REVIEW – I have been a snow skier for many years, and I have been through a bunch of ski gear. I have also had my share of spills and tumbles down the mountain, and I can tell you firsthand that if you have cheap gear that doesn’t keep you warm, you will be miserable, wet, and cold. The heated jacket from DOACE purports to keep you warm and dry even in frigid weather and do it in style. And I just took it on a ski trip to Utah, so let’s see how it performed!
What is it?
The DOACE Heated Soft Shell Jacket is a winter jacket that has carbon fiber heating elements in 8 locations, heated by a 12V battery that fits inside an inner pocket.
What’s in the box?
The jacket, a 14,400 mAh battery with charging cable, a nylon zippered carrying case for the jacket, and an instruction manual.
- sizes M, L, XL, and XXL.
- Fabric: 100% polyester inner and outer layer. Waterproof and windproof.
- Weight: 5 lbs.
- Removable hood (attached with zipper and Velcro) that cinches
- Adjustable Velcro cuffs
- Adjustable hem that cinches
- 11 zippered pockets (1 inside dedicated to the battery storage and connection)
- Capacity: 14,400 mAh (3.63V, 52.27Wh)
- Size: 4 in x 2.75 in x 1 in
- Weight: 9 oz
- Input: Micro-USB (5V-2A, 9V-2A max)
- Input: Type-C (5V-3A, 9V-2A max)
- Output: USB1/USB2 (5V-3A, 9V-2A, 12V-1.5A max)
- Output: Type-C (5V-3A, 9V-2A, 12V-1.5A max)
I went to Snowbird/Alta resorts in Utah and the weather averaged 17 degrees during the day and around 2 degrees at night. On top of the mountain (at 11,000 feet) the wind was blowing at least 30-40 mph every day, which made it feel even colder. In fact, it was the coldest ski trip I have been on in several years, so I was a bit worried that the cold was gonna force me to head back to the room sooner than expected. But to my surprise, with the help of the DOACE jacket, that never happened. More on that later, for now, let’s dig into the design.
The outside of the DOACE Heated Soft Shell Jacket feels like neoprene to me, and the fabric itself feels very sturdy and strong. There are 11 zippered pockets with metal pulls located around the jacket. There are 7 pockets on the outside: 2 on the left arm, 1 on the right arm, 1 on each side of the chest, and 1 for each hand. On the inside there are 4 pockets: a chest pocket on each side and a pocket on each side that sits near the bottom of the jacket. It is inside the lower left inside pocket where the battery sits and is connected to the heating system. (more on the battery later) All the pockets have a smooth nylon covering that covers the zipper when closed so that it keeps water and wind out. Very nice touch. The outside pockets held everything I needed, so everything was within easy reach… lip balm, tissues, lift ticket, cash and credit cards, cellphone, gum, glasses, and some misc snacks. This was the first ski jacket I have had with this many pockets on the outside, and now I wonder how I did without this convenience.
The hem of the DOACE Heated Soft Shell Jacket can be cinched tighter with 2 different cords for whatever fit you want. I cinched it tight so that snow wouldn’t go up my back, and that worked great. The hood is removable and is attached by a zipper around the neck and then Velcro flaps that attach to the very front of the collar. (see pictures below) It is slightly padded and lined just like the jacket, it has a nylon lip on the front to shield your face from the weather, and it has 2 cinching cords on the sides to close the face opening if you want. On each wrist, you will find a Velcro strap that can be tightened to keep the weather out, and I never once had snow go up my sleeve so that worked great as well. Here is a pic where the hood attaches to the collar:
On the upper left outside of the sleeve, there is a Velcro patch where you can attach any kind of Velcro patch that you want. For example, a flag patch. Finally, the jacket comes with a nylon, zippered carrying case that measures 15 in x 10 in x 3 in. in the event that you don’t want to hang it in your closet and would rather store it on a shelf.
As I mentioned, the left inside pocket is where the battery is stored and where you’ll find the USB cable that plugs into the 12V 14,400 mAh battery, which has a digital reading on the front so you can see a numerical reading from 0 to 100 of the battery level. The battery is 12V, which is what this jacket requires to work. Most portable batteries that you know and love to use are only 5V, so they won’t work. That’s important to know if you want to upgrade and get a bigger battery for this jacket.
On the outside of the DOACE Heated Soft Shell Jacket on the front left breast you will find the round, rubberized button that operates the heating feature of the jacket. Here is a picture of the button and what it looks like while it is heating up:
When you press and hold the middle of the button it starts to pulse red as the jacket starts to heat up, which takes about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes it changes to the color white, which indicates medium heat. So let’s talk about that now.
