A Short Recap
For those who have not read our earlier article on the advantages of heated gear, or those who don’t feel like rereading it, let’s give you a quick recap. There are two main types of heated gear, wired and battery powered. Wired gear plugs directly up to your bike, usually straight to the battery.
Battery powered gear on the other hand will use a battery specific to the application. Most of the time if the gear is made for riding it runs on 7V. If, on the other hand, it is made for work or general use purposes it will usually run on either a 12V or 20V battery depending on the manufacturer. Some are capable of running on wither one, but these are rare and specific to work gear. This also limits these to jackets. Battery powered gloves are available as well and we will be covering some of them later in this article. These are made specifically for riding and rely on a 7V battery for power. Most of these are advertised as either snowmobile or ski gloves, but they will hold up well to riding. Think about it this way, skiing and riding a snowmobile both involve almost as much wind as riding a motorcycle and both still have the risk of taking a fall and needing protection, especially skiing. Because of this these gloves will usually come with at least some of the same safety features found in riding gloves.
Heated gear really only serves a single purpose, but it serves this purpose well. Where it really shines is the fact that it allows you to be more comfortable with less layers. This makes it easier to move and prevents your response time from being hindered by multiple layers. Plus, no one likes that bulky feeling from wearing four jackets. It’s just uncomfortable. With heated gear you can usually get away with just one or two layers as opposed to the four or more it can take with normal riding gear.
You should always strive to maintain as short of a reaction time as possible while riding. This can be especially important for winter riding when the roads can be slick and cars tend to stop watching for us. During these times more than any other you need to be at the top of your game. Any increase is reaction time is bad and should be avoided if possible. That being said you should not sacrifice warmth for flexibility within reason. If you are too cold you will eventually go numb and when that happens your reaction time will skyrocket. I know, I’ve had it happen. The worst part in these cases is getting gas. You are fine as long as you are riding, but as soon as your stop and start to warm up feeling starts coming back. At that point you will suffer again for another half hour or so until you go numb again and are able to at least not be freezing. In these cases be sure to drastically increase your buffer distance.
What to Look For?
Before we get to the list let’s go over a few things you should look for in a pair of heated gloves. First, do you want to get a set of gloves or glove liners? Similar to riding jackets gloves come both as self contained units and add on liners that go under your existing gear. If you already have a good pair of winter gloves it may be worth it to get just the liner and save a few bucks. On the other hand, if you are just starting to get your winter gear together, you may benefit more from buying a pair of heated gloves instead of the liner. By buying a pair of gloves rather than a liner you are not going to be adding any additional bulk. As anyone who has ridden any real distance with winter gloves on can tell you, you want to reduce bulk as much as possible when it comes to your gloves.
Next, you need to decide if you want battery powered gloves or 12V gloves that will wire to your bikes battery. Each one has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. A 12V pair is usually going to give you more heat and you are not going to run the risk of your battery dying and your hands freezing after a few hours. They are able to produce more heat simply because they are not running on a limited power supply like battery powered units are. As long as your bike is running and charging properly you are not going to have any issues powering a 12V pair of gloves. The downside here is that you are tied to your bike until you disconnect. This type can also be wired to your heated jacket if you have one, so this will make wiring up a bit easier.
Battery powered heated gloves have their own advantages and shortcomings as well. The biggest drawback here is the life of the battery. On average you can expect around four hours of use out of a battery powered pair. With a battery powered pair, however, you are not tied to your bike, so if you need to run inside to pay for gas or something you don’t have to worry about disconnecting yourself from your bike, just get up and go.
The last, and for some riders biggest, thing to consider is how much protection the gloves are going to offer. Some gloves are simply going to offer palm protection, but will not offer any knuckle protection. Others will protect your whole hand. This usually goes along with the price of the gloves, but this should be a consideration when buying any piece of gear. Riding gloves will usually have a bit more protection than snowmobile or skiing glove due to the nature of riding a motorcycle, but that is not to say you should rule out other types of heated gloves. They still offer substantially more protection than a pair of work gloves would and will keep your hands warmer at the same time.
