Ever since Milwaukee introduced a heated jacket, everyone has been jumping on board. We now see Milwaukee, Bosch, Dewalt and Makita out with a different type of heated jacket. So which one do we like the best? Well you can check out the video below, but after you read this review, it should give you some hints.
Today we are going to talk about the Bosch Heated jacket which runs off their 12V battery. I was pretty excited when I heard Bosch was introducing a new heated jacket. I was still a little leery as I really like the Milwaukee jacket and thought that would be hard to beat. So let’s jump in and see the pros and cons to this jacket.
Now when I first heard about these jackets, I was told to get a jacket that fits snug because it allowed better warmth. For me that was a mistake. I usually layer my clothes, so I like the extra room. For the Bosch jacket, I was lucky enough to realize this ahead of time and got an XL. If you are familiar with the Milwaukee heated jackets, then the design and workings aren’t much different. This jacket has three heat zones. A large one on the back and then one on the front and on each side of the chest. To turn the jacket on, just hold down the push button located on the top of the left chest. Once the jacket is on, just push the button to change the settings from high (red), med (green) and low (blue). When heat is no longer needed, just hold the button down for a couple of seconds and it will turn off.
The jacket is made of 100% polyester so it is wind and rain resistant. Remember it’s not waterproof, just resistant. I have worn mine in a light rain and it’s been fine, but wouldn’t recommend for extended periods of time. Again, this is powered by a 12V battery and will give you about 6 hours of run time. Another note is the only way to wash these jackets is in cold water and by hand. You can not dry clean or machine wash these jackets as it will damage the heating elements. Bosch designed the jacket in black, but also implemented reflective material in certain parts of the jacket, which I really like.
Okay now that we got that stuff out of the way, let’s really talk about the jacket and how it stacks up. First, this jacket is extremely comfortable, I love this jacket. While Dewalt and Milwaukee decided to put the battery compartment on the side, towards the back, Bosch did it right. They have the battery located on the inside of the jacket towards the front. For me this is a huge key. First, it is very easy to access and change batteries. Second it doesn’t feel uncomfortable. While 12V batteries are pretty light, they still have some weight. When the battery is in the pocket, it just feels like you have something in your pocket and it is not uncomfortable at all. When I sit in my truck, it never gets in the way, awesome design. Second, this jacket has five pockets, so plenty of storage room for all that junk we always carry around. One of the pockets is rather large so you can store documents in it. No, not a file cabinet, but some paper work. There is a top pocket where you can place your phone and charge it while wearing the jacket. How do you do this? Well the battery holster has a USB plug also. So not only does it provide power to your jacket, but you can charge accessories like phones or ipods. One thing i didn’t like was the on/off button for the USB. Once you plug in your USB, there is a small red button you have to press in order to provide power to the USB port. Again, at first I really didn’t like this or understand why Bosch designed the holster like this. After using the jacket, I have become to like this feature. A 12V battery can only produce so much power. In the past I have always had to reach back and unplug the cable. Now I can just reach in and push a button to turn it off, without having to unplug the USB button. Speaking of the holster, it has a belt clip which is very cool. So if it’s summertime, you can still use the holster as a power source, You can clip it to your side and plug in your phone. No longer do you have to try and stick these things in your pocket.
In regards to providing heat, this jacket does an awesome job and in fact it was one of the hottest jackets we tested. This might not mean much for the people in the south, but up here in the north, i will take all the heat I can get.
Okay, so what needs improvements? First, it would be nice to see heated pockets. There are times where you’re outside and just need to provide a little warmth to your hands and this feature would be nice. Second, would be a removable hood. Sometimes I like wearing a hood to protect my head from the wind and that would be nice. Personally I like removable hoods. The last item would be a variety of heated jackets. It would be nice to see some variety with the jacket such as a High Visability jacket, Camo and other jackets. Now again Bosch is new to this and this is their first jacket on the market. I am sure in time we will see a lot more from these jackets.
Overall this is my favorite jacket on the market. Now I haven’t tried the new Milwaukee jackets with the heated pockets, but in regards to comfort, this jacket is great. The battery placement is perfect and it is something no other jacket offers. Being that this jacket runs the hottest, it will warm you up even on the coldest days of the year. If you are looking for a good looking jacket that is comfortable and provides heat, you have to try on the Bosch heated jacket.