Martin Balke: Editor "Deutscher Jagdblog"
The first experiences
Two to three years ago I first saw a heated vest with a dog handler friend of mine. After going through it, we all dried off as usual so as not to catch a cold after the hustle and bustle. My hunting buddy Klaus wore noticeably little clothing after we reassembled. I inquired about his well-being. He wasn't cold! He proudly presented his heated vest to me, which he knew from motorcyclists. At the time, the price put me off. Today I have to say that if you have shot two to three sows in freezing temperatures with the help of the actively warming equipment, then the clothing has already paid off! And sitting at home sick in the fall, that's not possible!
Freeze is not a goal in the hunt
As mentioned, we tried out the vest and the socks during several hours of hides. If you freeze, your attention will drop and it will be easier for the game to spot you. Wriggling toes, snuggling up, every movement makes us conspicuous. On driven hunts, you probably jump around on your stand even more to animate your cold toes, or to get your cold knees and blood pumping. Don't be surprised if you can't see it. Freezing is not only unpleasant, it also limits hunting success. We were able to prevent this problem with heated clothing from LENZ.
The battery performance can be adjusted to the outside temperatures in three stages. Thanks to the good design of the buttons, operation is also possible through clothing. Alternatively, the heat regulation can be operated using an app on your smartphone. However, I have not used this app myself, as I am not a fan of phones on the hide. You quickly lose the constant overview and many a good chance of looting is gone because you just looked at the display. I speak from experience. As mentioned, I was able to control battery power through clothing. That's usually enough.
Note: All batteries fit all clothes!
Handling the socks is very easy. The battery pockets on the vest could be a bit bigger for my hand size. All in all, no great “fumbling” is necessary. From the user's point of view, however, I would have preferred stretchable textiles. A small viewing window would also allow insight into the selected heating level. All of that would be the icing on the cake, but it doesn't detract from the actual purpose of the clothes.
Our batteries used in the test - rcB 1800 - are the most powerful and actually held the heat for more than ten hours. They didn't have to be reloaded for two sessions of five hours each. The arrangement of the heating strands on the vest is well thought out and adjusted where your own body temperature drops the fastest.
When it comes to socks, the first impression is: "I'll never get into my boots with them". But the opposite is true. They fit the foot like a glove. Only on the calves I can imagine that it could be too tight for one or the other with thick "cyclist calves". The socks are intentionally made tight.
The vest ensures all-encompassing warmth between the chest and rear area. The coccyx region is always one of the first to cool down because my clothes don't fit tightly here. With a vest I didn't have these worries. It is very light in itself and is very comfortable to wear over functional underwear or a T-shirt. The material dries very quickly if you really sweat. In my opinion, the advantage of the vest is that you can do without one or two layers of clothing. You wear less clothes and therefore less weight.
The processing of the seams and zippers is such that the items absolutely correspond to the "hunting" area. Depending on your height, the back of the vest could be a little lower, or the area of the heating strands could reach even further towards the rump. However, as mentioned, I was fine with it. In the case of the socks, it should be noted that there is even heating between the toes. I certainly don't need to say much more about that. The most sensitive areas are super integrated on the foot.
After one of the test hides I had to start a search right away because I got a bit behind. In this case, as with rescuing and caring for game, I simply switched off the batteries so as not to be "cooked". When the work was done, I just turned it back on. The same goes for the socks. I wouldn't want to run 5,000 meters in them right now, but they are a wonderful source of heat on the raised hide and on the stand.
For me, no longer freezing means not only luxury, but also maintaining health, alertness and a higher chance of hunting success, although not scientifically, but definitely subjectively. You're always ready and don't think about going home because it's freezing outside. And when the hunt is successful, the equipment is also paid for. In the clothing concept, as mentioned above and depending on your own feelings, you can do without a pullover or a shirt over a long-sleeved undershirt. In my case, when the outside temperature was just above freezing, a long-sleeved undershirt, the vest and a fleece jacket were enough for total comfort. For women, who are known to freeze faster, this is an absolute asset, as my wife, who is also a passionate hunter, was able to confirm. Lenz also offers the "women" section here and thus does justice to it.