Milwaukee M12 Heated Hoodie Review

A good choice when you need to stay warm on the job


Milwaukee M12 Heated Hoodies

With the arrival of cooler temperatures anyone who works outside, or in unheated indoor sites, will be thinking about bundling up. Hoodies have been a popular cool weather clothing accessory among tradespeople (particularly carpenters and renovators) long before Rocky Balboa made his famous hoodie ensconced dash up the Philadelphia Museum of Art stairway. So, what could be more appealing than a heated hoodie?

Nicely fitting

Milwaukee Tool has expanded their line of heated work wear with the M12 Heated Hoodie. The hoodie comes in four colours (red, gray, khaki, and a high-visibility green/yellow) and six sizes, from small to triple extra large (3XL).

The exterior is made of 53% cotton and 47% polyester, while the interior waffle-weave lining is made from 60% cotton and 40% polyester. Polyester is a synthetic fabric that's long wearing, resistant to mildew and abrasion, quick drying, and resistant to shrinking. Cotton, on the other hand, is a natural fabric. It adds breathability and some moisture absorption to clothing, and looks and feels better than polyester. The dual blend in this hoodie hits the sweet spot - it's supple and comfortable to wear, plus it's very warm, yet breathes so you don't perspire like a wood-sawyer.

Waffle-weave lining traps heat and moisture; rib-knit cuffs keep drafts out

It's the waffle-weave with it's myriad of tiny recessed square that increases the comfort factor for this hoodie by trapping heat and moisture. The rib-knit cuffs prevent drafts from infiltrating the hoodie, and help keep the sleeves from inching up your arms. There is a rib-knit cuff along the bottom of the hoodie as well, making for a snug fit at the waist. I found it does a good job of keeping the hoodie from rising up your back when you stoop over.

Rib-knit waist cuff helps keep the hoodies riding low; battery is not overly obtrusive

The hoodie is heated by means of a 12V REDLITHIUM battery that's stored in a back pocket at the waist. While the battery is noticeable, it doesn't feel overly awkward, and at only 7 ounces is not much heavier than a Smartphone. I also found that it didn't interfere much when wearing a tool belt, as you can position the belt around the waist cuff, and the battery rides against the top edge of the belt. However, when you sit in a vehicle it does press up against the lower back (I remove the battery when I'm driving around for more than five or ten minutes).

Easy battery installation

The battery in housed in a plastic carrier that you plug into a lead, and store in a small pocket at the back of the hoodie. Installing the battery and carrier takes a few seconds. Once installed, you control the heat output level by depressing a button on the front of the hoodie. The heating elements run along the right and left sides of the chest and the back.

Finger tip heat control

Press and hold the M12 button, and the battery fires up. Each time you press the button it cycles from one heat level to the next. Red indicates 'hot' or maximum heating level, white indicates medium heat, and blue is the low setting. Milwaukee claims that you can get up to 6 hours of continuous heat on a single charge. Perhaps on the low setting. I was able to get an average of 2-1/2 hours of continuous heat on the high setting, and about 3-3/4 hours on the medium setting. You can extend battery life by turning the heat off once you've warmed up, and then switching it back on again once you begin to feel cold. 

I found that the hoodie did a good job of warming me up on cool mornings. Within a minute or so of turning the heat on I could feel the cables heating up. You really notice the heat when the cables are pressed up against your body - you get the maximum transfer of heat. If you purchase one of these hoodies make sure you select a size that fits snugly. I've been wearing a short sleeve shirt under the hoodie, and even with temperatures down around 3-degrees Celsius I'm quite warm. You get even better heat transfer if you wear a work vest over the hoodie (which isn't a bad idea as there isn't much carry space on the hoodie - just two side pockets).

If you already have a few Milwaukee M12 cordless tools, you can save a few bucks by purchasing the hoodie without a battery (model 2372). However, as a replacement M12 battery costs about $50, it's a better deal to buy the hoodie with the battery. 

The Milwaukee M12 Heated Hoodie is definitely a good choice for fall to early winter, and late winter to late spring weather (or all year long out here on the West coast). It's comfortable, fits well and heats up quickly. And it's not to shabby looking either.

  • 6 sizes: S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL
  • 4 colour options: Red, Gray, Khaki, High Visibility
  • Exterior: 53% cotton, 47% polyester
  • Waffle-weave polyester thermal liner
  • Rib-knit cuffs
  • 2 Lower Hand Pockets
  • Washer and dryer safe
  • Carbon fiber heating elements
  • 3 Heat settings: Low, Medium,High
  • Includes: 12V REDLITHIUM battery, battery case, charger (model 2373)

MODEL:Gray: 2373 (2372 hoodie only)
PRICE:$149 ($119 hoodie only)
MADE IN: China
SOURCE:Where to Buy
Carl Duguay, December 2013

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