TourMaster Synergy 2.0
Let’s start this list off with a pair from one of the top manufacturers from our heated jacket article, TourMaster. This is a complete unit, it is heated, but it is not a liner, so you don’t have to worry about adding any extra bulk to your winter gloves. The back of the gloves are made of a stretchable fabric, so they should hold close to your hands without being too tight. This is great for heat transfer and comfort. The palm is made of goat skin, so it will work well to protect your palms in the event of a crash. The inside is lines with a soft, felt like material for comfort.
On to safety, as we already mentioned, the palms are made of goat skin. This will do an excellent job of protecting your palms if you happen to take a spill. They won’t do much to keep you from breaking anything if you try to catch yourself, but then again, not much will. The fingers are individually lines for flexibility and safety. The knuckles are reinforced to keep you from breaking your knuckles if you hit them on your way down. I can personally attest to the effectiveness of this feature. I would have shattered my hand once if I hadn’t been wearing reinforced gloves.
So, we have determined that they are good gloves, but how do they perform as heated gloves? Are they going to keep your hands warm or just above numb? Well, to start with the Synergy 2.0 runs on 12V and can be wired either directly to your bike or connected to your jacket if you have a compatible heated jacket. This means no worrying about conserving the batteries, use them whenever you need. The heating elements are made of steel fibers and are woven into the liner of the glove. This is going to be more flexible and more durable than thicker copper wires. Thicker copper wires tend to become brittle and stiff through the heat cycles and can eventually break, potentially ruining your gloves.
The gloves are rain proof, though I would not call them waterproof. They are also wind resistant and have a layer of Polyfill insulation to help retain the heat they are producing. The fabric on the back is breathable, so you don’t have to worry about sweating in your gloves and having it just stay there.
Mobile Warming Heated Gloves
Bad puns aside, these are some great gloves. First, they are waterproof, but still breathable, so again, you don’t have to worry about having your hands just soak in sweat while you are riding. Or worse, coming back to them the next day just to find they are still cold and damp. They have a Taslan shell and reinforced palms and fingers. The reinforcements on these gloves are more to prevent them from wearing out than to protect you in a crash however, so if you are safety conscious these may not be great for you. Even though they are not padded they will still prove much better than no gloves. These will at least save you some skin. If you are looking for a battery powered pair of gloves than work well without the extra heating this is the pair.
As I mentioned, these are battery powered. They use a 7.4V 2.2 Ah lithium ion battery. Batteries and a dual charger are included with the gloves, so you don’t have to worry about buying it separately. This also allows you to charge both batteries at once. It’s not a huge thing, but it is a nice added convenience. The batteries are stored on the gloves. Each glove has a zippered pouch on the back of the wrist for storing the battery. You can expect to get about three to four hours from a charge if you run it on medium. If you run them on high I would expect less than two hours, but hopefully you aren’t going to be riding more than two hours if it’s that cold.
These gloves are capable of heating up to 135 degrees, so they will keep your hands toasty. On top of that they use 3M Thinsulation which is easily one of the best types of insulation you will find. Combine the two and you should be comfortable running them on medium even on the coldest days. Even if you don’t have them on and are just wearing them as gloves these should keep your hands nice and warm. I know from experience gloves with Thinsulate can keep your hands not cool, but actually warm, in temperatures down into the twenties. So, even without batteries these gloves will prove to be a great pair of winter gloves.
Gerbing T5 Hybrid Gloves
Some of you are probably wondering what they mean by hybrid glove. I know I was the first time I saw them. Hybrid gloves are just a pair of gloves that can run on either your bikes power or their own batteries. They use a special 12V battery that is stored on the back of your wrist in a pouch. This is a great option because it gives you the ultimate flexibility. You can wire them directly to your bike, hook them up to your heated jacket, or use them as battery powered gloves and not be tied to your bike at all. The fact that these are also one of the lowest priced pairs on this list makes them a very strong candidate for the best pair on our list. The one major downside here, if you can even call it that, is that these gloves do not come with a heat controller. This means you will only be able to turn them on. This will default to maximum, so they could get hot after a while if it is not super cold. On the other hand, if it is cold enough to need heated gloves at all then it should be cold enough for continued use.
