Written By
Published Feb. 9, 2021

Grumble less this winter by investing in the right gear to keep you warm and comfortable. Innovations in winter weather gear like heated jackets and clothing are designed to bring amazing warmth without cumbersome extra layers. The best heated vests will give you an extra boost of warmth and comfort, and even allow you to customize temperature and locations where you feel the heat. Strategically placed heat zones bring warmth to your core, helping you to stay comfortable outdoors longer no matter how cold it gets. The best heated vests will fit well, promote overall wellbeing by harnessing heat to improve circulation, and relieve back and shoulder tension with their comforting warmth.

Designed using low voltage, they are safe and cannot cause any serious injury to the wearer. They use lightweight wiring and rechargeable lithium-ion batteries to discreetly warm your core while appearing to look like a typical, stylish outdoor vest. The thin heating elements are fully concealed within the garment and are protected by a waterproof membrane, so you don’t need to worry about rain. Keep reading for vests that are warm, safe, lightweight, and will work for hours, allowing you to work and play outdoors this winter in style.

Features to consider when shopping for the best heated vest

When it comes to finding the best heated vest for cold weather and your next outdoor adventure, you’ll want to learn about the different styles, brands, and features available. We’ve selected some of the best options on the market to keep you warm, dry, and enjoying being outside.

Focus on heated vests that recharge fast

When it comes to getting dressed and out the door, we all want to do it fast and without fuss. In the cold winter months, this can inevitably take longer, and you’ll pay the price in comfort when you shortcut this process. With the addition of heated clothing, you’ll find yourself needing fewer layers, which saves time—but you want to be sure your vest’s batteries are charged and ready to go. The best heated vests will have batteries that are easy and quick to recharge, heat the vest quickly upon wearing, and offer many hours of warmth and comfort between charges.

In order to get more hours of warmth out of your vest, compare vests based on the type of battery and method of charging, as well as the length of time it takes to heat up. Most models will offer adjustable temperature or zone settings, which will save on battery life and allow you to move the heat around the vest at just the right temperature for your comfort. A nice feature to look for is carbon fibers used as heat elements, as they allow for vests to heat up quickly.

Best rechargeable heated vest: Foxelli Heated Vest

Long-Lasting Battery

This model offers a 5V USB power bank to keep you warmer longer.

Check Price

This rechargeable heated vest is a good option when you need more hours of warmth. The vest can adjust between three heat settings (low/medium/high) to customize comfort level and save on battery life. The vest offers four heating zones at the collar, back, and core, which are a nice addition for cold walks outdoors.

What is the best heated vest for men?

No, you don’t have to tough out the cold. The best heated vests for men will be tailored specifically to a man’s body shape, offering warmth without a lot of bulk. Lightweight fabrics are a good choice to keep you comfortable and allow for free range of movement, especially if you’re wearing your heated clothing while playing winter sports. They are a smart choice compared to a fully heated jacket because they offer a lot of versatility. They can be worn under heavier coats for extreme cold, or worn on their own on cooler weather days.

Best heated vest for men: ORORO Men’s Lightweight Heated Vest

Stylish and Comfortable

Sleek, modern vest with four carbon fiber heating elements and adjustable heat settings. Amazon

Check Price

This heated vest for men is tailored neatly to the body and is machine washable. In seconds, the heating elements warm up the vest, which can be adjusted according to your comfort. It even includes a USB charging port within the vest battery that you can use for your cell phone.

Here’s the best heated vest for women

While many are marketed as unisex, if you really want to find the most flattering fit, you’ll want to look for a vest tailored specifically for women. The boxy cut of unisex styles might be too loose in some areas and not provide optimal insulation. A snug fit with side panels will keep the body warmest.

Similar to what you would find in men’s vests, you’ll want to look for one that offers multiple heat zones and customized adjustable warmth. The best heated vests for women will also be waterproof, machine washable, and have batteries that can handle hours of runtime. With innovative lightweight wiring, added warmth doesn’t have to be heavy or bulky.

Best heated vest for women: Mobile Warming Heated Down Vest

High Tech Warmth

Cut to keep you warm and toasty all day. Amazon

Check Price

This women’s heated vest is tailored to fit snugly and uses a combination of nylon and duck down with multiple heating elements to provide long-lasting warmth. Bonus high-tech features include Bluetooth connectivity to adjust the level of heat from your phone, and it can also show you areas that are being heated directly as well as a detailed view of remaining battery life. This vest includes a USB port to charge your smartphone and a built-in flashlight.

