Working outdoors in the winter can be downright brutal. Freezing temperatures, biting winds and slippery surfaces can combine to make your workday miserable at best. DeWalt, known for their rugged line of cordless tools, has teamed up with Radians Safety to produce a line of tough, heated jackets.
I recently picked up a DeWalt Heated Jacket with Zip-off sleeves. I thought I could use it both as a warm jacket or as a vest with an outer shell on cold, wet, nasty days.
So far I’m impressed with the quality and warmth. It takes about 5 minutes for the jacket to preheat. With outdoor temperatures in the 30’s, the low setting is plenty for me. Especially if I’m staying active and wearing a hat. The jacket is actually pretty warm without the heat so I would leave it turned off when physically working hard.
In my opinion, this jacket really shines when you have to stay stationary. Think tree stands (they have camo versions) or outdoor sporting events. It would also help on the shooting range during a winter outing. It’s hard to hit the target when you’re shivering.
DeWalt says you can expect 5.5 hours of heat on the low setting, but I haven’t tested this yet. The battery pack also has two USB ports so that you can recharge your mobile phone, etc. I’m not sure how badly this would affect battery life yet, but it could be a handy feature in a pinch.
The jacket does run a bit small, so if you’re between sizes, I recommend going up one size. I’m six feet tall, weigh 180 lbs, and the large jacket fits comfortably with a t-shirt or long sleeve shirt.