Batteries are not included with these gloves, but they do come with the wiring harness to connect them to your bike. As I mentioned earlier, if you have a Gerbing heated jacket or jacket liner you can also just plug it in to that, no additional wiring is needed. These gloves come in all major sizes from extra small all the way up to 3X-Large. They are also available in women’s sizing. Sizing tends to run a size large, so ordering one size down should give you a nice fitting pair. They do have a Velcro wrist strap, so you can rest assured they are not going anywhere.
These gloves are water proof, so you don’t have to worry about your hands getting wet in the rain. The leather, however, is not water proof and is not treated, so it will get soaked fast. If you are worried about messing up the leather or the wiring get some waterproofing spray and spray on them. This will protect the outside of the gloves and add an extra layer of waterproofing to keep the gloves from getting shorted out.
Firstgear Heated Glove Liners
This is our first pair of heated glove liners to make this list. These liners are made to stretch in order to conform well to your hand and keep from adding any additional bulk to your gloves. They are made of 95% polyester and 5% spandex. This means they will be stretchy, but still soft and comfortable. They are designed to fit under most motorcycle and work gloves, but don’t try putting them under heated gloves, this is not likely to end well. These gloves do tend to run a bit small, so be sure to order one size up. Since they do contain heating elements you don’t want to stretch them too much or you risk damaging the elements.
Power draw for these liners is 11 watts. This allows them to heat up to around 135 degrees, about average for heated gear. This is a little below average power draw. This isn’t a huge deal though, unless you are straining your bikes electrical system by using a full set of heated gear and pulling additional power too. A bike’s stater is not going to charge as well as a car’s alternator, but any modern bike should still be able to handle the load from heated gear.
The gloves come with everything you need to wire them up to your bike. They include the wiring harness to connect to your bike’s battery and one Heat-Troller, Firstgear’s proprietary heater controller, and a y-cable to connect both gloves to the Heat-Troller. If you have a Firstgear heated jacket or jacket liner you can also wire them straight to the jacket instead. This will save you a bit of hassle when you stop to get gas or take a break since you will only have to disconnect your jacket from the bike rather than all of your gear.
The heating element on these gloves goes along the outside of the thumb and fingers. This is to keep you from feeling it in the gloves. This does mean that the back of your hands and the palms will not be heated, but they should still stay plenty warm if you are wearing good winter gloves. The element is a somewhat thick carbon fiber heating element. Because of the way it is sewn into the glove you should not really feel it in your gloves.
Keep in mind that these are just liners, they are not a substitute for a good pair of gloves. There are a few reasons for this. First, the material is not designed to stand up to that much wind. This will cause it to start to fray rather quickly. Second, they do not offer much, if any insulation. The sole purpose of these liners is to add a heating element to your existing gloves. In order to do this without adding bulk Firstgear made them out of incredibly thin materials, but they don’t hold heat at all.
One thing that sets these aside from other wired gloves and liners is that they are designed for use on a motorcycle, but Firstgear gives you and easy way to use them in your car as well. Let’s say your heat doesn’t work well in your car, or maybe you just don’t want to wait for it to heat up in the morning, either way, you can buy a separate Heat-Troller that will plug into your car’s accessory power. Since these gloves heat up much faster than your car’s engine this is a good option for those cold early morning commutes.
VentureHeat Avert Heated Glove Liners
Our second pair of liners on the list, the VentureHeat Avert heated glove liner is a 7.4V heated liner similar to the Firstgear heated liner we just discussed. The biggest difference here is that the Firstgear was a 12V liner that ran off of your bike’s power. The VentureHeat Avert liner is a battery powered liner, so it is going to offer more flexibility, but also suffer from limited use thanks to the limitations of the batteries. You can expect up to five hours of use on low heat. If you are running them on high I would expect this to be around an hour and a half. You might be able to get two hours out of a new set of batteries, but I would not expect more than this on high heat.
