A few weeks ago, Fieldsheer sent me a jacket to review, but not just any jacket — it’s an Adventure Heated Jacket with Mobile Warming heating technology. As you might expect, there are a few technological tricks up this jacket’s sleeves. To be more precise, the tech is in the back of the jacket while the front holds the heating elements.
Review of the Adventure Heated Jacket by Fieldsheer
First off, they’re not kidding when they said that the Adventure Heated Jacket runs small. I’m not a small guy; I’m broad and have a bit of a breadbasket from my fighting days. I figured a large would be alright because jackets usually give you some room for layering. Not these. They are about half a size smaller than the sizes you might be used to. That being said, it fits nicely. It’s not too tight, but I just can’t layer anything thicker than flannel or thermal under it.
Let’s start with how this jacket works. The entire system of the Adventure Heated Jacket is powered by a Li-ion battery in a sneaky little pouch inside one of the side pockets. I have the Powersheer XL Plus 7.4V 4000mAh 29.6Wh capacity dual input/output USB and DC chargeable battery with a little flashlight and a set of 4 tiny charge level indicator lights on it.
Fielsheer did not send a charger with the kit, just a small USB to USB-A cord. I don’t believe they send a charger for the Adventure Heated Jacket unless you purchase one with your order since any USB 5V 2A phone charger should work. While most of those chargers are actually ~5.3V 2A, the extra .3V isn’t going to cause any trouble.
The writing on my battery is faded and worn in some spots, which is how it came in the packaging. Now, to be fair, there is a global supply chain issue right now, and the people at Fieldsheer were very honest with me about their issue meeting demand for the Adventure Heated Jacket as the winter season came, and things started flying off the shelf.
Also interesting: 4 Techy Ways to Stay Warm This Winter
The battery of the Adventure Heated Jacket might have had a rough ride before it got to me. It hasn’t suffered in any way other than some slight cosmetic issues, and I’m personally fine with that. It takes a little while to charge to full, but that’s to be expected for something that has a constant and inefficient draw which is exactly what heating is.
The flashlight on the battery is pretty bright and a nice deep blue, which matches the indicator lights, but it doesn’t project very far, about 12 ft at the most. I think it’s an SMD-style LED, but it doesn’t seem all that strong. It would be a great light for looking around a tent at night, watching where you walk, or signaling someone so they know where you are.
The USB port of the Adventure Heated Jacket is pretty useful for charging a phone. I charged mine from dead with the battery pack at full capacity and then ran my phone down all the way down to 3% while charging the battery pack again. After it was all charged up, I plugged my almost dead phone into it, overclocked my phone, opened a few apps, and turned the brightness up.
While I absolutely don’t recommend this as it’s not good for the battery pack’s life span and terrible for your phone, I like to make sure I know what the limits are for the things I review. The pack kept my now rather hot phone running for about an hour and even charged it a little bit in the process. This did drain the entire charge from the battery pack, but I was intentionally putting a very heavy load on it to see how it performed.
If I had to complain about the Adventure Heated Jacket’s battery pack, it would only be to say I hate any USB type other than USB-C. It is also a little bulky for my big hands while it’s hiding in its little pouch in my pocket.
Heating and Bluetooth
Another thing that makes the Adventure Heated Jacket supposedly special is the heating tech and the way you can control it. Sadly, the Bluetooth feature didn’t work. I tried it with two devices and did everything I could find to try and fix it to no avail.
As you will see on the Google Play store and the App store, I was not the only person to have these issues. The ratings are around 2.4 on Google Play and, after reading the comments, I would say that is an accurate rating of the Bluetooth feature. It simply doesn’t seem to work for most people.
Wind deflection and light reflection
I live in California, in the high deserts on top of the northern mountain ranges. It gets extremely windy and cold when the season is right. A few days ago, the wind was up to about 40 MPH with gusts as fast as about 50 MPH. That’s not all that uncommon a few times a year, so I decided to test the Adventure Heated Jacket’s capacity for the Wind-Shark tech to resist wind.
I put my windy weather favorites on, put the jacket on, and walked out the front door. I knew right then that things were not going to go very well.
First, I tested on the porch with the heating for the Adventure Heated Jacket off. It was better than just a shell and a shirt or a wind vest, but I wasn’t impressed. Then, I tried it with the heating on, and it was slightly better, but the second I stepped off the porch into the open, the wind blew me like death himself was breathing at me.
The jacket, the hood, the heating — none of it helped at all, so I ran back into the house. I tried all this again when the wind lightened up to 20 mph. Things went much better then, so while I would call this jacket somewhat wind-resistant, I wouldn’t rely on it alone in a situation where the wind could get you into some serious trouble.
