Also: Part 2: Mobile Warming LTD Max Heated Gloves Review
The Volt Titan 7 Men's 7v Leather Heated Gloves are comfortable, waterproof and warm.
They're not specifically designed as motorcycle gloves, but other than the absence of hard protectors, you'd never know it.
The gloves are slightly bulky, but that is the case with most winter motorcycle gloves.
Each Titan glove uses a 7.4 Volt, 2900 mAh battery which provides a claimed 150° F heat; we measured the peak at 144° F after 4 minutes.
The Volt Titan gloves are claimed waterproof and indeed, they passed the webBikeWorld "Bucket Test" with no leaks after 4 minutes submersed.
The thick insulation and the waterproof membrane helps to maintain the heat when riding and the highest heat setting is almost too warm.
The gauntlet fit is tight around a winter motorcycle jacket sleeve cuff; a common problem with winter motorcycle gloves. We'd suggest making the gauntlet made about 3 cm longer and with at least that much more adjustability in circumference to fit over a winter jacket.
Also, the large and thick battery takes up a lot of space in the gauntlet, which doesn't help. But this is a typical problem with other battery-operated motorcycle gloves we have reviewed.
The gauntlet on the Titan gloves also has a secondary cuff which adds some complexity. Overall, the Volt Titan gloves provide a very good amount of heat when placed in the highest setting and they're waterproof. And the price is right.
Volt is a new name in heated motorcycle clothing. The company (H2C Brands, LLC) is based in Olympia, Washington in the United States. Current offerings include heated jackets, heated vests and heated socks in addition to heated gloves for outdoor use, sports and motorcycling.
The Volt Titan gloves are not designed specifically for motorcycling, but for general outdoor and outdoor sports wear. The design isn't really much different, however, from either the Mobile Warming LTD Max gloves we'll be reviewing next or the Gerbing Hybrid gloves reviewed in 2009, both of which are claimed to have been designed for motorcycling but which don't have many protective features either.
The Titan gloves have a soft and thick leather outer shell with a nice contrasting soft suede insert around the inside of the forefinger and thumb. This, plus the leather overlay on the palm, seems like it's designed for extra grip and wear for skiing. An additional webbed loop at the palm can be used to attach the gloves for skiing also.
I'm not a skier, so I don't really know, but I am a motorcyclist and the Volt Titan gloves work well for that sport, if you can live without the added abrasion and impact protection typical in some -- but by no means all -- winter and/or heated motorcycle gloves.
Both the Gerbing Hybrid gloves and the VQuattro Squadra Heated Gloves (review) are our benchmarks for battery heated motorcycle gloves and we use them for comparisons. The VQuattro Squadra gloves won the webBikeWorld 2012 Motorcycle Product of the Year Award.
It wasn't all that long ago when battery heated motorcycle clothing was still a dream. Complicated wires, expensive controls and a pocketful of fuses were needed to stay warm during (really) cold winter riding.
Probably many new motorcycle riders either don't remember those days of less than a decade ago, but old-timers know exactly what I mean. And I've been around long enough to know that there was a time before that when there was no such thing as heated motorcycle clothing, period. For all practical purposes, anyway.
But today, there's pretty much a standard formula for battery heated outdoor gloves. Before I get to that though, let me also say that there are still plenty of wired gloves available and for the most part, you'll get more and better heat from wired gloves than battery heated gloves. But there's that wiring mess to deal with...and some bikes just don't have enough extra juice to run wired heated clothing.
Battery heated gloves have at least one big advantage. Put 'em on, turn 'em on and ride. You'll have heat -- as long as the batteries are charged, that is.
That standard design formula for battery heated gloves is a thick, well-insulated and fairly heavy leather or textile glove body, with waterproofing (that hopefully works) and a square battery in the 2,200 mAh range running at around 7 Volts.
The batteries are usually placed in a pocket on the back of the glove gauntlet and the controller is built into the battery, with an on/off button that also acts as a heat range selector (usually 4 ranges are standard) and a small LED light to indicate either the heat level, battery charge or both.
That "formula" is used in all of the battery heated gloves we have reviewed and it's really no different in the Volt Titan gloves. There are some differences, however.
It rarely happens that we have two competing products to review at once, but the Volt Titan gloves arrived at the same time as the Mobile Warming Battery Heated LTD Max Gloves (review pending), so we will reference back and forth between these two for comparison in the Mobile Warming review.
The Gerbing Hybrid gloves reviewed in 2009 are a favorite around here, mostly because their 11.1 Volt (but at 1200 mAh) batteries generate a lot of heat to keep the hands warm in the coldest weather in which you'd ever want to ride a motorcycle. We've gone through two sets of batteries for the Hybrid gloves; they've been around that long.
