We have a small farm about 25 miles south of Erie, PA. In addition to the total renovation we are doing on the old farmhouse, there are plenty of chores to do year-round. Those chores get a bit more challenging in winter, though, thanks to average temps in the 20’s and an average annual snowfall around 100”. I just put up a new shop building, and I’m still in the process of getting it set up. There’s no heat or insulation yet, so working out there from October through March may be a tad nippy. Hopefully, the new Milwaukee heated hoodie will let me get some work done when the cold winds blow, without having to look like the Stay-Puft man.
To the untrained eye, the new Milwaukee heated hoodie looks a lot like any other good-quality hooded sweatshirt. On closer inspection, though, there’s that little zippered pocket on the left rear, with a cable connection inside. If there’s a battery installed, there’ll also be a slight telltale bump. If the jacket is powered up, there will be a patriotic red, white or blue glow on the left chest area. Then there’s the final clue: The label that says “Milwaukee Heated Gear.”
When Milwaukee designed the new Milwaukee heated hoodie, they had in mind those hardy individuals who work outdoors or in unheated spaces regardless of the weather. They know that in the real world, work clothes don’t lead a very cushy life. Normal clothing doesn’t usually hold up for long when it’s subjected to eight or more hours of bending, crouching, scraping, dirt and general abuse.
That’s why the new Milwaukee heated hoodie is put together with a durable cotton/polyester exterior. It has big, beefy zipper pulls, and reinforced edges on the pockets and waffle weave thermal lining. And it’s designed to withstand another harsh environment: The laundry room. After you get it all crudded up, just throw it into the washer and dryer. Here’s a list of features for the new Milwaukee heated hoodie, followed by a hot video from Milwaukee:
• Quick-heat function reaches selected temperature 3X FASTER
• One-touch LED controller with (3) heat settings per heat zone
• Up to (6) hours of run-time with M12™ REDLITHIUM™ 1.5 Compact Battery Pack
• Heating Zones: Chest, Back
• Washer and dryer safe
• Waffle weave thermal lining traps heat
• Fitted hood provides full range of vision when worn under a hard hat
• Durable utility pockets with reinforced edges to protect from abrasion
• (2) large exterior pockets, (1) integrated device pocket, (1) low-profile battery pocket
• Wind Resistant
• Reinforced Pockets/Lining
Warming Up To The New Milwaukee Heated Hoodie
The new Milwaukee heated hoodie is very soft and comfortable, and feels just like a regular hooded sweatshirt. To bring the heat, Milwaukee added tough, durable carbon fiber heating elements across the chest and back of the sweatshirt. It’s a very thin layer, and not at all noticeable when you look at the sweatshirt.
The power comes from an M12 battery that rides along in a little pouch, tucked inside the battery pocket at the back of the new Milwaukee heated hoodie. The battery pocket is big enough to stash an extra battery or two – more on that in a moment. The kit comes with a 1.5 Ah battery, that will keep the heat on for up to six hours on the Low setting. If your workday is a tad longer than that, or you want to crank up the heat on those extra-frosty days, you have a few hot options.
Option one is to bring along an extra M12 battery or two (and maybe a charger), and swap the batteries out when they go kablooey. The M12 batteries charge quickly. Option B is to bring more power – the new Milwaukee heated hoodie will fire up using any M12 battery, so if you don’t mind schlepping a few extra ounces, slap in an extended capacity (XC) 4.0 or 6.0 Ah battery, and feel the burn. I popped in the XC 6.0 battery, set it on High, and it brought the heat for just over eight hours. On Low or Medium, you’d never have to stop working! So keep it on high.
But wait – there’s a third option, for you Type A peeps out there. Milwaukee makes an adapter that fits on any M18 battery, with a connection that fits the cord on the new Milwaukee heated hoodie. As a bonus, the adapter has a USB port, so you can use it to charge your cell phone or MP3 player. With an M18 battery cranking the power, you can probably get through an entire season on a single charge! Or at least through the entire work day.
Beam Me Up – Or Down
Once your battery of choice is plugged in, controlling the heat settings on the new Milwaukee heated hoodie is simple. The M12 logo on the left front chest is actually a cleverly-disguised power switch. Hold it in for about two seconds, and the heat comes on in the High setting. You’ll know it’s on because the button will light up in glorious Milwaukee red. The jacket does heat up very quickly; in a minute or so, you’re all toasty and ready to go.
