This product comparison will cover:
As the cold weather months creep in we tend to do a dance between our seasonal wardrobes, layering up for the chilly morning weather only to find ourselves ditching the layers by the early afternoon. Anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors knows how important it is to have the right layers that will comfortably get you through the day. This is where heated softshell jackets shine.
Heated jackets are the ideal transition piece to take you from the late summer and early fall onset of cold weather all the way into the early winter months without the need to add and remove excessive or bulky layers. Heated softshells also play a vital role in protecting you from the elements like the cold wind, rain or snowy days, and feel great on a day where it just might do all three.
Today we’ll compare heated jackets designed and developed by industry-leading heated apparel companies Gobi Heat®, Ravean™, Ororo®, and Milwaukee®. We’ll break down these industry-leading jackets’ heating ability, battery power, jacket materials and care, styles and features, and available sizes and styles for men and women. We’ll also dive into extra bonus features that set each jacket apart, like warranties and additional heated apparel product offerings. By the end of our product comparison, you’ll have no problem deciding what leading heated jacket will best suit your needs for years to come.
How well your heated jacket warms you up will depend on: the number of heating zones and heating modes (low, medium, high) the heating capabilities of each mode, and the quality of the heating elements used.
All featured industry-leading shells offer low, medium, and high heating options and at least 3 heat zones targeting the left chest, right chest, and back. While other competitors use carbon fiber heating elements, Gobi Heat® is the only company to use conductive threading, a safer and more energy-efficient system than carbon fiber to deliver heat.
For starters, all featured jackets can handle temperatures lower than 10° F. While Ravean™, Ororo®, and Milwaukee® list which mode (low, medium, high) you should use based on the temperature outside, Gobi Heat® lists exactly how much heating power you’ll be getting from each mode. The Gobi Heat® Sahara softshell heated jacket delivers 113° F on low, 131° F on medium 140° F on high in thirty seconds or less for long-lasting heating power you can cozy up to.
As far as warm-up time goes, Gobi Heat® leads the charge by delivering heat in about 30 seconds, while the Ororo® heated shell takes about three to five minutes to preheat. Ravean™ and Milwaukee® don’t specify how quickly their jackets warm-up, but Milwaukee® lays claim to a battery that heats up 3x faster without specifying their competitor’s warm up time.
Here we’ll discuss battery weight, voltage, and run time you’ll get from each battery. Each competitor uses lithium-ion batteries. Milwaukee® advertises their lithium-ion battery as the RedLithium™ battery said to deliver more battery power over the course of your day. This may be true on their own products, but the Milwaukee® jacket RedLithium™ batteries last only 8 hours on low, a middle of the road runtime compared to its featured competitors today.
How heavy your jacket’s battery is can make a big impact on the functionality and comfort you feel when wearing it. Big, obtrusive batteries get in the way and can weigh you down. Lightweight, low profile batteries won’t get in the way, weigh down your clothes, or add extra weight to your person, a valued feature when you’re hiking, working, or have a long day ahead of you. Now, let’s take a look at our following contenders.
Weighing in at 8.39 ounces, Gobi Heat® takes the cake with the lightest battery among its competitors. In second place comes Ororo® with a weight of 8.99-ounce battery, Milwaukee® weighing in at 9.77 ounces and Ravean™ topping the weight chart with a whopping 1.06-pound battery. That’s more than double the weight of the Gobi Heat® battery!
To power the heating elements, your jacket battery is equipped with a certain amount of voltage. While it’s easy to think a higher voltage equates to more power, what it really translates to is a heavier battery, which can weigh down your jacket and feel uncomfortable. Ravean™ and Milwaukee® feature heavier, 12V batteries and make no indication of how quickly or powerfully batteries operate. Gobi Heat® 7.4V battery activates heating elements the fastest, stays warm the longest, and offers the most heating ability on the market, proving that bigger isn’t always better.
When it comes to runtime, Gobi Heat® has the superior battery. With Gobi Heat® lightweight battery you’ll get the longest runtimes, with 10 hours on low, 7 hours on medium, and 5 hours on high. Ororo® comes close with 10 hours on low, 6 hours on medium, and just 3 hours on high. Not only does Ravean™ not include their batteries with the purchase of your heated jacket, but they also have the least impressive battery life, lasting only 6.5 hours on low, 3.5 hours on medium, and 2.2 hours on high. Milwaukee® touts a battery that reaches optimal heat, only specifying an 8-hour battery life with no indication of what heat setting you can expect 8 hours of runtime on.
Gobi Heat® makes charging a cinch. Plug in your heated jacket battery into a standard wall outlet for a fully charged battery in 3 to 4 hours. Aside from the Milwaukee® proprietary adapter that can be made vehicle charging compatible, Gobi Heat® is the only brand that offers a car outlet charger for on-the-go charging. Ororo® suggests you charge their battery for 6 to 8 hours using their wall plugs to receive a full charge, but do not offer a car charger for on-the-go charging. Ravean™ batteries charge on standard power ports in two hours, but deliver only 6.5 hours of heat. If you plan to be outside for a long time on a cold day, 3.5 more hours of heat is worth the extra 1 hour of charging time offered by Gobi Heat®.
A newer feature available in some heated jackets is the ability to charge your mobile phone from your heated jacket’s battery pack. How much battery life this feature eats up is still unknown, but the ability to charge your phone on-the-go can be beneficial for many. Ororo®, for instance, allows you to charge your phone right in your pocket by plugging in your personal USB-c cord into the battery pack. Ravean™ also offers this feature, but given how short the battery life is, it seems that it should only be used to charge a mobile device when you don’t also need the heating elements engaged.
