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As temperatures plummet, cold commutes and frosty school runs can become a real pain. It’s no surprise that Mumsnetters have been raving about the best heated gilets - they’re like an electric blanket crossed with a blanket hoodie: wearable warmth you can take anywhere. Whether you’re spending time outdoors during a cold snap, or looking for work-from-home heating solutions, these clever zip-ups will give you a boost of cosiness when you need it most.
As well as being cold-weather heroes, a heated gilet can also help you save pennies during the cost of living crisis. After all, if you’re the only one at home during the day, it’s much more cost-effective to heat yourself than the whole house.
At £126, the Ororo Heated Fleece Vest will take quite a while to pay for itself via your heating bills, so it’s tricky to know whether to invest in this particular heated gilet. To help you make an informed decision, MNHQ editor Poppy put the fleecy gilet to the test, evaluating its warmth, design, battery life and user-friendliness. Here’s her verdict.
What we like
Soft fleece fabric
Easy to layer
Can be worn indoors and out
Three heat settings
Available in three colours
What we don’t like
Battery life reduces on higher settings
Not rain or wind-resistant
Temperature settings: 5/5
Ease of use: 5/5
Value for money: 3.5/5
Following a month of testing the Ororo Heated Fleece Vest for a range of activities on the chilly south coast, I grew to really like this clever gilet. Walking the dogs in foul weather becomes so much less daunting when you have your own discreet central heating system you can pop on under a winter coat. What’s more, it was a nice addition to the electric radiator I keep under my WFH desk, and it kept my top half toasty during cold snaps without having to tinker with the thermostat.
For both outdoor and indoor use, I preferred the lowest heat setting. It provides a nice, constant cosy heat without feeling too much, plus it’s the most energy-efficient way to use the gilet, with a battery life of up to 10 hours on this setting.
The fleece material is a great feature, making it pleasant to wear indoors, lightweight and easy to layer over my outfit and under my coat. However, the soft, breathable fabric is not wind or rain resistant, unlike some other heated gilets made of tougher materials.
In terms of design, the gilet isn’t really my style, and I found myself taking it off for Zoom calls. But its thin, lightweight fabric and sleeveless design make it perfect for wearing under a coat - I sized up to make sure there was plenty of room for a big jumper underneath the gilet.
With a large battery pack included, I initially worried it would be bulky or heavy to wear. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s barely noticeable when tucked away in the zippable pocket. I also appreciated how easy it was to check the battery levels - simply press the button and the lights will indicate how much power is left.
What is the Ororo Heated Fleece Vest?
The Ororo Heated Fleece Vest looks like a regular zip-up, sleeveless fleece gilet. However, hidden within its lightweight polyester fleece are heated panels on the tummy and upper back. Designed to be worn alone, layered over winter clothes or under a coat, the gilet is powered by a 7.38V CE/UL certified battery, featuring a USB-A port, so you can even charge your phone on it while out and about.
The gilet is available in sizes XS-XL and there’s a handy size guide on Amazon to help you get the fit just right. I sized up so there was plenty of room for layering underneath the gilet. There’s a choice of colours, too - purple, black or grey.
Related: Best women's slippers for cosy nights in
First impressions: setting up the Ororo Heated Fleece Vest
The Ororo Heated Fleece Vest comes complete with a charger, cable and battery pack. The battery needs charging up before first use, and there are both UK and EU plugs included, which is certainly a bonus if you’re headed anywhere chilly on holiday.
The instructions booklet is easy to follow - just charge up the battery, plug it into the concealed wire in the gilet’s inside pocket, then hold the logo until it lights up.
Related: Best hot water bottle for winter nights
How does the Ororo Heated Fleece Vest fit?
I usually wear a UK 10, but I knew I wanted the gilet to fit comfortably over my normal work-from-home uniform of a thermal layer and a chunky jumper, so I sized up to a medium and was happy with the fit.
How warm is the Ororo Heated Fleece Vest?
The vest is very warm, and it heats up quickly. If you’re walking dogs, standing in a freezing playground, watching sport or hiking in cold weather, the Ororo Heated Fleece Vest will get you toasty in a flash. While it is sleeveless, its pockets are right next to the heating pads, so you can use it to warm frozen fingers in lieu of a pair of heated gloves.
The high setting gets up to a balmy 55°C, but I favoured the lowest setting, at a brisker 35°C for a pleasant, constant flow of heat.
Related: The best draught excluder for insulating your home
How do you wash the Ororo Heated Fleece Vest?
Thanks to clever insulation, the vest is machine washable. Naturally, the battery pack is not, so do make sure it’s disconnected before popping it in the washing machine. Washed on cold in a laundry bag, the vest dries relatively quickly and washes well. The fabric is absorbent but it’s easy to spot clean like any other fleece or hoodie.
Price: is the Ororo Heated Fleece Vest worth it?
At £126, it’s certainly not cheap. Used over a few years instead of heating your whole house, it’ll eventually pay for itself. Plus, it has the edge over things like a heated throw or electric heater because it can be unplugged and worn anywhere.
For activities that involve standing still outdoors, or in draughty conditions for any length of time, it’s a godsend. It would come in very handy for things like manning a market stall, watching sporting events, dining al fresco or waiting at the school gates.
How we tested
I tested the Ororo Heated Fleece Vest while working from home in Sussex as well as out and about on the school run and dog walks, during December and January. I took careful notes on design, warmth, battery life and ease of use.
Related: Best heated socks for winter
About the author
Poppy O'Neill is a Content Editor at Mumsnet and a mother of two. She's been researching and reviewing baby and child products for 2 years, with a particular focus on baby essentials, toys and books for toddlers and outdoor play equipment. From potties to paddling pools and bunk beds to bedtime stories, she loves to deep-dive into research and find the best products out there.
Poppy is also an award-winning, best-selling children's and parenting author of books such as Don't Worry, Be Happy, The Extraordinary Book That Makes You Feel Happy and Mother Power. She specialises in children's mental health and her books are used by therapists, teachers and SENCOs across the UK. She won a The Week Junior Book Award in 2023, her books have been translated into several languages and she's been featured in The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Sun.
After earning a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Leeds and a PGCert in Fashion and Lifestyle Journalism from University of the Arts London, she worked in fashion for most of her 20s. When her children were young, she undertook an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester and re-trained as an author and freelance writer.
About Mumsnet reviews
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