So who makes the BEST heated jacket? Well, that’s going to take some time to determine. But in the meantime, since now is prime jacket-buying season, here are my thoughts thus far.
Milwaukee Summary: Overall, the fit is cozy and casual, and I like how the outer sleeve is receded back a little to provide extra wrist movement. I suppose this also allows for bulkier work gloves to be worn. The side pockets are fleece-lined and comfortable even when active heating is turned off.
Bosch Summary: The fit here is also cozy and casual, and I feel like the jacket provides a little extra insulation than the Milwaukee. The zippered pockets are protected behind weather-shielding flaps. One niggle is that the zipper slider is on the opposite side than I’m used to. The battery power adapter can be placed in a side rear pocket or clipped to my belt.
Dewalt Summary: I feel that the Dewalt is a little baggier in the upper arms and throughout the torso. It’s not noticeably loose-looking, and the material doesn’t seem to bunch up noticeably. I like that there’s no visible branding on the front and only slight branding on the back, but don’t like the placement of the slightly larger heating battery power adapter. I wish that the heating control was on the outside of the jacket.
Lining: The Milwaukee has the softest-feeling lining, and the Dewalt follows. The Bosch jacket has a soft and smooth lining that might help it slip on easier when wearing certain sweatshirts or layers underneath.
Styles: Right now, Bosch only offers one jacket style, while Milwaukee and Dewalt both have several designs out. Milwaukee also recently came out with heated zippered hoodies.
Looks: I don’t like the look of the Dewalt jacket in pictures, but in person it looks decent. It’s still a little utilitarian, but not offensively so. I still don’t like the flaps covering the breast pockets. Between the Milwaukee and Bosch, they are both subtle and discrete-looking, and I can’t really decide which looks better.
Pockets: Again, I’m torn between Milwaukee and Bosch, but in theory I like how the Dewalt jacket has two breast pockets. I like how the Bosch pockets are protected with fabric flaps, but I might need to beef up the zipper pulls for easier feeling-for when wearing gloves.
Heating Ability: I’m still working on this part, but thus far I think Milwaukee has the edge. Bosch is close behind, and Dewalt is not far behind either. It’s close, but unfortunately the heating aspect is hard to test objectively and with constant environmental conditions.
Recommendation: Honestly, all three jackets gave me a great first impression. If you already bought into Bosch’s 12V, Milwaukee’s M12, or Dewalt’s 20V Max Li-ion cordless power tool lineups, that should be the strongest factor in your purchasing decision.
But if you’re brand-agnostic, I feel that the Bosch and Milwaukee jackets will be more comfortable to wear. The Dewalt’s larger and more noticeable battery power pack has a greater chance of affecting all-day comfort. This should only be an issue if you sit down and ride around a lot.
Between the Milwaukee and the Bosch, I think that the Bosch provides a little more warmth than the Milwaukee due to its heavier-feeling insulation. But on the other hand, the Milwaukee seems to have an edge when an additional layer is thrown on underneath.