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Heated Jackets vs Parka – Differences? Similarities?

Woman wearing parka in the arctic.

Length is the primary difference between a parka and a jacket. The majority of men’s and women’s parkas are usually longer than a coat, because of this, also much warmer. When a coat is longer, it can be wrapped around your body, trapping in the air to keep you warmer.

Where did the parka originate?

Woman wearing a black parka jacket.

The parka originated in the barren grounds of the Canadian arctic. Created to keep the Caribou Inuit warm during the freezing arctic winters as they hunted for caribou. The Caribou Inuit are bands of hunters that live west of the Hudson Bay and were originally called Caribou Eskimoes.

Originally created from the skin of caribou or seal, with a layer of fish oil to make it waterproof. Parka translates to mean “animal skin” and is believed to originate from the language of the Nenets.

Is a parka warmer than a jacket?

Parkas are made to provide insulation to a greater range of space than a jacket does; therefore making them warmer. Parka’s created with the Arctic cold in mind are the warmest types and preferable when facing excessively cold circumstances.

What is a heated jacket?

Heated jacket isolated on white background.

Way back in the beginning of the 20th century, in 1912, a physician known as Sidney Russell invented a wonderful thing. That object he masterminded was the first under-mattress, heated electric blanket. His idea was further brought to fruition in 1930 by another creative innovator, George Crowley.

He would turn Russel’s idea into a blanket that was controlled thermostatically, and much more practical. Once the electric blanket was finalized, the concept of fabric and electric heating eventually made its way towards apparel. The first electric heated jacket was the North Face MET5.

It was designed and made available to resale in 2001. TIME chose the MET5 as one of the innovative products of the year, even though it carried a hefty price tag of $500. Since the advent of the MET5 there have been numerous other brands of rechargeable heated jackets.

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Due to radical advances, the heated jacket has brought on other ideas for heated clothing and collections of outdoor apparel. Due to a focus on the creation of these jackets, the heated jacket quickly became the jacket worn for everyday use!

The pros and cons of a heated jacket

Heated warm jacket on a gray background.

The heated jacket is a jacket used for cold weather activities and sports. Heated jackets are battery-powered and operate on either batteries or power banks that have been combined within the jacket lining. No matter how cold it gets, when wearing a heated jacket you can depend on it maintaining your body’s temperature.

Besides electricity, there are other ways to operate a heated jacket. Another way is a chemically heated jacket. This type of jacket is made up of packs of single-use heating chemicals, there are also jackets with stored heat.

These jackets consist of gel packs that are heated in the microwave before using them. As one can imagine, the most common heated jacket is the electric, battery-powered one. This jacket is popular with not only athletes of winter sports, but also construction workers or carpenters who work outside.

As much as we want to love new technology that makes life easier, there is always some negativity. With heated jackets, this is also true. Therefore, I have compiled a list of some of the pros and cons to an electric/heated jacket.


Let’s start with the pros, because these will certainly outweigh the cons

  • Extremely versatile:  Heated jackets come in a variety of spectrums. There are the average ones, which provide a standard warmth to the more expensive jackets that have heat levels you can modify according to preference. Besides being able to adjust heat settings, there is versatility in the way you wear it.

Heated jackets are lightweight and then; therefore, you can wear it underneath several clothing layers without appearing bulky. Because of their fashion sense, a heated jacket can also be worn as the outside layer of clothing.

  • Has a long life: Most of the sweaters of jackets I have bought in the past only lasted a couple of years maximum. However, with my heated jackets, it stays in style and just seems to last and last! This is due to being made from materials that are durable.
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The materials they are made with are Carbon or Graphene fiber, much longer lasting that what the average jacket is constructed of. In addition, when you buy a heated jacket, it normally comes with a warranty of one-year.

  • Efficient: A heated jacket is much more efficient than traditional sweaters and jackets are. The average sweater or jacket can only be as warm as their thickness allows. However, you can adjust the heat levels of your heated jacket according to how severe the temperatures drop.

One of the most durable materials in the world is Graphene. This just so happens to be one of the materials used in making a heated jacket. It is made up of carbon atoms that are on a hexagonal lattice in a single layer, this further ensures a heated jacket’s durability and efficiency.

  • Waterproof: Because a heated jacket is powered with electricity, this is an important feature. We are aware that water and electricity do not mix, for this reason, manufacturers make heated jackets from materials that are waterproof. There is a waterproof membrane built within a heated jacket which protects it whenever it is turned on.

*Important note: Never purposely engulf a heated jacket into the water, even though they are made to tolerate snow and rain.

  • High achieving: Maintaining a focus on what we are trying to accomplish can be difficult when shivering and freezing from the elements. This is why a heated jacket works so well for construction workers and carpenters working outside. Although your current wool or leather jacket offers a lot of protection when out in freezing temperatures, when the mercury drops, so too does your work efficiency.

Buying a heated jacket might be the best investment you make next winter. Because you aren’t worried about keeping warm, you can focus your energy on your own improved work performance.


As mentioned earlier, anytime technology makes advancements, there is certain to be some negative feedback. Although only a few, they are worthy of consideration before making the actual investment.

  • Requires electric power: A heated jacket is battery-operated. Therefore, if staying or working in a place lacking electricity, it wouldn’t be ideal to have this type of jacket. The reason it should the power bank lose power, you will not be able to charge it until electricity is restored, or you get to a location with power. A good solution is to always carry a supply of batteries or power banks that have a full charge.
  • A little bit costly: As with any new technology, heated jackets are a little on the expensive side. However, this is due to the expense that went into constructing them efficiently and the materials used. Yet, because a heated jacket lasts longer than a traditional one, this will be an investment well worth it.
See also  Are Heated Jackets Waterproof? Water Resistant?

What’s the difference between a parka and a jacket?

Man in orange parka jacket on a snowy background.

The primary difference between these two articles of clothing made for warmth is length. A parka hangs well below the waistline, covering the backside entirely. Sometimes extending down the leg somewhere between the knee and mid-thigh area.

Most jackets stop at the waist, offering little to no warmth below the belt. Another difference is that a parka normally has a hood, usually with a faux fur trim for added warmth. This isn’t really a big difference, because many jackets come with hoods that are detachable or fixed.

However, several models of jackets do not. Lastly, parkas have lots of pockets! Many of these are pockets located in the hip-region of the parka, with more in the areas near the arms, chest, and sometimes within the lining.

Are parkas warmer than jackets?

Because a parka covers more of the body, they are warmer than most jackets. However, depending on what materials the jacket is made of, this might now always hold true. There are a lot of other factors in determining the warmth of a parka and jacket.

Factors such as waterproofing, lining, and insulation. A parka featuring 400 fill duck down, will not be as warm as a jacket that has DWR coating, and 800 fill goose down insulation.