Goodbye Stiff Hands, Hello Heated Motorcycle Gloves

Heated motorcycle gloves — the unsung hero of winter riding.

  • 241
Goodbye Stiff Hands, Hello Heated Motorcycle Gloves © Goodbye Stiff Hands, Hello Heated Motorcycle Gloves

Your poor hands. You stick them into the wind and the unrelenting chill, sometimes for hours, and expect them to work properly. I can’t tell you how many times I've ended a trip with my hands frozen into a grip-holding position after a night ride. Gloves that can keep our fingers from needing to be pried off the bike are a necessity for any motorcyclist, especially those who ride year-round. The best heated motorcycle gloves will keep your hands toasty but not sweaty and let you focus on more important things - like your ride.

Summary List

Best Overall: Highway 21 7V Radiant Heated Gloves

Value: Hotwired 12V Heated Gloves

Honorable Mention: Alpinestars HT-5 Heat Tech Drystar Gloves

Best Extreme Weather: Gerbing 12V Vanguard Heated Gloves

Best Women’s: Merlin Minworth Heated Women's Gloves

Best Waterproof: Klim Hardanger HTD Long Gloves

Best Leather: Fly Racing Street 7V Ignitor Heated Gloves

Our Methodology

When creating this guide, I wanted to focus on more than "they get hot" as this doesn't really tell you anything about the glove or what it's like to wear them. So while I started by only considering gloves with a heating element, this was just the beginning. My next step was to eliminate any gloves that weren't made by a reputable brand. I've heard too many horror stories about fire hazards and burns from sketchy knockoffs with unreliable wiring.

The Drive is serious about finding quality products for serious riders, and these knockoffs do not make the cut. So once I had a list of gloves that won't light on fire while you're wearing them, I got down to business considering each glove's heating functionality, safety features, comfort, and dexterity. I then tried to choose gloves that balanced all of these features to give you a reliable pair of gloves that you won't find frustrating to wear. I didn't focus too much on battery life since most modern gloves have rechargeable batteries with similar run times and run time can be incredibly subjective. Finally, I considered what other riders are saying to get a better understanding. 

Best Heated Motorcycle Gloves Reviews & Recommendations

Our Verdict on the Best Heated Motorcycle Gloves

My top pick for the best heated motorcycle gloves is the Highway 21 7V Radiant Heated Gloves with genuine leather construction, Thinsulate insulation, hipora liner, and armored knuckles. 

If you're looking for a more affordable option, the Hotwired 12V Heated Gloves have a soft brushed lining and a built-in three-setting temperature controller. 

Consider Secondhand

When we start shopping for tools and products, we never overlook the secondhand market. In fact, it’s usually the first place we look. Whether you’re scrolling through Amazon’s Renewed section, eBay for car parts or tools, or flipping through the pages of Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, you have hundreds of thousands of used tools, parts, and gear ready to be shipped to your doorstep. Refurbished to like-new status, they’ll be willing to give you many more years of faithful service all while saving you money. It also has the benefit of you not having to cut open an Amazon box inside an Amazon box with bubble wrapped around the part.

If those options above don’t have what you need, your local salvage yard is great for car parts, while swap meets are a great resource you should absolutely tap. Just Google either and head on down.  

Secondhand Tips

To make your secondhand search easier, here are two tips to finding the best deals and making sure your new-to-you stuff wasn’t destroyed by the previous owner. 

  • Ensure that the heating element still works since this is the whole point of buying the gloves. 
  • Check the stitching to ensure it's still in good condition and not showing signs of weakening. 

What to Consider When Buying Heated Motorcycle Gloves

You're buying heated gloves and want to focus on the heating elements, but that shouldn't be your only concern. You can't ignore that you're buying gloves for riding, so they also need to be protective and functional. That's why you shouldn't throw on your ski or generic winter gloves. Those things would shred in a heartbeat. Or imagine trying to work the control with your fingers hobbled in a mitten-style glove. 

