RIDGID 18v Heated Jacket Kit – Model R8703K
RIDGID 18V HEATED JACKET KIT – MODEL # R8703K
RIDGID 18v Heated Jacket Kit - Model R8703K
Model number: R8703K
Power source: 18v Lithium Ion Battery
With today’s snow being the first of the year, I found myself stuck in traffic cursing like I usually do because people forget they know how to drive, but then I felt all warm and fuzzy and remembered why, it was because I was wearing the Ridgid 18v Heated Jacket Model # R8703K, then I continued to curse at New England drivers who continuously don’t know how to drive in the snow!!
When I took the jacket out of the package, my initial thought was, wow this is a sleek enough jacket that you could get away with wearing it majority of the year. It’s designed with contractor, tradesman, in mind. The zippers are rugged and have pull strings on them for easier access with gloves on. There is a waist band cord that can tighten up so that when you bend over, the jacket does not ride up, exposing your plumbers trademark! One of the downsides I would say is that it doesn’t seem durable enough for the wear and tear an outside contractor (ie. Roofer, framer, or even landscaper) would put it through. That being said, it will function as a light weight jacket for spring and fall days.
The Ridgid R8703K has some really cool features. Three core heating zones, three heat settings per zone, or the removable belt clip just to name a few. Below are a list of the cool features it has to offer.
- 2.1 AMP Output Integrated USB Power Port for device recharging
- 3 Core Heating Zones – Chest, Back and Pockets
- 3 Heat Settings per Zone – High, Medium and Low
- The ability to turn one zone off but leave the other on
- Wind and Water Resistant
- Expandable Battery pouch
- Removable Belt Clip
Another cool feature I like is the levels of heat are also indicated by color on the indicator panel. Red indicates HIGH, White indicates MEDIUM, and Blue indicates LOW. I will say that the power indicator being located on the left hand inside is tough to operate if you have the zipper up. That being said, the color coded indicator allows a quick view of what mode/setting you’re on.
When charging your cellphone or other smart devices, the Ridgid R8703K offers concealment. With a small slat in the battery pouch you can “fish” the cable all the way up through the inside and into the electronics pocket locates chest high on the left side. This keeps your devices secured, out of sight and readily available!
COMMON ISSUES / GRIPES REGARDING HEATED JACKETS:
A few of the most common issues with all heated jackets come with are access to the battery pouch, battery dis-lodgement and/or the bulkiness of the battery in regards to sitting or bumping into things.
First I will address the battery pouch and its accessibility. It very difficult to access the battery pouch when you have jacket on. Being on the left side about ¾ of the way around, unless you are a contortionist, you are not going to be able to fully access the battery. I will say that once the zipper is secured, the battery pack does not move around, it says in one place.
Next I will mention that with the dislodging of the battery is NOT an issue with the Ridgid Heated Jacket. The Ridgid battery locks securely into the power adapter and virtually eliminates the chances of the battery coming separated during your daily duties. There is nothing more frustrating than having to stop what you’re doing, take off your jacket and reattaching the battery.
Lastly I will say that the when you have the battery attached to the power adapter and in your battery pouch it is rather bulky. Ridgid offers a clip on the power adapter as well as a longer cord so you can attach it to your belt if the bulge bothers you. With that in mind, you are now adding some extra weight (roughly 2.5lbs) to your already loaded waist line. It has to be up to the end user on whether you sacrifice some bulkiness or add the extra weight.
MULTIPLE PROFESSION USE:
While I was testing this jacket, a good friend of mine was asking me questions on how good it actually was. I could sense doubt in his tone and offered him an opportunity to test it. As a police officer, being out in the cold weather, be it on duty, or doing a road side detail, the elements take a toll on you. After one use, he was convinced that the heated jacket is worth the investment. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them is already in transit to his house…
OVERALL IMPRESSION OF THE R8703K:
The Ridgid Heated Jacket Model R8703K undoubtedly has its strength and weaknesses. I would put the strengths far ahead of its weaknesses though. Having the ability to stay warm in the cold weather will allow you more opportunities to say yes to those jobs you may have previously turned down due to the elements.
- Sizes available : Large, X-Large, XX-Large
- Item Number R8702B, R8703B, R8704B
- Sold exclusively online only at Home Depot – $149
- Sizes available : Large, X-Large, XX-Large
- Item Number R8702K, R8703K, R8704K
- Sold exclusively online only at Home Depot – $199
- Comes with Battery and Charger
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