Makita Heated Jacket Gets a High Visibility Paint Job
The Makita heated jacket lineup is expanding with a new high visibility color scheme. It’s a standard hi-viz yellow with silver reflective accents around the stomach, arms, and shoulders to help you be more visible on the job site.
- Hi-Viz yellow with plenty of reflective striping
- Transparent ID chest pocket
- Storm cuffs instead of hook and loop straps on your wrist
- Accurate fit according to the size chart
- Battery adapter clip lets you move the pack to your belt
- Highest insulation effectiveness
- 5 heating zones, including left/right upper back and middle back
- 2nd highest battery efficiency
- Only jacket in our test with a hood
- Slow heating times
- Using the battery pocket pulls the jacket midsection tighter
- Higher price than other brands
Many heated jackets are good for the manager splitting time between the office and job site, but Makita’s Hi-Vis heated jacket is designed to get on site early and stay late. This is the most legitimate job site-ready heated jacket we’ve tested.
Heat Zones and Controls
The hi-viz Makita heated jacket has its controls on the left breast. This is a common location that’s easy to see and access. Like most heated jackets, this one has 3 heat settings that you can cycle through by pressing the heat control button.
As far as heat zones go, the Makita hi-viz heated jacket has 5 heat zones: left and right chest panels, a back panel, and both of the front pockets have heating elements in them.
This not only heats your core but also gives your hands some relief from the cold as well. The only improvement here is to add a separate control for pocket warmers to conserve battery life.
The downside to running off of an 18V battery instead of a 12V is that the larger battery is, well, larger. That makes storing the battery more of a challenge. With the battery stored inside its special pocket, the jacket feels unbalanced and it pulls the fabric tight against your midsection. It’s a common problem with heated jackets that run on 18V, actually.
Makita gives you a loophole for this problem. Its power supply comes with a belt clip, and it can be rerouted through the jacket in order to clip the battery to your belt. There’s also a USB port so that you can charge up your smartphone while you work.
The major benefit the clip gives is the ability to use a high-capacity battery clipped to your belt. You can do that with other heated jackets, but you’ll have to deal with the weight and bulk in one of the pockets.
Material and Design
The hi-viz Makita heated jacket features a standard polyester outer shell for better wind and water resistance. The inner lining is also made from polyester with a weave that’s more of a soft fleece.
I probably don’t need to say it at this point, but one of the main selling points of the Makita hi-viz heated jacket is that it’s a fluorescent neon green jacket with some reflective silver tape stripes. This jacket is honestly hard not to see.
Makita opts for snow cuffs for the sleeves. In general, our testing team likes this over hook and loop cuffs. The waist also has a standard cinch adjustment.
Makita includes a removable hood, which will fit over a hard hat, as well as a clear front pocket to store your credentials in. Those are two features we don’t normally see from other manufacturers.
Other Hi-Viz Makita Heated Jacket Features
- Meets ANSI107 class 3 requirements for use in work environments
- Washer and dryer safe
Do you want better heating from the heating elements, or would you prefer a looser fitting jacket? For maximum heating, a heated jacket needs to fit a little tighter against your skin to make contact between the heating elements and your body. However, you might prefer a looser fit. You trade off heat, though.
Makita’s size chart is dead on and the jacket fits perfectly across my chest.
Personally, I felt like my stomach was constantly testing the integrity of the stitching on the zipper. Add in the extra annoyance of having a battery pack pull at the fabric around my midsection, and I can safely say that I wish I had moved a size up for a looser fit.
However, Makita’s fit here is nearly identical to every other heated jacket we’ve tested. If you’re in doubt, move up a size.
The hi-viz Makita heated jacket meets its visibility quotient, but how does it handle the heat? We tested its top temperature, how long it took to heat up, its insulation effectiveness, and battery efficiency.
We first looked at how quickly the jacket reached 100°, then how long it took to reach its maximum temperature. It takes the Makita Hi-Vis Heated Jacket 75 seconds to reach 100°, and over 3 minutes to reach its max temperature.
Every jacket we tested in our recent Heated Jacket Shootout, with the exception of another Makita model, hit 100° in 20 seconds or under. They also reached their max temperatures in under 2 minutes.
While speed leaves something to be desired with this jacket, once it gets to temperature, the hi-viz Makita heated jacket does a good job of keeping the heat in. Out of all the jackets we’ve looked at recently, this one’s insulation performed the best, allowing just 71% of its heat to breach the outer shell.
Since heated jackets come in a variety of voltages and amperages, we like to set the jacket’s heat to the high setting and measure its efficiency by looking at its watt-hour output. As it turns out, the Makita hi-viz heated jacket performs really well from an efficiency standpoint. We measured this Makita jacket at an even 10 minutes per watt-hour. For the sake of contrast, Bosch’s led the group at 12 min/WH and DeWalt was the lowest at 4.5 min/WH.
If you’re more concerned about runtime than efficiency, Makita is your winner. While Bosch gets the win in efficiency, it’s with a 12V battery. With its 2.0 Ah, 36 watt-hour pack, Makita ran for 6 hours on high – more than an hour and a half longer than its closest competitor!
The hi-viz Makita heated jacket retails for $209 without a battery and charger. That’s already on the high side and there’s no kit option available to ease the pain. Current Makita 18V LXT users will find the most value here.
That said, this is the heated jacket I want when it comes to long shifts in legitimate cold weather.
The Bottom Line
If you absolutely need to stay warm while possibly being seen from outer space (okay, maybe not that far), Makita’s hi-viz heated jacket will be a godsend for you. It’s a little slow to heat up, and you’ll want to clip the battery to your belt. If that’s not an issue for you, this is the most legitimate job site-ready design currently available.
Makita Heated Jacket Specifications
- Model: Makita DCJ206ZL
- Power Source: Makita 18V LXT battery
- Sizes: Small – XXXL
- Rating: ANSI Class 3
- Heat Settings: 3
- Heat Zones: 5 (left/right chest, back, left/right front pockets)
- Weight: 3.8 lbs with battery
- Warranty: 3 years (heating element and electronics only)
- MSRP: $138.17
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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on October 29, 2018 as a product preview. It’s been updated with information from our shootout and first-hand experience.