Types of Heated Motorcycle Gloves

Wired 

Usually, 12V and 7V heated motorcycle gloves are attached to a wiring harness that runs off the motorcycle's electrical system. The connecting wires produce the heat that warms your hands. The advantage when using this type of glove is that it produces a large amount of energy and a really high heat output. The downside is you are tethered to the bike, and they're not very portable. Some wired gloves are designed to be a part of a larger system, such as a jacket or suit. These are nice because everything is integrated. However, the drawback is that you need to purchase the entire suit. 

Battery Operated 

Battery-powered gloves give you the freedom that wired gloves take away. Each glove comes with a battery pack that powers the glove. In old-school versions, you would have to replace the batteries when they died. Modern versions have rechargeable batteries that you plug in with a USB cord. The advantage of these gloves is that they are more affordable and portable. Their downside is that you have a potentially bulky battery pack in the gauntlet of each glove. The longer you want the battery to last, the larger it needs to be because it takes quite a bit of energy to generate the heat. Finally, you have to remember to charge them for the heating element to work. There's also the pesky fact that the battery will eventually die, and the hotter you make the gloves, the faster the battery will die. 

Dual-Heated

There is a small category of gloves with both battery and wired functionality. These dual heated gloves are the least common and tend to be the most expensive. They work by using both power sources simultaneously to allow you to switch between them at a moment's notice. Having both functions gives you the most flexibility in using your gloves. However, you may not need this additional feature, making the high cost not worth it. If you regularly enjoy long and short rides, then dual gloves can give you the functionality for both. 

Heated Motorcycle Gloves Key Features

Size

Measure your hand around the palm with a soft tape measure, then measure the length of your hand from wrist to fingertip. Follow each manufacturer’s size chart because they are all different, and you’ll need to size up if you have particularly long fingers. The gloves should feel snug but not tight on your hands. Your hands will swell over time, causing your gloves to feel constricting, reducing blood flow and being just as big of a problem as cold hands. Also, gloves that are too big will slip and move around, which can be dangerous while riding. 

Protection 

Heated motorcycle gloves are not the same as ski, snowmobile, or other heated winter gloves. The gloves you buy should have all of the protection features you expect in a pair of motorcycle gloves while also being heated. They should be constructed from abrasion-resistant material like leather or textile with a high denier rating. Additionally, they should have a hardshell knuckle guard, palm reinforcement, and a secure wrist attachment to keep the gloves on your hands. Reinforced stitching and rolled fingertips are also nice features to make the gloves more durable. 

Power Source 

The type of power source that you choose for your heated gloves will depend on what, where, and how long you ride. Battery-powered gloves are better for someone with a smaller budget, who will only use the gloves occasionally and mainly take short rides. Wired gloves are better for someone willing to make the investment, plans to use them a lot, or likes to go on long rides. While wired gloves get hotter and stay hot for longer, battery-powered gloves give you more freedom while wearing them. Both types have their tradeoffs. There are also dual gloves that can provide both functionalities, which can be worth the investment if you live in a primarily cold climate. 

Temperature Controls

Most heated motorcycle gloves have three basic settings: low, medium, and high. The exact temperature of those three settings can vary greatly. Hotter isn't always better. You want the gloves to keep your hands warm without overheating and causing your hands to sweat or even suffer burns. The temperature control function should be easy to reach and a button that you can operate while wearing your gloves. Temperature settings are also crucial when you have battery-operated gloves. The hotter the setting, the shorter the battery life. You'll need to balance heat production with battery life. Wired gloves don't have this issue because they pull power from the bike's battery, which gives you more freedom in how hot you run your gloves. 

Heated Motorcycle Gloves Pricing 

Don't expect to buy a pair of good-quality heated gloves for less than $100. You may find heated glove liners for under $100, but not a full pair of gloves. You can find a basic pair of gloves with minimal protections, limited heating functions, and wired for less than $150. The closer you get to $200, the better the protection features and the longer the gauntlet gets. Once you get over $200, the gloves get even better with high-quality insulation, waterproofing, and better quality leather. You may see a few pairs for over $300, but they aren't always worth the extra expense because it's unlikely you'll get anything special or extra for the bigger investment. 

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Commnets 0
Leave A Comment