The United States recently had one of the coldest winters ever. From polar vortexes to floods and wind chills, this winter was rough. Braving the bitter cold isn’t always easy with traditional jackets and outdoor wear. Luckily, with a heated jacket, being outside even in freezing temperatures becomes easier.
A heated coat looks like a traditional parka, but with an innovative twist. On the inside, sewn to the inner lining, there are heating elements. They can be chemical- or battery-based. If a normal coat keeps you warm and cozy, heated jackets keep you nice and toasty.
When you wear a heated vest, getting up in the morning to brave the cold becomes much easier. No more wanting to stay in bed all day! You can take the coziness and comfort of your own home out into the world. Not to mention that you don’t need to wear tons of layers anymore. This will make you feel lighter and give you more freedom of movement.
This piece of outer garment is useful for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors during the winter. If you work in construction, practice outdoor activities, or enjoy hunting in the winter, you need one of this item in your closet.
We have put together the ultimate heated jacket review. Today, we will give you a quick rating of the best heated vests on the market. Then, we will explain to you everything you need to know before buying one. To finish off, we will go over each of the items we highlighted in depth.
What is a heated jacket?
A heated jacket is the crème de la crème of outerwear garments. No other piece of clothing will keep you this warm. Besides being made of warm fabrics, they have built-in heating elements at both the front and back of the jacket. Some models even have them on the hoodie and pockets for extra warmth.
You’ll find that not all jackets generate heat the same way. Some use chemical processes, while others use electricity to warm up your body. They both have unique pros and cons, so it is up to you know which one you should choose.
It won’t take you long until you realize that there are a lot of models available on the market. You’ll surely find a heated work jacket that suits your personal style, falls within your budget, and keeps you warm all over.
The Short Answer: The Top 9 Best Heated Jackets
1. Milwaukee Heated Jacket M12 12V
2. Bosch 12V Heated Jacket
3. Ororo Men’s Heated Soft Shell Jacket
4. Dewalt DCHJ062C1-S 20V/12V Max
5. Ororo Women’s Slim Fit Jacket
6. Dragon Heatwear Sahara Heated Jacket
7. Venture Heat Evolve Heated Hoodie
8. PROsmart HJ-27-50 Heat Jacket
9. Venture Heat Deluxe Motorcycle Jacket
The Ultimate Heated Jacket Buying Guide
In order to find the heated work jacket of your dreams, there are some things you need to know. Check out these questions and answers to get a better grasp of what these coats really are and what it takes to keep them pristine even after wearing it hundreds of time.
How do heated jackets work?
These coats have two main ways of generating heat: chemically or electrically. Although they work differently, they both have a pocket on the inside of the jacket where you place the heating agent.
Chemical heating jackets come with single-use cloth pouches that contain a special combination of elements that react with each other. When this reaction takes place, heat is released. You do have to replace these pouches after you have used them, though. Because of this, you won’t find a lot of heating jackets using the chemical method. In the end, it’s not a very sustainable and cost-effective way of keeping warm.
Electrical jackets are much more convenient and popular. These coats usually have either a Lithium battery (similar to the one you can find in your phone) or a Nickel Cadmium battery. Attached to it there is a heating element (carbon fiber wires or steel plates) that propagates the heat from the power source to the rest of the jacket. More often than not, the battery pack runs at twelve volts (12V), which makes it safe to use in garments.
No matter the heating method, all heat jackets have one thing in common: they are awesome at trapping in the heat. This means that the heat generated is trapped inside your coat to keep you warm and toasty.
Are heated jackets safe?
Mixing electricity with warm fabrics? Doesn’t that sound kind of dangerous? It’s normal to ask yourself “are heated jackets bad for you?” After all, we have all heard not to leave clothes on top of electric radiators when we leave a room. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about your coat catching on fire.
It may seem counterintuitive, but heated coats are incredibly safe. The vast majority of items sold have high-quality wiring that prevents short-circuits. On top of that, only 12-volt batteries are used — they’re less likely to start a fire than the batteries used on children’s toys.
Of course, you want to be double, triple, quadruple sure that the jacket you get will keep you safe. So, make sure to only look for items made by trustworthy companies. This way, you know the wiring used is not faulty.
In the decades that heated coats have been on sale, there have never been any accidents with brand-new items. Trust the thousands of satisfied customers who wear this piece of clothing regularly!
Can you wash a heated jacket?
