Built-in temperature control makes it easy to set the desired heat level while wearing the glove. Heating elements touch the large surface areas of the hand (palm and back).
The sizes tend to run on the smaller side and may require the next size up for the best fit.
Lighter-weight construction provides more dexterity in the fingers, making the gloves ideal for other activities such as skiing and fishing. Heating elements act quickly to warm the hands.
Smaller glove sizes than advertised. Recharging the batteries can take some time.
Extra layers around the palms and fingers help the heating elements keep the inside of the glove at a consistently warm temperature. Glove exteriors are waterproof and windproof.
The glove has some fit issues around the fingers and palms due to the power cords on the inside.
These gloves earn praise for having a unique three-finger design with superior warmth and dexterity. Suitable for various temperatures thanks to the three reliable heat settings. Construction is durable.
Only available in bright orange or green, which won't appeal to everyone.
Thick padding on the outside of the glove protects the back of the hand and knuckle joints during minor impacts. Fingers are padded to provide better grip on the handlebars.
The maximum heating temperature of the gloves is lower than other comparative models.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Any motorcyclist who has ridden in freezing temperatures will tell you how unpleasant it can be. You need your hands and fingers to operate the controls, but unfortunately they are the things that are most exposed to the elements. Your hands quickly become uncomfortable, and concentration also suffers, which only adds to the dangers inherent in winter riding. What's just as bad is that hands and fingers can also be really painful when proper circulation returns! The remedy is a pair of heated motorcycle gloves.
Modern textile technology has made great strides when it comes to insulation, but arguably the best invention for the cold-weather rider is heated motorcycle gloves. These promise warmth for those important extremities no matter what winter throws at you.
Yet it can be quite a contentious subject with some bikers. So the motorcyclists on the BestReviews team have been looking into all the pros and cons. As a result of our research we're offering the following heated motorcycle glove buying guide with insights and answers, as well as some product recommendations.
Whether motorcyclists need heated gloves is an argument that's been going on since heated gloves were first introduced, and it doesn't show any signs of letting up!
Heated gloves require a power source. This means either a cable or batteries.
Cable: The cable attaches to your 12-volt motorcycle battery and has to run from your bike, up through your jacket, and into your gloves. Though the wiring is basic, some riders simply don't like this kind of complexity, or the idea that they’re somehow attached to the bike.
Batteries: The issue with small lithium-ion batteries in the gloves themselves is perhaps more mental than physical, but that doesn't lessen the impact. The run times of batteries are often criticized, or the batteries don't produce sufficient heat, or they only hold enough charge to warm the gloves for a couple of hours.
Modern glove materials do the job. Textiles like Gore-Tex and Thinsulate provide high levels of weather protection and insulation without the need for heating elements.
Heated motorcycle gloves are bulky.
Heated motorcycle gloves are expensive.
Bottom line: If you only take short trips, or if you have the luxury of choosing whether to ride your bike or not, high-quality unheated winter gloves are perhaps the more convenient choice.
Fitting the cabling for 12-volt heated gloves is a one-off task. After that, plugging yourself in is no more difficult than plugging in a navigation system. It means consistent warmth and comfort no matter how far you ride.
Cordless battery power is improving all the time. Quality heated gloves of this type should warm your hands adequately for at least several hours at a time, and do you really want to be riding longer than that in subzero temperatures?
Your hands will get cold in unheated gloves. While modern unheated winter gloves can be very good in wet weather and offer good protection from the cold on short trips, eventually the chill will get through them.
Most heated gloves are no thicker than most unheated gloves. Heated motorcycle gloves are bulkier than some lightweight summer or racing gloves, but micro-thin cables, heating elements woven into the fabric, and the fact that they need less insulation means most heated motorcycle gloves are no bulkier than unheated winter gloves.
Prices are comparable to any premium-quality motorcycle glove.
Bottom line: If you have to ride in situations where your hands will get cold and stay cold for extended periods, heated motorcycle gloves will keep you warm and alert, You're not just more comfortable, you're better able to cope with the conditions.
Don't be tempted by cheap heated motorcycle gloves that compromise your safety. You should expect the same level of protection as you get from ordinary gloves.
Heated motorcycle mittens: The advantage with mittens is that they keep four fingers together, which means body heat is shared and your fingers stay warmer longer. However, many riders find mittens cumbersome, particularly riders who normally only use a couple of fingers on the brake or clutch lever. You also need to remove mittens to do anything that requires any dexterity. Some long-distance riders love them, but most riders prefer gloves.
