Depending on where you live, there are times when the weather gets so uncomfortably cold that it seems impossible to keep warm. At a football game, on a ski slope, or in a hunting stand, it could feel like you could use just a little body-temperature boost.
When you’re looking for that extra bit of warmth, you could take advantage of a heated jacket. These handy pieces of outerwear have built-in heating coils that are connected to battery packs to keep your core toasty warm, even in frigid temperatures.
The best heated jacket can make a world of difference when the temperatures drop, so keep reading to learn about some of the top options.
- BEST OVERALL: Milwaukee Jacket KIT M12
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: PTAHDUS Men’s Heated Jacket Soft Shell
- BEST MEN’S OUTDOOR SPORT: DEWBU Heated Jacket with 7.4V Battery Pack
- BEST WOMEN’S OUTDOOR SPORT: Venture Heat Women’s Softshell Heated Jacket, Outlast 2.0
- BEST MEN’S SLIM FIT: Venustas Men’s Heated Jacket with Battery Pack
- BEST WOMEN’S SLIM FIT: ORORO Women’s Slim Fit Heated Jacket
- BEST MEN’S WINTER JACKET: Venustas Heated Jacket with Battery Pack
- BEST WOMEN’S WINTER JACKET: Venture Heat Women’s Heated Jacket, Traverse 2.0
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Heated Jacket
There are quite a few heated jackets on the market, making it difficult to choose the one that will work best for you. The following section breaks down all of the important considerations to keep in mind while you hunt for the best heated jacket.
Heated jackets have heating elements between their layers. The elements are simply wires that heat up as a low amount of electrical current passes through them. Manufacturers design the jacket coils to produce the desired amount of heat without becoming dangerously hot or uncomfortable.
In order to keep you warm, manufacturers install the heating elements in strategic places, like your chest and back. Heating these areas helps to maintain your core temperature, which in turn helps the rest of your body feel warmer. It’s rare to find a heated jacket with elements in the arms, although you can find heated gloves for your hands.
Voltage and Battery Type
A heated jacket’s main purpose is to keep you warm while you’re on the go. To ensure that you’re comfortably able to go everywhere you need to go, the best heated jackets use a battery pack to power their heating coils. After all, a heated jacket won’t do you much good, while you’re camping, fishing, or working, if it needs an extension cord.
Battery pack voltages range between just a few volts all the way up to 20 volts. Some brands, including DEWALT and Milwaukee, use the same batteries for both their jackets and their power tools. This means that you’ll always have a battery on hand if you purchase your heated outerwear from the same manufacturer as your power drill, for example.
Generally speaking, these batteries are of the lithium-ion variety, so they’re compact and long-lasting. They usually fit easily in a pocket, but there are other options if you’re worried about weight. Some jackets include belt clips to carry the weight of hefty batteries.
Battery Life and Runtime
For a heated jacket to make sense, it has to stay warm. Football games are a few hours, skiing typically lasts an entire afternoon, and hunting usually takes most of the day. The battery has to last for the length of the activity.
The best heated jackets will provide up to eight hours of runtime on a fully charged battery, allowing you to get through most outings on a single charge. You also can extend the battery life by putting the heating elements on the lowest setting or shutting them off during the warmer part of the day. During all-day activities, brutally cold mornings could turn into sweat-inducing, sunny afternoons, so adjustable heat settings can be important.
If you’d like to maintain your phone’s battery life while you’re out and about, you might consider checking out a heated jacket with built-in device charging. This feature allows you to charge up to two devices at a time, depending on the jacket. This can be a big help if you work outside without access to an outlet.
Even if you don’t think you’ll need heating coils in your jacket, the ability to charge your phone, while it’s in your pocket, can be enough of a reason to purchase the best heating jacket. In most cases, you can charge your device even if you aren’t using the heating coils, effectively making the warm jacket into a wearable power bank.
The ability to adjust your jacket’s temperature can be an important feature when shopping for the best heated jacket. The length of time that jackets can maintain a desired level of heat varies.
Staying warm doesn’t always mean cranking the dial to the highest setting. Sometimes, the lowest setting is enough to keep the chill out. Having the ability to adjust your heated jacket’s temperature can ensure that you stay warm and toasty without overheating, sweating, and becoming uncomfortable.