Generally speaking, you can wash these jackets. Make sure to always look at the tags that come with the garment, as you will find specific requirements there, such as washing temperatures, what cycle to use, and how to dry it.
If the power source is chemical — such as a disposable heating cloth pouch — simply remove it and follow the washing instructions detailed on the jacket’s label.
If, however, the heating element is steel plates, you cannot wash your jacket in the washing machine. You will have to hand-wash it gently and at low temperatures. Avoid getting the heat zones too wet. Spot-cleaning with a damp rag may be best.
Lastly, battery-powered, carbon-wire jackets are machine washable. Just make sure to use a gentle program at a low temperature. For more instructions, read the manufacturer’s recommendations on the label.
How to take care of a heated jacket?
Caring for heating jackets isn’t hard.
Firstly, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions. If you do, you should be fine.
Secondly, pay attention, too, to how you store your coat when you’re not wearing it. Carbon wiring can be bent, but steel plates cannot. Keep this in mind when putting it away during the summer.
Lastly, when you buy your heated garment, you should also get a battery and charger. Don’t forget to continue charging the battery pack during the summer. The vast majority of lithium batteries need to be recharged every two to three months, even if you’re not using it then. If you don’t, you’ll quickly realize that your battery pack died completely while you weren’t using it.
What to look for in a heated coat?
In the world of online retailers, finding an awesome heat jacket out of the thousands of items available can be pretty daunting. But once you take a few things into consideration, narrowing them down becomes easy.
The following points below are the things you definitely want to look for in a brand new heated jacket. If you take them into consideration, you can find the ideal heated vest or coat for you in less than an hour.
Chemical or Electric?
We’ve already gone over the difference between chemical and electric jackets. The former uses single-use disposable heating pouches that release heat because of a chemical reaction. The latter works because of a battery pack that you charge after you’re done using the jacket for the day.
Which of these methods you should go with depends on you. However, we recommend electrically heated jackets. They last longer, offer you better value for the money you invest and are much more environment-friendly. Their only downside is that they’re typically pricier, but not in the long run.
Size and Fit
Size and fit are extremely important when picking out a heated coat. On one hand, you don’t want a jacket that is so tight that you feel uncomfortable wearing several layers of clothes underneath it. On the other hand, you also don’t want a baggy jacket that will let heat escape. It’s all about finding one that fits you like a glove.
Believe it or not, how a jacket is designed is also important. We don’t mean what color they are or if they have any fun patterns. Instead, we mean what extra features the item has.
If you’re braving the cold for long periods of time, we recommend getting a heating jacket that has outer pockets and a heated hoodie. This way, you can keep your ears and fingers warm — two parts of your body that become cold the quickest!
Inner pockets are optional. They are convenient if you want to keep pens, your phone, a music-playing device, or even a wallet, but they’re not really necessary.
There are even some jackets that come with a USB port. They are like a power bank embedded into a piece of clothing. Keep in mind that using this USB port drains the battery pack, lowering heated runtime. Also, most USB ports won’t support high capacity device charging. They may be enough for devices that don’t need a lot of juice but can’t charge iPads and other tablets.
Insulation is one of the most important aspects to take into consideration. What good would a jacket that generates a lot of heat but lets it all out do? You’d still feel cold and the batteries would run out quickly.
Look for coats that have a fleece lining on the inside and a wind and water resistant material on the outside. The best jackets also have covered zippers to ensure no heat can escape.
Heat Settings and Elements
Some jackets go a step further and even have different heat settings. Usually, they are high, medium, and low. The highest the setting, the warmer the jacket will get, and the faster the battery will run out. This setting is great for especially cold days with biting winds. If the weather isn’t so bad, the low setting should be enough, which means you can save power and stay cozy for longer. If this flexibility sounds good to you, then it’s wise to invest in a heat jacket with adjustable heating settings.
As far as heating elements go, you have two options: steel plates or carbon fiber. While they both get the job done, there is a big difference between the two.
Steel-plate heated jackets are hard and less malleable. You can’t machine wash them or fold them. They’re what is known as hard-shell coats. They sort of look like a motorcycle jacket.
Then, there are carbon fiber heated garments. You can machine wash them, but only on a gentle cycle and at low temperatures. You can fold them, which makes them easier to store. These items are also known as soft shell heated jacket.
