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When it comes to winter clothing and winter gear, materials always matter. And when you’re outdoors for an extended period or in extreme cold, that’s even more true, especially with winter jackets. But sometimes you want more than great insulation keeping your warmth in—you want heated clothing that continually adds warmth, too. Heated socks and mittens have their place for your extremities, but to really help your body maintain its temperature, it’s all in the core, which is where heated jackets and heated vests concentrate their heat.

Note that some heated jackets are sold with batteries, others without, so make sure you supplement accordingly. Consider picking up a compatible back-up battery or power bank so you’re not left out in the cold.

Which heated jacket is best for you? We’ll walk you through the main uses and considerations to help you find the best heated jacket for your lifestyle and needs.

Best Heated Jacket for Hunting and Fishing: Milwaukee M12 Heated Toughshell Jacket

Best Heated Jacket for Outdoor Work: Dewalt Heated Heavy-Duty Work Coat

Best Heated Motorcycle Jacket: Venture Heat 12V Motorcycle Heated Jacket Liner

Best Women’s Stylish Heated Jacket: Ororo Women’s Heated Parka Jacket with Thermolite Insulation

Best Men’s Stylish Dress Jacket: Milwaukee Men’s M12 Heated Axis Jacket

Best Heated Down Jacket: Ororo Heated Jacket with Down Insulation

Best Cheap Heated Jacket: Foxelli Heated Vest

Do You Need a Heated Jacket for Hunting or Ice Fishing?

If you’re hunting or ice fishing, you’ll need a jacket that doesn’t restrict your movement or weigh you down, and will keep you warm without overheating you when you get really active—from turning an ice auger to dragging out a deer. A light heated jacket also means you can layer rain gear over it, so you’ll stay both dry and warm.

Best Heated Jacket for Hunting and Fishing: Milwaukee M12 Heated Toughshell Jacket

A casual profile and all-day comfort with carbon-fiber heat. Milwaukee

The hoodie just got a whole lot hotter. Carbon-fiber heating panels are in the chest and back of this washer-and-dryer safe hoodie. Two layers—a cotton-poly exterior blend and a waffle-weave thermal interior—add to the warmth, while the hood and pockets offer warmth for the head, neck, and hands. A zip-front readily allows for ventilation and ease of wear, and without much bulk, the hoodie is ready to wear under another hunting jacket or coat in more extreme weather. It heats to three temperatures (and lasts six hours on the lower setting on one battery charge, fewer hours on higher temps) and has a built in pocket for the battery.

Bonus for Milwaukee tool users: The Milwaukee heated jackets use the same M12 rechargeable lithium-ion batteries as their tools.

If you’re in that camp and don’t need the battery and charger, you can also buy just the heated jacket. Otherwise, snag a couple extra M12 battery packs.

Do You Need a Heated Jacket for Working Outdoors?

If you’ll be on a construction site, part of a road crew, or doing any type of outdoor work in cold weather, you need a heated jacket that can stand up to abuse. You don’t have time to think about protecting the jacket from damage because you have a job to do. Make sure the heated work jacket you get is designed to ward off sharp objects and resist abrasion.

Best Heated Jacket for Outdoor Work: Dewalt Heated Heavy-Duty Work Coat

Heavy-duty fabric and multi-zone heating—including arms—make this the best heated jacket for working outdoors. Dewalt

This Dewalt heated jacket is ideal for the job site. A heavy-duty duck fabric exterior and fleece lining make it wind-resistant, water-resistant, and warm. Five heating panels (right and left chest, each arm, and mid-back) keep you warm no matter the conditions. A ribbed collar and cuffs add an extra barrier against the elements. Gusseted underarms allow for unrestricted movement.

This jacket lets you hook up a USB charger to the battery, and has enough pockets for your essential needs, as well as an extra battery or two—and takes the same 12v and 20v lithium-ion batteries as Dewalt tools.

Do You Ride a Motorcycle?

Heated motorcycle jackets need to do everything a regular heated jacket does, but at higher speeds and in bracing winds, and without much fumbling around with controls. And the most essential difference? They should be set up to plug into your motorcycle battery, so there’s a) no limit on heat hours and b) no batteries to mess with.

Best Heated Motorcycle Jacket: Venture Heat 12V Motorcycle Heated Jacket Liner

Your bike’s battery powers the warmth in this heated motorcycle jacket. Venture Heat Venture

Seven microalloy heating panels—two on the chest, two one the back, two in the sleeves, one in the collar—create a light, flexible jacket with maximum warmth. It is water- and wind-resistant on its own, but it’s really designed to be worn under your existing motorcycle jacket to drastically improve its performance in cold weather. A wireless remote lets you control the jacket from your handlebar (on/off, as well as between the three heat levels), and plugs directly into your motorcycle’s battery for ease and longevity.