Controlling the temperature can extend your battery power as well. By using the lowest setting, your jacket’s heating coils will draw less power than it would on its highest setting, stretching the battery life so you can extend the amount of time that you are benefiting from the heat.
If the idea of wearing heated coils concerns you, that’s understandable. But, you can rest assured that the best heated jackets are designed to be entirely safe. They use waterproof membranes to protect you from the risk of any shock. They also have built-in safety mechanisms to prevent the coils from becoming dangerously hot.
While any jacket can claim it’s safe, it’s certainly important to buy a good quality jacket, so you can reduce the worry about whether the claim is true.
By and large, the most popular material for heated jackets is polyester. Polyester is a synthetic fabric that breathes well, dries quickly, and even insulates a bit when damp. Manufacturers will use polyester-based performance fabrics to create a comfortable, stretchy material for work or play.
Another material you’re likely to find is a layer of down-like insulation. Often, this down is a synthetic alternative, but it does a great job of keeping body heat in and cold temperatures out.
It’s also worth taking a look at the jacket’s zipper. High-quality jackets will use high-quality zippers that glide smoothly and keep the weather out. The zipper tends to be an area where inferior jackets may often fail.
Another factor worth considering is whether or not a heated jacket is machine washable. When heated apparel first became available, it was common to find parts that shouldn’t go in your washer. If your jacket is washable, be sure to remove the battery before washing. It is also important to read the jacket’s care instructions to find out which parts of the jacket are safe for throwing in the dryer.
Style and Fit
The style and fit of your jacket are important. If you don’t like how it looks or feels, you may not wear it.
There are plenty of styles available, including work jackets, motorcycle jackets, parkas, vests, and midweight fleece jackets. While you probably won’t see many of these designs on a fashion runway, choosing one that fits your personal style will ensure that you actually use it.
Fit is equally important. If you live in a mild climate, you’ll probably enjoy something sleek and form-fitting. If the weather gets colder where you live, you might prefer a larger coat with some room to layer underneath.
Shopping for the best heated jacket will have you crossing paths with some interesting features. As a high-tech garment, it’s not uncommon to find heated pockets, waterproof materials, and removable hoods.
While shopping, you might find that some of these features make a difference, depending on what you need. For example, heated pockets can keep your hands warm on a blustery day, while a removable hood can clean up the look of your jacket if you’re headed out on the town. Be sure to compare the different features of all the jackets that you’re considering.
Our Top Picks
Now that you know a bit more about the features to consider in the best heated jackets, you’re ready to start shopping. Below, you’ll find a list of some of the top products in their respective categories. Whether you’re looking for a jacket to take on the trail or an option for shoveling snow in blizzard conditions, there’s an option on here to keep you warm at the press of a button.
If you’re looking for a quality jacket, check out the Milwaukee M12 heated jacket. This heated jacket uses Milwaukee’s M12 power tool batteries that provide up to eight hours of run-time. It comes with an M12 charger and a 12-volt battery that fits nicely in the battery pocket.
Milwaukee makes this jacket with a stretch polyester shell, which is both wind and water resistant. It also has high loft insulation to retain heat, even when the heat is not on. It has three outer zip pockets, an inner zip pocket, and a separate battery pocket. With three adjustable temperature settings, there are heating coils on the chest, in the front pockets, and across the back.
It’s also available in both men’s and women’s sizes.
If you’re looking for a reasonably priced jacket that doesn’t skimp on features, consider putting the Ptahdus Heated Jacket on your shopping list. This affordable jacket features five different heating zones, which include both sides of the chest, a back panel, and front hand warmer pockets. These five zones have three adjustable heating levels, ensuring you stay cozy and comfortable.
The Ptahdus’s softshell is a blend of polyester and spandex, providing comfort and stretch with a bit of water resistance. It comes with a 7.4-volt battery pack that provides up to eight hours of warmth when fully charged. To help trap the heat, this jacket has adjustable sleeve cuffs and an adjustable waist.
It’s available in both men’s and women’s sizes.