Another important thing to consider is how many heat zones the garment has. An average heat jacket has heating elements running across the core body of the piece — meaning, across the chest and along the mid-back section. However, some models have a heated hoodie and heated pockets, which is perfect for the cold weather, as it will keep your whole torso warm.
It all boils down to preference, your budget, and to how you plan to wear your heated winter piece.
Batteries & Safety
The vast majority of heated coats come with a jacket kit. In it there is the battery and charger — there is no need to buy them separately.
You are most likely to find 12V heated coats. But with some models, you may be given the option to choose a 20V battery instead. The difference between these two batteries is their voltage. This unit of measurement tells you just how much the power source can heat up the jacket. To put it simply, 20V batteries generate more heat than 12V batteries. They also carry slightly more risks.
Another difference you will find is the milliampere-hour, a measurement connected with the power source capacity for storing energy. This is simpler than you are probably thinking. Do you know those AA and AAA batteries control remotes ask for? The only difference between the AA and AAA models is the milliampere-hour. In a nutshell, an AA has higher capacity and, so, it lasts longer than an AAA battery. You can apply the same logic to your jacket’s battery pack: the higher the milliampere-hour, the longer they can last without needing to be recharged.
“Why is this important?” you may be asking yourself. Well, the heated runtime of your jacket will be dictated by the battery capacity, the heat setting, and weather conditions. Choosing a high-quality battery is in your best interest.
Given all this, it’s important to look at who the manufacturer is. You may usually not care about brands, but when it comes to a heated garment, it’s wise to think about who made the piece.
Are they a trusted company? Do they have a reputation of creating high-quality electric-powered products? Have they had any scandals in which their products have short-circuited? These are smart questions to ask.
The products we have reviewed today are all trustworthy. They were all manufactured by companies customers know by name and trust. You won’t find any products manufactured in third-world countries by companies that are virtually unknown at suspiciously low prices. Remember: with heat jackets, you get what you pay for, and a lack of research can prove tragic!
Obviously, you also have to think about value. From the get-go, you know heating jackets are not cheap items of clothing. But they can be very worth it. It’s all about finding a quality-cost balance that works for your budget.
Weight & Bulkiness
The last point we are bringing up is the weight and bulkiness of the jacket. Most people don’t like feeling weighed down by their coat, as it can become uncomfortable after a while. Not to mention that if you are going on a trip, a heavy and bulky coat can be too cumbersome and take up too much space in your bag.
Some heat coats are heavier and bulkier than others because of how they are structured. Ask yourself if the bulkiness and weight of the piece is a deal breaker for you or not. If it is, we recommend bypassing steel-plate jackets all together and opting instead for a soft shell heated jacket.
Best Heat Jacket List (In-Depth)
Now that you know what makes the best heated jacket, let’s look at the top nine products we picked with a magnifying glass. We picked these products with a lot of factors in mind.
For starters, we looked at their components and their features. Things such as heated runtime, number of heat zones, quality of power source, and additional comfort features (pockets, USB port, etc) were taken into consideration.
Then, we looked at Amazon reviews and saw just how satisfied real customers were with the product.
Lastly, we looked up the company and saw just how reliable they were and how safe their other products are.
1. Milwaukee Heated Coat M12 12V
The Milwaukee Heating Jacket Kit is probably the best performing on the market right now, but it comes with a hefty price tag. At $300, it is the most expensive item on our list. But don’t overlook it just because of the price. There’s a reason why it is so high!
For starters, it has five heating zones: one in the back and four in the front, all for added comfort. Secondly, the outer fabric is wind and water resistant, which makes it more durable and better at trapping in the heat.
Although it uses carbon fiber in the heating elements, it is a hard-shell jacket. It’s perfect to take on a motorcycle ride.
Lastly, it gives you the choice between high, medium and low heat settings. The heated runtime for the lowest setting is 8 hours, while for the highest setting it is 2 hours.
– Stylish, hard-shell design
– Works well and for several winters
2. Bosch 12V Heated Jacket
Bosch is known for manufacturing high-quality appliances, as well as for being a trusted heated garment maker. Their answer to fighting cold winters is this $200 electrically heated coat.
It has three heating zones: one on the back and two on the chest. They are powered by lithium batteries that work for up to 6 hours. The coat also comes with a heat adjusting panel where you can change the heat setting.
Another great feature is the fact that it comes with a USB port for device charging. Since there are several pockets, you can store your device there and have it charge at the same time as the coat keeps you warm.
