There was a time when your best option for winter riding was stuffing microwave heating pads into your gloves, but times have changed.
These days the market is filled with gloves that heat up via internal batteries or by plugging into your motorcycle battery.
Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell the quality models from the poorly manufactured knockoffs. That’s why I’ve made this list of five gloves that I’ve found to reliably and safely warm up your hands and keep them that way.
Reviews of the Best Heated Motorcycle Gloves
Gerbing 12V Vanguard Heated Gloves
What I like best about these gloves is the microwire heating technology. While a lot of gloves just rely on radiating heat that usually leaves your fingertips cold, the Vanguards get heat directly to every part of your hand.
They’re also really hot thanks to an amped-up power draw, reaching 135℉, maintained inside the glove with Thinsulate insulation.
That’s great if your hands get freezing, but the problem is Gerbing doesn’t include a heat controller. If you find yourself overheating, you’ll have to buy the controller separately.
Finally, these gloves provide protection in addition to warmth. As well as reinforced knuckles, it also has palms reinforced with superfabric. Your palms are what usually strikes the pavement anyway, so these gloves can save your skin—literally.
- Microwire heating network
- Fast and effective heating
- Thinsulate insulation
- Protective reinforcement on knuckles and palm
- No temperature control
Joe Rocket 7V Rocket Burner Leather Heated Gloves
Joe Rocket’s Rocket Burner gloves are my favorite battery-powered gloves. Besides just looking cool, they provide some of the best heat from battery power I’ve encountered due to the core heating system that delivers warmth throughout your hand, including your fingers.
The batteries themselves are also great. You get a good 2.5 hours on the highest heat setting, enough to get you to work and back or even go for a long ride.
An interesting feature of the battery is that the charging system allows you to charge them both at once without using separate outlets. This saves space and prevents you from having one glove die on you while the other’s still working.
Design features include knuckle armor, which is integrated into the glove for better mobility.
Additionally, one of my favorite things is that the gloves have touchscreen compatibility on both the fingers and thumb just in case you’re stopped and need to type something out.
And speaking of the thumbs, they even have a built-in screen wiper. How cool is that?
One annoyance with these gloves is the battery positioning. Right on the wrist, it can be a bit bulky and in the way. Plus, the strap isn’t the most comfortable either.
- 3 heat settings
- Core system heats whole hand
- Shield wiper on thumb
- Touchscreen compatibility on fingers and thumb
- Knuckle armor
- Can charge both batteries simultaneously
- Good battery life
- Uncomfortable wrists
Highway 21 7V Radiant Heated Gloves
It’s hard to find better battery-powered heated gloves than these. For one thing, they’re especially convenient due to the three temperature settings that you can adjust via simple + and – buttons on the wrist.
However, what I like is the battery life. You get over two hours of battery life even on the highest heat setting. While many riders want to have a pair of battery-powered gloves as backups or easy options for short trips, these can work for longer rides.
I do wish the Highway 21s had thicker insulation, but battery gloves are generally more suited for cool weather, not ice-cold weather anyway. I’d especially recommend these gloves for anyone dealing with a cold wind like those in the Midwest because they’re waterproof and windproof.
- Genuine leather
- Waterproof and windproof
- Pre-curved fingers
- 3 temperature settings
- Armored knuckles
- Less insulation
Hotwired 12V Heated Gloves
These gloves are my suggestion for anyone who may occasionally need heated gloves in the winter but isn’t going to need them year-round for regular commuting.
That’s because they have an excellent built-in temperature controller with an auto cut-off. This lets you start your ride with high heat but turn it down as the sun comes out.
While a little less durable than other gloves, they come at a great budget price. Again, this is why I recommend them for the rider who only needs a heated glove for a small part of the year.
Finally, I like the fit and comfort of these gloves. The brushed fabric lining is soft but doesn’t get itchy, and the pull-through wrist strap gives you adjustability and security that other gloves don’t have.
- Pull-through wrist strap
- Built-in temperature controller with auto cut-off
- Great price
- Less durable
- Only heats back of hand
Gerbing 12V G4 Heated Gloves
Gerbing’s G4s are similar to the Vanguards at an almost identical price. They offer the same microwire heating that gets heat to every part of your hand, including the fingertips, making them great for the iciest rides.
Where the G4s lose out to the Vanguards is protection. While they both have palm protection, the G4s don’t have much knuckle protection, which can be a problem in a crash. It’s also just where gloves tend to wear down.