The heating elements in the VentureHeat Avert are much better than the Firstgear liner. Where the Firstgear had one large element that went around the fingers and thumb, the VentureHeat has full heating coverage. It is able to do this because it uses thin carbon fiber heating elements that are around the width of a hair. This, along with being made of carbon fiber, allows them to be flexible. You should not even notice any stiffness to the gloves from the heating elements. This will also give you much better heating since it will heat your entire hand rather than just around the fingers and waiting for the heat to radiate out. Heat is controlled by a single button, so you can’t tune it in. There are three settings, low, medium, and high, which should allow you to find a comfortable setting to leave it on. In some cases you may find yourself switching between settings, but for the most part you should be able to settle on one.
Like the Firstgear liner, this liner is made to be worn under a non-heated pair of gloves. The fabric is similar, so it will stretch just fine, but you don’t want to stretch it too far or you risk tearing you heating elements. They are also not going to provide much insulation, so you will be better served to wear a pair of gloves over them. If you choose to wear them when you are not riding the tips of the index fingers and thumbs are made with a touchscreen friendly fabric, so you will be able to use your smartphone while wearing these. This makes them a good choice for general use as well as riding.
Joe Rocket leather Burner Heated Gloves
The Joe Rocket Leather Burner heated gloves are a pair of battery powered heated gloves that runs on two 7.4V lithium ion batteries. The batteries and charger are included, so you get everything you need right out of the box. Battery life is not as good as with some other battery powered gloves and liners, but is decent at up to four hours of use. There are three heat settings, so you would probably expect less than an hour on high and around an hour and a half on medium.
For those who aren’t familiar, Joe Rocket is one of the top brands when it comes to motorcycle riding gear, so it is going to do a good job of protecting you if you go down. The knuckles are reinforced and the fingers have padded guards on top with a leather palm, so you can rest assured your hands will be safe in these.
Heat is controlled with a switch on the gloves, so you don’t have to worry about keeping up with a separate controller. The heating elements are made of stainless steel and are woven into the gloves. To protect the heating elements and internal circuitry these gloves are waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about shorting them out riding in the rain. They are also windproof, but still breathable.
Like the VentureHeat liners, these gloves come with touchscreen friendly tips on the index fingers and thumbs. This is especially great for long trips where you might be using your smartphone’s GPS for directions in a phone mount. In these cases being able to check your map while stopped at a light or to get gas can prove invaluable. This also means no more freezing hands when you need to change music. It’s a small addition, but one that is very welcome.
The one area these gloves do suffer is price. They are one of the most expensive pairs on this list, but that is justifiable since they are also one of the best pairs of gloves period. They offer more protection than any other gloves on this list, and they have better heating than most of the others as well. While battery life may not be as good, you don’t have to worry about keeping up with a controller for it since this is built into the gloves. Last, but not least, it has the touchscreen friendly fingers. I would call this the best pair of gloves on this list, but it may not be the best bang for your buck though.
Volt Rechargeable Heated Gloves
The Volt rechargeable gloves are exactly what they sound like, they come with two rechargeable 7V batteries for keeping your hands warm. The gloves do include a dual wall charger, so you can charge both at home or with your bike if you have a power inverter. Since it just uses 7V batteries you can buy extras and take with you on longer trips if you are worried about the batteries dying on you. One feature that makes these gloves stand apart in my opinion is the battery viewing window in the battery pouch. This allows you to see the charge LEDs on the batteries so you can keep an eye on your charge. While it may not extend the battery life or anything, it is always nice to know just how much further you can go before your batteries die.
These gloves come with the palms pre-curved. This may not seem like much, but when you are riding for hours that little bit of effort adds up. That being said, a pre-curved palm sounds very appealing to me, it will help keep your hands from cramping down the road. The palm also has a thick leather liner. This is mainly to prevent wear to the gloves, but will offer a good bit of extra protection if you need it.
