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Winter comes every year, whether we like it or not. When faced with the prospect of several months’ worth of biting cold weather, all we can do is ensure that we’re well prepared. 

At a basic level, this means getting a warm coat, a pair of boots and gloves. That’ll be enough to avoid freezing over while waiting for the bus, at least. 

However, for those of us looking to face winter with a bit more defiance, the realm of heated garments has us covered. 

In this article, we’ll focus on heated vests. There’s a lot of great options out there, and we’ve narrowed them down to 5 picks that are sure to help you give father winter a good smack before he can smack you first.

Heating Elements 

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. 

Pockets 

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

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.

The 5 Best Heated Vests 

Now that you’re armed with the essential knowledge, it’s time to dive into the list. Without further ado, here’s our top 5 best heated vests in 2020.

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 5 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. 

This stylish piece of electronic clothing is designed to fit both men and women. So, your partner is free to take it on the go whenever you’re not using it — and they’re sure to look quite sharp while out and about. 

A downside is that there’s no battery included in the kit. However, you’re able to charge the vest using a powerbank via USB port.

pros
  • Adjustable sizing

  • Stylish design
  • Great heating attributes
cons
  • Battery not included

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.

pros
  • Optimal battery placement
  • Heats quickly
  • Handy cell phone pocket
cons
  • Included instructions are not very clear

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.

pros
  • Very comfortable

  • Provides warmth throughout the body
  • Long lasting battery
cons
  • None

With years of experience in the heated garment industry, Vinmori puts a worthy vest on offer. Although the quality apparel we’ve compiled in this list makes the competition quite tough, Vinmori’s heated vest is still one of the industry leaders. 

The heat settings here are a breeze to adjust. Everything is controlled through the use of a single button. This makes it super easy to find your ideal heat settings without having to stop what you’re doing. 

An additional convenience is the side zipper Vinmori included with the garment, which makes it a fitting option for a variety of body types. The zipper allows you to adjust the vest to your desired fit, from medium to XXL. 

With its high neck design, you’ll be looking quite elegant as you enjoy the electrical heat warming your body through your vest. Don’t boast about it too much, though, as you’re likely to get your friends jealous. 

It’s not all peaches and cream, though. The primary drawback with Vinmori’s heated vest is that there are no heat zones in the front — everything is heated by the back. This will still provide an ample amount of heat, but it won’t be as widespread as some of the other options we’ve listed.

pros
  • Adjustable sizing

  • Elegant design
  • Convenient controls
cons
  • No heat zones in the front of the vest

Manufactured by producers who specialize in the art of heated garments, the Cozihoma heated vest is definitely a worthy contender. It’s adjustable, USB powered and a great fit for a range of ages and body types. 

Every good heated vest is a welcome innovation — however, the common drawback they share is a bulky battery that limits mobility. Thankfully, that isn’t the case with Cozihoma’s product. 

Keeping winter sports enthusiasts and outdoor workers in mind, they’ve designed their vest so that the battery hardly gets in the way. If you’re looking to avoid anything heavy and inconvenient, then Cozihoma’s heated vest is definitely worth looking into. 

You won’t have to wait too long to warm up with this heated vest. It’s been engineered so that its users can feel significant heat in a matter of seconds. 

Although the kit does not include a power source, it offers compatibility with most power banks, which is a convenience. All in all, this is a solid pick for a heated vest, especially for those looking to stay limber while braving the winds of winter.

pros
  • Mobile design allows fluid motion

  • Heats quickly
  • Very comfortable
cons
  • Power source not included

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.

John Zahra