Are You Shopping for a Stylish Heated Jacket?

Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice style for functionality. But do make sure that it provides plenty of battery life, and is wearable without the heat setting on so you can wear it when it’s not so bitter outside.

Best Women’s Stylish Heated Jacket: Ororo Women’s Heated Parka Jacket with Thermolite Insulation

Keep it cozy with 10 hours of battery life and features like a fleece-lined neck and faux-fur hood. Ororo

Three heat zones (two on the chest, one on the back, all carbon-fiber) can stay warm for up to 10 hours in this Ororo heated jacket, and are machine-washable for more than 50 cycles. This best women’s heated jacket is water resistant and insulated with Thermolite, and is designed with ribbed cuffs and a thigh-length body. Up-top upgrades like a fleece-lined collar and detachable faux-fur hood keep the heat inside and keep you comfortable in winter weather.

Best Men’s Stylish Dress Jacket: Milwaukee Men’s M12 Heated Axis Jacket

This street-style jacket packs big heat in a trim package. Milwaukee

This Milwaukee heated jacket for men wears well for outdoor work and looks good enough to wear when you’re out at a more formal event. The quilting and fabric colors up the style side of things, while heating areas (including in the shoulders!) keep this coat as functional. It heats up quickly and runs at three power levels off of Milwaukee M12 lithium-ion batteries. It’s also lightweight (and tailored) enough to wear nicely under other coats, making it a versatile heated jacket option.

Looking for a Heated Down Jacket?

With down jackets, you’re looking for a high down fill power (the rating number that frequents the 550–750 range) as your quality metric.

Best Heated Down Jacket: Ororo 2021 Heated Jacket with Down Insulation

A heated collar and hand pockets bump up the comfort in this heated, water-resistant down jacket. Ororo

The heating layout varies here from many others, with the front panels being at the abdomen rather than the chest. There’s still a mid-back panel to handle your torso’s upper half, while the lower front panels allow the carbon-fiber heating elements to warm hands in the front pockets—and are balanced out up top with heating in the collar, too. A detachable down-filled hood (that tightens separately from the collar), cuffs with thumb holes to stay in place, and 750-fill power down (one of the highest on the general market) round out the reasons we call it the best heated down jacket.

Best Cheap Heated Jacket: What You Can Get for Under $75

Most heated jackets hover around the same price range, and, in general, there’s much less variability than in other categories of cold-weather gear. To truly reduce price, you’re going to be reducing elements. One handy option is reducing the need for battery packs (but you may lose duration or intensity of warmth). Other options include solo heating elements you can wear, but they’re not integrated into insulating fibers, making them much less efficient. You can opt for a heated vest instead, which—worn as a layering piece—will still keep your body’s core warm. If you’re hunting or riding a motorcycle, however, you may want to think twice before ditching arm heating panels.

Best Cheap Heated Jacket: Foxelli Heated Vest

Four USB-rechargeable heating panels make this vest the best. Foxelli

Heating up in less than five minutes and holding heat for up to eight hours, this weather-resistant heated vest has heating elements on the back, both sides of the abdomen, and in the collar. But the real selling point, besides the affordable price of this cheap heated jacket? Its USB-rechargeable battery pack. That means no extra batteries, no big charger, just plug it in to your car or USB outlet and get ready to go.

FAQs

Q: Who makes the best heated clothing?

The best heated clothing brand depends, to some extent, on you. If you already use Milwaukee or Dewalt tools, we recommend going with that same brand, as each makes their jacket batteries compatible with their tool batteries. If style (without losing sight of performance) is a priority, we like Ororo heated jackets, particularly their down option.

Q: How long do heated jackets last?

How long heated jackets last varies by maker and by use. In general, if you’re rough with the jacket, and if it’s exposed to a lot of harsh weather or washing machines, it will wear out more quickly, as will most gear. Pay close attention to the manufacturer’s instructions on care to help here. Otherwise, the battery is the main piece to consider with longevity, and the piece you may need to first replace, as they do lose power over time.

Q: Are heated jackets worth it?

If you spend a good deal of time outdoors engaged in activities that don’t keep you consistently active and therefore generating your own heat (so, hunting, hanging out, or riding a motorcycle vs. skiing or snowboarding), yes, heated jackets are worth it. They help keep your body’s core warm, which translates to being—and staying—warmer overall.

A Final Word on Shopping for a Heated Jacket

When looking for a heated jacket, or any heated clothing, remember that the battery is half of what you’re buying, particularly in terms of power and longevity (while you’re wearing it and in the long run). You want quality materials, a good fit, well-placed heating elements, and a good battery. (Or two or three batteries: We highly encourage back-ups if you will be wearing the item for more than a few hours and won’t be in a place where you can step out of the cold to charge back up.)

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