Safety Tools

Milwaukee ToughShell Heated Jacket Review

Milwaukee ToughShell Heated Jacket Review

The Milwaukee Toughshell Jacket is a great option for anyone looking for a little extra insulation than their standard insulated coat provides. It has a few nice features including an adjustable hood, cuff straps, and a zippable pocket. If I could change anything, it would be the lack of a zipper in the front pockets. They’re not too bad, but they don’t provide much protection from wind and rain.


  • Accurate fit according to the sizing chart
  • Five heating zones which include left/right front outer pockets
  • Highest Rating
  • Excellent heat up times
  • Durable material
  • Adjustable cuffs
  • Weather resistance


  • There is no (power source)battery adapter clip

The Milwaukee Toughshell Jacket is an excellent choice if you’re going to wear your heated jacket to work. It has a tough outer layer to withstand the elements and the job sites.

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Milwaukee ToughShell Heated Jacket Review | Recommendations

One of the interesting things about the Milwaukee Toughshell jacket revolves around heat coverage. It isn’t that some of the other jackets don’t have comparable heat coverage, but the Toughshell jacket has heated pockets with separate controls for them. This not only allows you to keep your hands warm, but it allows for better control when you want to conserve your battery.

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Heat Zones and Controls (Comfortable Heat)

One of the interesting aspects of the Milwaukee Toughshell jacket is its ability to provide heat protection. It’s not that the other jackets don’t offer similar heat coverage, but the tough shell jacket has heated pockets with its own controls. This not only keeps your hands warm but also lets you control them better when you want to conserve power.

The Milwaukee Toughshell jacket also has heating coverage for the left and right chest, as well as the lower back as compared to previous jackets designed.

All the heating zones or heat levels are easy-to-see and pressable on the left chest. You can select between three different heat settings by clicking on either button once.

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Battery Storage

Running on a brand’s 12 V platform has some disadvantages compared to running on an 18 V platform, but the 12 V side of things has some advantages. As with power tools, the main advantage of 12V batteries comes from their size and weight.

With battery storage, this becomes particularly useful. Most of the jackets that rely upon an 18V battery to power them suffer from one common problem – they feel bulky, which affects their overall comfort. You don’t need to store it in a special pocket on your jacket; you can just put it in any old pocket.

It’s different for Milwaukee jackets (and Bosch for that matter). It’s small enough to fit into a pocket on the backside of the jacket, and it doesn’t look or seem like you’re growing a large tumor on your kidney.

Material and Design

The Milwaukee Toughshell has a stretchy polyester outer shell and a brushed polyester inner lining. The result is a warm, weather-resistant, insulation-providing jacket.

Milwaukee claims that its ToughShell material provides five times better durability and weatherproofing than traditional vinyl siding. We didn’t test our software under stressful conditions, so we can’t say for sure if it’s really true. However, the outer skin definitely feels thicker than the Axis’ skin, which makes it likely to hold up better outdoors than the Axis.

The Milwaukee Toughshell offers hook and loop cuffs instead of Velcro. Storm cuffs are less comfortable than these, but the advantage is that they don’t stretch and wear out as quickly as storm cuffs.

Milwaukee Toughshell Heated Jacket Additional Features

  1. Quick-heat function heats up 3 times faster than traditional heaters.
  2. (3) outer zip pockets, (1) inner zip pocket, (1) low-profile battery pocket
  3. With up to (8) hours of run time, the M12 RedLithi­um 2.0 compact battery packs are perfect for long runs.
  4. Washer and dryer safe
  5. FreeFlex Mobility gussets provide enhanced mobility
  6. High loft insulation to trap heat
  7. Adjustable waist with drop tail extended back
  8. Battery-powered Jackets

Fit & Comfort

Heated jackets are slightly different from your regular jacket. You should ideally be able to get as close contact as possible between the heating element and your body. To get the most out of a jacket’s primary function, it needs to be fitted closely.

Personally, I could live without my outerwear hugging my body, but there’s a downside you’ll need to consider: You’ll be less attractive. If you’d prefer an even looser fit, and want to move up a size, know that the heating element won’t be quite as warm.

As for how accurate the fit is, it seems pretty close to the size chart. The chest and shoulders fit just right. The midsection is slightly tighter than I’d like, but I expect that, and maybe these photos will remind me to skip meals once in a while.

The real rub with the jacket is that it could’ve had a bit more length. Other jackets we tried were better suited for longer trips. My body type is average, and if I stretched out, the jacket would climb up enough that the cool wind could tickle my soft belly.


We look at several factors when considering a jacket’s heating capability, including:

  • Temperature,
  • Insulation,
  • Energy efficiency.

On high, the jacket jumps up to 120° within 15 seconds, then 140° within 84 seconds. It takes about 10 minutes for the temperature to reach its peak. After that, it cools down and settles at its cruising temperature of 121 degrees Fahrenheit.


We also like a coat that retains warmth. We found that all of the jackets we tested allowed for 71%-79% of the jacket’s interior temperature to reach the outside of the outer shell. Despite the fact that the swings seem pretty small, it might be worth pointing out that this is one area in which the Milwaukee Toughshell may not have performed as well as some of the others. It has an external surface area of 76 percent of its internal volume.

Battery Efficiency

We also like to test how efficient a jacket’s batteries actually are. After all, you could get M12 batteries all way up to 6.o Ah. We looked at how long each jacket lasts per watt-hour of energy output. The Milwaukee Toughshell is middle-of-the-pack, finishing in the middle at 7:40 minutes, but has a pretty big difference to Bosch’s 12-minute mark.

If you want to get through the game quickly, the Toughshell gives about two hours, 45 minutes with everything on high or four hours with just the chest/back zones on.


The Milwaukee ToughShell heated jacket comes as a bare jacket, but you can kit it up with an M12 battery and compact charging cable. If you purchase just the jacket, you’ll be able to expect to spend around $149. With the battery and charging kit, the total cost will be about $200. It comes with a one-year warranty.

That’s pretty close with most kits starting around US$200 and running up to US$230 or so.

The Bottom Line

The Milwaukee Toughshell Jacket has five heat zones, a quick heating time, and a tough outer layer. You get a lot for your buck with an impressively feature-packed package and a price that’s at the lower end for this category.

Milwaukee Toughshell Heated Jacket Specs

  • Model Number: 202R21
  • Battery System: M12
  • Outer Shell: ToughShell Stretch Polyester
  • Inner Material: Brushed Tricot
  • Heat Elements: Chest, Back, Pockets
  • Heat Settings: Low, Medium, High
  • Weather Resistant: Wind/Water-Resistant
  • Insulated: Yes
  • Washing: Washer and Dryer Safe
  • Heated Gear Warranty: 1 Year

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1. How warm is the Milwaukee heated jacket?

If measured in percentage, it is a 100% heated jacket.

2. How long do Milwaukee heated jackets last?

The jacket is powered with the M12™ REDLIUM™ battery for up to 6 hours of continuous use. Durable, Milwaukee designed for extreme job site conditions. Battery delivers fade-free power.

3. Can you wear a Milwaukee heated jacket in the rain?

Our Milwaukee M12 heated AXIS layering system with HYDROBREK rain shells is designed to keep you warm and comfortable during cold and wet weather conditions. It has a single touch control panel that heats up the jacket to 3 heat settings, so it’s perfect for any environment or weather condition.

4. Is the Milwaukee Toughshell waterproof?

The TOUGSHELL stretch polyester jacket material provides five times longer jacket life compared to previous Milwaukee softshell heated vests. It’s made from durable materials that provide wind and water resistance so it can withstand the elements whether at work or out in the great outdoors.

5. Can I wash my Milwaukee heated jacket?

How to clean the heated jacket:

Push the power cord into the battery controller pocket until it clicks into place. Zip up the case. Wash in a gentle cycle in warm water. Bleach is toxic.

6. Who makes the best-heated jacket?

  • Best Overall: Ororo Lightweight Heated Vest:
  • Best Option With Pockets: Tidewe Lightweight Heated Vest.
  • Best Fleece Option: Prosmart Heated Polar Fleece Vest.
  • Best Hooded Option: Foxelli Heated Vest.
  • Best for Layering: Srivb Heated Vest.
  • Best Camouflage: Gobi Heat Colorado Heated Hunting Vest.

7. What size plug is on Milwaukee heated jacket?

The M12 Heated Jacket 12V DC Plug Adapter is compatible for use with standard 12V DC power outlets found in cars, heavy machinery, and RV’s. This adapter provides unlimited runtime for all Milwaukee® heated jackets.

8. How long do batteries last in a heated jacket?

At an ambient temperature of 25℃/77℉ testing, the heated jacket battery will last approximately 8-9 hours on low, 6-7 hours on medium, or 3-4 hours on high.


The Milwaukee ToughShell Heated Jacket is a great item to have on hand if you are a construction worker or someone who stays outside in the cold all day. The jacket is a combination of a jacket and gloves and is equipped with a heating system that is powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

We hope you enjoyed our Milwaukee ToughShell Heated Jacket review and that you were able to find out if this jacket is right for you.!

Milwaukee’s ToughShell heated jacket is great for outdoor work and plays as it is designed to protect you from the elements and keep you warm without weighing you down.

This durable and high-tech, the Milwaukee ToughShell heated jacket is the perfect heated jacket for Milwaukee Jobsite workers. It’s comfortable, easy to operate, and it can keep you warm even in the coldest of conditions.

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