Keep those fingers flexing, not frozen! MCN's guide to the best heated motorbike gloves
Heated motorbike gloves haven’t been around all that long, but many riders nowadays consider them an absolute essential for riding when the weather’s sub optimal.
Picking the best heated gloves for winter motorcycling can be difficult, though. In this article we’ve tested five pairs to find out which one comes out on top – and show you where you can buy the best battery heated motorbike gloves.
Our testers have been out in all conditions this winter and covered thousands of miles in each design of glove, so this is a verdict you can rely upon.
Best heated gloves for motorcycling
1. Gerbing XRL - £179.99 (RRP)
Tested by Mike Armitage for 1 month, 2000 miles
Power source Bike (or optional battery packs from £59.99)
Suffer with insomnia? Ask me about heated clobber. I can bore the hind leg of the most resilient donkey. As a year-round rider, I almost exploded with joy after discovering heated gloves about 16 years ago. And these are the best yet. Old heated gloves seemed better suited to pruning roses but these CE-approved XRLs (there’s a short-cuff XR too) are proper bike kit, with confidence-inspiring armour, secure fastening, waterproof membrane, visor wipe, and a patch of stuff for touchscreens. Power is from the bike’s battery: attach the supplied harness, run the thin Y-lead down each arm and connect (or invest in the jacket liner, which has a feed from each sleeve). A button on each mitt regulates heat. These perhaps aren’t as hot as older Gerbings, but the warmest setting is plenty toasty even when it’s several below freezing. Threading wires sounds a faff, but only adds 20 seconds to kitting up. Having tested all other brands, Gerbing stand out for reliability, snugness and sense of safety.
- Quality: 5 stars
- Value: 5 stars
2. RST Paragon Thermotech - £189.99 (RRP)
Tested by Matt Wildee for 12 months, 2000 miles
Power source Batteries
I’ve found these to be everything you need from a heated glove. Using a 7.4v lithium polymer battery to power heating elements on the back of the hand and the fingers, they provide warmth and waterproofing, combined with a feel that’s somewhere between a winter glove and a waterproof summer glove. They last for 10-15 hours of riding, depending on which of the three settings you use. A good feature is the drawstring storm cuff: electric gloves with batteries in the wrist can’t go under jacket cuffs so you’ll get wet hands without a cuff.
- Quality: 4 stars
- Value: 4 stars
3. Racer Connectic 4 - £199.99 (RRP)
Tested by Martin Fitz-Gibbons for 2 months, 1000 miles
Power source Batteries (included), bike (£45 accessory kit)
Leather and textile gauntlet with a goatskin palm, silky-soft lining and decent insulation. On the lowest of the four power settings, the cuff batteries last almost six hours – though the warning light starts flashing around three. You can add a second battery to each glove, doubling run-time, for an extra £45. A hard-wire lead is also £45 on top of the purchase price.
A built-in thermostat prevents overheating and reduces power consumption, but it also means the gloves won’t get indulgently toasty, even on the highest ‘Boost’ mode. Pulling the drawstring cuffs over thick jacket sleeves can be clumsy, and the fiddly wrist straps often fall out of the buckle as you’re putting them on. Still, build quality feels solid and the waterproof lining keeps hands dry. I’d be happier with hard armour – though for that, I’d need Racer’s £259.99 Heat 4.
- Quality: 4 stars
- Value: 3 stars
4. Dane Fyre Gore-Tex - £299.99 (RRP)
Tested by Michael Neeves for 16 months, 6000 miles
Power Batteries (included), bike (£29.99 accessory kit)
Despite constant use over the winter (and bits of spring and autumn) these heated gloves have done a sterling job keeping my hands snug, even on the filthiest of days, but an electrical problem finished them off after a year. Dane replaced them immediately and now I’m back in the game. I use the rechargeable batteries mostly – good for three or four hours on the lowest of the three heat settings, but for sizzling sausage fingers wiring them into the bike’s battery is the way to go. The latest Dane Fyres have a longer gauntlet to seal in even more heat, but with batteries bulking-out the cuff it’s hard to get waterproofs or textiles over the top and wearing the gloves ‘outside’ the sleeves lets rain creep in. One long day they became so waterlogged it damaged the batteries but that was my fault because I hadn’t got a seal.
- Quality: 3 stars
- Value: 3 stars
5. Keis G502 - £199.99 (RRP)
Tested by Ben Clarke for 3 months, 2000 miles
Power source Bike (or £99 extra for batteries)
The old version of these gloves left you with knuckles that were too hot and cold fingertips, and despite the extra padding added to the new version, the problem persists. In their hottest setting (running off the bike) I managed to burn myself to the point of my skin blistering while the ends of my fingers went numb with cold. Running on battery power, the gloves will keep going for over four hours but the lower two temperature modes are too weak. On the plus side, the lightweight design means that you have excellent feel on the controls.
- Quality: 2 stars
- Value: 1 stars