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I’m a total sissy for the cold. According to all the genetic tests, I’m about 4,000% Scandinavian, but whatever noble traits my hearty ancestors developed to live in the cold skipped right over me.

Hating the cold as I do, I own a wide selection of cold weather undies. I’ve got wool and synthetics alike. I’ve got multiple weights of the same sets, and when I travel, I bring spares.

But I didn’t have anything quite like the Pnuma Outdoors IconX Heated Core vest and pants.

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Powered by a rechargeable 7.4V Lithium-ion battery, each garment has fibers built into it that heat up key areas of the body. Instead of just passively warming your body through insulation, these garments actively add heat up against your skin.

It works. Praise be to Surtr himself, it works.

I’ve worn these garments riding in the back of a truck at night on anti-poaching patrols in the South African winter. I’ve worn them for days at a time in the mountains of Idaho while bear and muley hunting. And more.

In each instance, at the push of a button, I was warm.

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The Pnuma long Johns are simple enough in operation. There’s a little pocket in each garment where you plug in the small battery. After that, just press the logo button and within minutes the garment heats up.

You get six hours on the lowest setting, three hours on the medium setting, and two hours on the highest setting.

I didn’t time the lowest setting, but pushed to the red highest setting. I really did get a full two hours of amazing heat. How hot? They advertise it as 131 degrees Fahrenheit on high. I don’t have a particularly precise way to measure that, but I can tell you with certainty that, at this setting, it’s too hot if you’re doing anything other than sitting still at well below freezing temperature.

And that’s awesome. When it was 20 degrees outside on a white tail hunt, I slept in the bed of my truck with nothing more in my Pnuma undies, regular clothes, one old army wool blanket, and an extra set of batteries that kept me warm and toasty all night. I had intended to sleep sitting in the cab with the heater on, but instead I laid out snug as a bug in a rug under the stars.

The realist in me quickly turns to pessimism when the mercury falls. As such, I would never trust a garment to keep me warm and alive based solely on battery power. The Pnuma Heated Core gear doesn’t only trust on technology. It provides solid passive heating as well.

Both the vest and pants are made of a synthetic blend of 17% Elastane, 23% Polypropylene, and 60% Polyester. This blend, or something close it, is pretty common now as it provides lots of warmth with little bulk.

The pants and vest also include their SilverStrike and Hydrowick fibers. Together, these technologies wick moisture away from the skin where it can more easily evaporate, as well as making it more difficult for odor-causing bacteria to grow.

Put together, the result is a garment made to be worn all day, again and again, without you feeling or smelling rancid. I spent four days straight in them during a winter anti-poaching effort in southern Africa. When I returned from my work, the fine ladies of the camp may have been repelled by the sight of me, but at least they weren’t offended by the smell.

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The “Heated Core” technology is made for Pnuma by AddHeat. Headquartered in Taiwan, they make the wearable heat technology that’s sewn into many different manufacturers’ products.

The set is not inexpensive. That’s certainly understandable, as the technology has to be durable enough for the field (the vest and pants are guaranteed for life) and must be sewn into the garments outside of their otherwise normal manufacturing process. Add the fact that each garment includes antimicrobial fibers as well as a lithium-ion battery and charger, and the price is understandable. I looked at competing garments and the price tag is very much in line with others.

The cleaning instructions are simple enough — hand wash and hang dry. I’ve washed these in streams and highland lakes and of course that works just fine to clean them. I’ve also just washed it and dried it in a machine, like civilized folk. Machine washing or drying in any way voids the warranty, but it worked just fine for me.

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My only complaint is that the vest is a vest. Being from Pnuma, I’m guessing that, since Pnuma is so focused on the bowhunter, the goal of having a vest was to make sure there was plenty of mobility in the back and shoulders.

That makes some sense, but the whole point of these garments is to keep warm, and keeping more of your skin covered is more likely to keep you warm. I called Pnuma about this, and they said the next version available will be full-sleeved. I’d wait for that version.

SPECIFICATIONS: IconX Heated Core Vest and IconX Heated Core Pants

  • Easy access to three-color, waterproof LED heat level selection button
  • Re-chargeable 7.4V Lithium-ion battery and wall charger included with purchase
  • Approximately 6 hours of battery performance at low setting
  • HydroWick™ high-performance hollow wicking fiber
  • 6 Performance zones provide key muscle support and thermal regulation
  • Infused with SilverStrike™ anti-microbial odor control
  • Undetectable carbon fiber heating elements
  • USB output on the battery can be used to charge your mobile device
  • Athletic fit for easy layering
  • Guaranteed for life (Pant  and vest only)
    MSRP: $200 for vest, $200 for pant

Rating (out of five stars):

Overall * * * * ½
The Pnuma IconX Heated Core vest and pants are long-lasting, well made, and they keep you warm with active heating. It’s easy to stay warm when you’re in the sun and moving. It’s something else entirely to stay warm in those early morning hours when you’re stone still. To stay warm then, you’ll need lots of layers…or the push of a button. For me, I’ll take both. Half a star removed because it’s a vest and not full sleeves.


