Since the inception of this blog, I haven’t reviewed any apparel or gear, but I’ve been wanting to, so let me start with a review of these gloves. I decided that I’m not going to review anything until I feel I’ve run it through its paces. Personally, I don’t think reviews of a newly acquired product are very useful. I want to know how a product performs during/after months of use.
Having said that…
Winter is pretty much over in North America so, hey, it’s time to review winter gear. I’m giving you my feedback of what worked for me this winter. Not helpful now but take this knowledge forward for next winter. Who knows… perhaps you’ll find a summer discount. 0r, if you’re reading this in Australia (shout out to my Aunt), winter is coming so this is perfect timing.
I went through a few pairs of gloves this past winter in an attempt to ride and I gotta tell you, the Venture Heat gloves saved my arse (triumph = british, ass = arse). Actually my fingers, but you know what I mean.
I don’t like the idea of hooking up into wires. I ride a motorcycle for the freedom. The simple task of attaching myself to the battery rubs me the wrong way. Well… did you live in NY this past winter? Yowza! It was brutal. I was using a pair of Alpinestars winter gloves but once it got under 40°F, my fingers started going numb. In fact, I purposely took roads with stop lights with the hope that I would hit a red light thus allowing me a moment of sweet relief to press my gloved hands up against the engine case. Ahhhhhh, glorious heat.
I’m not a fair weather friend when it comes to riding a bike. Unfortunately, I won’t be moving back to California anytime soon so I WILL find a way to keep riding here on the East Coast. I went to the Progressive show in December in Javits, specifically looking for winter gear. Venture Heat had a booth. I checked them out and ended up walking out with a pair of their gloves. Super nice guys running the booth, by the way. (BTW, I expressed interest in their battery powered version due to my unlove of wired gloves. They quickly quashed that, saying that the battery version simply didn’t provide anywhere near the heat. In fact, they didn’t bring them to the show, they were that unsupportive of them. You gotta appreciate the honesty! I know that I did.)
Let me show you a few photos. I bought the sporty version but they have a mild-mannered version also. Mind you, these gloves have been in use for three months and tested down to -10°F (not taking into account the wind chill factor) so these photos were shot just last week, not when I first bought them.
(Note: I forgot to take a photo of their booth at Progressive. Arrrgh. Sorry about that.)
(note the frayed “conductive” finger tips. A bit disappointing. I’ll address those later in this post.)
You’ll notice that these are solid gloves. Great knuckle protection. Great gauntlet protection. Sliders on the palm. I need to hire a stunt crasher to test them but they seem very promising in that respect.
Install is fairly simple. Attach their wiring harness to your battery and hang the pigtail out the side. Run the receiver wiring through the arms of your jacket. When you get on the bike, attach the bottom end of the wiring to your battery pigtail and attach the sleeve wires to the gloves themselves. You will need to hold down the “actuator” button (a variable resistor allowing for three heat settings) on each glove for a couple seconds to turn them on. 0ne annoyance with these actuators, however, is that if your bike cuts out, you will need to unplug and replug them back in. I’m thinking some sort of relay needs to be incorporated to avoid this. BTW, the actuator has three settings – green for low heat, yellow for medium heat, red for high heat. Simply keep pushing it to cycle through the settings. Personally, I only used them for high heat. If the ambient temperature was enough where ‘red’ was too hot, I would switch to my Dainese EV0s (review to come).
The photo below shows the wiring that you’ll need to run through your jacket arms. Note the singular 6in wire. This is a voltage regulator. Venture Heat supplies two of them, one for each arm. Unfortunately, they are very easy to lose. They don’t secure themselves and thus detach very easily while riding. As such, I lost one which is why you only see one in the photo. To their credit, however, I contacted Venture Heat and they promised to send me a replacement. (that was a couple of weeks ago, though, and I haven’t received it.)
I’ve been adamantly opposed to wired heating gear but Venture Heat won me over. It was “bat-shit” crazy cold here in New York – über cold and continuously snow driven. As you know, your hands are the first causality when riding. The Venture Heat gloves allowed me to ride throughout the entire winter. Yes, there were a couple of times when they were close to failing but that was at -30°F with wind chill. They took me much further than any other glove.
I found that they run a size or two larger than other manufacturers. For comparison, I have a pair of Dainese and Alpinestars gloves both in XXL, a pair of Rev’Its in XL, and the Venture Heats in L.
More importantly however… these gloves will be my go-to next winter, without a doubt. There is absolutely no way that I could have ridden the entire winter without the use of heated gloves. They are warm (super warm, in fact) without having the bulk of the Alpinestars gloves. However, they require being “plugged” into the bike’s battery. Question to Venture Heat: Is it possible to have a wireless version that pulls voltage from the battery?
In terms of using these as non-heated gloves for when it’s not so cold, that is 100% possible. However, I have no idea how robust the micro-wiring is, so I have these gloves set aside until it gets cold enough again. I would love to put them through their paces but these are a pair of $200 gloves, so I’m not going to test them outside their main purpose.
0h, about the fingertips I mentioned earlier… the “conductive” fingertips fray incredibly easy. I have gloves from other manufacturers that have this feature and their fingertips hold up extremely well under use. It should be no problem for Venture Heat to do the same. If not, don’t offer it as a feature. My guess is that it is a supplier issue. Fraying, non-functioning finger tips look shoddy and hurt the brand. Myself, personally, I don’t care about the “smartphoneable” fingertips. I originally thought it was a cool feature when glove manufacturers began implementing it, but after a few years of practice, I prefer to pull over, pull off my glove, and access my phone accordingly.
Final, final note? I will ride these next winter and provide a follow up. I’m looking forward to it. I was worried last year as to what to do, next year I won’t.
Ridable Temperature Range:
40°F through -10°F
4°C through -23°C
Phillips Head Screwdriver (for battery terminal)