Heating is even throughout the gloves. There are heating elements on both the back of the hand and on the palm as well to keep your entire hand nice and warm. These elements even go to the tips of the fingers, so you won’t have to worry about them going numb.
The entire glove is waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about shorting this pair out. Even the zipper for the battery pouch is waterproof. That being said, the leather has not been treated, so you will need to spray it with a waterproofing agent. You can buy this at just about any shoe or outdoors store. You simply spray it on, let it dry and it adds a hydrophobic layer to whatever you spray it on. Once this is on there water will just bead right off. While this is an optional step, it will increase the life of your gloves since the leather will deteriorate over time if it is allowed to get wet often.
There are four power settings on this pair instead of three like most others. This is a nice change since it will give you a finer tune to work with and you are more likely to find that perfect setting for the temperature you are riding in. The glove’s shell is made of nylon, so it will be strong and resist tearing well. Finally, the battery pouch is on the back of the hands with this pair so it is easy to get to. This makes changing the batteries easy since you can just pop the dead one out and put a new one in without having to take the gloves off.
Gerbing S3 Heated Gloves
The last pair of Gerbing gloves we looked at were hybrid gloves that could run on either your bike’s power or through a 12V battery you can buy from Gerbing. This pair on the other hand uses two standard 7V batteries. Like you would expect from Gerbing the heating in these gloves is excellent, reaching temperatures up to 135 degrees. It needs 7.7 watts to reach this temperature. This is a fairly low power draw for gloves that heat up this much. You can expect to get around eight hours of use on low heat, but probably around two hours on high heat. This is better than most other battery powered gloves which usually cap out at around five or six hours of use.
Heating elements are spread evenly throughout the gloves for a nice even heat. This includes the fingers, so you won’t have to worry about frozen digits. These are primarily marketed as snow mobile and ski gloves, so you know they are going to keep you warm. There are some makers that will sell gloves as riding heated gloves that don’t get as hot. The justification here is that since your are riding a motorcycle it must not be that cold, but as anyone who has ridden in the cold can tell you this isn’t the case.
These gloves use what Gerbing calls its Micro Wire Technology. What this means is that the heating elements are incredibly small, stainless steel strands over wire that are woven into the fabric like several other brands do with theirs. Where Gerbing’s design is different is in its construction. While most will have the heating elements in the inner liner and the water proofing in the middle liner Gerbing combines the heating elements and waterproofing into a single layer.
Gerbing does include two 7V lithium ion batteries and a dual charger to get you started. Since it does use 7V batteries you can carry extras or buy extended use batteries. These will be a bit bigger, but as long as they will fit in the battery pouch you will be fine upgrading. You can buy these extended batteries from Gerbing. This can increase your ride time substantially. If you run them on low an extended battery could last longer than a full days ride, so this is definitely something to consider when searching for a pair of heated gloves. Low heat may not be as warm as you need at certain parts of the ride it should be good for most daytime riding, then you can increase the heat when the temperature drops at night if you are still riding.
Heat can be set in increments of 25%, so low is 25% and high is 100%. This doesn’t give you as much flexibility as tunable gear, but does give you more options than a low, medium, high pair of gloves. The shell is made of nylon for durability and the inner liner is trecot. This makes for a comfortable pair of gloves that will last for years.
VentureHeat 12V Heated Gloves
We have already covered VentureHeat’s heated glove loners, but these are a fully functional pair of motorcycle gloves. They are going to offer better protection in the event of a crash than most of the others on this list will, though they don’t compare to the Joe Rockets. These gloves have a reinforced knuckle and have padding on the tops of each finger. The palm is reinforced to keep your from getting road rash and to prevent the gloves from wearing out, so you can expect these to last a while. This padding is also rubberized to help you keep a grip on your bike. One complaint about these glove, the area between the thumb and index finger does not stretch well, so it can be a bit tight at times. This isn’t a huge deal for most, but if you get them and realize it is going to cause you problems just swap them out for one size up. This should correct the issue for you.