Pnuma sent me these long-Johns for review without cost. When I finished the review, I asked them to send me a return label to send them back. Pnuma politely informed me that nobody ever wants some old dude’s used undies sent in the mail, so I kept them. I paid for the batteries and chargers myself.

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  1. hard wired (eclipse, gone) and widder ‘lectra vests, jackets, pants, gloves and boots work well powered by your vehicles charging system. these prices are similar forty years later, and you’re not tethered.
    friend o mine grabbed a milwaukee tool heated jacket at a big box on sale for cheap. he’s been lovin’ it for some years now.
    vest only is beneficial as warm core temp allows for warm extremities.

  2. I hear you. I spent a couple years in Korea and it can get downright cold in the higher elevations. I have an old Bear Suit that was issued, still use it if I have to go outside. I try to stay inside as much as I can..but.

    This kit is a bit $$ though, probably good stuff though.

  3. I no longer venture into those cold climes except for very rare occasions. I’m old school. I want nothing that I count on for my safety or even my life to be battery powered.

    • Absolutely!
      I grew up in northern Minn.
      Ran traps, and at least once a winter I would manage to fall through the thin ice near a trap.
      Keeps you warm even when wet.
      No batteries, or charger.
      I Know. Wool ain’t tacticool (or tactiwarm?)

      • Oddly enough, wool is in fact super tacticool. Not just because it work to keep you warm, but because it’s at least mildly flame retardant. Unfortunately, most grunts can’t afford it, and that’s not what the Army provides, unless your “special”.

  4. A dollar spent on quality outdoor gear is a dollar well spent. Ask me how I know. The thing is, despite where I live, I hate the heat and love the cold. I see the twenties here in January/February regularly. Teens occasionally. Only lasts a couple of days, but I love it. Hunted deer in single digits and broken ice with the butt of a Wingmaster to float the decoys. (Not in Florida though. Sorry.) Loved all of it. Let me know when they make a refrigerated version of this. Archery and turkey season can be warm around here. BTW, an article on those anti-poaching patrols would be interesting. I hope they handed you an R-4. Though, I suppose one could muddle along with an R-1 or G-3.

    • I go along with patrols mostly to learn about the theater of work and the relevant TTPs, as well as to provide immediate lifesaving procedures. I’m not there to catch poachers. If that happens it’s a happy accident.
      I’m there to teach emergency medical techniques, TCCC, as well as high angle, compromised structure, and swift water rescue.

  5. 17% Elastane? Hope it never gets wet.

    Elastane aka Lycra aka Spandex is not something you want in your performance cold weather clothing. It dries like cotton.

    Most top performance clothing is all about finding how to make clothing stretch without elastane.

    See the Kuiu peloton line- 100% polyester. Same with the Outdoor Research echo line.

    Also- hunters want to stay away from anything with polypropylene in it. The smell never washes out.

    Bad review by JWT once again. Weight? Nope. Financial Conflict? Yep.

    Lemme guess- now you’ll make an ad hominem attack on me.

    • Is it ad hominem if you really are an as*hole. Any adult reading your comment sees that you have an axe to grind with Taylor. You were not discussing, you were attacking.

      • The commenter gave real constructive criticism of JWT’s review. How much does the kit weigh? How much space does it take up in a pack? Why does the kit use elastane which has the wicking properties of cotton?

        No- you just call him an a**hole. I think vlad is JWT.

        • 17% polyurethane fiber is for stretch and minimal. the wicking comes from others in the blend. i’ve seen “killer cotton” stop insulating when damp and the eventual onset of hypothermia. but as a blend this should be ok.

    • Ridiculous.
      17% Lycra dries just fine when mixed with other fibers. I dried this set in the sun in just a few hours.
      Every military service member knows poly-pro well, it’s what all of our cold weather undies were made of. Were wore the same set for a week at a time, unwashed. It cleaned out just fine. If you can’t get your undies clean it’s your own fault.
      The comparison to Kuiu (which is a great company with great products) and OR is apples to oranges, as none of those 100% polyester lines include active heating elements. Ask yourself why.
      Weight wasn’t enough for me to care about and as for bulk, you can literally see that for yourself. Look at the photos.
      I just got back from another trip in Africa, including South Africa, wearing this gear again. There’s a lot of pics on this site and others of me there, including in the backs of trucks.
      Grownups get to to all sorts of fun stuff.

  6. 17% Elastane? Hope it never gets wet.

    Elastane aka Lycra aka Spandex is not something you want in your performance cold weather clothing. It dries like cotton.

    Most top performance clothing is all about finding how to make clothing stretch without elastane.

    See the Kuiu peloton line- 100% polyester. Same with the Outdoor Research echo line.

    Also- hunters want to stay away from anything with polypropylene in it. The smell never washes out.

    Bad review by JWT once again. Weight? Nope. Real hunters need to know what this thing costs. Volume? I guess everyone has Infinity liters in their pack. Financial Conflict? Yep. Make up story about South African truck? Yep.

    Lemme guess- now you’ll make an ad hominem attack on me.

  7. Working from the extremities in I find that single use chemical foot warmers and Burton’s Warmest Glove make the biggest difference in keeping warm. Adding insulation and heat to the rest of the body is easy, but I use one layer less than I did prior to having the gloves.

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