &#8212; this jacket sounded perfect. Alas, it wasn't. The heat zone in the back was too high and small, aiming its heat at a patch of upper back that didn't seem to really need it. For women, the front heat zones would be better placed lower, on the torso instead of over the breasts. The windproof and water-resistant qualities would seem to make it an outermost layer, but it is not nearly heavy enough to solo in seriously cold weather. And putting a lot of layers under a heated jacket defeats the purpose.

( Bill Hogan, Chicago Tribune / November 24, 2009 )

$199.95, brookstone.com

Described as windproof, water-resistant and able to provide up to five hours of heat in three zones (the battery, about the size of a chunky BlackBerry, is stored in a pocket) — this jacket sounded perfect. Alas, it wasn't. The heat zone in the back was too high and small, aiming its heat at a patch of upper back that didn't seem to really need it. For women, the front heat zones would be better placed lower, on the torso instead of over the breasts. The windproof and water-resistant qualities would seem to make it an outermost layer, but it is not nearly heavy enough to solo in seriously cold weather. And putting a lot of layers under a heated jacket defeats the purpose.

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