Long-Term Review: Thermic C-Pack 1700 B Boot Heaters

Discussion in 'Ski Boot Discussion by America's Best Bootfitters' started by Philpug, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    As much as I like getting new toys to play with, I also like being comfortable and warm when skiing. Enter the Thermic C-Pack 1700 B boot heaters, which do both: they are cool new toys that keep my feet warm. These Bluetooth-controlled heaters might not be the least expensive option on the market, but technology-wise, they might be one of the best values.
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    Thermic offers three versions: the C-Pack 1300 B, C-Pack 1700 B, and C-Pack 1300 (no Bluetooth). The higher number means the lithium ion battery will work longer at the lowest setting. For most people, the 1300 will be fine, but for those who ski bell to bell and for multiple days in a row -- and maybe are forgetful when it comes to charging batteries -- the mac-daddy 1700 could be worth the slight premium.

    This review will have quite a few references to "But wait, there’s more!" Let's start with the compact battery that clips easily to a booster strap. But wait! You don’t need an extra clip to keep it out of the way of your top buckle; the two-position clasp integrated into the back of the C-Pack keeps it nicely in place above your top buckle. Next, the heating element is one of the thinnest on the market, and it has one of the largest heating areas, making it less intrusive than even the IC1200 that I reviewed two years ago (see HERE). The hardware is the steak of the C-Pack 1700 B; now let's get to the sizzle.
    %d2NeGn+TiujAKVLz51y4Q.jpg WxbiX61UTm6NiF2OD2wfkg.jpg

    Thermic built a pretty cool Bluetooth app for the C-Pack and its other heating systems. I am using the Apple version, which can be downloaded from the app store; an Android version is available, as well. The Bluetooth pairing is as simple as you would hope. Now, once you pair the heaters with the phone, you set up one as a left and one as a right; yes, you can control left and right independently. Inside the app, you put the boot heaters under a specific product that you name yourself; I created one for the boots on which I will be using them, K2 Recon, with its own picture. You can set up additional products in the app for other heating devices like gloves or socks.
    fullsizeoutput_7369.jpeg

    Ok, so not only can you specify left and right heaters that are controlled independently and go from 1 to 10 (but wait, there’s more!), you can also set up motion control. This means you can set the power to drop to a predetermined lower level while you are skiing. If you have the left boot set at 7, you can go -3 when in motion, which brings it to a 4 when you are skiing; then when you stop, the heat returns to 7. If your right boot is set to a different temperature, it will still drop the same three levels. An ECO mode allows you to set up the heaters to work in 30-min sessions. You can set the heaters to be on for 20 min and off for 5, then on for 20 and off for 5, or on for 10 and off for 5, and so on. All of these features can be controlled right from your phone.
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    fullsizeoutput_7357.jpeg fullsizeoutput_7358.jpeg

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    Heating element installed on footbed. Note: Because of longer lead, I felt it better to do cut behind first metatarsal. ​

    Charging is simple and easy, too. Thermic supplies a USB charger, which is nice in that you don’t need an outlet or even a larger cord like the one used in previous generations.​
    • Who is it for? Those who appreciate function and are willing to pay for it.
    • Who is it not for? The price-concious; but no worries, there is also the 1300, and if that is still out of your budget, the non-Bluetooth version costs about the same as other popular boot heaters.
    • Insider tip 1: The app has a "Switch" feature allowing to change left and right heating packs incase you attach the wrong one on the boot after charging but an assymetric shell would be nice to help determine which heater you use for left or right if you take them off of your boots to recharge. Even an L or R printed on the battery would be nice.
    • Insider tip 2: While I am not an Apple watch user, I could see watch access to be very convenient so you wouldn't have to take your phone out. Check out @Tricia's upcoming review on this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
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  2. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I'll be making a new set of footbeds this week so I can get mine installed and report on Apple Watch functions.
     
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  3. oldfashoned

    oldfashoned Getting off the lift Skier

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    I was looking for a reason to get an Apple Watch ;).
    I might just head down to the "local" store and pick these up...
     
