Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket
Using a 12v Li-ion battery, Milwaukee's hand-washable M12 heated jacket can stay powered for up to six hours
When Milwaukee announced its new M12 heated jacket, I think everyone was a bit surprised. After all, outerwear is a pretty big departure from Sawzalls. But to the company’s credit, using a 12v Li-ion battery, which many workers already own, to power a heating element is pretty ingenious. I’ll admit that having shivered through many cold winter days working outside, I was eager to give it a try.
In use, the battery pack plugs into a docking port that rides in a zippered kidney pocket on the left side of the hand-washable jacket. To activate the heating elements located in the chest and back area, you press and hold a Star Trek-inspired M12 emblem on the breast of the jacket, which can be cycled through a trio of glowing colors that correspond to the heat level being emitted: red (high), white (medium), or blue (low).
Milwaukee claims that a fully charged battery will power the jacket for up to six hours, which was roughly accurate when set on the medium and low settings. When set on high, which is nice first thing in the morning on a frigid day, the battery petered out after just over an hour.
Consistent with Milwaukee’s typical standards, this jacket appears to be well made from quality materials. Because it’s relatively thin, though, plan to wear it along with some other layers of clothing or outerwear. I hope Milwaukee is working on a heating element for my work gloves and bibs next.
Price: $170 with battery and charger, $120 without