Lastly, it is slightly more malleable than a motorcycle jacket. Nevertheless, the outer fabric is both water and wind resistant and helps trap in the heat efficiently.
– Has a USB port for device charging
– Offers three different warming settings
– Limited runtime for its cost
3. Ororo Men’s Heated Soft Shell Jacket
The Orororo soft shell jacket is much loved by hundreds of customers. It’s a hit for one simple reason: it offers a bunch of added features without compromising the heat efficiency.
This coat comes with three warming settings, ranging from low to high. You can adjust it to your needs and preferences. The heated runtime for the lowest setting is an impressive 10 hours, while for the highest it is up to 3 hours.
There are three heat zones: one on the back and two on the chest. While it may not be as many as what competitors offer, the Ororo Men’s Heated Jacket offers great insulation. The outer fabric is water- and wind-proof, which traps in the heat well. In addition to that, the fleece lining makes the jacket even cozier and more comfortable.
An awesome added feature is its detachable hood. If you live in places where it rains and snows a lot during the winter, then this detachable hood is a must.
– Super long battery life
– Very effective at trapping in the heat
– Reasonable price
– Detachable hood
4. Dewalt DCHJ062C1-S 20V/12V Max
This camo-style jacket keeps you warm and stylish at the same time. It has three warm zones and a hard-shell exterior to trap in the heat. It also allows you to adjust the temperature manually and has a pre-heating setting.
The 20-volt battery works for up to 7.5 hours when on the lowest heating option. If you are wary about using a 20V max battery, you can switch it to a 12-volt one.
Perhaps its most useful features are the detachable hood and the seven pockets it has. Hunters and outdoor activities fans know just how useful it is to have so much convenient storage room.
On top of all this, it also comes with a USB port for charging devices. Keep in mind that it will drain the battery faster, though.
– Detachable hood and seven pockets
– Reasonably long battery life
– USB port that acts as a power bank
– Battery comes out of its pocket too easily
5. Ororo Women’s Heated Slim Fit Jacket
Ororo also makes excellent heat coats for women. It works in a similar way as the men’s version, but it has a new and improved feminine stylish design.
The way the jacket is structured is very flattering. If you like to stay warm but hate to be bogged down by long, heavy coats, you will love the Ororo Slim Fit jacket. Plus, it has conveniently placed pockets that let you store your belongings.
The three quick-warming zones and the weather-proof outer fabric make this a warm, insulating jacket. You can also choose the heat setting, which ranges from low to high.
Ororo’s added features make this jacket a good purchase. Besides it warming you, you also get a USB port for charging your mobile devices, as well as a detachable hood for extra warmth and protection from the cold weather.
– Detachable hood and USB port for charging devices
– Insulating inner and outer fabric
– Long battery life
6. Dragon Heatwear Sahara Heated Coat
Even just the name of the company makes you feel all warm instantly, doesn’t it? Besides having a great name, this jacket is versatile and keeps the person wearing it comfortably toasty.
This is one of the less bulky heated coats on the market right now. The outside material may appear thin, but it is waterproof and windproof. Additionally, the jacket comes with a drawstring and adjustable sleeve cuffs. To ensure no heat escapes, you can pull on the drawstring and firmly close the cuffs so they’re snug on your wrists.
It comes with two heat areas: one on the back and two on the front. The heat panel lets you regulate the temperature settings, from low to high heat. The 7.4-volt battery can run for a total of ten hours on a single charge when the lowest setting is turned on.
In terms of design, the Saharah coat comes in four different colors. There is also a women’s model that works just like this one but has a more feminine cut and silhouette.
– Traps in heat really well
– Not bulky and quiet
– Long battery life
– Has a similar model for women
7. Venture Heat Evolve Heated Hoodie
This unisex 12V heated hoodie looks much different from the other ones we have shown you so far.
Instead of looking like an outdoors jacket, it looks like a hoodie. This means that while wearing it outside in the rain and snow might not be a smart idea, you can totally wear it indoors. If you work at a cold warehouse, for example, this jacket comes in handy.
You can easily change the temperature setting manually by clicking the water-proof heat controller. There are three warming areas: one on the back and two on the chest. On top of that, the heavyweight fleece lining will help keep you warm.
– Soft and comfortable fabric
– Has a hoodie
– Versatile design
– Can’t be worn in the rain
8. PROsmart HJ-27-50 Jacket
This is a great jacket made by a slightly lesser well-known company. The best thing about it is that it is one of the most budget-friendly options for what it offers.
