In this post I wrote about clothing for mobility scooter wear. In addition to what I have already – waterproofs and a load of fleeces, thermals, gloves and warm socks – I’ve just bought the following:-
A Regatta waterproof jacket.A snip at £14.99 – stocks are low, so if you want one, act quickly. I already have waterproofs, but this is a size bigger than I normally wear, to allow room for multiple layers underneath in winter. You can get very cold on a scooter, in the winter (especially an 8mph model, which is just fast enough to create its own wind chill factor, more so if it’s also windy), but there’s no need to be cold at all. I wore Regatta jackets when I had scooters and powerchairs previously. They’re not fancy but they’ll keep you dry. Not breathable, either, but as you’re sitting still, that matters not at all.
A tip: many jackets have hoods that roll up into the collar – cut it off. The hood, that is, not the collar, leaving just enough fabric to give the collar some structure. You should never wear a hood on a scooter, as, pounded by rain and buffeted by wind, it impairs your hearing and your peripheral vision, and the collar will fit better without its bulk. Retain the hood, in case you need to repair a tear the jacket, and also keep the drawcord and cord locks – they’re always useful to have around. If you need to keep your head dry, wear a hat.(covered in the post linked to at the start).
Note: Don’t buy a 3-in-1 jacket. The fleece is generally poorer quality that you’ll get buying separately. And anyway, you don’t want the fleece attached to your waterproof – it’s uncomfortable when seated. Keep your layers separate.
A fleece vest with pockets for heat pads . You get 8 heat pads with it, and it’s on offer at £15*. They do have other colours but be aware that black is full price, at £27.95 – bummer. This, too, is a size bigger than normal. That’s partly because the heat pads take up space, and also because it’ll be worn over a light fleece half-zip top, and under a heavier fleece jacket. The heat pads that come with it are single use. Once I get mine, and see what size they are, I can source re-usable pads. Check back later, maybe this time next week.
*Not because there’s anything wrong with the concept, but bikers can use 12-volt electrically-heated clothing which is more effective (and vastly more expensive) – you can’t do that on a 24-volt scooter.
Then there’s bikers’ insulated waterproof trousers (I was a biker, back in the day, and I can vouch for these things), at £19.99. There’s a trick to putting them on without snagging your boot or shoe in the lining – put a carrier bag over your foot. Remember to stick it in your jacket pocket afterwards – they’re getting harder to come by these days. May be worth getting a pair of walkers’ waterproof overtrousers for summer use, too.
You could also buy a bikers’ waterproof jacket, if you wish – cost you a lot more, though, and many come with entirely superfluous body armour and other features pointless on a scooter. The idea of this post is to keep you warm and dry for minimal cost.
So, the jacket and trousers will keep you dry, the heated vest will keep you warm, and if you want fleeces, try here.
And wearing an impermeable layer (i.e., a waterproof jacket), over a fleece is a much better option than a wind and/or water-proof fleece. Your fleece doesn’t get soaked, for a start, and two items are far more versatile than one.
I have Berghaus, Craghoppers and Regatta fleeces, all of which you’ll find if you click through the above link, and all are fine. Basic rule of thumb – buy what you can afford, but avoid the very cheapest.
Stick with Regatta for a cheap fleece, and you won’t go wrong, and ideally, you want at least three – a light half-zip, a heavier jacket, and a vest – a vest, or gilet, is an extremely versatile item – I have 4, in different styles and fabrics*. I have a couple of Craghoppers Corey half-zip tops, a Regatta light-weight jacket and a heavy Berghaus Activity jacket, which has given me ten years of regular winter wear and still looks good. It’s almost £65 but as an investment, it’s hard to beat – I’ve certainly had my money’s worth, even though when I bought mine it was nearly £20 less.
*Away from scooter wear for a moment, for normal winter wear, under a waterproof, for going out to, say, the pub, I wear a Corey half-zip, under one of these vests. The combo is comfy, warm enough (I’m only outdoors briefly), and has lots of pockets for four inhalers, small bottle of codeine linctus, change, wallet, mobe, tiny digital camera – a Fuji Z1, emergency meds and other stuff. Among the other stuff is a waiters’ friend – the corkscrew provides a way of locking a toilet door that has no lock. Just screw it in between the door and frame – locks solid.
Yes, it does cause a little damage (for that reason, I insert it above shoulder height, so nobody picks up splinters). I don’t care though – the cheap buggers should fit a bolt, at least! Of course, if there’s a really big gap between door and frame, you’re stuffed, but mostly it works, and a waiters’ friend was part of my rambling and backpacking kit for a couple of decades, for just that purpose. They’re widely available for under a fiver – I got mine at Victoria Wine in 1984. Today, try Sainsbury’s, £3.
In the summer I wear a different vest, as lack of a collar on the other makes it uncomfortable over a T-shirt. Mainly for the pockets – the alternative is a man-bag (I’ve got one of those too!), but small ones look too much like handbags to be convincing, though I do have a leather one for my portable nebuliser. To round off the vest collection, I have a fleece vest, which has had so much wear the black is now old-ink blue, and a heavy-duty quilted one which has seen little action as it’s rarely been cold enough and I haven’t been active enough.
If, like me, you need lots of pocket space, a light vest is a good solution.
In addition to clothing, I’ve bought a digital tyre pressure gauge, a digital clock to stick on the control panel (it’s for a motor-bike, so it’s waterproof), and a puncture repair kit (sooner or later, it’ll be needed, despite the sealant I mentioned in the previous post, linked to at the start), and a mirror that can be folded for passing through doorways.
Finally, I’ve fitted a cyclists’ drink bottle cage, and a bottle, to the side of the basket. Baskets can look naff and old-ladyish, but they’re ideal mounting places for bits and pieces. Mine sports the bottle and cage on one side, a forward facing white reflector (a legal requirement, often omitted), on the front, and on the other side is the pressure-bottle which powers my air horn, and my tax disc holder.