Workwear Reviews & Safety Equipment

Heated Jackets

Overall Rating
Final Thoughts

The Milwaukee Women's Heated Softshell Jacket is a super-comfy way to stay warm in really cold temperatures without needed a bulky coat. It warms up quickly and has a design that's friendly to your female figure. The only limitation to keep in mind is that the thumb cuffs restrict overhead movement. 

Overall Score 4.5 First-Hand Review

Milwaukee Women’s Heated Softshell Jacket 232B-21S Review


Milwaukee Women’s Heated Softshell Jacket Collars Jack Frost’s Icy Breeze

We’ve been waiting for cooler weather to finally set in before wrapping up a paver project around our pergola. Even for Florida, we didn’t expect it to be so cold so soon! Thankfully, I had the Milwaukee Women’s Heated Softshell Jacket to keep me warm in a shell that’s tough enough to deal with carrying and setting 16″ x 16″ pavers.

Pros

  • Comfortable fit
  • Quick warming
  • Feels like an overstuffed winter coat without the bulk
  • All the pockets are large enough to be functional (hey, that’s not always the case on a lady’s jacket!)
  • Washer/dryer safe

Cons

  • Using the thumb-hole cuffs restricts overhead movement

Recommendation

Buy it if you’re looking for a heated jacket that’s functionally comfortable for work or play and still looks good on your female form. Pass or wear a long-sleeve base layer if you have a lot of overhead work throughout the day. 

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How Does the Milwaukee Women’s Heated Softshell Jacket Fit?

I go between a medium and small on my shirts and jackets and ordered a small for this heated jacket. It’s comfortably snug, hugging me in all the right places. Across my shoulders, the fit is perfect, with the seams sitting just off of them. There’s enough room to move but not so much that I feel like I’m being swallowed.

Milwaukee Women's Heated Softshell Jacket 232B-21S Profile

I’m 5’8″ and the length is very nice on my frame. I don’t have to worry about catching a cold breeze thanks to an exposed midriff.

How Comfortable is the Milwaukee Women’s Heated Softshell Jacket?

Material

Milwaukee did a lot of things right on the comfort side of this design. As a softshell jacket, it has much easier movement than something like a cotton duck that takes a couple of seasons to finally soften.

The outer shell is made of a polyester weave that resists both wind and water. That’s really helpful considering this isn’t a terribly bulky jacket to begin with. Some of my winter jackets require a lot more insulation or heavier material to really block the wind out.

Milwaukee Women's Heated Softshell Jacket 232B-21S Setting Paver

The inside has a super-comfy brushed thermal lining. It slides easily over my shirt or mid-layer so my sleeves don’t get bunched up.

Thumb Holes

In general, I really like thumb-hole cuffs to keep the sleeves from rising up when I extend my arms. The jersey-type material the cuffs are made from is very soft and comfortable. It’s not a moisture-resistant material, even though the rest of the jacket is. That’s something to keep in mind if it starts raining or snowing.

Milwaukee Women's Heated Softshell Jacket 232B-21S Thumb Hole Cuffs

The sleeve length is perfect when my arms are down or straight out. However, when I have my thumbs in the cuff holes, they restrict my overhead movement. I can either take my thumbs out and let my wrists get some exposure or user them and have the jacket ride up several inches above my waistline. To fix it, I’d need longer sleeves, which would mess up the otherwise perfect fit. It’s really just a limitation of using them on any jacket like this. A sweatshirt or athletic shirt that’s naturally stretchy would be more flexible.

Milwaukee Women's Heated Softshell Jacket 232B-21S Reach

That aside, the whole thing feels like a cozy overstuffed coat with the look and mobility of a lighter jacket.

About that Battery…

No one has really figured out a way to deal well with the battery placement, though. Standing up and working, I don’t have any issues. But when I sit down, there’s no mistaking it’s there. If I’m in an enclosed vehicle with heat, I just take the battery out when I get in. The good thing is that there’s a pass-through inside the jacket to run your cord and put the battery somewhere else.

Milwaukee Women's Heated Softshell Jacket 232B-21S Battery Pocket

How Hot Does the Milwaukee Women’s Heated Softshell Jacket Get?

I realize that I’m in central Florida and the days I actually need a heated jacket are few and far between. We visit my family’s horse farm in Georgia during the holidays, though. Not only does it get pretty cold in the winter, but there’s also always work to do outside.

For that kind of environment, this Milwaukee women’s heated jacket gets plenty warm enough. Low is usually enough heat to keep me comfortable during the day and I’ll kick it into medium or high once the sun goes down.

If you want an exact number, FLIR’s thermal camera tells me the inside temperature reaches 145º at the hottest point on the carbon fiber heating elements. Between the wind-breaking outer and that kind of heat on the inside, winter’s going to have a tough time freezing me out.

Milwaukee Women's Heated Softshell Jacket Thermal

Like the Milwaukee Axis (it’s available as a layering system, too!), there are three heat zones, but this model has a different configuration. You get the back and front pockets along with the collar instead of your chest.

There are two separate controls above your left chest. One gets the back elements heating and the other kicks in the pockets and collar. You feel the heat really quickly, too. It’s pretty toasty (~100º) in about 10 seconds and needs only a minute and a half or so to reach its maximum temperature.

Milwaukee Women's Heated Softshell Jacket 232B-21S Controls

How Long Will The Milwaukee Women’s Heated Softshell Jacket Run?

Milwaukee estimates you can get up to 8 hours of runtime with the 2.0Ah battery that comes in the kit. That’s on low and likely with one heat zone on. With all the zones on high, mine runs for just shy of 3 hours.

One of the other things to keep in mind is that the battery holster is also a 2.1A USB quick charger. That’s great for when your phone is getting to the end of its charge, just keep in mind that it will lower your overall runtime.

What About Pockets?

There are four pockets – 2 on the front, 1 around the back for the battery, and one on the inside chest. All of them have zipper closures. What stands out most about them is that they’re all large enough to be legitimately functional. With most women’s clothing, pockets are more decorative than useful, so it’s nice to have pockets I can actually put stuff in.

Can I Wash It?

One of the really great things about today’s heated gear is that you can throw it in the washer! I wash mine in warm water with like colors and tumble dry in low with no problems.

How Much Does it Cost?

The jacket by itself runs $159 and the kit with battery and holster (which is also the charger) runs $199. That’s in line with what other heated jackets run from tool manufacturers and I think this model has more to offer than most.

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The Bottom Line

The Milwaukee Women’s Heated Softshell Jacket is a super-comfy way to stay warm in really cold temperatures without needed a bulky coat. It warms up quickly and has a design that’s friendly to your female figure. The only limitation to keep in mind is that the thumb cuffs restrict overhead movement.

Buy it if you’re looking for a heated jacket that’s functionally comfortable for work or play and still looks good on your female form. Pass or wear a long-sleeve base layer if you have a lot of overhead work throughout the day.

Milwaukee Women’s Heated Softshell Jacket Specifications

  • Tested Model: Milwaukee 232B-21S
  • Power Source: Milwaukee M12 battery
  • Pockets: 2 outer zip, 1 inner zip, 1 battery pocket
  • Heat Zones: Back, collar, front pockets
  • Color: Black
  • Price: $159 bare, $199 kit

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Jodie

Sounds good, but before I’d spend $200 on a heated jacket I’d want it tested somewhere north of FL or GA. Say, maybe, Milwaukee? Last year in northern WI it repeatedly got down to -50°; I’m pretty sure we don’t define “cold” in the same way you do 🤣🤣