Winter has finally arrived here in Florida. We’re seeing highs in the 60’s and lows finally touching the 30’s. I know – we’re blessed. For many of you north of the (Florida) border, you’ve been dealing with colder temps for a while. Now that it’s finally cool enough to be able to to feel the heating elements, we busted out the Makita Camo Heated Jacket. You may think I’m joking, but we were in the upper 80’s all of December, and it was tough to stay in a jacket long enough to feel those carbon fiber elements.
Makita chose to wrap up their features in the Mossy Oak Break Up Infinity pattern to create a legit look for you hunters out there. After all, sitting dormant in a tree stand often leaves you wanting a heat source more than when you’re actively working on a jobsite. Of course, when you’re stuck at work, the look of this jacket won’t leave any question as to where you’d rather be.
Makita did a few things differently than some of the other heated jackets we’ve reviewed. We’ll dig in and you can decide if this one is a good fit for you.
Makita Camo Heated Jacket Features
Most obviously, Makita runs with their 18V LXT battery platform for the power source. It adds some weight over jackets that use a 12V battery, but it’s more likely that Pro users are going to have 18V batteries from their power tools to begin with. Since the jacket is only available without the battery, it helps more Makita fans avoid jumping into a new system.
The battery is stored in a back left pocket. The battery adapter also includes a 2.1 amp USB charging port to quickly charge your mobile devices. Just stay off of Facebook while you’re in the woods—you don’t want to be that guy who misses a 10 point buck because he laughed out loud at the latest cat video.
Controls are hidden in the left chest pocket. If you’ve got hunting on your mind, the more you can hide from your prey, the better. You’ll need to hold down the button for a few seconds to turn the heat on or off. LED indicators make it clear what setting you’re on.
Sometimes you want to take advantage of heat for your core, but really need to be unencumbered by the sleeves on your jacket. Makita solves this by letting you remove them. The sleeves come on and off with a zipper. They’re easy enough to take off, but zipping them back on takes a little time and dexterity. With temps in the low 60’s and a cool breeze, I really appreciated having the vest style as an option as the day wore on.
Pockets are important. The Makita Camo heated jacket offers four pockets in addition to battery storage. Two kangaroo pockets for your hands are obvious. I’ve reached the point that I don’t want a jacket without a chest pocket for my electronic leash (aka phone). Makita provides a solid one that keeps my phone away from adversaries that threaten to destroy it.
The pocket I’m falling in love with more each day is the sleeve pocket. Found on your left, this is perfect for keeping pens or an EDC knife in quick reach and away from the debris that often finds its way in and around my jeans pockets.
Makita Camo Heated Jacket Fit and Feel
Heated jackets have to fit a little differently than a traditional jacket. You need the heating elements to be against your base layer to really take advantage of the heat. Because of that, consider going a size down from your normal jacket size. The problem is that while you’re left with a good fit on the chest, your sleeves may be too short.
Makita deals with this by including knitted storm cuffs inside the sleeve. If your arms are a little longer, they easily grab hold and extend the sleeve length a couple of inches. If you’re near a dealer that carries Makita Camo Heated Jackets, I’d try one on before buying to be on the safe side.
Even without the heat on, Makita created a warm, comfortable jacket. Once you’re ready to warm things up, the elements are well-placed to get your core up to temp. With Makita’s 3.0 amp hour battery, plan on getting 5 hours of heat on high, 9-1/2 hours on medium, and an astounding 17 on low. Go with the 5.0 amp hour battery, and you’ll get pretty close to a full 8 hour work day on high.
The Makita Camo Heated Jacket is really a nice design that current Makita 18V LXT users can get excited about. They’ve added versatility by making the sleeves removable and thoughtful features for hunters. The one downside is the weight of the 18V LXT battery on your left side. There’s a trade-off between balance, run time, and easy access. Going with the larger battery pack adds run time that other jackets can’t match, but it does create a noticeable imbalance by keeping it on the left for easier access.
Major kudos go out to the project manager for ensuring the USB charging port is 2.1 amps. I constantly find myself surprised how often I reach for it to give my phone the kind of boost I get from the coffee pot throughout the day. The inner knit sleeve cuffs also score big points to help with the difference in arm lengths if you’re going down a size.
One feature that is always important to me is style. If you haven’t won that $1.4 billion Powerball (or whatever it got to before I finished writing), you likely don’t have a ton of money to be throwing around. I like to have a jacket that’s functional enough for the jobsite but stylish enough to wear around town without embarrassing my Bride. Makita does very well in that department with this design. It’s going to get a lot of use everywhere I go until the jobsite gets the best of it – and that doesn’t look like it will be anytime soon!
*Note: Photos were taken in an XL jacket, whereas large would have been the best fit.
Makita Camo Heated Jacket Specifications
- Model: DCJ201Z
- Power Source: Makita 18V LXT Battery
- Sizes: S – 3XL
- Shell Material: 94% polyester, 6% spandex
- Heat Zones: 3 – Left/Right Chest, Back
- Heat Modes: 3 – Low, Medium, High
- Weight: 3.8 pounds with battery
- Warranty: 3 years on electronics and heating element
Editor’s Note: This review originally published on January 27, 2016. It’s ratings have been updated to reflect its performance in our recent heated jacket shootout.