Working hard, and want to dial it back a notch or two? Press and release the M12 button quickly. One press gets you Medium heat, and a white glow. Another push and you’re down to Low heat and a blue light, and pressing the button quickly will cycle you through the heat levels. When you’re done for the day, and
at your favorite local pub with a cold beer sipping cocoa in the soothing comfort of your cozy home, push the button for about two seconds to shut ‘er down.
Fit And Finish On The New Milwaukee Heated Hoodie
If you’re finicky about job-site fashion, you’re in luck. The new Milwaukee heated hoodie is available in your favorite color, as long as your favorite color is black, gray, or (naturally) RED. It’s likely they have a size to fit you perfectly, too; the hoodie is available in sizes ranging from Small through XXXL.
While still providing full coverage for your head, the hood doesn’t extend quite as far out on the top and sides as the previous versions, providing better visibility for the wearer. I was able to fit my chainsaw helmet securely with the hood up, and still had excellent range of motion.
There’s a band of elastic ribbing at the wrists and waist, to keep the wintry drafts out. There’s a good-sized pocket on both sides, and the one on the right has an elasticized inner sleeve to help hang onto your phone or keys. That’s an improvement over the old version, but I’d still like to see an inner pocket, and at least one zippered outer pocket, to better be able to secure things like keys, phones, etc.
I got my first Milwaukee heated hoodie about three years ago. I’m normally an extra-large guy (6’2” and just north of 200 lbs.), so that’s the size I got last time. It has what I’d call a generous fit; not super baggy, not snug.
This time Milwaukee sent us a large. It’s less baggy, but still has plenty of room. The sleeves are long enough, and there’s excellent freedom of movement through the shoulders and arms. Milwaukee provides a sizing chart on the box; from my experience, I’d pay more attention to the chest measurement than the waist, when choosing your size.
By the way, that three year old hoodie has held up very well. It’s still fairly soft and comfortable, after many trips through the washer and dryer. The elastic still works like it should, and more importantly, so does the heat!
Some Warm Parting Thoughts On The New Milwaukee Heated Hoodie
As part of their commitment to provide high-quality tools and gear to workers in the trades, Milwaukee offers a full line of heated gear. A recent addition to that lineup is a new USB rechargeable heated glove; check back soon for a full review on those. The attention to quality is evident in the new Milwaukee heated hoodie; it’s comfortable, rugged, and it works well. It provides a good bit of warmth even without being turned on, and with the three levels of heat to choose from, offers great options to escape various levels of chilliness.
Aside from the obvious target market of workers in the building trades working outdoors and in unheated spaces, I think there are a LOT of people who’d love to have the new Milwaukee heated hoodie. My wife is one; even though it’s huge on her, she frequently steals it to wear around our somewhat chilly old house. Other candidates include anyone doing yard work in late fall/milder winter days, attending sporting events, while cleaning the evening’s accumulation of snow and ice off the windshield, or while starting out driving and waiting for the heater to warm up on frigid mornings. I wish I’d had one of these when I was a teenager, driving an ancient VW Bug with essentially NO heat…
I’m from Buffalo, NY originally, and my brother-in-law has had Bills season tickets for decades. Every year he invites me up for a game, usually in November or December. He likes to arrive at the stadium extra early, to enjoy a little bonus dose of the balmy Lake Erie breeze swirling through the stands. Even though we always layer up, after several hours of sitting and standing in one spot, I’m sometimes feeling a bit chilled. I’m thinking the new Milwaukee heated hoodie would be an awesome addition to the game-day wardrobe. Now if it only came in blue and red…
In addition to the kit we evaluated, which included a compact 1.5 Ah M12 battery and charger, the new Milwaukee heated hoodie is available all by its lonesome. If you’re already on the Milwaukee platform, and have a charger and an M12 battery or two, it saves you fifty bucks. The hoodie is covered by a one-year warranty, and two years on the battery. It’s returnable for 90 days, giving you a risk-free opportunity to see if the new Milwaukee heated hoodie has what it takes to warm your heart – and torso.
Buy the new Milwaukee heated hoodie kit:
Buy the bare hoodie from Ohio Power Tool: