Milwaukee M12 Cordless Heated Jacket Long-Term Review

M12™ Cordless Heated Jacket Kit 2331

Over the last year at Tool Box Buzz you may have seen the other posts on the M12 Cordless Heated Jacket. The first post was when we initially heard of the product. Then came a review a few months after its release. This jacket has been through everything and after a year of use is still one of our favorite tools.

Milwaukee M12 Heated Jacket

Milwaukee M12 Cordless Heated Jacket Kit 2331

Model 2331 Features and Specifications

  • Up to 6 hours of continuous heat per battery charge
  • Water and Wind Resistant
  • 3 Heat Zones distribute heat to core body areas
  • 3 Heat Settings Plus Warm-up Feature
  • Includes 1 M12™ REDLITHIUM™ Battery and 30 minute charger
  • Soft shell exterior with fleece lining on cuffs and collar
  • Comes in size Medium through 3XL
  • Also available in Realtree Camo (2333) and Black (2336) in Canada

Evaluation and Performance

It is an understatement to say that working in cold weather is tough on a person. This jacket makes it a lot more bearable and even comfortable. I have been using this jacket in the cold since December of 2010. It has been subjected to 40s with rain to snowstorms to double digits below zero. It has handled them all.

  • Long lasting heat – The battery lasts a full 6 hours and warms the core of the body adequately the entire time. The warm-up cycle gets the jacket up to temperature very fast so the initial chill when first stepping out into the cold is very short. The lining of the jacket is quite warm by itself, sometimes I find myself not even having the jacket on.
  • Ease of use – The jacket has only one button. Push for 3 seconds to turn on. It goes into warm-up mode. After a few minutes it goes to medium heat mode. Press the button to cycle through the other heat modes. Hold for 3 seconds to turn off. The battery compartment is conveniently located on the left side of the jacket just behind the hand pocket. The battery can be changed while wearing the jacket.
  • Looks good – Even after a year of regular use (in the cold months) it still looks really good. I get a lot of compliments on it and it is very professional looking.
  • Light – At 2.6 pounds the jacket is not any heavier than a normal work jacket even with the battery. A great perk of the M12 line is that the batteries do not weigh much. Even after wearing for hours I cannot feel it weighing me down
  • Accurate Fit – The jacket in the XL size is an accurate fit. It has a little extra wiggle room for some layering without getting tight and is very comfortable. It accommodates my long torso without looking like a belly shirt.
  • Makes outdoor work bearable – The best part of this jacket is that it really takes the  chill out of working outdoors. It really shines during those times where I’m not working fast or hard. First thing in the morning, right after lunch, and towards the end of the day.
  • Durable – Overall the jacket is very durable. After a year of use there is no visible wear. Zipper still works very well. I did have an issue though with the jacket shorting out when I would sit down.

Overall Impression

In the winter this tool cannot be beat. There are a few situations that I think the jacket really shines in, 1.) slow, finicky tasks either outside or in a cold building and 2.) stepping out of a warm vehicle onto a jobsite. It is perfect for a project manager, tradesman, or DIY-er. My most common task is working in my unheated garage and it does an awesome job!

I did have one fairly significant issue with the jacket. At the beginning of this most recent winter the jacket would shut off when I would sit down. I contacted Milwaukee through their Twitter account and one of their product managers called me back. He assured me that they have had no issues with this product and they were really curious what was happening with my jacket. They sent me a new one at no cost and then had me return mine so they could investigate. No questions asked. They could have ignored me but instead made it right. I will continue to buy red because they stand behind their products and engage their customers.

Brief Video with my Thoughts

Where To Buy

The new M12™ Cordless Heated Jacket is available at almost all major tool supply locations that carry Milwaukee Brand Tools. One notable exception is in store at Home Depot. You can also buy it online on Amazon at the following link:

About the author

Jeff Williams

Contributing Editor Jeff Williams is a carpenter for a commercial General Contractor specializing in concrete, steel, and wood buildings. Jeff comes from a long line of contractors. His parents started a commercial General Contracting firm many years ago and it has afforded him life-long, hands-on learning opportunities from rough and fine carpentry all the way to structural steel and concrete. Jeff has a Construction Management degree and loves the thrill of coordinating and successfully managing large jobs from start to finish. Inspired by the difficulties sometimes encountered to complete punch lists his motto is, "Work hard until the job is done."

@jeff_williams

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12 Comments

  1. Mike Johnson

    Good review Jeff thanks for the details.

  2. Benjamin Henry

    Phew,

    I’m way behind on this but did you ever figure anything out with the jacket shorting out when you sat down? I have the exact same issue and there’s two posts total that I can find about this problem. Any easy fixes on that or did you come across anything?

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Ben – we’ll forward to Jeff and let him respond….hold tight.

  3. Tracy

    Any information on the new batteries not working in the older jackets? I can’t afford to buy a new jacket. Any help would be greatly appreciated please.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      All M12 batteries are compatible with all M12 products including the jackets.

  4. Mi

    I bought the hoodie jacket just few weeks ago and
    The battery shuts off by itself in less than 5 min.
    I didn’t know what was going on so I turned it back on and it went out
    Again and again.
    I tried in med or low and still did the same thing.
    I didn’t move vigorously or sit down.
    So I tried a test laying the jacket down on the bed.
    Still did the same thing! It’s new and what’s wrong with this thing!
    I can’t find the recipe so I’m getting nervous.
    Didn’t think that it could break down so fast!
    I hope I find a way to exchange it to the one working ok.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Sounds like something is wrong…call their customer service number.

  5. Jon R

    No way this jacket lasts even remotely close to 6 hours, even on low! I can barely get mine to last 2 hours on the lowest heat setting – and that’s with only the chest and back heat on. I think I’m going to return mine and try the ridgid heated jacket or the gobi.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Jon,

      First off what size battery pack are you using? That has a HUGE impact on run-time. Not all 12V packs are the same Amp-Hour Ratings. Stick a 2.0 Ah small pack or a 3 to 6 Ah pack and you’ll get MUCH longer run time. I wear mine deer hunting and I can easily go all day on low. When I’m ice fishing I can get a couple hours on high. I’ve use all the heated jackets, in my opinion these are the best.

      Todd

  6. Jeff Oertel

    Went and bought 3 toughshell jackets and 1 axis jacket for xmas presents. Wife is using her axis jacket and cannot even get 2 full hours of use from a single fully charged battery. Considering the cost of these jackets and the minimal usage from a single charge I am considering returning these jackets.

    Jeff

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Jeff – I wear these jackets a LOT throughout hunting season. Couple things, run-time depends on what size battery pack you use, it also depends on what setting you use. If you put it on HIGH, and use one of the smaller battery packs, 2 hrs is about right. If you run it on medium you’ll get a lot longer. These are not designed or intended to run all day on a charge, you’d need several batteries.

      1. Angela Lofgren

        Awesome, thank you for that information! It was very cd out there today hinting and my jacket kept shutting off after maybe an hour or 2. I did have it set on high. I’ll try a lower setting tomorrow.

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