Best Heated Gloves: Keep Your Hands Warm While Riding Your Motorcycle
These gloves are lifesavers when the temperature drops.
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BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON November 12, 2021
If you're a biker who rides in colder climates, you need a pair of heated gloves to keep your hands warm, and not just because it's more comfortable to ride that way. Cold, windy conditions can cause issues with your reaction time and may affect your ability to properly operate the bike's controls, including the throttle, clutch, and brakes. Winter riders rely on heated equipment so they stay focused on the road, be safe, and enjoy the ride. While heated gloves aren't cheap, they are an essential accessory if you're traveling when the temperature drops. However, not all heated gloves are created equally. We put together this buying guide to help you find the best pair for your needs.
These plug-in gloves are made of cowhide leather, feature Thinsulate insulation, and have a water-resistant and breathable membrane.
- Consistent, warm heat
- Leather-covered TPU knuckle protection
- Touchscreen capable
- Several elements need to be purchased separately
- May not run true to size
These gloves are powered by lithium-ion batteries and provide four hours of warmth on the lowest heating and 2.5 hours on the highest.
- Waterproof and windproof
- Touchscreen capable
- Minimal crash protection
- Not ideal for long rides in freezing temps
Powered by lithium-ion batteries, these gloves provide heat for up to eight hours on the lowest setting.
- GORE-TEX construction
- CE Level 1 knuckle protection
- Touchscreen capable
- Not as warm as plug-in gloves
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
We took several factors into consideration when choosing the best heated gloves for motorcycling. First, we made sure to feature products from respected, well-known brands with a reputation for producing high-quality gear. High-quality construction was also important because heated gloves have mechanical elements, and they should be designed to last and not break after a short period of use.
When it came to battery-powered gloves, we made sure to select products that provided heat for at least several hours on the lowest setting. And while heated gloves are not cheap, we made sure to include products with a range of prices to suit a variety of budgets. We also checked user feedback to see how these gloves perform in real-world conditions. We avoided gloves that were cheaply made or a little better than the non-heated gloves people wear for everyday cold weather tasks. For more information on our methodology, read more here.
Best Heated Gloves Reviews & Recommendations
Our Verdict on Heated Gloves
Buying a pair of heated gloves is an investment, regardless of whether they are battery powered or plug into your bike’s electrical system. Our top overall pick is the Gerbing 12V Vanguard Heated Gloves because they provide a good amount of warmth and also provide knuckle protection, which many brands skimp out on. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Joe Rocket 7V Rocket Burner Heated Gloves.
What to Consider When Buying Heated Gloves
There are just two types of heated gloves: battery-powered and plug-in gloves. There are pros and cons to each option, which we detail below so you can make an informed buying decision. There are also several factors to consider before purchasing a pair of gloves, including the material construction, waterproofing abilities, and temperature controls.
Types of Heated Gloves
Some heated motorcycle gloves are battery-powered, making them a versatile option. You can wear them both on and off of the motorcycle and for other activities such as snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and winter hikes. The downside is that the batteries will eventually need to be recharged, so they have a limited operating time.
Wired or plug-in heated gloves are physically linked to your motorcycle. The gloves are attached to the bike with a wiring harness, and you need to unplug the gloves before you get off your bike. The benefit is that the gloves will stay warm as long as you ride, unlike battery-powered gloves that need to be recharged.
Heated Gloves Key Features
Measure your hands before purchasing a pair of heated motorcycle gloves to ensure they fit properly. Check the manufacturer's size chart based on your measurements. If the gloves are too tight, they will feel uncomfortable, and if they're too loose, you won't be able to feel the controls as well, which may cause safety issues.
Generally, heated gloves have three heat settings: low, medium, and high. With battery-operated gloves, this is particularly helpful because you can save power if you choose a lower heat setting. As for plug-in heated gloves, the controls may be on the actual gloves or on the wiring that attaches to your motorcycle.
Most heated motorcycle gloves are made of leather and synthetic materials that provide a thermal barrier against the wind. Leather is good because it can protect your hands from abrasion in the event of a crash; however, it's not the best in torrential rain or snow. That's why many heated gloves feature a combination of leather and nylon or other synthetic materials. Alternatively, the leather may be treated with a waterproof coating to keep your hands dry.
The best heated motorcycle gloves are reinforced in the heel of the palm to protect your hands during an impact. If possible, choose gloves with cowhide, goatskin, or other types of leather for the best protection. Many heated gloves also feature padded reinforcement in the knuckle area.
Many heated motorcycle gloves have waterproof liners, which keep the wires protected from moisture. Alternatively, the outer layer may feature a waterproof coating to keep rain out. Either way, it's critical to have gloves that keep your hands dry as well as the battery and/or wiring so it doesn't malfunction.
Benefits of Heated Gloves
There comes a time in late fall and early winter when insulated gloves simply don't keep your hands warm enough. When you ride a motorcycle, you have to deal with strong winds that can easily cut through the gloves and make your hands frigidly cold. Heated gloves feature small wires that heat up the inner layer and keep the palms of your hands and fingertips from freezing. These gloves typically include several heat settings, so you can choose whether to crank up the heat or keep it at a minimal level.
Heated gloves also disperse heat evenly through your hands so they stay completely warm. In addition, they allow you to operate the controls better. If your hands are cold and stiff, it can be more difficult to twist the throttle or pull the brake or clutch levers.
Heated Gloves Pricing
Heated gloves are expensive, but they're worth the investment. If you search hard enough you can find a cheap pair of heated motorcycle gloves, but they won't last very long or provide as much heat and protection as better-quality brands. If you want a durable, solidly constructed pair of heated gloves for riding that function with either a built-in battery or the help of your bike's electrical system, expect to pay a minimum of $150.
Heated motorcycle gloves are designed to keep your palms and fingers from freezing, so they need to be durably constructed, and this type of construction costs money. Cheaper gloves simply aren't up to the task. The exception is heated glove liners, which can be purchased for under $100. However, you have to use these liners under a pair of gloves you already own, and you must make sure they fit properly without being too tight.
Tips and Tricks
As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and heated gloves. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.
- If possible, avoid riding in heavy rain for long periods of time while wearing heated gloves. Water may penetrate the inner layers and damage the wiring.
- If you have battery-powered gloves, charge them overnight. Some battery packs can take several hours to charge, and you want the gloves to be ready when you are.
- You can also purchase a heated glove liner to fit inside the existing shell of your regular motorcycle gloves.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers!
Q: Do heated motorcycle gloves work?
Yes. They keep your hands warm by promoting circulation and blood flow. They keep your hands dexterous and prevent them from going numb in cold temperatures.
Q: Are heated gloves worth it?
While they are bulkier than non-heated gloves, if you ride a motorcycle in cold temperatures, heated gloves can make the journey more comfortable.
Q: Can you wash heated gloves?
Yes, you can. First, remove the battery, and then spot clean them as necessary.