I cannot tell you how many times I have been out on a chilly evening ride, or a dark morning out to feed dreaming of a way to stay warmer. Several years ago, the heated apparel products started to catch my eye. Would they be too hot? Is this really a dream come true? Does the battery really last that long? I was unsure, it is a fairly good investment and there were a lot of questions.
Gobi Heat is the answer for those equestrians who are out in the sleet, snow, and sub zero temperatures! What really stood out for me researching Gobi Heat is the 30 day return policy and 1 year warranty. It is a no risk investment, and as with any product that is battery operated it gives an extra piece of mind knowing the product was warrantied up to a year.
When I first pulled out the Sahara Jacket, I was impressed by the durable soft shell fabric. It is a thick, well made material lined with a soft fleece. It is wind and water resistant, which as an equestrian is important. I was caught in the rain more than once in this jacket and the water did bead up and roll off up to a certain point. (It does handle bucket spills and light to moderate rain well!) The jacket fits very true to size, and allows for extra customization to size including drawstring waist and velcro cuffs to really ensure warmth and comfort!
I was VERY happy with the overall design of the jacket. It is a flattering womens cut, with THREE zippered pockets. We all know when trudging around the farm and barn, zippers are an important part of our lives. The zippered pocket on the chest was perfect for keys, clips, and credit cards/cash. I do not recommend sliding your cell phone in this pocket, or any item that could melt or overheat because it is next to the heating element in the chest. The actual zippered pockets are deep and large enough to hold a full wallet or cell phone. I was impressed with the SEVERAL color choices, including two tone and solid options to match your barn and/or show team colors.
The Gobi Heat Sahara jacket allows you to control your body temperature with three heat settings: Low, Medium, and High. Also, this jacket has three heat zones in the most effective locations, two zones in the upper chest and a large zone in the upper back. The heat provided by the jacket is soothing, and to me almost felt like a traditional heating pad under your standard jacket. On chilly mornings, layered under my barn coat I almost got too hot and after warming up actually had to turn the heat off completely! The jacket even without the heat option in mild weather is extremely comfortable, warm, and wind resistant.
When I first received the jacket, the instructions were easy to follow. I was able to locate the ON/OFF and heat setting right away. I was impressed with the one touch “button” control, and REALLY excited to see that the control button actually lit up with LED light to display the heat setting and the power status. (On or off) I did find after several wears that it is hard to keep track of the battery life. I would wear the coat and run out of battery half way through the day, thinking I had enough power but obviously did not. I do wish there was a way to check the battery life!
The 7.4v lithium battery is “stored” in an inside zippered pocket. The first few times the battery was in the jacket it was a little awkward. It felt like a large wallet or phone was in my pocket all day, but after a few wears I became accustomed to the weight on the one side. I am a petite build, and from the outside you would never know the battery pack was there! It was all an easy process to charge and connect the battery power to the jacket. The battery pack is plugged in to the jacket using the power cord located in the pocket, then fits snugly into the zippered pocket and ready for use! The battery is fully charged after 3-4 hours plugged into the wall charger, and on low heat it will provide up to 10 hours of heat. I was also impressed at the attention to detail with the Sahara Jacket power cord. It tucks away in the zippered pocket when the battery is not attached and includes a cap to cover the exposed end of the cord to prevent damage.
The first time I laundered this jacket, I will admit I was nervous. I kept the jacket clean most of the season by spot cleaning using a damp cloth and detergent. Most dust, hay, and slobber wiped off and/or shook off easily. Anything that has a power source, and wiring components just feels like it does not belong in a washer. I used cold water, and a normal cycle in the washer and then I did hang it to air dry. Per the company you can tumble dry and it is safe. The jacket washed VERY well. I did have a few stains from horse slobber and a muddy ride that I was not sure would wash well. It ALL washed out, and the jacket honestly looked new again after one wash!
The versatility, warmth, and durability of this heated jacket is perfect for any equestrian living and working in a cold climate!