If it’s heat in the treestand that you’re after, the Dewbu Heated Jacket might be what you need. This jacket has a foldable hood, soft outer shell, and polyester lining to create a water- and wind-resistant barrier. The Dewbu jacket has three heating zones, including along both sides of the front chest and across the back. Its 7.4-volt battery pack offers three heating levels, which can keep the jacket warm for up to 10 hours.
The front zipper pockets are unusually high and sit over heating coils, doubling as hand warmer pockets. The Dewbu Jacket is available in three camouflage styles, as well as solid colors, so you should be able to find something that will work for your cold-weather sport.
When escaping to the great outdoors for a long hike or adventure, the Venture Heat Outlast 2.0 could be a piece of gear that you won’t want to leave behind. This heated jacket has a removable battery pack that provides up to 10 hours of heat. The battery pack also works as a device charger and flashlight. The Outlast 2.0 has four heating zones—including both sides of the chest, the back, and a heated collar—to keep you warm on cold morning trails. It also has three heat levels, which can help prevent you from overheating or draining the battery too quickly.
With your jacket, you’ll get the 7.4-volt battery, a charger, and a handy nylon travel bag to keep them organized. If you prefer to run this jacket on high and want to keep a spare battery on hand, you can purchase a second battery.
Heated jackets and tailored fits don’t always go together, but the Venustas Heated Jacket takes a stylish approach to keeping you warm. This jacket has a 100 percent polyester fabric shell to keep water and wind from getting through, and a mylar lining to make the most of the heat. It can keep your core extra warm with its four heated zones, including both sides of the chest and two panels on the back. The jacket has a 5-volt battery pack that operates for 10 hours on a full charge, a charger, and a waterproof travel bag.
The Venustas jacket uses waterproof YKK zippers throughout, as well as adjustable cuffs. Its removable hood traps heat in and keeps wind and rain out.
If you’re looking for a sleek and fitted heated jacket with plenty of heat and run time, the Ororo Slim Fit Heated Jacket is worth checking out. This jacket has three heat levels controlling three separate heating zones, including both sides of the chest and the back. It comes with a detachable hood, as well as a 7.4-volt battery that provides up to 10 hours of heat and doubles as a device charger.
The Ororo jacket features YKK zippers and a softshell polyester fabric that creates a wind- and water-resistant barrier to help you stay warm.
When the cold weather starts knocking, you’ll probably want a jacket with some insulation. The Venustas Heated Jacket has polyester down insulation underneath its wind- and water-resistant outer layer, helping to retain as much body heat as possible. When the down isn’t enough, you can choose from three levels of heat that warm the coils, which are placed on both sides of your chest, as well as your back. The 5-volt battery provides up to 12 hours of heat and doubles as a device charger. If you’d prefer to keep extra power on hand, you can purchase an additional battery.
The Venustas also features YKK zippers throughout, as well as a mylar lining that reflects heat back to your core. It comes with a battery pack, a charger, and a waterproof travel bag.
The Traverse 2.0 Heated Jacket provides a bit of extra insulation when the temperature drops. It has a 7.4-volt battery that will power the heating coils for up to 10 hours. The battery also functions as a flashlight and device charger. It has four heating zones, including both sides of the chest, back, and neck, which prove particularly helpful on cold, windy days. It also provides three separate heating levels, allowing you to choose a comfortable level and control battery consumption.
This heated jacket comes with a battery, charger, and travel bag. If you need more power for longer treks, you can purchase an additional battery pack.
FAQs About Heated Jackets
There is a lot to consider when choosing a jacket that has a battery pack and a variety of heating zones, so it would make sense if you still have some questions. The following collection of some of the most frequently asked questions and answers might help. If you still have questions, you may want to reach out to a heated jacket’s manufacturer.
Q. How do heated jackets work?
Heated jackets use small rechargeable batteries to send an electrical current through wires in the jacket. As the current passes through the wires, they heat up, providing safe and comfortable heat to the wearer.
Q. How do you wash a heated jacket?
Every jacket on this list is machine washable. Before washing, remove the battery pack. It is usually not recommended to put the jacket through the dryer cycle.
Q. How long do heated jackets last?
Most heated jackets can last between six and eight hours on the low setting. You only may get two or three hours on high, so it may be worth purchasing a spare battery or two.