Dewalt has officially announced that they will be coming out with a new line of heated jackets starting in the Fall.
Price Check: All styles and sizes, via Amazon
Dewalt’s line of heated jackets can be powered by their 12V Max or 20V Max lithium-ion battery packs. This allows for hours of core body warmth and continuous heat.
There will be 4 different jacket styles:
- Soft shell work jacket
- Hooded work jacket
- True Timber camouflage jacket
- True Timber blaze orange camouflage jacket
Each jacket has a water and wind-resistant outer shell, 3 temperature settings plus pre-heat mode, and 3 core body heating zones. The soft shell work jacket and camo jackets also have a fourth heating zone in the collar.
- Heating zones: left and right chest, back, collar (certain styles only)
- Heating settings: low, med, high, pre-heat
- LED controller
- Consistent heating output throughout entire runtime
The heating elements are powered by Dewalt’s new USB power source that can also charge up to two USB-compatible devices.
In Amazon’s product descriptions, runtime is said to be “up to 7.5 hours” with a compact 20V Max battery.
Dewalt responded to my inquiry with a heating runtime estimate of up to 7-9 hours when using a 1.5Ah 20V battery, and 20+ hours with a 4.0Ah 20V battery. Runtime will vary depending on users’ preferred power settings, the size of the battery pack used, and it also depends on the jacket style as well, since one style has 3 heating zones and the others have 4 heating zones.
Soft shell work jacket (DCHJ060): 4 heating zones, 5 pockets, water-resistant polyester outer shell, adjustable cuffs and waist. MSRP $159, Kit $209.
Hooded work jacket (DCHJ061): 3 heating zones, 4 pockets, water-resistant twill outer shell, hood with drawstring. MSRP $149, Kit $199.
True Timber camo jacket (DCHJ062): 4 heating zones, 7 pockets, soft noise-limiting camouflage outer shell, removable hook with neck and face guard. (In other words, it’s a hunting jacket.) MSRP $179, Kit $229.
True Timber Blaze Orange camo jacket (DCHJ063): 4 heating zones, 7 pockets, soft noise-limiting camouflage outer shell, removable hood with neck and face guard. MSRP $179, Kit $229.
Heated jacket kits come with the jacket, a 12V/20V USB power source, DCB201 20V Max 1.5Ah Li-ion battery pack, and DCB101 20V Max charger.
Sizes: S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL. 2XL and 3XL sizes will cost $10 more.
Availability: September 2013
The USB power source is said to have 1.5A of power available between the 2 output ports for charging mobile devices.
Bosch recently announced a new 12V heated jacket, and Milwaukee released a number of similar products these past few years including a 2nd generation heated jacket, a RealTree camo heated jacket, a high-visibility heated jacket, and as mentioned in our 2013 new product preview, they’re coming out with a women’s heated jacket, heated hooded sweatshirt, and hand warmer.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
My first take is that this is a me-too type of product, but as mentioned above I can’t trust that my feelings aren’t at least partly due to the strife sparked from my early discussion of the product. Forcing myself to look past Dewalt and SBD’s retaliatory attitude and the threats of lawyers, backlash, and unfavorable advertising consideration that preceded the recent situation, I do feel the product deserves a deeper objective look.
Battery Size Discussion
Milwaukee and Bosch’s heated jackets are powered by 12V battery packs, but Dewalt’s can be powered by 12V or 20V Li-ion batteries. This means you can potentially squeeze out a LOT of heating time with these jackets if you tote around a compact or high capacity 20V Max battery pack.
Milwaukee and Bosch both have 12V 2.0Ah and 4.0Ah batteries that can be used to power their heated jackets and products, but Dewalt has not (yet?) released a 12V 2.0Ah battery pack.
With only a 1.5Ah battery in their 12V arsenal, it should not be a surprise that Dewalt made these jackets 12V and 20V Max compatible. Plus, since their 12V and 20V Max battery packs share a compatible interface, it made even more sense for there to be a single 12V/20V Max USB power source.
Let’s crunch some numbers here. The kits come with 20V Max (18V nominal) 1.5Ah battery packs. This means you get 27 Watt-hours of power. Consider a Milwaukee or Bosch jacket powered by a 12V 2.0Ah battery. In those cases, you would have about 21.6 Watt-hours of power (10.8 x 2). 12V 4.0Ah battery packs can deliver 43.2 Watt-hours of power.
Dewalt also offers 2.0Ah and 4.0Ah 20V Max battery packs, and based on rough calculations using nominal voltages, these packs could provide 36 Whr and 72 Whr of power, respectively.
Looking at the DCB090 USB power source, which is also available separately, I cannot see the benefit of using a 12V battery pack with the jacket. Doing so would deliver minimal runtime without much weight or size savings. It doesn’t seem like a practical choice, unless Dewalt releases 2.0Ah or 4.0Ah 12V Max batteries.
The USB power source initially looked bulky to me, as I envisioned it being the size of a 20V Max battery pack, but then I focused on the USB ports to give a sense of scale. It now seems to me that the power source is sized more closely to Dewalt’s 12V batteries and might only cap the leads of a 20V battery.
It would seem to me that these jackets are best paired with 20V Max 2.0Ah batteries, which are the same size and approximately same weight as the 1.5Ah batteries included in the kits. I suppose the bundling choice was made to keep kit prices low.
It seems to me that it would more comfortable to work and move around with a competing brand’s 12V-powered jacket and spare battery than this one with its larger USB power source and 20V battery pack. Hopefully Dewalt’s designers were thoughtful about pocket placement.
Update: Dewalt has said that the battery sits at the left hip area.
In terms of looks, I very much prefer Milwaukee and Bosch’s styles. Dewalt’s plain black jacket looks too utilitarian to me, but some users prefer that kind of look. I really would like to see a dab more yellow in there, but perhaps not as much as in Dewalt’s recent headlamp.
In addition to the jacket’s plainness, I’m not a fan of its flappy front chest pockets. I am also hesitant about how comfortable it would be to walk around with a wide USB power source and 20V Max battery stashed inside an inner pocket, but that’s something that cannot be judged just looking at a computer screen.
Price-wise, the kits look to be a good value, although I find myself wishing they came with 2.0Ah batteries instead of the older 1.5Ah models. On the other hand, 2.0Ah bundles would surely break the $200 price barrier for all jacket styles.
One feature I find especially interesting and potentially appealing is the pre-heat mode Dewalt built into these jackets. I originally thought this to work sort of like an ultra-low-power heating mode that you can toggle indoors or when driving to allow for quicker temperature-ramping once you step outdoors. You know, like how it’s quicker to heat something that’s at room temperature vs. something that’s in the fridge.
Dewalt provided a few words about how this mode works. When Pre-Heat mode is toggled, the heating coils run at full power for 5 minutes to get the jacket nice and toasty. After that, the jacket switches the power setting to medium. Users can also skip the pre-heat mode and set the jacket at their desired power setting.
It will definitely be interesting to see how Dewalt’s new heated jackets match up against competitors’ offerings. Despite my inclination to bash this product due to the behind-the-scenes headaches its coveraged contributed to, the design looks strong and with great market-share-grabbing potential. Although I have a couple of strong hesitations about these jackets, I definitely think that their multi-platform battery options and pre-heat modes distinguish them from the competition.