While Milwaukee® does not offer this option, Gobi Heat® is currently working to perfect their mobile charging technology available for purchase by November 2020.
All four top competing softshell jackets feature wind and water-resistant polyester shells. Gobi Heat® goes the extra mile with durable, abrasion-resistant fabric and ultra-soft polar fleece lining for extra warmth and protection from cold winds and snowy days. Ravean™ and Milwaukee® apply a DWR (durable water repellent) coating to their jackets for added waterproofing, while Ororo® uses a blend of polyester (93.5%) and spandex material (6.5%) for a tad bit more flexible fit.
All competing heated jackets are safe for use in the washer and dryer. However, each specifies what type of drying (tumble dry vs regular drying) is safe and instructions for properly disconnecting the battery before throwing in the wash.
Functionality is important, but so is how your heated jacket looks on you. While other competitors stick with a one-style-fits-all approach, Gobi Heat® designs heated jackets to best fit the unique shapes of men and women. Gobi Heat® is designed for the utmost warmth with a full zip designed to cover the neck and up to the front of your chin. Cinch bungees at the base of the jacket and adjustable Velcro® cuffs make it easy to keep cold wind or snow out.
Milwaukee® offers a more utility-friendly fit for the work industry, including FREEFLEX™ mobility gussets, reinforced high wear zones, a TOUGHSHELL™ stretch polyester, droptail backing for extended coverage, and thumbhole cuffs (women’s only).
Ravean™ and Ororo® feature cinch bungees at the hood for a more controlled fit around the face. Ravean™ offers a basic shell with a hood and comfortable thumbhole cuffs for men, but unfortunately does not offer a softshell jacket for women. All four jackets feature three zippered jacket pockets (two at the hips and one on the left breast) and an easy one-touch LED button on the front pocket to activate heating elements.
When it comes to color options and sizes for men and women, Gobi Heat® blows the competition out of the water. For men, Gobi Heat® offers four colors ranging from classic black and gray to crimson red and endeavor blue with sizes ranging from small to 4XL. Gobi Heat® offers six colors for women, ranging from black, gray, purple, oasis teal, endeavor blue and crimson red. Women’s sizes range from extra-small to 3XL, nearly guaranteeing there’s a size available for everybody.
Milwaukee® men’s softshells are available in sizes small to 3XL for men in black, red, and gray. Women sizes vary from small to 2X and have one color option of black.
Ororo® delivers only black for men and black with a magenta-like stripe on the underside of the arm and sides of the waist for women. Sizes for women range from small to 2XL. Men’s sizes range from small to 3XL.
Ravean™ offers black in men's sizes extra small to 3XL and do not offer a women’s softshell jacket.
Make sure your purchase is protected with a warranty. All four competing jackets carry at least a one-year warranty with some variations. Gobi Heat® offers a one-year warranty on all heated apparel products with the option to purchase an additional three-year warranty to cover your purchase from material or workmanship defects. Gobi Heat® will either repair or replace your purchase and reimburse the cost of shipping once determined the item is in fact defective.
Ororo® offers a three-year limited warranty on heating elements and a one-year limited warranty on batteries with no option to purchase an extended warranty. Ravean™ offers a one-year warranty on all products and items with no choice to purchase an extended warranty. Milwaukee® offers a one-year warranty on defective jackets and a two-year warranty on battery packs.
Aside from the quality design and function of the Sahara heated softshell, Gobi Heat® offers the largest selection of heated apparel products in the industry. Whether you’re looking for outdoor or recreational gear for camping, hiking, winter sports, hunting or heated workwear, Gobi Heat® has what you need.
To top it off, Gobi Heat ® is also a female-owned and operated American company dedicated to delivering style, functionality, and warmth to men and women looking to get outside and seize the day. Shop Gobi Heat® extensive line of heated apparel from socks, beanies, base layers, parka style jackets, hoodies and zip-up sweatshirts, heated vests, gloves, and glove liners that pack a punch with extra heat when you need it most.
The only other competing company to come close to Gobi Heat® wider selection of heated apparel is Ororo®, offering heated socks, gloves, vests and hoodies. Milwaukee® also carries a limited selection of other heated apparel like other heated jackets, heated gloves, and a heated hoodie. Ravean™ currently only offers two styles of men’s and women's heated jackets and one style of heated gloves.
As you prepare for the coming winter months, choose a heated jacket that gives you the flexibility, security, and warmth you’d expect from an industry-leading heated jacket. You deserve to look good, feel good, and function well as you run errands, cheer from the sidelines or spend a day out in the cold exploring and adventuring with friends and family. Gear up and go with a heated jacket that makes the cold a fun place to be.
Anyone who works or plays outside in cold weather knows not to leave home without cold weather gear, including a reliable heating source for your hands. After all, extremities like hands and feet are more likely to get cold faster than other parts of our body, and trying to function with frozen fingers is a job in and of itself. This leads us to the all important question: when spending time outdoors, is it worth it to invest in electric hand warmer gloves, or should you try to get by with heated hand warmers?
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, which means it’s time for the obligatory Google search for “awesome Valentine’s gifts” to find your special person a Valentine’s Day gift they’ll love. Oftentimes you’ll find that the search for new and inspiring “Valentine’s Day gifts for him” or “Valentine’s Day gifts for her” leaves you feeling a little discouraged. After all, your partner deserves something great! They deserve a totally awesome Valentine’s gift, something they’ll use and love. That’s where we come in!
While the winter months can make you feel like you’re living in a winter wonderland, instances arise where cold weather can suddenly shift direction and be just outright dangerous. One example of this is a polar vortex. So, what is a polar vortex, and how can you best prepare and ultimately protect against one?