I like the fit better on these gloves over the Vanguards, though. A lot of that has to do with the VELCRO wrist straps.
I’m a bit lanky, so this high adjustability lets me connect the large glove I need to my bony wrist. Plus, it allows me to combine the glove with sweaters and thermals of various thicknesses.
The touchscreen compatibility also works a lot better on the G4s for some reason.
Unfortunately, like with the Vanguards, you’ll have to buy the heat controller for the G4s separately. It does get hot, though, reaching the same 135℉.
- Microwire heating network
- Thinsulate insulation
- VELCRO wrist straps
- Touchscreen compatible
- No knuckle protection
- No heat controller
Care, Considerations and Cost
12V vs. 7V (Wired vs. Battery)
Heated motorcycle gloves come almost exclusively in two voltages: 12 and 7.
The 12V models are wired gloves. In other words, you plug them into your motorcycle battery (also 12V), generally with a Y cable, and that’s what heats them.
Meanwhile, 7V gloves have rechargeable lithium-ion batteries inside the gloves. These are usually removable but not always.
As you might imagine, 12V gloves are almost always warmer than 7V ones. They heat up faster and reach a higher temperature.
The downside is that annoying wire, which most riders choose to run under their jacket. Still, you have to worry about unplugging it and taking it out when your ride is over.
You want to be able to control the temperature of your heated gloves because otherwise, they might get too hot. While most glove models feature temperature control, it’s not always included.
Additionally, temperature control can be vital for battery-powered gloves. That’s because a higher temperature will drain the battery faster, so you don’t want to use more than you need.
Frankly, power draw isn’t that big of a deal. Most wired gloves draw 20-25 Watts, less than a motorcycle headlight.
If your gloves seem to be draining more battery power than your engine can replace, you might need to take your bike into the shop.
Of course, if you’re using battery-powered gloves, keep the power draw in mind. Running them hotter will run the battery down quicker.
Don’t Forget About Safety
When you’re looking at heated gloves, it’s easy to focus entirely on the warmth aspect and forget entirely about the gloves’ ability to protect your hands in case of a crash.
You want a tough material like leather or a high-denier fabric and armor reinforcement, specifically at the knuckles and palms.
Further reading: Choosing the right motorcycle gloves.
Waterproofing and Windproofing
In many cases, your hands get cold while riding not because of the temperature but because of wind and water. If you live in a place with a lot of cold storms, you should look for waterproof and windproof gloves.
One thing, though.
Waterproofing and windproofing can sometimes make a glove unbreathable. Combined with the heating, this can get uncomfortable. Make sure the fabric is breathable as well.
Also read: Winter motorcycle gear.
These days, using your smartphone with your gloves on is a must. As a result, most heated gloves feature some touchscreen compatibility via conductive fabric, but the quality and extent of this compatibility vary widely.
For example, many gloves just feature the conductive fabric on the index fingers. This works to make a call or open up music on Spotify, but it’s not great for typing. If you plan to be typing a lot with the gloves, if you’re a delivery rider, for example, you want compatibility on the thumbs as well.
Watch Out for Cheap Knockoffs
You can find heated gloves out there for literally a few dollars, but do you honestly think these are any good?
Heated gloves are electronically complex devices that feature intricate circuitry and sometimes rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
Beware of cheap, poorly manufactured gloves. Besides not heating very well or offering insulation or protection, they’ll inevitably break down soon after you buy them. Even worse, they may have safety issues with the electronics that could be dangerous.
Stick to quality gloves with safety certifications and well-made electronics. Remember, you get what you pay for.
Like any accessory, you should take good care of your heated gloves. This primarily means caring for the electronics.
With battery-powered gloves, try not to let the batteries fully die.
This means never leaving the gloves on when you’re not using them and plugging them in when you’re finished riding. Similarly, keep them charged during warm weather even if you aren’t using them.
Additionally, even though motorcycle gloves are generally resistant to the elements, it’s still a good idea to store your gloves in a clean place at room temperature. This will help the electronics last longer and avoid corrosion.
There’s no reason to freeze your hands off riding your bike. I’d go with the Gerbing 12V Vanguard Heated Gloves for the best heating capability. However, if you don’t like wires and prefer a battery-powered glove, I recommend the Joe Rocket 7V Rocket Burner Leather Heated Gloves.