Heated gear will always be a divisive topic. Some people love it, others hate it. But do you remember that smile that washed across your face the first time you tried heated grips? Well, the Keis heated jacket is the next step up from that! Once you finally get around to trying it, you’ll wonder why the hell you spent all those years freezing half to death.
As a long-time wearer and advocate of the original Keis heated vest, I was super excited to test out this more comprehensive version with sleeves and neck cuff – the J501RP.
And I’m glad to say it hasn’t been a disappointment.
Keis J501RP Heated Jacket: Finely Crafted
The first thing I noticed about the Keis heated jacket upon receiving it in the post was just how well crafted it was.
It arrived in an elegant white box that was polished and oozed quality. The jacket was neatly folded, wrapped in tissue paper, then wrapped in thick cellophane and placed neatly in the box.
It felt like somebody had taken the time to think about the customer experience – and I genuinely appreciate it when companies pay attention to the small details.
Motorcycle kit isn’t renowned for looking good. But the Keis heated jacket actually looks pretty nice! Predominantly black with red accents and details, it’s understated, classy, and it looks and feels good both on and off the bike.
If you have Keis heated gloves, the wires tuck neatly into zipped pouches on the sleeves of the jacket. The main power wire tucks smartly into its dedicated home in the hem. And the connectors to the controller hide seamlessly in the side pockets. The whole thing is very well thought-out.
As well as being functional, the jacket is streamlined. And this means it’s perfect to wear in the evenings or when stopping off for a meal.
Keis J501RP Heated Jacket: Fit
In terms of fit, Keis was always going to struggle. For a start, it’s unisex – and women and men are built differently.
Secondly, we’re all of differing proportions. For me, the jacket is a touch baggy in the upper arms whilst not being quite fitted enough around the waist. But then again, I’m tall and thin – like a marathon runner. And as always with Keis gear, I had to get a size smaller than I usually get.
That said, it is by no means uncomfortable. And just because it isn’t tailored to my exact proportions, that doesn’t mean it won’t be perfect for yours.
But for further peace of mind, Keis offer a free returns system. This means you can send the jacket back at no cost to swap it for a size that fits you. Great customer service right there! We like that.
The operation of the jacket is via a controller on your left side. It dangles down just enough that you can operate it whilst riding without having it flap about. When not in use, it tucks away nicely in the side pocket.
Press and hold the power button for a few seconds and the jacket powers up. Almost instantly, you can feel heat permeating through the jacket.
It really doesn’t take long for this jacket to get warm and you can feel it the moment you turn it on.
For ease, there are just three settings to choose from – low, medium, and high.
Despite using this jacket for almost a year throughout the British winter as well as in horrific conditions in the Alps, I’ve never had it above ‘medium.’
For most conditions, I find that setting the jacket to ‘low’ and simply using it to stave off the cold rather than trying to warm me up, is plenty enough.
Fewer Layers With The Keis J501RP Heated Jacket
As a rule, I try not to wear motorcycle-orientated clothing underneath my main riding jacket. Why? Because motorcycle kit is generally far too heavy and bulky. I wear a series of thin, technical layers that I can swap and change according to the temperature.
But with the Keis heated jacket, I found I could dispense with a few of these layers. And this gave me more freedom, more movement, and fewer layers of material scrunching up underneath my riding jacket.
If I get cold, I just turn the jacket on. If I get hot, I simply turn it off. And this is way simpler than getting on or off the bike to add or take away layers.
How Warm Is It?
As mentioned above, this jacket heats up almost instantly – and it heats up more than you would expect!
For me, using it on the lowest setting is generally enough to keep me comfortable. Medium comes in useful for motorway riding on cold days.
A lot of the time, I don’t even turn the jacket on at all. As a standalone mid-layer, it provides an abundance of warmth without even powering it up.
I also find that if I wear the Keis heated jacket with the right combination of base layers, the jacket retains its warmth long after I turn it off.
Final Word On The Keis J501RP Heated Jacket
In short, this Keis heated jacket has quickly become one of my staples when riding locally and whilst touring.
At first, I wondered if I could live without it. But it was only when I went for a particularly cold ride through the Lake District in early January that I realised just how much I missed it!
The build quality is excellent, and you can tell Keis have put a lot of thought into the design, the materials, the style, and even the packaging.
Couple this with the fact that this jacket (along with all Keis products) comes with a lifetime warranty, it’s easy to justify the purchase.