The PROsmart coat is made from lightweight materials. This means that it is not bulky, can be worn with more layers underneath, and doesn’t restrict your freedom of movement. But don’t worry, the 12V heated coat is still windproof and waterproof!
Unfortunately, you can’t change the temperature settings of the jacket. However, to make up for it, the power tools lasts a really long time: twelve hours on a single charge. That’s one of the best records in the industry.
Lastly, it is machine washable, which makes taking care of it much easier.
– Great value for cost
– One of the longest battery run times
– Lightweight and easy to store
– No adjustable temperature
9. Venture Heat Deluxe Motorcycle Jacket
We couldn’t help but mention the Venture Heat Deluxe coat. If you are a motorcyclist who wants to ride more during the winter but the cold is stopping you, get this jacket right now.
Its biggest selling point is the fact that it has seven extra-large warm zones. There are heating elements in the chest, mid-back area, and down the sleeves. It will keep you warm even when traveling at high speeds against the wind.
This jacket does not come with its own battery and charger. Instead, it is powered by your bike’s battery. This means that even during very long trips, you can keep warm without needing to stop to recharge the battery.
– Seven warming zones to keep you toasty
– Stylish, modern-looking design
– Can only be worn on a bike
Investing in a long-sleeved heated jacket is a great idea to face the cold during the winter. These electrically powered clothing pieces keep you warm and comfortable, even during a windy and chilly day. While they may seem like a specialty piece you would only wear once in a while, we guarantee you they are not. Anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors (outdoor activities lovers, hunters, construction workers) would benefit greatly from adding this piece to their wardrobe. There are so many great products out there that the difficult part really is choosing!
Frequently Asked Questions About the Heat Jacket
Do you still have questions about what heated jackets do? Don’t worry — we’ll answer them all right here, right now.
Are heated jackets worth it?
That depends entirely on where you live and on what you usually do during the winter months. If you live in Florida and don’t often practice winter sports such as skiing, investing in a heat jacket would probably not be a wise decision. But if you live in the Midwest and often need to spend hours outside of your house, even when it’s freezing cold out, then we couldn’t recommend getting a heating coat more!
Are heated jackets allowed on planes?
A lot of people ask us: “Can you take a heated jacket on a plane?” This is a great question, actually, and somewhat tricky too.
On one hand, you should be able to put your electrically heated garment in your checked bag were it not for the batteries. Most airlines do not allow lithium batteries in the cargo hold. So, a way of getting around this is by taking off the batteries ahead of time and checking the body of the jacket with your bags.
On the other hand, trying to pass through TSA metal detectors with a jacket that has wiring and batteries in it may raise suspicions. Think of it, what else could it look like to the agent checking the metal detector scanner?
In order to avoid any unpleasant confrontations, it’s wise to get to the airport a little earlier than usual and explaining to the TSA agent that you have a heating jacket with you. Remove the batteries and place them in a separate bin and let the agents inspect your coat if they wish to. Your trip should go smoothly once you do this.
Keep in mind that if you are traveling with a chemically heated garment that uses gel, you can’t take it with you in your carry-on bag. Inside the disposable pouch there may be liquid chemicals, which are not allowed in the cabin. You may place these pouches inside your checked bag without any problems, though.
Can heated jackets cause cancer?
Research shows no links between heated jackets and cancer. Some customers are worried about the dangers of being surrounded by an electric current for long periods of time. But the batteries used are usually only 12V max, which is not harmful.
If you think about it, we’re already surrounded by electric and magnetic fields. Just think of the phone you carry around in your pocket, the inside of your car, televisions, and even satellites. A 12V heated coat won’t do you any harm.
Which heated jacket is best?
If we could only pick one item, that would have to be the Ororo Men’s Heated Soft Shell Jacket. It offers a great bang for your buck, is manufactured by a trusted company, and it is versatile.
Where to buy heated jacket?
The most convenient place to get this heated piece of winter clothing is online. Either directly from the manufacturer’s website or through Amazon. We recommend looking first and foremost at the online retailer. They often offer exclusive deals and if you are an Amazon Prime customer, shipping can even be free.
Who makes the best heated jackets?
All the companies we have mentioned make awesome cordless heated jacket pieces. But the ones who have amassed the most reputation are Ororo and Bosch. They truly are market leaders.