The heat controller for these gloves is built in, however, you can’t call it much of a controller. It is simply an on/off switch. This shouldn’t be an issue for the most part since it defaults to high you can just turn them off if the heat starts to be too much. You also have the option of buying a controller separately, but this is not necessary.
If you have a VentureHeat heated jacket or liner you can wire these gloves to your jacket or liner so you don’t have to run even more wires to your battery. This will also allow you to piggyback off of the controller hooked up to the jacket or liner if you have one. If not, then they will continue to function as usual. That is, they will either be all or nothing. A controller is worth the extra investment of you plan on riding a lot in the cold, but if you are only planning on doing short rides while it is cold out then it is not worth the extra money n my opinion, but it is entirely personal choice.
Like most of the options on this list this pair of gloves is water resistant, but not water proof. They will keep your hands dry in the rain, but if you happen to submerge your hands in water then water is going to get inside of them. The good news here is that this will not harm the electronics. Unlike other gloves which can short out if they get wet these will keep working. This means you may wind up with wet hands, but they will be warm at least. They are also machine washable, but don’t put them in the dryer. This will damage the leather and could easily damage the electronics in the gloves.
Now, the most important factor, heat. These gloves are marketed mainly for snow mobiles and ATVs, so they are going to keep your hands plenty warm. Since they connect straight to your bike’s battery you don’t have to worry about watching their charge, so you can run them on max all day and be fine. For most people this will be too much, but it is nice to know you have the option. Like VentureHeat’s liners the heating elements are woven into the glove liner, so they don’t add stiffness to the gloves and you won’t have to deal with feeling a bulky heating element between your hands and your grips.
SEDICI HOTWIRED Heated Gloves
The last pair on our list, the SEDICI HOTWIRED heated gloves run on 12V and comes with everything you need to wire it straight to your bike. Like with the VentureHeat and Gerbing gloves if you have a SEDICI heated jacket or liner you can also wire it right to that. This also gives you the ability to piggyback off of your jacket controller if you have one.
If you don’t have a controller, don’t worry. This pair of gloves is not simply On/Off, instead it has low, medium, and high settings and should get plenty warm. While the manufacturer does not list a specified heat rating these gloves draw 22 watts at full power. Compared to even the most power hungry 12V gloves this is pretty high. What does this mean? Well, in most electronics it means energy is being wasted as heat, but since that is the goal here that means you are going to get plenty of heat out of these gloves. In fact SEDICI seems to think you may even need a thermal shutoff. I joke, but this is actually a great idea. Since these gloves can get so hot it is a good idea to have a thermal shutoff. This is because the longer you are exposed to the heat the more you get used to it. Leave it on for too long and you will no longer notice when it starts to burn you. You could wind up getting some moderate burns if you aren’t careful with gloves that don’t have this feature. Fortunately, none of the others are designed to get hot enough to cause burns to your hands with most of the capping out at or around135 degrees.
The construction is good on these gloves, they are made of premium leather and abrasion resistant fabric. The knuckles are reinforced, but also flexible. The fingers are individually padded to allow for maximum flexibility, and the is even padding on the back of the hand for a little extra protection. There are also built in reflective strips for increased visibility while you are riding at night.
The heating elements are similar to other high end gloves we have looked at. They are thin steel micro elements. One of the biggest advantages of this is something we haven’t discussed yet. While thick, copper elements can take a few minutes to heat up all the way, micro elements are able to get to their maximum temperature in only a few seconds. This is because they are so small there is not much mass to heat up. Of course, that means the opposite is also true and the elements will cool down just as fast as they heated up. The good news here is that thanks to the insulation of the gloves this isn’t a big deal since they should still give you a few minutes worth of warmth in even the coldest climates.
These are just a few of the options available out there for heated gloves. Hopefully one of these matches your criteria and price range, but if not just be sure to follow the basics in the beginning of this article to find the pair that is right for you. At the end of the day comfort is king, so make sure you get a pair that you will not mind wearing for hours at a time otherwise you will be in for a long ride.