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A warm jacket is a clothing item that will stand you in good stead, no matter where you live. But if you live in a place with extremely cold winter temperatures, a normal jacket, no matter how high quality, might not be enough to keep you warm. Enter the heated jacket. In 2001, The North Face came out with the first heated jacket, and since then the race has been on between cold weather clothing companies, to produce safe, affordable, and stylish heated clothing.
With built-in battery-heated elements, heated jackets are designed to maintain your body temperature at a safe level, even in the coldest of conditions. For outdoor workers such as security personnel and farmers, and outdoor sportsmen such as fishermen, hunters, skiers, hikers, and cyclists, the heated jacket is a way to keep yourself toasty warm while going about your workday or your favorite pastime.
Wearing a jacket with integrated heating means you can get away with wearing fewer layers and less bulky clothing, making you more nimble and maneuverable than you’ve ever been in cold weather before.
Our Top Picks for Men
1. ORORO Soft Shell Classic Heated Jacket
For: Men | Battery: Included (Rechargeable) | Run Time: 10 hours | Heat Zones: 3
Read our hands-on review: ORORO Heated Men’s Classic Jacket
This heated jacket for men is almost 100% polyester, with a small amount of spandex in the shell, and the insulation is Bluesign approved for low environmental impact. The jacket is both wind and water-resistant, and contains 3 carbon fiber heating elements across the core areas of the body (2 on the chest and one on the back), to keep you warm through the coldest days. The three heat settings range from 100 to 130°F and can be easily activated to heat up in seconds. The 7.4 volt, 5,200 mAh battery is UL/CE-certified and offers on-the-go USB charging for other devices. Battery life is between 3 and 10 hours, depending on the heat setting used.
The ORORO Soft Shell Classic Heated Jacket comes in sophisticated black, with either blue or gold YKK zippers. It has a detachable hood for flexibility of use, and a neat, tailored design for a comfortable and stylish fit. The softshell fabric exterior and warm, breathable lining ensure no excess body heat is lost, so your jacket will keep you warm for a good while after you turn off the heat.
2. Gobi Heat TOUGH Grit Men’s Heated Work Jacket
For: Men | Battery: Included (Rechargeable) | Run Time: 9 hours | Heat Zones: 5
Read our hands-on review: Gobi Heat Grit Heated Workwear Jacket & Dune Heated Vest
The Gobi Heat TOUGH Grit Heated Work Jacket has 5 heat zones (4 on the front, keeping your whole core warm, and one large zone on the back), 3 heat settings; low, medium, and high, which go up to 140°F, and a slim, 6,500 mAh, 7.4-volt rechargeable battery. Heat settings are changed using an integrated LED controller, which will tell you on its 3-panel light bar which setting you have chosen. The battery will last up to 9 hours and has a built-in LED battery life indicator to let you know when the charge is low. Charging will take between 3 and 4 hours, and once charged, the battery can also be used as a mobile charging unit for other devices via its USB port.
This jacket only takes 30 seconds to heat up, ensuring that you won’t be left out in the cold for long. The operation is user-friendly and easy to understand, and you will have access to US-based product support should you have any problems, as well as a 1-year warranty for peace of mind. The jacket is made from premium grade, heavy-duty duck cotton material, and is machine washable. It is wind and water-resistant and has a detachable hood, a metal zipper, and a drop-tail hem. Color options are camel and onyx, and the design is slim fitting and comfortable.
3. DEWALT Heated Soft Shell Jacket Kit
For: Men | Battery: Included (Rechargeable) | Run Time: 5.5 hours | Heat Zones: 5
The DEWALT Heated Soft Shell Jacket takes heated jackets to the next level, with a 20-volt battery that offers hours of core body warmth and continuous heat, as well as a fast charger for the jacket battery, and a USB adapter for charging your other devices. The pre-heat setting will allow you to warm up your jacket before you even put it on, and three other heat settings will ensure that you can control the temperature inside this warm jacket with ease. The 5 heating elements in this jacket are located in the upper arms, upper chest, and upper back, for all-around warmth while you work.
The insulated, woven softshell is durable, and both water and wind-resistant, and the jacket is lined with a warm and comfortable fleece. The fit is easily customizable with an adjustable hook and loop outer sleeve cuffs, and a waist drawcord and the funnel neck and zipper are both protected by internal wind guards for your chin and chest. Multiple pockets will ensure that you can carry not only the battery pack, but also your other mobile devices, and even some tools.
Our Top Picks for Women
1. Gobi Heat Victoria Women’s Long Heated Puffer Jacket
For: Women | Battery: Included (Rechargeable) | Run Time: 9 hours | Heat Zones: 5
This beautiful, long puffer jacket comes in 3 colors; horizon blue, plum, and onyx, and has a stylish, slim, fitted design that will make you feel like a queen, rather than the abominable snowman. Based in Colorado, Gobi Heat is a 100% female-owned company, and these girls know exactly how harsh mother nature can be when it comes to the weather, and just what to do about it. With a battery life of up to 9 hours, this gorgeous jacket will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable all day, with its wind and water-resistant premium grade materials.
