Milwaukee M12 Heated Hoodie and Womens Jacket Review

Milwaukee heated jacket and hoodie
PTR Review
  • Build Quality 9.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Comfort 10.0
  • Battery Life 8.0
  • Fit & Finish 9.0

The Milwaukee Special Edition Women's Heated Jacket and Hoodie are two new products that I think really hold a very valuable place in the market. The hoodie is meeting the need of guys like me that desire a jacket for colder days, but who may not need to deal with a lengthy season of super-cold weather conditions. And the women's jacket is simply a great nod to all those female contractors, inspectors and trades who are currently being "stiffed" by every other tool manufacturer's line of products. Kudos, Milwaukee, for providing a solution that works just as well but is tailored specifically for the female form. Overall, the price and value on these jackets is outstanding. The fact that existing M12 tool owners can pick up a bare hoodie for just $99 or a jacket for around $169 (with premiums for both hi-viz and Realtree) makes them a real bargain. If you're a tradesman (or tradeswoman) you're going to want to figure out how to try one of these on...and take one home.

Overall Score 8.6 (out of 10)

The Milwaukee heated jacket line debuted a few years ago and, like the impatient ungrateful pugs we are, we immediately started whining for more colors and options. It didn’t take them long to appease us, and for that we are grateful, if not a tad bit humbled. This year the company expanded their line of M12 heated gear by introducing several new products. I was fortunate enough to review two of them, but I probably can’t help but talk about the others along the way. We received both a khaki M12 heated hoodie and a special edition Milwaukee women’s heated jacket. Both of these tools (yes, they are most decidedly tools) caught my eye because they represent solutions to two common problems I saw with the original line. First, a woman’s can try and wear the original heated jacket, but honestly, women’s bodies are made different than a man’s and the jacket simply don’t offer the same great look or fit as the new women’s jacket. The second problem was that not everyone needed a full-blown windbreaker jacket. Some of us (ahem*) live in warmer climates…say, Central Florida. The heated hoodie really nails that issue square on the head.

Another great feature of the heated hoodie is that, once you remove the battery, it’s actually machine washer and dryer safe. That is remarkable, and indeed only the high visibility jacket has some caveats, largely due to requirements for the visibility of the jacket (which is guaranteed for up to 25 launderings before fading too far out of spec).

How the Milwaukee M12 Heated Hoodie Works

It’s always fascinating to me how a technology works. These jackets are essentially battery-powered thermal blankets, but they use the latest carbon-fiber heating elements. Even so, it’s the battery-powered part that is most intriguing. I can’t think of anything that represents a great power draw on a battery than heat-generation, and Milwaukee had to really spec out these jackets to get them to run long enough to be practical. All day wear is definitely possible thanks to optional M18 power source adapter, but even the included Milwaukee 12V power source will let the jackets run for just over 2 hours straight (on High) using the company’s newest RedLithium 2.0 batteries. We tested it with the standard RedLithium battery as well and got around 110 minutes on High. On low we ran the jacket for just over 6 hours on the RedLithium 2.0 battery and around 5 hours on the standard M12 battery.

Milwaukee heated hoodie drawstring

Milwaukee womens heated jacket button

It almost seems out of place to back up and describe the use of the heated jacket, but I suppose that’s the point of a review, and I shouldn’t take it for granted that everyone knows how to use them. To turn it on, you press and hold the soft button located on the left side (near your collar bone) for two seconds (press it again for two seconds to turn it off). Both the jacket and the hoodie turn on into High heat mode. On the hoodie (or nearly any other Milwaukee heated jacket for that matter) that means a nice red light. On the Women’s Heated Jacket, however, the light glows pink instead—a nice touch given that the jacket has pink accents elsewhere (and given that Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp is a proud sponsor of the National Breast Cancer Foundation).

Pressing the button again will cycle the jacket’s carbon fiber heating elements through Medium and Low settings, and then back again to High. While the Women’s Heated Jacket is only available in Black, the new M12 Heated Hoodies can be purchased in Red, Gray, Khaki (the color we reviewed), and High Visibility.

Getting a Good Fit is Important

If there’s one thing you need to know about these new jackets, it’s that they need to be close to your body in order to generate the maximum amount of heat. That means that wearing the jacket overtop a T-shirt is likely to warm you more (from the elements, at least) than if you wear it overtop several layers of clothing. For the hoodie, perhaps even more than the jackets, you also really need to get a size that isn’t baggy. If the jacket or hoodie has a loose fit, the effects of the warming elements will be lessened significantly.

