As the temperature drops, we often find ourselves piling on layers of clothing to stay warm. This holds true whether we’re indoors or braving the cold outdoors. By throwing on a hat, gloves, scarf, and multiple layers indoors, we can avoid turning up the heat and save money on our monthly bills while keeping the winter chill at bay.
But have you ever considered investing in a heated jacket to add an extra layer of warmth during your time outside? These outer garments come equipped with detachable, rechargeable battery packs that fit snugly in the jacket’s pocket and connect to internal heating panels. Once activated, the panels distribute heat throughout the jacket’s lining, and the heating system can be turned off at any point.
In theory, the heat should linger even after you disconnect the battery pack. Heated jackets are designed to provide wearable warmth during outdoor activities, whether you’re taking a leisurely stroll or embarking on a more strenuous adventure.
The Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket claims to be the perfect solution for staying warm and comfortable in harsh winter conditions. In this review, we will put the Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket to the test to see if it truly lives up to its claims. We will examine its features, benefits, potential drawbacks, and, most importantly, its heating capabilities to determine whether it is worth the investment. Our goal is to provide an impartial evaluation of this product to help you make an informed decision before making a purchase. So let’s dive in and see whether the Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket is indeed capable of keeping you warm during the coldest months of the year.
How Does Heated Clothing Work?
Heated clothing has revolutionized the way people approach cold weather activities by providing an innovative way to stay warm and comfortable in harsh conditions. The technology behind heated clothing is relatively simple: heating elements integrated into the garment’s fabric, powered by a battery. This allows for heat to be distributed evenly throughout the garment, providing warmth where it is needed most.
The Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket is just one example of this technology in action. It utilizes carbon fiber heating elements to provide warmth in key areas like the chest, back and front pockets. In addition to Milwaukee, there are several other brands that offer heated clothing, such as Gobi Heat and Sailwind. Each of these brands has its unique take on the technology, providing a range of heated jackets, vests, and gloves. However, before purchasing one, we recommend you read Before You Buy Your Heated Clothing to learn what to look for when buying your heated apparel.
While heated clothing may seem straightforward, some concerns about the safety and potential for overheating have been raised. For those interested in learning more about heated clothing, we have another article: Are Heated Jackets Safe? 5 Most Common Questions People Have. You can refer to it if you have any lingering questions.
Features of the Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket
After covering the basics of heated clothing, let’s take a closer look at the Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket. We’ll examine its features, benefits, and potential drawbacks to help you decide whether it’s the right investment for you.
When it’s cold and you turn on the M12 jacket by holding down the button for 2 seconds, you’re rewarded almost instantly with warm heat. The Milwaukee heated jacket has its heating elements primarily around your chest and back. By doing so, the jacket focuses on keeping your core warm, which is critical to staying and feeling warm. It seems like a solid design, and I’m guessing Milwaukee put some thought into it.
I expected the battery to be bulky, but for the most part it was not too obtrusive. The battery housing, while small, still seemed a bit long. Milwaukee quotes the run time to be up to six hours. If you plan on using the jacket all day, I’d recommend keeping spare batteries close by. Once the battery is depleted, you’ll have to depress the button repeatedly for another hit of toasty goodness.
The jacket has a neat style. It comes with two front pockets that are handy for warming your hands. However, you could also wear gloves. Besides the two hand pockets, there’s a cell phone pocket on the left chest. This pocket has a zipper pull that makes it easy to access even with gloves on. Milwaukee also added a soft cuff made of fleece at the end of the sleeves and around the neck. This fleece is not only comfortable but also helps keep the cold out.
Pros of the Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket
The Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket is a popular choice for those who are looking for a heated jacket. In this section, we’ll examine some of the key pros of the Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket.
Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket features a range of benefits that sets it apart from other heated jackets on the market. The jacket is made with high-quality materials that are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, ensuring that you stay warm and dry in even the toughest of environments. The jacket’s tough outer shell is both water and wind-resistant, making it a reliable choice for those who need to stay warm and dry in inclement weather.
The one-touch LED controller is another key feature of the Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket. It allows for easy and straightforward adjustments to the heat settings. This means that you can quickly and easily regulate your body heat as needed to ensure you stay comfortable and warm regardless of the weather conditions. The jacket’s quick-heat function also provides almost instant relief from the cold.
While the M12 REDLITHIUM battery may not be the longest-lasting battery on the market, it provides up to 8 hours of continuous heat on a single charge, which is long enough for most people’s daily usage. Additionally, the battery is compatible with other Milwaukee tools, making it a versatile and convenient choice for those who already use Milwaukee tools. This adds an extra level of convenience and versatility to the jacket, making it a solid choice for those in need of a high-quality heated jacket.
Other advantages include:
- Size Chart: There is a size chart provided by Milwaukee to help you double-check, and the table has proven to be accurate.
- Separate Pocket to Charge: You can pull a cord up from the lower back battery pack into an upper front pocket. By using the slit in the shell, you can charge your phone from there.
Cons of the Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket
One day, I left home with my heated jacket, thinking that its battery was fully charged. However, I had already used the battery for a while and had been sitting idle for about a week. I think a fuel gauge for the battery would be a great addition. It’s really disappointing when you find yourself in the cold and reach for the power button, only to find that nothing happens. You suddenly feel very vulnerable, even though the jacket provides warmth without the power supply.
It’s worth noting that the Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket is relatively expensive compared to other heated jackets on the market. The price tag may be a concern for some people, especially those on a budget. Some alternatives, like Sailwind, offer the same or similar features at a lower price. However, it’s worth noting that the M12 battery is compatible with other Milwaukee tools, providing added convenience for those who already own other tools from the same brand.
Another potential downside to the Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket is the size and weight of the battery. Some may find it bulky and uncomfortable, especially when sitting or driving. The battery is located in a pocket on the back of the jacket, which may not be the most comfortable position for everyone.
By the way, Milwaukee recommends hand washing only. Make sure to remove the battery first! Also, zip up the battery container before washing it. If you’re not sure what to do and are afraid of damaging the jacket, check out this article on how to wash heated clothing: How to Wash your Heated Jacket in Only 4 Steps?
Other disadvantages include:
- Limit Sizing: the women’s Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket doesn’t have sizing for bigger women, so you may have to opt for a men’s version if you’re one.
- No Removable Hood: the jacket does not have a removable hood, which could be a drawback for those who don’t have a hard hat during work and still want a hood.
- Smells Bad: the heated jacket smelled of chemicals when first opened, but it seemed to disappear over time with use.
There’s also a new Realtree AP Camo version that we’re pretty sure will be appealing to fishermen and hunters. The new design features a fabric blend specially made to be quieter during movement. It also changed the power button to the inside, obviously to be more camo. The torso is longer, and an additional back pocket.
Overall, the Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket is a great investment for anyone who spends time outdoors during the winter months. With its carbon fiber heating elements, three heat settings, and battery versatility. At the same time, the jacket may be more expensive than a traditional jacket.
We compare it with another popular and less expensive alternative, Sailwind Heated Jacket, to help you better choose a heated jacket that’s best for you.