I live in Northern California, so winter here is often spring-like in comparison to say Northern Wisconsin, but we have our share of below freezing mornings. I am also a short ride away from the Pacific Coast Highway to the west and some very fun mountain roads in the Sierras to the East where even in the summer months both destinations can get a bit chilly. When I first started riding, I thought that cold hands came with the territory if you rode in the winter months. I found out how wrong I was when I got to test out the Firstgear Warm and Safe Heated Motorcycle Gloves.
How well are they made?
The Firstgear Warm and Safe Heated Motorcycle Gloves are made out of grade-A top-grain drum-dyed cowhide. There is an additional layer of leather stitched to the top of each finger as well as a padded and articulated leather panel to better protect the knuckles. On the bottom, there is a leather panel stitched to the palm for extra protection and grip. Both gloves have two sets of hook and loop closures at the wrist, one on the top and one on the bottom to provide a secure and custom fit.
The left glove has a faceshield wiper stitched into the thumb; very useful in the fog or a light rain. The inner liner of the gloves is a warm and breathable Thinsulate material. Sandwiched between the two layers is the heating element which you won’t even know is there until you turn the heat on. After three winters with these gloves I am seeing some signs of wear, but nothing unusual given that they have been exposed to rain about a quarter of my rides.
How Do They Work?
The Firstgear Warm and Safe Heated Motorcycle Gloves require a Heat Troller to regulate the amount of heat that they receive, and they can connect to the Heat Troller one of two ways. If you have a Firstgear Warm and Safe Heated Jacket Liner you can connect the gloves to the plugs in each sleeve. If you do not have a heated jacket liner you can route a Y-plug through the arms of the jacket of your choice. However you make the connection, all you need to do next is adjust the Heat Troller to a comfortable level, and ride all winter with warm hands.
Are they Perfect?
They are billed as a waterproof glove, and they are…for a while. I have found that about once a winter I need to re-waterproof them using a product like NikWax’s Glove Proof. Even when the gloves are soaked through my hands do not get too cold on a shorter rides as long as I have the Heat Troller maxed out. Firstgear also says that they are about as thin as a summer glove. I find the thickness to be a good balance of warmth and control feel; not as bulky as some other winter gloves out there, but not thin.
The Bottom Line.
Getting set up with the Heat Troller and either a heated liner or Y-plug is not cheap, but neither is the quality of the Firstgear Warm and Safe gear. As you can see from the photos, the gear that I have been using for the last three winters has held up quite well. I have tried out other less expensive heated gloves and the Firstgear Warm and Safe Heated Motorcycle Gloves have been the most comfortable and most consistently warm, making them worth every penny.