Milwaukee womens jacket Tina

With the women’s jacket, the special cut aligns the carbon fiber heating elements closer to the body, something that really helped to allow it to more consistently provide heat and (according to Milwaukee) stimulate blood circulation. While the jacket has the same Low, Medium and High settings as the hoodie, it’s also made with water- and wind-resistant polyester and a thermal fleece inner lining to make it a nice insulating jacket regardless of whether or not the battery-powered heating elements are activated.

Milwaukee M12 Special Edition Women’s Heated Jacket Kit Features

  • Model: 2339
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Carbon fiber heating elements
  • Zones: Two (1 back and 2 chest)
  • Heat settings: High, Medium, Low
  • Tailored fit for women
  • Materials: Water and wind resistant polyester, interior storm flap, thermal knit fleece liner
  • Runtime: <6 hours with M12 RedLithium (included), 6+ hours with M12 RedLithium 2.0 (not included)
  • Includes: RedLithium battery (1.5 Ah), 12V power source (original model), M12 charger

Milwaukee M12 Heated Hoodie Features

  • Model: 2375
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL, 2X, 3X
  • Carbon fiber heating elements
  • Zones: Two (1 back and 2 chest)
  • Heat settings: High, Medium, Low
  • Materials: Cotton blend, waffle-weave thermal liner and rib-knit cuffs
  • Runtime: <6 hours with M12 RedLithium (included), 6+ hours with M12 RedLithium 2.0 (not included)
  • Includes: RedLithium battery (1.5 Ah), 12V power source (original model), M12 charger

In the Field

I wore the Milwaukee M12 Heated Hoodie everywhere I could. It was “fortunate” that we had a string of cold weather here in Central Florida, so I got ample opportunity to crank up the carbon fiber heating elements in their various modes and test out just how warm this jacket could get. The heated hoodie provides a good amount of heat, but I found that the Medium sized jacket also tended to fit a bit loose around the middle, possibly because (so I’m told) weighing 145 pounds and standing 5′ 10″ is rather unusual. In either case, try on this hoodie for yourself and make sure you size it to fit a tad on the snug side. Washing it (yes, I tried that too!) didn’t shrink the hoodie that I could tell, so the size you get is the size you’ll have.

Milwaukee womens heated jacket power source

Turning on the jacket is very simple and I could easily press the button against my chest whether I had gloves on my hands or not. The mechanism seemed…dependable for lack of a better word. I never wondered what mode it would be in if I pressed that button for 2-3 seconds and let go—it would be in High, and that’s typically where I wanted it. That also meant that when I rode my motorcycle and had my helmet on (which made it impossible to crane my neck to see the state of the indicator light), it didn’t really matter. I always knew what mode I was in, and I was never wrong.

Milwaukee heated hoodie pockets

I explained the run-times above and I felt that the M12 platform is a good one for casual wearers of the hoodie or jacket. If you’re going to need the maximum amount of heat for all all-day application, however, you’ll want the M18 power source and access to a RedLithium 4.0 battery pack. Realize, however, that these hoodies (unlike the heated jackets) don’t really have a pocket designed for the larger M18 power source and its bigger battery. If you want all-day heat, you’re looking at a jacket.

Heated Hoodie Models Available

  • M12 Red Heated Hoodie (2370 Bare Jacket & 2371 Jacket Kit)
  • M12 Gray Heated Hoodie (2372 Bare Jacket & 2373 Jacket Kit)
  • M12 Khaki Heated Hoodie (2374 Bare Jacket & 2375 Jacket Kit)
  • M12 High Visibility Heated Hoodie (2376 Bare Jacket & 2377 Jacket Kit)
Milwaukee heated hoodies

Heated Jacket Models Available

  • M12 High Visibility (2346 Bare Jacket & 2347 Jacket Kit)
  • M12 Red Heated Jacket (2340 Bare Jacket & 2341 Jacket Kit)
  • M12 Black Heated Jacket (2344 Bare Jacket & 2345 Jacket Kit)
  • M12 Realtree AP Camouflage (2342 Bare Jacket & 2343 Jacket Kit)
  • M12 Special Edition Women’s Heated Jacket (2339 Jacket Kit only)
Milwaukee heated jackets

Heated Jacket Accessories Available

  • 12V DC Plug Adapter (49-24-2301)
  • M18 Power Source (49-24-2371)

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