There are 3 heating levels that can be used, and here are the details:
- Red (high heat): 140-149 degrees (battery dead in 3.5 hrs)
- White (medium heat): 122-131 degrees (battery dead in 5 hrs)
- Blue (low heat): 113-122 degrees (battery dead in 8 hrs)
In addition to the 3 heat settings, there are 8 carbon fiber heating elements located around the jacket and they are arranged in 3 areas: 2 elements on each side of the belly area, 3 along the middle of the back, 1 on each shoulder, and 1 around the neck. And each of those 3 areas can be controlled independently using the button on your chest. Here is a pic of the inside of the jacket where the back heating elements are sewn inside the jacket:
As you can see on the button, there are 3 graphics that represent the 3 main areas of heating elements I mention above. So while the middle button turns on the heating feature, each of the 3 buttons can be changed between Red, White, and Blue to independently provide a customized level of heat to each area. And it works great! I even got numerous questions from people who saw the lighted buttons and wondered what was going on. Here is a pic of the button lit up with 3 different settings on each area… blue (low) for the shoulders/neck area, red (high) for the back area, and white (medium) for the belly area:
The first day I set the jacket to provide high heat to all 3 areas, and after about 5 minutes or so I was feeling it pretty good. First I felt the neck heat because the jacket collar was right against my skin, and it felt great. Then I felt the shoulder heating elements. Then I felt the back heat. Now, I normally ski with a backpack, so the back heat eventually was so strong that I was sweating on my back because of it. At first I didn’t feel the heat on my belly but when I reached inside the jacket I felt the heat, it just wasn’t as noticeable as the other 2 areas of the jacket.
The DOACE Heated Soft Shell Jacket is supposed to give you 3.5 hrs of use on the highest heat, but I was only able to get around 3 hrs tops, so the marketing department is stretching the truth on that one. After a morning of using the high heat, at lunchtime the battery was dead. And that’s when I really noticed it. I usually get coldest on the lift ride up the slope, and when I didn’t have the jacket heat going in the afternoon I immediately felt the cold like I hadn’t felt that morning. It was a noticeable difference. The jacket itself without the heat going provided better insulation than my previous ski jacket, so I will say that is a testament to the quality of the jacket material and insulation. But without the heating elements going, I got as cold as I have usually experienced in the past when the weather was hovering in the mid-teens. I especially got cold on my arms where the insulation is thinnest.
So the next day I customized my heating areas. I kept the neck and shoulders on high (red) heat, I put the belly area heat on medium (white), and the back I set to low (blue) heat. That turned out to be the ideal setting for me on this trip, and I was able to make it all the way to 3pm before the battery died. I would estimate that with these settings for the day, I was able to get 4.5-5 hrs of use out of the battery. I was able to extend the battery level by turning the jacket off during lunch in the chalet and during times of the day when I was skiing mostly in the sun and working up a sweat with my heart pumping strong and didn’t need the heat.
My final observations on the benefits of using the DOACE heated jacket were very interesting. I almost always get cold hands and feet when I ski, especially when standing still or riding the lift. And indeed, during the times when the battery died and I wasn’t able to use the heating feature, my hands and feet got cold, as well as my arms. But when using the heating elements I never got cold feet or hands or arms. I believe this was due to using the heating elements to keep the core of my body warm, which then led to warmer extremities. That is the main reason why I don’t think I will ever ski without the DOACE jacket. It not only delivers on the heating feature (albeit with a shorter time frame than advertised), it looks great too. I can also admit that I fell numerous times during the 4 days of skiing, even in deep powder, and not once did the snow or wetness get inside the jacket.
What I like
- The heating feature works wonderfully
- A plethora of zippered pockets
- Sturdy zippers and solid fabric construction
- Excellent wind and water resistance
- It looks great!
What I’d change
- I wish the hand pockets and sleeves were heated
- I wish the included battery lasted longer
So what are my complaints on the DOACE Heated Soft Shell Jacket? There aren’t many. The price is around $130 or so (see below), which is amazing for this jacket. That alone may be enough to entice you to buy it. Being able to customize the heat to different areas is wonderful, and the controls are easy to use and visually appealing. The battery doesn’t last as long as the advertisements, so I am considering buying a bigger 12V battery if I can find one that is small enough to fit in the inner pocket where it sits. It probably goes without saying, but this jacket isn’t just for skiing. Any environment that requires you to stay warm and dry is ideal for this jacket. The zippers are solid and keep the snow and wet out, and the cinches around the waist and wrists also make sure that the elements don’t get inside your clothes. If I had to wish for anything, I wish the arms had heating elements in them, and maybe the hand pockets. But with the jacket warming up the core of your body, you probably won’t even notice. I highly recommend this jacket for anybody who spends time out in the cold and wet. You get a lot for this price and you will love it!
Price: $179.90 (on DOACE website), $135.95 (on Amazon)
Where to buy: Amazon or DOACE
Source: The sample of this product was provided by DOACE.