Stay warm while engaging in winter sports

As winter sports enthusiasts know—it’s never too cold out, you just don’t have the right cold-weather gear. While some people use the cold as an excuse to spend months mostly inside, this is not the case for all. The best cold-weather clothing can mean hours more of outdoor time, which is essential for winter sports enthusiasts. They can be a critical extra layer that keep your core warm and your muscles relaxed throughout your sweat session. Getting extra warmth without extra bulk will provide a full range of motion and keep you in the game.

The best options for winter sports will be lightweight and breathable with adjustable heat settings. The lighter the materials used, the less fatigue you will feel. After some time spent doing vigorous outdoor activities, you may feel both cold and sweaty, so breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics will be an important feature to keep you warm and dry. The best vests for winter sports will have multiple heating zones and customizable heat so you can warm up or cool down as you see fit. Finally, a securely fastened battery pack is essential when engaging in sports.

Best heated vest for winter sports: ORORO Men’s Fleece Heated Vest

Breathable and Warm

Lightweight, warm, and breathable with adjustable warmth and quick heating. Amazon

Check Price

This ORORO heated vest is a great choice for winter sports enthusiasts as the fleece provides warmth and breathability. Carbon fiber heating elements heat up three areas of the body quickly and temperature levels can be adjusted for your comfort, especially when you start sweating. Added perks: It’s machine washable and includes a USB charge for your phone.

Look for extra warmth while you work

If your work takes you outside or in non-heated areas, you need to protect yourself from the elements with the best cold-weather gear. These vests will protect your core to keep you safe and warm and can easily coordinate with other work clothes or uniforms.

The best vest for outdoor work will be versatile and lightweight. It should be simple and classic in design, with hidden heat elements to make the garment look more work-appropriate. Because the weather can change dramatically when working outdoors, you want to select a vest that features multiple heat zones and adjustable temperature, as well as the ability to turn certain areas off and on. Adjustable sizing is a nice bonus as well, so it can fit under other layers or loosen to wear on top, depending on the day and the nature of your work.

Best heated vest for outdoor work: ARRIS Vest

Heat On Demand

Adjustable sized vest with eight heating panels and five temperature controls. Amazon

Check Price

This Arris heated vest is a great choice for outdoor work as it offers a wide range of adjustable heat zones and temperature settings. Each of the 8 heating zones can be controlled and turned off or on as you move from indoors to outdoors and back again. Additional safety features include powering down if the vest gets too hot.

Best cheap heated vest: What you get for under $40

It is possible to get one for less, so if you’re on a budget or buying the vest for occasional wear, this is a smart way to go. The best cheap vest will fit comfortably and offer multiple heat zones and temperature adjustments. That being said, there will be some differences in models depending on the price range. Typically, you’ll find that saving some money means less material, which equals a thinner vest. Some higher-end versions serve double duty: they’re already very warm on their own, and then add on the heating elements to take things up a notch. Less expensive vests will be strictly for layering with other clothes. Another thing to watch out for is that some cheap vests don’t come with a rechargeable battery pack. Luckily this isn’t a deal-breaker because buying the battery separately will only set you back around an additional $20 to $30, which will still make the investment affordable.

Best cheap heated vest: PKSTONE Vest for Men & Women

Lightweight Heated Layer

Warm up for less with this easy, unisex zippered pick. Amazon

Check Price

A great choice for keeping warm outdoors, this PKSTONE vest offers five heating zones and three temperature settings all with a simple zip-up unisex design. It is machine washable and lightweight, making it a good option for layering. The rechargeable battery pack is not included and needs to be purchased separately if it fits your budget.


Q: Are heated vests safe?

They are definitely safe to wear. Although there are thin electrical wires running through the vest, the voltage is so low that there is no risk of electrocution. The vest is heated with a removable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery that is discreetly sewn into the garment in an accessible location, and they all include a waterproof membrane to keep the wires and battery safe from water. Still, care should be taken to make sure the battery stays in good working order, discarding and replacing if it becomes damaged.

Q: How do I use a heated vest?

Using a heated vest is simple and harnesses battery power to keep you warm. They have thin, lightweight wires placed within the garment and use a low charge to warm up. Some have Bluetooth connectivity so you can power up (or down) the heat by using an app on your smartphone.

Q: Can I wash heated vests?

They can be washed safely when following the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, the first step will be to disconnect and remove the rechargeable battery, and zip away or seal any connector cables. Be sure to wash your vest with cool water with the machine’s gentle setting. Line drying the garment is usually recommended, with care not to squeeze or wring out the vest so as to keep the delicate wiring inside safe for your next use.

A final word on shopping for heated vests

While long underwear has often been the first line of defense for an outdoor adventure, the best heated vests will take things up a notch and provide hours of warmth for your core, fit comfortably, and look stylish without all the bulky layers. With lightweight wiring and multiple heating zones, you can keep warm no matter how long you find yourself in winter weather.