It’s winter again, but this time you’re going to be prepared! If you want to be seriously warm while walking through freezing temperatures, then forget the regular puffer. Heated vests are here to turn your life around, and are well worth the investment.
With so many heated vests on the market these days, choosing one can get overwhelming. That’s why we’re here! In this article, we’ve narrowed down the best options based on popular categories. Our picks are all from reputable companies, with user-friendly designs and attractive heating elements and features.
OUR TOP PICKS
BEST OVERALL: ARRIS HEAD VEST
RUNNER UP: ORORO HEATED VEST
BEST VALUE: PROSMART HEATED VEST
BEST FOR LAYERING: CONQUECO HEATED VEST
BEST FOR WOMEN: AKASO HEATED VEST
Whether you’re shopping around for a heated vest as a gift for yourself, or you’re looking to buy one as a present for a loved one, the Arris heated vest is a solid pick all-around.
With a whopping 8 heating panels, the vest covers your entire body in electrical warmth. The temperature control allows you to toggle between a range of 40℃ to 80℃. You’re sure to find your ideal comfort level somewhere in between.
Arris recently updated their vest to make it more adjustable in size through a hook and loop design. The adjustable zipper now provides a fit ranging from small to XXXL.
The stylish heated vest is also unisex and promotes blood circulation, and may help in muscle pain relief. It’s perfect for fishing trips, general camping, snow season, and casual use.
It includes a large 7200mAh rechargeable battery which allows for up to 15 hours of working time depending on your heating control. You can turn on different areas of the vest, or you can enable the entire vest if you’re super cold!
- Adjustable sizing
- Stylish design
- Great heating attributes
- Long battery life
- Pocket linings could be stronger
We’ve covered Ororo in our heated jackets review, and the company continues to exceed expectations with their heated vest. Their design is tailored to mold onto the body, and the nylon material makes it an extra comfortable wear.
The carbon fiber heating elements are strategically placed to provide warmth throughout your upper body. There are four of them in total: one in the mid-back and collar and two beneath the pockets.
There’s a handy function button that allows you to choose between three heat settings. That way, you can locate and maintain an optimal internal temperature throughout your outdoor ventures.
Ororo’s 7.4-volt battery allows up to 10 hours of use on a full charge. If you’re looking to trek all day in the wilderness, you can bank on feeling the electric warmth throughout the whole venture.
On top of everything, the garment is lightweight and impressively resistant to water and wind. Really, it’s hard to find a single reason not to opt for Ororo’s heated vest. It’s easily one of the best options on the market.
- Very comfortable
- Provides warmth throughout the body
- Long lasting battery
- Stylish and quite popular
- The glowing LED button might be annoying
The PROSmart heated vest is a convenient, fast acting option that provides a remarkable sense of warmth quite quickly even in extremely cold weather.
PROSmart’s flexible vest is entirely unisex. A drawback with this feature is that you and your partner may end up fighting over who gets to wear the heated vest. You can always flip a coin, or better yet — buy one for each of you!
As convenient as it is to be warmed by battery-powered clothing in winter, it’s also nice to have multiple temperature options so you don’t get too hot. If it gets too stuffy within your vest, you’ll end up being uncomfortable, which defeats the purpose of heated clothing.
With three temperature settings, you’re free to adjust the heat until you find a level of warmth that best suits you. As you’d expect, these range from low, medium and high.
One thing this heated vest comes with that many others lack is a cell phone pocket. In this day and age, mobile optimization is key, and that extends as far as the clothes we wear. With this vest, you can rest assured that your phone is close at hand and won’t get lost in the snow.
- Optimal battery placement
- Heats quickly
- Handy cell phone pocket
- Included instructions are not very clear
If you’re not too keen on something bulky, but still want the heat, check out the Conqueco option! It’s lightweight enough to layer, and looks just like a regular vest due to the power button being located inside. You don’t need to glow like a beacon to enjoy the warmth!
Throw a hoodie, sweater or any other outwear over the top if you’re still feeling chilly for a great slim fit experience. There’s no feelings of stuffiness and your movements won’t be restricted compared to heavier vests.
There are 3 heat settings (high/medium/low) which can be adjusted with the press of a button, and which allow for 3.5-12 hours of battery life. Generally, it takes about 3 minutes to warm up properly.
The material is soft and comfortable with a modern look making it perfect for chilly motorcycle rides, biking, fishing, or any other outdoor sport.
- Quick warmup
- Slim fit
- Battery pack is somewhat large
The heated vest from Akaso is designed specifically for women, and will keep your body from going numb in chilly winter conditions! Hop out of bed and warm yourself up in 3-5 minutes.
The Akaso model has 3 temperature settings providing up to 15 hours of long lasting warmth. It also has a heated collar to keep your neck warm, and is made with water resistant fabric.
The fit is slim, so a long sleeve shirt will go well under the vest, with the option of layering over the top such as a jacket. Slim vests make the heaters more effective, and also looks stylish. Expect compliments 🙂
The removable hood is a great option that many other vests don’t have, and you also have the option of controlling which areas of the vest you want to be heated.
