Date reviewed: January 2020 | Tested by: Steve Rose | Price: £199 | www.keisapparel.co.uk
Heated gloves are superb. Unlike heated grips where your hands can be too warm, heated gloves tend to work by not allowing your hands to get cold. It’s subtle, but there’s a significant difference. I’ve been wearing these since November, mostly on a Honda X-ADV doing a daily commute of 150 miles. In addition to the wired connections I also have a pair of rechargeable batteries that allow the gloves to run independently (handy as a road tester when we swap regularly between bikes). The battery packs cost £99 for a pair including a charger that does both batteries at once
Mostly fabric with a leather palm and panels on the rear. There’s a pouch in the cuff for the battery pack and socket for the heating connector. Armour on the knuckles and palm offers crash protection and a snug fit feels odd on a winter glove. These are a long way from being race gloves, but are a lot less baggy than most winter gloves
There’s a flimsy, rubber visor wipe on the index finger that is only partially effective at clearing water. Maybe one day, someone will realise that these things are next-to-useless and return to a large suede patch on the back of thumb which always worked fine.
Battery pack fits snugly into glove but adds bulk. Check your jacket cuffs will go over it before you buy
Sized slightly on the small size, I usually find a ‘medium to be comfy and not too tight. A medium Keis is a snug, but still comfortable fit for me. The advantage of being heated is that they don’t need as much padding as other winter gloves which gives more feel for the bike’s controls. The downside is that with the battery packs fitted the cuff of the glove is too wide to fit under my current Oxford Mondial winter jacket. My other winter jacket (a Halvarssons Walkyr) has more adjustability in the cuffs and can accommodate the batteries). If you’re buying the gloves for use with batteries make sure you try them with the jacket you will be wearing (and all the appropriate layers you’ll be wearing underneath too).
Using the gloves wired into the bike adds another five minutes to your getting ready time. It feels fiddly and comical at first, but the benefit of warm hands on a long winter ride is worth all the fuss.
Battery packs last around 2 hours on full heat
There are three settings, controlled by a button on the back of the glove and displayed by different colours (red, yellow and green). The heat panels are on the back of your hand and the heat extends into the fingers. I tend to use the middle setting and then just forget about it. My hands don’t feel particularly warm like this, but they don’t feel cold either. I prefer that to the warmest setting, which gets too hot on my throttle-hand knuckles after an hour or so.
Using the battery pack the gloves stay warm for just under two hours on maximum heat, adding another 20 minutes if you use the medium setting
Claimed consumption is 1.6A which, in conjunction with the Keis heated vest means a total draw of 3A. I was wondering if that might have an impact on fuel consumption over a long run but it works out to just 16 watts or four ten-thousandths of the Honda’s power output. You’d have more of an impact on fuel consumption by carrying an extra kilo of weight.
Power lead connects to the glove via a robust socket. Heat settings displayed by colours on the switch
Once plugged in to either the battery pack or the bike’s battery you simply press the button for two seconds to switch on and then toggle between heat settings. Adjusting the throttle-hand glove is easy on the move but you need to take a hand off the throttle to do left hand glove, which can be trickier.
There's hard flexible armour in the knuckles and on your palm, which helps protect the scaphoid bone in your wrist in the event of a slide (you don't want the hand to grab). The gloves are CE marked in accordance with the latest PPE regulation an approved to European Standard EN 13594:2015.
From April 21 2018, all motorcycle clothing sold in the UK is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). To meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. For more information on the new laws, click here.
Knuckle and scaphoid protection and a snug fit make these more protective than many winter gloves
Cuff and wrist have Velcro fasteners. Wrist one is easy to use, but the Velcro comes undone a little more readily than most other gloves I’ve used, so make sure its fastened before setting off. The cuff one needs a bit of jiggling to get tightly adjusted with the battery pack fitted
It’s rained at some point on every single occasion I have used these gloves including three biblical journeys where 50mph winds have intensified the effect of the torrential rain. Through all of that my fingers have remained bone dry. As mentioned above though the flimsy visor wipe is next-to-useless.
Visor wipe is flimsy and ineffective
Soft polyester lining is comfortable, snug and doesn’t come away when wet
If your bike already has powerful heated grips, these are unnecessary and expensive (especially with the battery packs). If it doesn’t, I’d prefer a pair of these to aftermarket grips, which are fiddly to fit and often unreliable. Using heated gloves adds fuss and faff to the getting-ready phase of your ride and every petrol or piddle stop, but the benefits are worth it and when you change bikes you take the gloves with you – try doing that with aftermarket heated grips.
The battery packs are brilliant and make the gloves much easier to use. But only if your jacket’s cuffs are wide enough to fit over the bulk.
Battery packs (x2), charger and leads add £99 to the price