The Victoria Long Heated Puffer Jacket comes with an easy to use rechargeable battery, which is simply plugged into the conductive threads that warm the jacket, and within 30 seconds, you’ll be toasty warm. A controller on the chest will allow you to choose between the 3 heat settings, which go up to 140°F, and the LED indicator will tell you which setting you have chosen. The slim 6,500 mAh, 7.4-volt battery takes 3 to 4 hours to recharge and offers a USB port for charging your other mobile devices. For extra peace of mind, the jacket comes with a 1-year warranty and USA-based customer support.
2. ORORO Women’s Slim Fit Heated Jacket
For: Women | Battery: Included (Rechargeable) | Run Time: 10 hours | Heat Zones: 3
The ORORO Slim Fit Heated Jacket is made from 100% polyester, which is breathable and machine washable¬—just remember to remove the battery before washing! The fleece lining is insulating, storing all the heat inside, and absorbent, keeping you dry and warm. Both wind and water-resistant, this jacket comes with 3 heating zones, 2 in the front and 1 at the back, which can be set between 100 and 130° Fahrenheit with 3 heat settings. The 7.4-volt battery will heat the jacket quickly, ensuring you can warm up on the go, and it offers USB charging for your other mobile devices.
This stylish jacket has a comfortable slim fit, which is not at all bulky like so many women’s jackets and comes in either black or purple or both black and purple. The detachable hood will allow you to quickly alter this jacket to fit various occasions, and the durable YKK zippers will last a long time, and keep you warmly zipped up in your warm jacket. The jacket is warm in its own right, and you may even find you often don’t need the heating elements, though they will always be there to back you up.
3. Venustas Women’s Heated Jacket
For: Women | Battery: Included (Rechargeable) | Run Time: 9 hours | Heat Zones: 5
This windproof, electric, insulated coat comes with a detachable hood for easy adaptability and has 5 pockets for ease of storage. It is made from 100% polyester and is machine washable, and is dryer safe. The YKK zippers which close the front, as well as all the pockets, are durable and water-resistant. The jacket’s slim fit makes it both stylish and neat, and it comes in 4 distinct colors, namely black, blue, beige, and red. The new silver Mylar thermal lining offers excellent insulation, ensuring that no heat is lost while wearing the jacket.
Venustas’ heated clothing is made with heating areas that are 30% larger than those in the clothing of their competitors, and the Venustas Heated Jacket contains 5 of these ultra-thin carbon fiber elements which cover both shoulders, the bust either side of the zipper, and the back. The 3 heat settings range from 86 to 131° Fahrenheit and are controlled by a button on the chest of the jacket. The 5,000 mAh, 7.4-volt battery is capable of heating the jacket in seconds and lasts between 3 and 9 hours with normal use. It offers fast phone charging from a USB port and takes only a few hours to charge itself.
What to Know Before Buying a Heated Jacket
There are so many heated jackets on the market these days that it’s hard to know how to choose one. We have listed our favorite options above, but before you make your purchase, there are a number of things you should bear in mind.
Heating Elements: There are generally two types of heating elements used in heated jackets. The older option is the steel plate element. These are rigid, and cannot be folded or easily packed away. They also don’t conform to the shape of your body, making the jackets less comfortable to wear. These days, most heated jackets are made with carbon fiber heating elements, which are quick to heat up, lightweight, flexible, and safer to use.
Battery Life and Voltage: Most heated jackets are made with Lithium-Ion batteries, as these have a longer charge life, and are fairly lightweight, but they come in many different strengths and sizes, and choosing one can be rather confusing.
When selecting your jacket, take into consideration the general temperatures you will be experiencing. If you are in an area that doesn’t get too cold, a lower voltage jacket will likely do the trick, and it will have a longer battery life per charge than a higher voltage jacket. If, however, you will be braving very low temperatures, you will want to select a jacket with a higher voltage; some jackets even go up to 20 volts. These jackets, if maintained at their highest setting, will have a fairly short charge life, so if you know you will be spending long hours at low temperatures, be sure to buy a jacket with a removable battery pack so that you can carry a spare with you.
Material: Be sure to choose a jacket that will suit the conditions you expect to be experiencing. If you will be spending a lot of time in a wet climate, select a jacket that is waterproof and has a hood. If you will want to use your jacket in many different circumstances, choose one that is both water and windproof, and perhaps has a removable hood. The most common materials used in heated jackets are polyester, as it can be water and windproof, and is rather flexible in its uses, and polar fleece for internal warmth. Be sure that your jacket has a high-quality zipper, as this is often the first thing to break on lower-quality jacket options.
Other Options to Consider: Research things like how the battery is to be charged, the safety of the device, adjustable heating levels, and temperature control, body coverage (upper chest and back vs full torso coverage), simplicity of use, total weight including battery, and washability (is the jacket machine washable and dryer safe?).
Related: How to Wash a Heated Vest or Jacket
Also consider the look and style of the jacket, as you are likely to use the jacket less if you don’t feel comfortable and good in it.