When there's work to do but it's cold outside, a good thermal jacket can be your best friend. Body temperature certainly helps, but having a jacket that can burn up to 131° in seconds helps even more. As we've learned with our Best Insulated Jacket Wars, you have several options. When you absolutely have to work outside this winter, don't be content to stand there shaking. Consider treating yourself to one of the latest DeWalt heated jacket models.
- Multiple battery storage locations thanks to extension cords
- Fits exactly according to the size chart
- 5 heat zones including two sleeves
- excellent heating time
- value for money
- Lowest battery efficiency rating and runtime
- No battery adapter clip
DeWalt does a good job of cooling, but lacks runtime. It's a good choice if you don't plan to run at high speeds all the time or don't mind buying an extra battery.
Instead of placing user controls on the shell, the DeWalt heated jacket has its heating controls located on the inside of the left breast. It's not a particularly irritating feature, but we kind of wonder what the intended advantage of having it in there is. You'll need to adjust the setting by unzipping the jacket a bit.
Even more worrying is that DeWalt chose to add this jacket to the 20V Max battery line. That means more heating power and longer runtimes with more compatible tools. However, it adds a lot of bulk, and you don't necessarily want to squeeze it into the kidney where the battery pouch is.
You can feel its weight when you're walking around, but you'll really notice the size of the pack when you're sitting down.
By the way, that placement and battery size can turn an otherwise acceptable snug fit into a level of discomfort when you zip it on, especially when you have what people in the office affectionately refer to as "the contractor's build" (read: I can live with losing a few inches from my belly).
If you're on the upper end of the scale, the solution to this problem is to go up a size. If that loosens things too much, just use one of the spare battery pockets.
The DeWalt Heated Jacket gets full marks for heated coverage. It includes heating elements for the left and right chest area, upper back and shoulder/upper arm area. The coverage here is excellent, an advantage over jackets that only work with the chest and back thermal zones.
Additional DeWalt heated jacket features
- Durable wind and water resistant insulated woven shell
- warm fleece lining
- Smooth sleeve lining for easy on and off. won't stick to your sweater
- 5 pockets: left and right waist, 1 external accessory pocket and 2 internal accessory pockets
- Expandable battery pocket
- Washer/Dryer Safety
The size chart on the DeWalt website is accurate. However, you should know it will be tight. For all heated jackets, the sizing chart provides you with a snug fit that allows your body to make better contact with the heating element.
Personally, I'd be willing to give up some thermal efficiency for a jacket that doesn't feel like a second skin, but that's something you need to decide before ordering. If you're between sizes, be sure to order a size up.
As expected, the DeWalt heated jacket fit my shoulders perfectly. I want a longer waist so that when I reach out my belly isn't exposed to the cold. For whatever reason, this is a problem common to all manufacturers.
feel hot, hot, hot
Let's get to what heated jackets are really about: actual heat.
In 20 seconds, the DeWalt heated jacket reaches 100°, then reaches its maximum temperature of 131° in 90 seconds. For comparison's sake, the fastest heating jacket we tested reached its peak temperature in 84 seconds, while our slowest jacket reached peak temperature in 220 seconds.
Insulation is also important for jackets, so we set each jacket on high for an hour and compared the internal temperature to the external temperature. The DeWalt Heated Jacket does well in this category, allowing 74% of heat to reach the outer shell.
That doesn't sound impressive, but keep in mind that the most efficient jackets we tested allowed 71 percent of heat to reach the outside, while the worst in this category allowed 79 percent.
To test battery efficiency, we compared the battery's run time (heat all the way up) to its watt-hour output.
We found that the DeWalt had the worst battery efficiency of all the jackets we tested. Run time is 4.5 minutes per watt-hour of battery capacity.
The top performer in our shootout, on the other hand, ran at 12 minutes per watt-hour.
The DeWalt does include a larger 20V Max battery, though, to help get some runtime. It can run for 2 hours and 41 minutes on a 2.0 Ah battery. That's the lowest of the group, even though both Milwaukee jackets use 12V batteries in the same block. On the high end, the Makita model runs for 6 hours from a compact 18V battery pack.
What DeWalt might want to focus on going forward is separate controls for the core and sleeves so you can preserve battery life when you need to run longer.
The DeWalt Heated Jacket comes with battery and charger for $224.99. It comes with a 1-year limited warranty, 1-year free service and a 90-day money back guarantee. That's slightly more than the lowest kit price on the market, but still earns a great value rating.
the bottom line
After sorting all the data, the DeWalt Heated Jacket ranked 4th out of 6 products with a score of 89.4.
- Model: DeWalt DCHJ060ABD1
- Maximum voltage 20V
- Snow cuffs: yes
- Heating Zones: 5
- Weight: 3.64 lbs
- Battery and Charger Included: Yes
- Insulation: yes
- Hooded: no
- Machine washable: yes
- Waterproof: yes
- Warranty: 1 year
- MSRP: $173.99