  4. Pat AKA mustski

    Pat AKA mustski Out on the slopes Skier

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    Thanks for the review. Boot heaters are definitely on my wish list.
     
  5. bbinder

    bbinder Out on the slopes Skier

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    Hey Phil, how does the battery size compare to the previous generation of Therm-ic?
     


  6. laine

    laine I ski like a girl. Fast. Skier

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    @Philpug - how does it compare to the S4 Hotronics?
     
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    Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    First, having the Bluetooth control is worth the price of admission itself. The battery is a lot smaller and having more stages is also nice compared to just the four of the S4. Installation of the heating pad has it's pluses and minuses compared to the Hotronics. First the element is much thinner and does not requires shaving of the footbed. The cord does need a bigger hole to go through.

    Added "l" to hoe.
    fullsizeoutput_7397.jpeg fullsizeoutput_7396.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2019
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  8. Ron

    Ron rebuilding myself one part at a time Pugski Ski Tester

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    @Philpug do you have a S4 for comparison? If not, I can put up a pic with Dims,


    the S4's are just too wide on low volume cuffs like on my K2 Recon's.
     
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    Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I don't have one handy but here is the IC from the Themic and the Hotronic from my previous review:

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. laine

    laine I ski like a girl. Fast. Skier

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    Is there any difference in the heating function itself between the Therm-ic and Hotronic? Does one heat better, worse, more evenly, etc?

    And you didn’t need to shave the insole at all for the installation?

    I’m not sure what is happening or how, but with the installation of my Hotronics on my new boots (in the exact same place as my old boots), the left boot heater keeps getting turned up to 3. Burned the shit out of my foot last week. I was confused because I keep them set at 1 and had all this foot pain and finally checked it and it was high. I turned them off, but tried again the next day and checked after the first run, and it was up at 3 again, so it’s hittng something on my pant or lift or something....
     
  11. Andy Mink

    Andy Mink I am a half fast skier. Moderator Pugski Ski Tester

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    I haven't used the Therm-ics but notice my Hotronics tend to do the same thing as yours. I'm not sure what they'd hit hard enough and long enough to move up or down. I have them on the lateral side of the boot so they aren't getting bumped by the chair. I mean, you have to push a tiny button fairly firmly and hold it for a second or two to change the setting. I do know when the battery is dead they don't work at all!:doh:
     
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  12. drewski

    drewski Booting up Skier

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    a photo of the installation on the footbed would be helpful. thanks
     
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    Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Added to original post.
     
  14. drewski

    drewski Booting up Skier

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    thanks,do you run the wire under the footbed or along the side to exit liner?
     
  15. Andy Mink

    Andy Mink I am a half fast skier. Moderator Pugski Ski Tester

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    You can cut a groove in the bottom of the footbed to the arch and run the wire there. Cover it with tape or the cambrelle cover that usually comes with new heaters. Then cut a slot in the side of the liner and run the wire around the back so the battery will be on the outside (lateral) side of the top of the boot. 20190105_145625.jpg
     
  16. ATLSkier

    ATLSkier Booting up Skier

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    Phil, I just ordered a pair of Therm-ics, so interested in the installation side of this. Why did you cut and install the cord at an angle under footbed, as opposed to going straight under the footbed? Is that just a comfort issue with the cord being less under the foot?
     
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    Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    If you go straight back, you can have a ridge that will cause the footbed to rock from side to side. Up the back of the spine also creates more stress on the cord both every time you flex into the boot along with every time you take the lined in and out. If you have the cord come out the medial (inside) under the arch, there tends to be more room and will not create the stress on the cord.
     
  18. ATLSkier

    ATLSkier Booting up Skier

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    Gotcha, thanks!
     
  19. ATLSkier

    ATLSkier Booting up Skier

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    One other install question. If you have the cord coming out under the arch, where do you cut the liner, on the side or on the heel?
     
  20. Thread Starter
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    Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    On the side by the arch.
     

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