RIDGID 18 Volt Heated Jacket Review

By Phil Benevides on Tool and Product Reviews

RIDGID 18 Volt Heated Jackets on the ACC Job-Site

 

RIDGID recently announced it will offer heated jackets at select Midwest Home Depot stores and exclusively on HomeDepot.com. This exciting announcement prompted us here at a Concord Carpenter to check out the newest heated jacket to hit the market from RIDGID and give it a first look back in January.

The heated gear revolution has given us tradesmen and women a serious mechanical advantage over the elements. Even the most well prepared worker or outdoors-men will fall victim to the cold when stationary. The additional heat generated by this gear allows the user to ADD heat to the equation even when our bodies aren’t producing much. These jackets and hoodies are a game changer and no one has been more accepting of this technology than A Concord Carpenter, we love the concept and welcome each new offering with open arms.

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RIDGID 18 Volt Heated Jacket Review

Our crew at a Concord Carpenter have field tested almost all the heated gear from the biggest players in tools so we like to think we have a good gauge on the market, what works, and how we like to employ this technology on the job-site.

The RIDGID brand heated gear is clearly limited by availability not just be limiting it’s sales at brick and mortar Home Depots in the mid-west, but also the sizes available on HomeDepot.com, starting at a Large and up. Regardless of these limiting factors this heated jacket has some serious advantages over it’s competitors, but are balanced by some clear shortcomings.

 

Specifications

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Black Jacket Only

  • Sizes: L,XL,2XL
  • Models: R8702B, R8703B, R8703B
  • Suggested Retail: $149
  • Available: In Select Midwest Home Depots & HomeDepot.com

Black Jacket w/Battery & Charger Kit

  • Sizes: L,XL,2XL
  • Models: R8702K, R8703K, R8704K
  • Suggested Retail: $199
  • Available: On HomeDepot.com

 

Features

  • Up to 18 hour Run-TIme (With 4.0 Ah Li-Ion battery – sold separately)
  • Integrated USB Power Port
  • 3 Core Heat Zones (Chest and Back)
  • Heated Pockets
  • 3 Heat Settings Per Zone
  • Adjust core and pocket heat zones independently
  • Water and Wind Resistant
  • Multi-Layered Fabric Technology
  • Expandable battery pouch holds any RIDGID 18V battery
  • Removable Belt Clip

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Out of the Box

 

The RIDGID 18 Volt Heated Jacket Kit starts you out with everything you need to run a heated jacket during cold winter months. The kit provides you with the Jacket, of course, a compact battery charger, about half the size of the RIDGID duel chemistry charger (highlighted in this RIDGID 18-Volt X4 Circular Saw review)

I generally keep my heated jacket charger by my bed, much like my cell phone charger, to ensure when I wake up and start my day, often in frigid temperatures, I know I have a full battery. This small charger format is nice for just that reason and if you go off your primary tool platform to get this jacket you don’t have a clunker of a charger taking up space. A not so nice feature is the slide Li-Ion battery, while seated in the charger covers the key noting what light and blinking patterns of the charger mean which although may save space seems to me like a bit of an oversight.

The battery adapter that allows you to plug the jacket in has a nice oversized clip and a on/off switch, to help prevent turning the unit on accidentally. The RIDGID Hyper Li-Ion battery securely clips onto tools and this adapter, which we really appreciate as other slide battery models often dislodge from the adapter during wear and de-activate the jacket. This issue can be particularly frustrating since the external battery pocket can be nearly impossible to access while wearing the jacket.

The outerwear itself is well designed with modest orange details on the zipper pulls and the RIDGID logo discreetly on the front waist of the jacket. The material and stitching are sleek but don’t seem durable enough for job-site abuse. The jacket without the heating elements activated is quite warm and the sleeves feature a collar to keep your forearms protected from the elements while reaching or stretching out your arm which is a nice touch. There is also tension cord on the waist of the jacket to keep your midsection covered while moving or bending on the job, so it’s clear the folks at RIDGID really tried to design the jacket with the physical demands of the trades-person in mind.

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Performance

 

The biggest downfall of the RIDGID 18 Volt Heated Jackets is the battery platform itself. The Hyper Li-Ion battery has the LARGEST footprint of all the major tool/batteries out there, making the burden of this heated jacket the cumbersome battery that you have to deal with while seated in a vehicle or trying to get your belt on comfortably. The belt clip and extra long power cord is definitely a development used to counter this downside of the Hyper Li-Ion platform and allows you to easily remove, change, or check the power level of the battery. The performance of the battery itself is great, providing plenty of heat to get you to lunch for a recharge, as long as you don’t have the unit blasting on high on both heating zones.

As far as heating zones go the RIDGID 18 Volt Heated Jackets really hit the mark by integrating heated pockets into the unit. This creates a safe haven for your hands to warm up when temperatures and wind gust knock the feeling right out of the very things you rely on to get the job done; your hands! Between heated gear and thoughtful layers, when I’m exposed to the elements the only part of me that ends up being cold are my hands, so knowing I have a mobile hot spot with me at all times to warm the feeling back into my mits, makes taking the gloves off to manipulate a a complicated task much easier to bare, regardless of temperatures.

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As I’ve mentioned in previous articles about heated gear my biggest pet peeves are the batteries dislodging from the adapter during the work day and the uncomfortable buldge at your side when driving or working in tight spaces. The RIDGID model splits these issues, the batteries are rock solid staying securely attached to the adapter, but you must deal with the large size of the battery on your side or clipped to your belt or pants. The battery clipped on your belt or pants has been a love it or hate it, for some its no big deal and the access to the battery is a big plus, for others the additional item hanging from your belt is more of an inconvenience than it is worth. You’ll have to decide on your own.

 

Overall Impression

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RIDGID’s 18 Volt Heated Jackets boasts unique features that help it stand out in the current heated gear market. The heated pockets are a BIG discriminator for RIDGID’s model making it one of the most innovative models out there. The RIDGID jacket also allows the user the option to clip the power source and battery, which is quite large, to your belt giving you much more convenient access to the power source and battery.

RIDGID has made its way on the professional job-site through a variety of power tools, accessories, and hand tools, if this jacket holds up to job-site conditions and the price is as competitive as other RIDGID products I’d say you can add this to the list! We tested this jacket on a roof in the dead of winter up here in New England and it held up to the wind and cold.

RIDGID’s 18 Volt Heated Jackets are ACC approved!

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About the author

Phil Benevides

Carpenter / Assistant Editor

Phil is a 28-year old Air Force Veteran who decided to transform his passion for construction and home improvement into a career. Inspired by his Grandfather who built his home from the ground up with his bare hands in Portugal, he received his formal training in Carpentry at the North Bennett Street School in Boston, MA.Phil continues to grow his skills as a carpenter and leader, while exploring new products, methods, and tools!

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