This is the first time I’ve purchased heated gear and only my third time ever using a heated accessory on a motorcycle. That has more to do with the fact that I live in Florida than with me being immune to cold. Here in the Sunshine State we’ve had an unseasonably cold winter, and living so far south, my blood is thin.
Being a compulsive “farkler,” my inclination would be to add heated grips. But I own more than one motorcycle, so that gets complicated and expensive, especially when I won’t use them much. Heated gloves offer more versatility, but which kind: wired or battery-powered? My bikes have pigtails for maintenance chargers, but wired gloves still require being wired to the motorcycle, and they need to be connected to a heated jacket and a controller. Battery-powered gloves are the easiest and cheapest solution, but they don’t provide as much heat for as long as wired gloves, and having a battery embedded in each gauntlet makes them bulky. Life is about trade-offs.
I ordered a pair of Highway 21 Radiant Heated Gloves, which use 7-volt rechargeable lithium-ion batteries to power the heating elements. I opted for size large based on the sizing chart, but they didn’t fit right so I exchanged them for mediums. As winter gloves, the Radiants are thick and bulky due to a layer of 100G Thinsulate thermal lining and a Hipora waterproof membrane. The fingers are pre-curved and I was able to operate the bike’s controls, but not with the same dexterity as with summer gloves.
The gloves’ outer is made of leather, with a double layer at the heel of the palm, a hard knuckle protector, a stretch panel at the wrist and a hook-and-loop closure on the gauntlet. I’d like to see a more robust slider on the palm and the bulky gauntlet is difficult to get over the cuff of my jacket, but I appreciate the compatibility with a smartphone touchscreen. Highway 21 says the Radiants are breathable, but due to their thickness I didn’t really notice much.
Two large buttons on the gauntlet control the three levels of heat, identified with an LED indicator. Felt heat did the job, but it can depend on size so make sure they fit properly. Battery life was 4 hours on low, 3 hours on medium, and 2.5 hours high heat. Overall, the Radiant gloves offer the warmth and versatility I need for a reasonable price. They’re available in sizes XS-4XL for $209.95.
For more information: See your dealer or visit highway21.com