Apart from that, the information cards that came with the Adventure Heated Jacket say it has Phoslite, which it says is “thousands of tiny reflective lenses bonded to a fabric backing.” I did several lighting tests in every lighting situation possible — from moonlight to near darkness –, and I would say the jacket is very reflective at the right angles, and especially so for something lacking those ugly yellow strips. In the right lighting at the right angle, you almost glow.
As far as features go, I beat the hell out of this thing. I played with my Pitbull while wearing the Adventure Heated Jacket, and her razor-sharp claws didn’t even make a scratch. They did make the worst sound I think I have ever heard in my life though.
That’s not a big deal unless you are trying to be sneaky in the woods while walking through the bush because you will wake everything within a 40-mile radius if a branch scratches it wrong.
The Adventure Heated Jacket has this kind of netting on the inside designed to wick away moisture, and it works well. I used to live in northern New Hampshire, where it’s bitter cold in the winter, and there is a saying among people who spend a lot of time in below 0 weather, “You sweat, ya die.” So this thing wicking away your sweat and keeping you dry is a real bonus in my book. The netting stays out of the way and doesn’t catch on anything, so I have no complaints.
I didn’t have any snow to roll around in, so I did the next best thing. I turned my rain-style sprinkler on and stood under it, facing away at night in something like 40° F weather. I was surprised how well the Adventure Heated Jacket worked. The only time I got any water on me was my face getting a few drops on when I went to turn the sprinkler off, and the bamboo overhead dripped on me just as I looked up to see if everything was off.
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This waterproofing comes with a few caveats; all zippers must be zipped properly, and the Velcro flaps must be properly closed. I didn’t test what happens when the battery pack gets wet because Lithium and water react in a very dangerous and potentially explosive manner when they mix. The likelihood that anything more than the battery pack shorting or failing if submerged is low, but I still wouldn’t hop into a lake with it.
I have the waterproof chest pocket version of the Adventure Heated Jacket that is advertised, and it has nice side pockets. Arm vents would have been nice. All the pockets work well and have a decent amount of room, and once you get past the feeling of having the battery up against your hand on the right side, it feels fine.
The internal storage pocket is nice. It’s a perfect place to keep another battery pack, and I think that’s what they had in mind.
Zippers and drawstrings
Every zipper on the Adventure Heated Jacket feels really nice except for the main zipper, which on my jacket likes to unzip at the bottom while I’m zipping it up. I don’t think it’s a size issue since I have a light shell for wind that is about the same size, and the cheap zipper on it doesn’t pop at the bottom.
This is an issue for me, but not one that I can’t mitigate by zipping it up more slowly, which is a good idea anyway. You don’t want to get the zipper cover caught in the zipper, which is easy to do in a rush, but still, it’s annoying.
The Adventure Heated Jacket has a few drawstrings with those spring-based tighteners, which I am not a fan of, but these seem to be well-made. The drawstrings themselves seem to be made of elastic or some other stretchy material, but I couldn’t snap them by tugging on them, so they are tougher than a lot of the drawstrings on other jackets I have had around in the past.
There is are drawstrings on either side at the bottom of the jacket, one at the base of the neck for the hood, and two on either side for the hood. I don’t like the hood ones as they don’t seem to help with the warmth or the wind and just get in my way if I tighten them. The side drawstrings on the Adventure Heated Jacket are independent of one another. I like that because it allows me to adjust the tightness of each side individually depending on what I might have on my belt, like a radio, hatchet, machete, or flashlight.
I only tested this with a hatchet since I don’t have a good radio around, and my machete is just too bulky to be strapped to a belt, and I prefer to carry it on a leg strap. Keeping in mind that I use a cane most of the time these days, even when camping, I appreciated the ability to make sure the jacket wasn’t able to catch on the cane while I was walking.
Overall, I like the Adventure Heated Jacket. There are a few things that I personally don’t like about the design, but those are more personal taste than anything else. The big stand-out problems are the Bluetooth not working, the front zipper, and by extension, the price. At a retail price of $229.99, I expect the features mentioned to work properly, especially when one of those features is the means of advertising.
So, all other things being equal, I would have to rate the Adventure Heated Jacket a 3.5 out of 5. It is a very nice jacket, and I am happy to have it. However, I couldn’t recommend it to a friend without warning them about the possible issues; that lowers the score significantly for me.
The Adventure Heated Jacket is not all bad, not all good. I find myself using it to warm my legs a lot as I work at my desk. When I need to go out, it’s nice to have a variable heat built-in that runs for a decent amount of time. And, of course, it’s rather stylish that’s available for men and women. Hopefully, the next model will be designed with its Bluetooth connectivity fixed and better zippers.
YouTube: Fieldsheer® 7.4v Mobile Warming® Heated Garments
Photo credits: The feature image is showing a slightly different model, is owned by Fieldsheer and was part of a press release. The first two photos on the body of the article are screenshots taken by the author from Fieldsheer’s website for TechAcute. All other photos have been taken by the author as well for TechAcute.