Date reviewed: October 2017 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: £149.99 | www.keisapparel.co.uk
These heated gloves can be powered by your bike’s battery, or a separate 12V power pack, available as an optional extra for £74.99 with charger. The gloves come with a connection lead to use them with your other Keis heated kit, as well as the cable to connect them directly to your bike’s battery. I’ve been using them for almost two years now…
Fit and feel
I went for the XL size – I’d usually have L gloves, but couldn’t get quite the right fit for my hands. As always, check your sizing and try any bike kit on before you buy.
They’re quite chunky, but that’s to be expected on something designed for deep winter use. Stretch panels make them fit and move well, though you will of course lose some of the feel you’d get with lighter-weight gloves.
As with other heated gloves, it can take a little bit of practice to get the right routine for plugging into your heated jacket’s wiring and looping the cable under the cuff, but your best bet is always to have your jacket’s sleeve over the glove, in which case it’ll generally just pass straight through. Owners of Rukka’s excellent two-layer sleeve system will struggle a little more with any heated glove’s cables.
In the cold weather, your best bet is to have some bar muffs – or hand-guards at least – to help keep the wind off your paws. On my KTM 1050 Adventure I stay very comfortable, but at 4°C on a bike with no hand guards I found these Thinsulate-lined gloves kept my hands warm if not hot. They were fine for me, but if you need more heat, Keis also offers the X800 Hi Powers.
As with other heated gloves, only the tops of the hands have a heating element – gripping the bars keeps the warmth trapped in your palms. If you still suffer from the cold, consider a set of heated grips.
I tested the X800i Dual Powers, and found they pulled 0.6A at 12V in low power mode, 0.8A in medium and 1.1A at full heat. If you’re using them with the external 2600mAh lithium battery pack, you’ll have toasty hands when walking for at least two and a half hours, right up to just under five hours. The higher-power version of these gloves pull up to 2A from your bike, so aren’t intended to be used with the external battery.
Each glove has its own large, illuminated button on the top – it glows green for low, orange for medium and red for full power. It’s easy to press the right one while you ride, and I press the left one up under the bottom edge of the mirror while riding.
Protection & fastening
These gloves have a leather palm with textile upper and carbon-look nylon armour. It’s disappointing not to see a cuff restraint, as this is generally the most secure method of keeping gloves in place during a crash. The cuff has a Velcro fastener, though on this XL pair I found it a little too long, making it difficult to get tight when putting under my sleeve. Even going over my jacket, the Velcro ran out too early, but you may well find it works fine with your kit.
Wet weather use
The Keis gloves have proved waterproof, and given no problems in the rain, though it’d have been nice to have an additional grippy layer on the palms. There’s a suede-style panel on the outside of each index finger, which is great for wiping your visor, though I must admit that I prefer a rubbery wiper blade.
The lining is soft and comfortable, and I’ve had no problems with it pulling out; I don’t tend to wear these gloves as much as others, as they’re reserved for the depths of winter, and as they’re a size larger than I usually have, there’s been far less friction as I’ve dragged my hot hands out. Check the sizing before you buy, but remember that any heated gloves will be warm and sticky if you have to take them off and put them on in the rain.
The lack of a wrist restraint is my main criticism of these gloves, but otherwise I’ve been impressed. I use them with a Keis X25 heated jacket – they simply plug into the arms’ cables, and when I’m paying for fuel, I leave them dangling like kid’s mittens.
The heating elements are very fine, so don’t cause any discomfort on the backs of my hands when holding the bars – they’re an investment worth making if you ride in the coldest parts of the year.