Heated glove liners: These are designed to fit inside your existing gloves. Almost all are cordless. Liners can be extremely thin, but whether they fit depends on the type of glove you usually wear. Liners are perhaps better suited for use inside ski or winter sports gloves than for motorcyclists, but they are a consideration if you're particularly fond of your regular gloves.
Protection: First and foremost, let's remember that the main job of any motorcycle glove is to protect your hands in the event of an accident. Never compromise on the safety aspects. The best heated gloves are made of a range of fabrics – both traditional leather and modern composites – that combine comfort with armor. The quality of materials and construction should always be a priority.
Cuffs: Look for long cuffs on gloves, too. There's no point in having heated hands and leaving your wrists out to freeze!
Temperature control: Whichever type of heated motorcycle glove you buy, look for temperature control, usually three settings. Basic 12-volt heated gloves can get very hot, something a number of owners complain about.
If you have gloves powered by lithium-ion batteries, control gives you the option of using a lower heat, thus extending the length of time the gloves stay warm between charges. Sometimes the controller is part of the wiring. Having push buttons on the gloves makes life a little easier.
Heating elements: It's important to have heating elements in the fingers and the backs of the hand, because those areas are most exposed. Heated palms are a bonus.
Run time: Cold does sap power from portable batteries, so it's prudent to expect a shorter run time than the manufacturer suggests. From our research we found that a performance of around 75% is common, but it depends on the severity of the weather and the time of exposure.
Extra batteries: A spare set of batteries will overcome charging problems, but prices vary enormously, so it's a good idea to check before buying.
Touchscreen compatibility: As with standard motorcycle gloves, touchscreen-compatible fingertips are an added convenience.
Glove sizes can vary from one manufacturer to another. Check online owner feedback to find out if you should order a size larger or smaller than you usually wear.
The cheapest heated motorcycle gloves we looked at are relatively lightweight versions in the $50 to $70 range. However, while we have no problem with the ability of some to heat your hands, we are concerned about the level of protection they offer. They also tend to be quite short, potentially exposing your wrists.
Good-quality heated glove liners cost between $100 and $130.
The kind of heated gloves we're happy to recommend (both plug-in and cordless) are those that also offer durability and protection that's comparable with summer gloves. These start at about $140 and can reach over $200. Heated motorcycle mittens have similar prices.
If you're considering a heated motorcycle jacket as well, check connections (usually coax plugs) to ensure compatibility with your gloves.
Treat your heated gloves as you would any other motorcycle gloves. A wide variety of different materials go into a modern glove, so always follow the manufacturer's care instructions to maximize their useful life.
Avoid leaving the gloves on a direct heat source. Leather, in particular, can crack if dried too quickly – a common problem in winter.
Finding cordless heated motorcycle gloves that are highly rated by owners can be a challenge because of battery-life issues, but Mount Tec Unisex Explorer Heated Performance Gloves certainly buck the trend. They're well made, competitively priced, have all the features you want from any good motorcycle glove, and deliver comfortable warmth for far longer than many competitors. Mount Tec also sells Unisex Explorer 3 Heated Performance Mittens with the same high-performance specification. If you're looking for liners, the rechargeable SAV Heated Glove Liners combine Lycra for stretch with neoprene for weather protection and fleece for comfort yet remain thin enough to fit inside most riders’ existing gloves.
Q. Are heated motorcycle gloves safe?
A. Absolutely. Whether running direct from your motorcycle battery or from rechargeable batteries in the glove, they use direct current, which is perfectly safe in all kinds of weather.
Q. Can heated gloves drain my motorcycle battery?
A. If your battery is in good condition, it's very unlikely. One well-known manufacturer compares the power consumption to using your headlight on low beam. You should be able to check the amp rating of a particular pair of gloves if you want to make a calculation.
Q. Do handlebar muffs/hand covers make a good alternative?
A. Some riders prefer them because you can wear your existing gloves. However, there are several things you need to consider:
They protect your hands from the worst of rain and wind, but they don't have heating elements. Your hands can still get cold on long rides.
They don't fit all motorcycles, so check with the manufacturer before buying. Don't believe claims of “universal” fit.
Many cheap versions are not well made. Quality models are a similar price to heated gloves.
If they're easy to fit, that means they're also easy for thieves to remove if your bike is left unattended.
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