With cold weather sure to arrive soon, what's a farmer to do? How about plugging in that jacket? The world of battery-powered "tools" for the farm is getting more diverse as apparel enters the list - Ridgid launched a heated jacket last winter and you can get one now before temps start dropping.
Team FIN received the new product in January when 10-below temps ruled the forecasts. It was a great time for us to test the jacket on our Minnesota farm to see how it performed. Powered by an 18v battery, the jacket has 3 core heating zones including chest, back, and hands. It has 3 heat settings per zone that allows the wearer to adjust core and pocket heating zones independently of each other.
During the winter months, Team FIN would power the jacket heating zones before leaving the house, and the results were great. The zones heat quickly, and Team FIN especially liked the heated pockets. Although the light jacket can’t combat Minnesota’s wind chill, the heated core definitely takes the edge off. On milder days, the jacket is ideal to keep warm when getting into a cold vehicle or when doing chores.
The jacket is compatible with all Ridgid slide pack 18v batteries, and provides up to 18 hours of run time according to the company. In addition to providing heat, the jacket features an integrated USB power port with a 2.1 amp output that can charge phones and other portable electronics in zippered pockets through USB connection. Team FIN found that added ability to charge electronic devices was a handy feature too.
The jacket is equipped with an expandable pouch that houses the battery. The one downside is the battery itself – it’s heavy. When in the pouch, the jacket feels weighed down as well as uncomfortable when sitting. To remedy this, the battery also comes with a removable belt clip.
Overall, the jacket is well-designed. It has multi-layered fabric that is both water and wind resistant. However, it is not machine washable. Due to the internal wiring, the jacket is hand wash only. Despite that, Team FIN said the heated jacket is ideal for cold-weather chores, outdoor events, and the camo version would be great for deer hunting.
Rated: 4.5 out of 5
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