It may not be getting chilly out here in Southern California but in other parts of the country it is starting to feel like autumn. A quick look at the weather map and we noticed that a lot of the northern Mid-western states like the Dakotas, Minnesota, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming all were dipping into the middle to low 40’s. With that said, the temperatures will only get colder as we progress further into this football season which is also prime tailgating season.
One of the biggest apprehensions we hear when people do not want to go tailgating is being out in the elements. Either it is too hot or too cold or it is raining or the wind will mess up their hair… Those are just some of the biggest excuses we hear for not going tailgating. Milwaukee Tool just introduced a new line of heated jackets, hooded sweatshirts, high visibility gear and even heated hand warmers so now that excuse of the weather being too cold to go tailgating was just tossed out the window.
Take a look at Milwaukee’s demo video showcasing the features of the M12 jacket.
If you chose to skip the video, the Milwaukee line of M12 heated gear is powered by the Milwaukee M12 power tool battery. It’s basically not only wearing a sweatshirt or jacket, but it is like wearing an electric blanket that heats up and supplements your own body heat inside the jacket or hoodie. The same battery that powers about 60 different tools within the arsenal of Milwaukee Tool can also power up and keep you warm while out tailgating. If you brought along your Milwaukee cordless drill, you can use the battery from your jacket to chill a beer using the Chill Bit. Functionality meets wearability right there in the tailgating parking lot. We were sent a sample of the Milwaukee M12 Heated Hoodie and we put it to the test to see how well it stood up to a real tailgating environment.
(Disclaimer: We did receive a sample of the Milwaukee M12 Heated Hoodie for free. The fact this sample was provided to us free of charge in no way influenced our opinion of the product nor did it impact our ability to test and review the product fairly and objectively.)
The Milwaukee M12 Heated Hoodie arrived back in August. It came complete with the sweatshirt, the M12 battery and also the M12 batter charging station. We plugged in the charger and charged up the battery overnight. Because August in Southern California was hot as blazes we decided it would be best to test this product somewhere it is really cold. Rather than taking a road trip to the South Pole, we went somewhere closer. We hit the local ice rink.
The day we tested the Milwaukee M12 Heated Hoodie was actually on Labor Day. The outside temperature was in the middle 90’s here in Southern California but the temperature inside KHS Ice Arena in Anaheim, Calif was a balmy 42 degrees air temperature. We weren’t going to find someplace colder than that over Labor day weekend unless we hung out in the walk-in freezer at an ice cream shop.
Once we got inside the ice arena, I allowed myself to cool down from being outside. Once I started to feel cold I put on the Milwaukee Tool M12 Hoodie without the battery just to see how warm the sweatshirt was without the addition of heat. It was actually a very well made sweatshirt and to be honest with you was quite nice even without the heating aspect. But we weren’t there to just watch the youth hockey tournament. We were there to see how this hoodie heats up and see how much heat it produces.
I plugged in the battery and turned it on with one push of a button that is located on the left side chest area. The first push produced a red light which indicated it was on high. A second push turned it to white and with a third push, the light turned to blue. The white indicated it was putting out medium heat and the blue was low heat. A fourth push turns it off and you can wear it just as a regular hooded sweatshirt. (Click images in the gallery for a larger, more detailed view)
After going through the cycle of the different heat settings, I was interested to see how hot the highest setting would get. I turned on the red light and took a seat and watched a little youth hockey. I didn’t put a timer on it but it seemed like just a few minutes and I could really tell where the heating elements were located. I was warming up quite nicely and I even needed to turn it to the medium setting because it was getting a little too warm inside the hoodie on the high setting.
I then took off the hoodie and laid it down on one of the benches. I placed my cooking thermometer inside the hoodie to see how warm it was with the heat turned on but without any body heat adding to the reading to give an inflated number. As you can see from the last photo in the gallery, the sweatshirt was able to product 73 degrees all on its own without it being on a human body producing body heat.
Despite the fact we did not take this product to a tailgating parking lot and rather to an ice hockey arena we believe that it was thoroughly tested to label it “Tailgate Approved”. The sweatshirt was comfortable, the battery was in a convenient place but was not big and bulky that it was cumbersome to wear. I hardly even noticed there was a battery in the sweatshirt after wearing it for a few minutes.
Depending on the Milwaukee M12 Heated Gear you prefer, the prices will vary based on if you want a jacket or a sweatshirt. The heated jackets come in red, black and camo while the sweatshirts come in gray, khaki and red. For more information on Milwaukee M12 Heated Gear go to their Heated Gear section of the milwaukeetool.com website.
If you are ready to buy one online, note that Amazon.com has a wide variety of sizes, colors and styles to fit your needs.