Even though I thought it was very clever as soon as I saw it, I held off on putting this battery-heated jacket from Milwaukee Tools on the blog, thinking it would be of interest only to the segment of the population that works outdoors. That was before I saw unbelievable images of folks trapped on Highway 402 for hours and hours and hours! Suddenly, it doesn’t sound totally crazy to suggest taking one of these in the car on any lengthy road trip. Hidden in the back pocket is a lithium battery that delivers power for warmth for up to six hours on a single charge. The heating element can be set to high, medium, or low, and the jacket is also water and wind resistant. It would also make a great gift for anyone who’s into winter sports (to each his own – my idea of a great winter sport is reading a new translation of War and Peace.) It sells for about $200 ($149 without the battery pack). Oh, and I just had another idea. How about issuing one to those transit drivers who think it’s okay to wear a thin shirt while driving, and then blast the heat to keep themselves warm, not realizing — or perhaps caring — that weather-appropriately garbed riders are sweltering or that they’re creating the perfect environment for the spread of germs? Just a suggestion….
Milwaukee has also just come out with a new sub-compact hammer-drill driver that sounds like it punches well above its weight. At just 7-5/8-inches long and 2.8 lbs, the company describes it as the lightest and most compact hammer-drill driver on the market. Still, it delivers 275 inches per pound of torque, making it, say the folks at Milwaukee, best in class for power, speed, and durabilty. Tool-heads (that’s a term of affection, BTW, as I include my husband in this bunch) will also want to know that it has a single-sleeve, metal ratcheting chuck, an integrated fuel gauge and LED light. Sounds like it would work for pro’s or DIYers who want portability and performance. It sells for about $230 at Home Depot.