- Stylish and modern
- Heats quickly
- Very comfortable
- Button placement
Things to Consider Before Buying a Heated Vest
Certain heated vest models are so attractive upon first glance, it’s tempting to simply click the big ‘Buy’ button and never look back.
However, it’s important not to jump the gun too quickly. There are a few key points to keep in mind before committing to a certain brand.
When shopping around for a heated vest, keep in mind that the most convenient heating element material is carbon fiber.
Aside from being optimal in generating and spreading heat, carbon fiber is quite flexible, allowing for fluid motion. Carbon fiber heated vests can also be put in the washing machine on a gentle cycle.
The other, less optimal options are steel plated or wired copper heating elements. Heated vests that use them are markedly more stiff, making it hard to move freely. Additionally, they need to be washed by hand.
In almost all cases, it’s best to opt for a heated vest that uses carbon fiber elements to generate heat.
Style and Fit
While most people shopping for a heated vest aren’t doing so to convey a fashion statement, it’s important to choose a style that you’re comfortable with.
Thankfully, there are a lot of options out there in a variety of designs, so there’s sure to be an ideal pick for every style preference.
Of course, there’s no use in picking a stylish heated vest if it doesn’t fit you properly. Aside from choosing your preferred aesthetic, you should also take a good look at the product’s sizing chart to ensure that you’ll find the right fit.
Finding the right fit comes with practical benefits, too. When a heated vest fits you properly, it prevents the heat from escaping through the collar, sleeves and waist line.
Comfort and Convenience
Some heated vests produce extraordinary amounts of warmth, but their bulky batteries and stuffy materials take away from the comfort of the experience.
Aside from finding a heated vest that keeps you warm, you should also ensure that the battery doesn’t get in the way of whatever activity you plan on doing.
For example, if you’re a winter sports enthusiast, it’s best to avoid garments with bulky batteries. We’ve listed a couple options that are surprisingly lightweight and feature convenient battery placement.
Is it important for your heated vest to have a cell phone pocket? Do you require as many pockets as possible to store all your essentials? Or do you pay no mind to the pocket configuration of the garment?
Depending on your needs, you might want to look for a heated vest with the right pocket layout. Outdoor workers, for example, will likely require a number of pockets to save them trips to the tool bag while on the job site.
On the other hand, if you just want a heated vest to keep you warm during your nightly stroll around the block, the standard dual pocket configuration will do just fine.
Battery life is one of the main factors to consider before choosing a heated vest. You’ll definitely want to look this tidbit up before adding anything to your cart.
Some heated vests can be powered for a full day at a time, while others only provide heat for a couple of hours. The former is a must-have for campers spending all day in the wilderness. The latter might be a good fit for those with regular access to a power source.
In any case, take note of how long you’ll need your heated vest to run for, and factor that in before committing to a product.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because these aren’t your typical garments, it’s common for those considering a heated vest to have a few questions. We’ve answered the most common ones below.
ARE HEATED VESTS SAFE?
When wearing an electrically powered piece of apparel, it’s totally understandable for some safety concerns to arise. Thankfully, the companies manufacturing these vests have placed safety at the very top of their priorities list.
All safety aspects are stress tested to the T, and then stress tested again. The process is repeated over and over before releasing a product to the market.
Because of the care put into their production, you can feel confident wearing a heated vest knowing that there’s an extremely low risk of anything going wrong.
HOW DO I CHARGE MY HEATED VEST?
Simply plug the charger into an electric outlet after attaching the battery. The charge time varies depending on the specific make of the vest in question.
HOW DO I CLEAN MY HEATED VEST?
Staying warm with a heated vest is a great convenience, but it comes with the responsibility of maintaining it properly. Thankfully, the models we’ve listed here are quite easy to wash.
The first step is to disconnect and remove the battery, as you’ve probably figured out yourself. Whether you’re washing it by hand or putting it in the machine, it’s important to use cold water only.
When passing it in the machine, be sure to use a gentle cycle, and place the vest in a mesh bag if you have one handy. Don’t use bleach or similarly strong solvents, as this could deteriorate the vest’s insulation.
Then, simply hang it dry. Don’t wring the vest out, as this might twist its heating elements.
A Shiver-free Winter Awaits
Gone are the days spent shaking in your boots. When you’re equipped with the right heated garments, you can feel nice and cozy even if you’re out in the middle of a snowstorm.
After going through this guide, you should be better prepared to make your pick. Take your time, choose wisely and remember to take the product’s specifications into account.
By the way, don’t neglect the warmth of your hands and fingers, since they tend to be especially susceptible to the cold. If you’re looking to add more heated garments to your arsenal, check out our favorite heated gloves.
- Why Freeze Dried Food is a Good Option for Camping & Hiking - November 26, 2022
- The 5 Best Heated Vests of 2022 - November 17, 2022
- 5 Best Campfire Cooking Tripods in 2021 - October 20, 2020