If you’ve ever worked in the cold then you definitely know the pain. Pacing on the jobsite and keeping constantly busy are the only ways to really maintain even close to the right temperature when it’s hitting rock bottom temperatures and you have to get the job done.
Fortunately, the future is now and finding the best heated jacket on the market is easier than ever, as long as you know where to look.
Best Overall !
For someone who’s mildly active on the job site or just loves Bosch tools, this coat is ideal but it’s not the best model for heavy work.
|Name||Sizes Available||Power Source|
|ORORO Men's Heated Jacket||M-2XL||7.4V|
How Does a Heated Jacket Work?
Heated jackets have been around in one form or another for a long time. The original models were just heavy jackets with special pockets to enable you to use a hand warmer or other chemical method to keep you warmer than the jacket normally would.
Fortunately, such cumbersome methods can be dispensed with nowadays. Modern heated jackets are operated using flexible heating elements interspersed throughout the article of clothing.
- ORORO Men’s Heated Jacket
- Makita DCJ200ZXL 18V
- DeWalt DCHJ060B-L 20V/12V
- Bosch PSJ120M-102 Men’s
- DEWALT DCHJ066C1-XL 20V/12V MAX Women’s
- How Does a Heated Jacket Work?
These elements are powered electrically and come in a variety of different configurations and voltages depending on the temperatures you’ll be working in and how you want to recharge them.
Keep in mind that there is heated clothing designed for motorcycle riders as well, these usually aren’t suitable for a job site since they’re meant to be plugged into the motorcycles battery.
Who is a Heated Jacket Good For?
Depending on what part of the world you live in, a heated jacket might seem like a simple luxury or like a complete lifesaver in the depths of winter. While they can provide a level of comfort for anyone who works outdoors during the winter, they’re pretty much a necessity in colder climates.
If you’re going to have to be working in the snow a heated jacket is a lifesaver, and you may even want to look into thermal electric clothing for your hands and feet as well. There’s no point in toughing it out when staying warm can keep you safe and productive no matter how nasty the weather is.
What to Look for in Your Heated Jacket
It really can be hard to pick out the right type of electrically heated jacket if you’re not used to them. Compounding this, for years the entire idea seemed to have manufacturers baffled and there’s been a lot of trouble with them.
The technology seems to have finally caught up with its potential, however, and if you’re careful about things you should be able to find one suitable for the climate that you’re planning on working in.
Most heated jackets will have an integrated battery somewhere in the coat which will need to be recharged between uses. These come in a few different configurations, with the voltage being the main factor in how warm things can get.
The higher the voltage, the higher the potential temperature of your coat.
It’s not the only consideration for the working man, however. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for the different ways it can be charged. Some can charge off the cigarette lighter in your truck, others can be charged with USB, and some will require a wall socket in order to get things back in working order.
Handily, some will even allow you to use tool batteries for an extra layer of convenience. While they can be a bit bulky if you’re a fan of one brand of tool you’ll be glad to know that most of the major power tool manufacturers have a line of heated outerwear which you’ll be able to plug in to.
Take stock of where you plan to be while working before you decide on the power source.
The durability of the material the outer part of the jacket is a major consider if you’re going to be actively working in one of these coats. We all know our work clothes tend to get torn up after a long time on the job site, but it’s a special factor when you’ve dropped the money on an electric piece of clothing.
This is why you want something designed to be used on the job site. Underlayers made for sporting exist, of course, but they’re not something you’ll want to spend more than a glance at. Next to the power source, this is probably the most important consideration for most of us.
Some of the old models of jacket had a serious design flaw: they heated the elements to one temperature with a simple on/off switch. At the very least you want to have multiple settings to prevent you from overheating during the day and having to stop working to switch the coat on and off definitely isn’t ideal.
Most modern jackets will have at least a couple of different heat settings, don’t bother with one that doesn’t have this function.
Pay close attention to where you’re getting heated by the coat. For the most part, work jackets will have one hearing pad on the back and two on the front to cover each side of the chest.
Lower back heating is ideal. There are tons of capillaries in the area of your kidneys which are close to the skin, a heating element there will warm the blood as it runs through your body as well as providing you with regular heating.
Depending on the type of work you do a tighter or looser jacket may be warranted. If your job relies heavily on being physical something a little bit looser is ideal. On the other hand, if you’re going to be turning wrenches in a parking lot something tighter might help keep the warmth in better.
This is mostly personal preference, of course, but you should definitely take it into account when you’re deciding.
While it’s not a make or break sort of thing, having extra pockets always comes in handy. If you’re torn between two jackets, you might want to go with whichever one offers you more potential to carry stuff.
Keep in mind that most of the time at least one pocket will be taken up by the battery, so having four or five pockets will allow you to maximize the amount of stuff you’re planning on carrying.
The truth is, finding the best heated jacket for a professional is pretty easy: buy the one you already have the batteries for. If you’re on the fence though, look to the above qualities to make sure you can stay warm and toasty no matter what kind of inclement weather you may face in the line of duty.