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OK, I'm not a fashion guy. I'm also not normally associated with concepts such as "style," but since this jacket is packed with tech, I said that I've give reviewing this a go. And to help with this review, I recruited my daughter, Amy, to put this heated jacket through its paces.
The UZE heated jacket impressed me right out of the box. In fact, the box was nice -- it presented the jacket well and made the instructions clear. Everything was also easily recyclable.
I was expecting a simple jacket with some heating elements retrofitted into it (yes, I've seen a few prior to this one that were very disappointing), but this was not the case with the UZE heated jacket. My first impressions were that this is a nicely designed, well-built, robust jacket featuring some super cool features.
And those first impressions held true the more I looked at it.
For example, the magnetic poppers that keep the front of the jacket closed are far easier than faffing about with poppers or Velcro. It also features a detachable liner for when the weather warms, under arm vents for ties when things get a bit sweaty, a detachable snow skirt for when you're not on the slopes, detachable faux fur for when you're not in the arctic, a detachable hood for warmer, drier months, and pockets for your hands and belongings.
Lots of pockets.
There are pockets on the arms, heated pockets, and even pockets that contain a key holder and sunglasses wiper.
To keep the wind out, the cuffs are adjustable and also feature built-in fingerless gloves for added warmth, which is a nice touch and something I've not seen on any other jacket.
Oh, and the jacket is built such that it shrugs off wind and repels rain.
It's a well-made jacket, tough, and capable of protecting the wearer from bad weather. Yet, at the same time, it is stylish no matter where you find yourself. The heated part of this jacket that intrigued me the most.
Let's start with the power pack. It is a 10,000mAh unit that charges very quickly -- under an hour -- when using a 100W charger. That can power the jacket for up to 10 hours from a 9V jack or while also keeping your phone and other devices charged using the USB-A and USB-C ports that are also built into the pack.
The longevity of the power bank, combined with the fast charge capability, is a huge plus point for this jacket. You could live run this jacket on a single power bank, as long as you were judicious about charging it.
As for heating, it's subtle but effective. You have two heater pads down low by the pockets. They're aimed at keeping your hands and core warm, and there are two more on the shoulders that warm your back and torso.
There are three heat settings (well, four if you count off), and these approximately equate to 120°F/50°C, 140°F/60°C, and 160°F/70°C. The settings are controlled by pressing the emblem on the front of the jacket, which is a cool, Star Trek way to operate.
The graphene pads heat up fast and do a good job of keeping the wearer warm without making you feel like you're being cooked by the jacket.
Any negatives? A couple.
First, I'd love if the jacket could be powered from a regular USB-C power bank. I understand why the makers chose to use 9V using a barrel jack connector, but making it USB-C would be handy in terms of being able to make powering it more flexible.
Amy also tells me that the heater pads on the shoulders can get a bit uncomfortable when wearing a heavy-ish backpack, so this might be something to bear in mind if you wear one regularly.
Still, those two points aside, this is a quality bit of kit, solidly made, with some really neat features. It's one of the most interesting outdoor jackets that I've come across.
ZDNET's buying advice
Hands down, this is the best quality heated jacket that I've seen, and I've seen a few over the past two or three years. It's well-thought-out, and the feature such as the magnetic poppers, the cuffs that transform into fingerless gloves, and the removable liner make this a jacket that you could be wearing all year -- or at least all of the year you would need a jacket. The sticking and materials are top notch, and a lot of thought has been put into the design.
The heat output is good, the power bank big enough to keep it going for hours, and the power bank charges up fast enough so you never have to be out in the cold.
With a retail price of $599, this is an expensive jacket, but decent outdoor clothing isn't cheap. I have to say that if you want to spend that sort of money on a jacket, you wouldn't be disappointed.
The good news is that you can currently pick up the UZE heated jacket for $299, and at that price, it's hard to beat. Yes, you can find cheaper ones, but in my experience, cheap heated jackets are pretty poor quality. Sure, you might get a winter or so out of one. But unless it's properly windproof and waterproof, it's going to be a bit of a miserable experience. You're paying more for the UZE heated jacket, but this is something that you should get a few years or wears out of with no problems.