The Gerbing gloves use the same standard design formula for battery heated gloves I described earlier; in fact, I'd say that the Gerbing Hybrid gloves were the first battery heated gloves to set that formula.
The Volt Titan gloves are very well made, with very high quality stitching and construction. The leather is about as soft and supple as you'll find on a pair of non-heated high-end motorcycle gloves, but since these are not specifically designed for motorcycling only, the stitching is single row.
The Titan gloves do feel a bit bulky, with a lot of insulation, but they're about the same as most heavy winter non-heated motorcycle gloves. You might think that a heated glove could be thinner, because the heating elements will do the work of keeping your hands warm, but the insulation serves and important function.
The batteries used in modern "wireless" heated gloves have also become relatively standardized. In fact, so many of these glove types are so similar today that it wouldn't be a surprise to discover that they're all made in the same factory in China or elsewhere.
However, the Volt Titan gloves have some extra "ooomph", with nearly 35% more Amp hours than the Mobile Warming gloves at 2,200 mAh. The Volt gloves have a 7.4 Volt, 2,900 mAh battery that outputs 6.0 to 8.4 Volts (apparently dependent on the heat setting) at 2.5 Amps max.
Each Volt Titan battery weighs 113 grams (4 oz.) and measures approx. 23x50x70 mm. This is pretty much the standard battery now used in battery heated motorcycle gloves and it adds considerable bulk to each glove.
Heated glove batteries typically now have their controllers and switches built in, as is the case with the Volt Titan battery. Press the button and hold for a couple of seconds and four blue LED lights turn on. Each time the button is pressed, the next lowest level of heat is selected, down to level 1, then press once more and the lights go out and the battery is switched off.
The system works well and it's easy to view the relatively bright indicator lights. The battery uses a USB-type connector (it's not a USB type that I'm familiar with, but it looks similar).
The main problem or issue with all of the battery heated motorcycle gloves we have reviewed is the storage of the bulky battery.
Probably going to a pair of thinner batteries would add too much complexity and cost, so at this point in battery evolution, we're stuck with the "boxy" type battery that seems typical for this type of glove.
But the manufacturers could work to make the battery compartment easier to use and more roomy. The pocket for the battery should be a patch-type or cargo pocket on the outside of the gauntlet, not the inside. In fact, I'd go one step farther and add some Velcro to make the pocket a stick-on affair and then the entire battery and its pocket could be easily swapped out or removed for charging.
An external pocket would eliminate the tightness in the gauntlet that these very large batteries causes when they are placed inside, rather than outside. The only reason why we can figure that the glove manufacturers don't do this is because the designers aren't really using the gloves (i.e., they're apparently not motorcyclists...or skiers or snowmobilers...).
All of the battery powered heated motorcycle gloves we've tried have problems with holding and storing the battery. In the Volt Titan gloves, a semi-waterproof zipper across the back of the hand is opened to connect the battery to the wire and then the battery must be pushed down into the gauntlet.
Also, the bulky batteries intrude into the room available inside the gauntlet of the gloves. As is the case with every battery heated glove we've tried, the gauntlets on the Volt Titan gloves are too narrow and too short.
Manufacturers, hear this: you're making battery heated gloves that are obviously going to be used in cold weather. That means the motorcycle rider will be wearing a heavy winter jacket, probably with several layers underneath.
This means you do NOT want to use a standard size gauntlet on a pair of battery heated gloves that require a 113 gram, 70 by 50 by 23 millimeter battery. You can't make the gauntlet big enough, long enough or with enough adjustability as far as I'm concerned.
We have major problems with every battery heated glove we've tried in trying to get the gauntlet to fit over a heavy winter motorcycle jacket sleeve cuff. The Volt Titan gloves are not different -- although to be fair, they're not specifically designed as motorcycle gloves.
Nevertheless, the gauntlets on these could easily stand to be about 40 mm longer and at least as much in width, with a big, adjustable flap for good measure.
A clear window on the back of the gauntlet on the Titan gloves allows the wearer to see the indicator lights on the battery (photo above).
The rubber logo is located right where the controller switch on the battery is located; I'm not sure if this is by design or accident, but it seems to get in the way of using the button.
Normally, the procedure is to first turn on the gloves to the desired setting, then put the gloves on and then ride. If you want to change heat settings while riding, you may have to pull over; it's difficult and dangerous to try and find the button and activate it whilst riding. This is the case with all battery heated gloves that we've reviewed.
We used a temperature probe to measure the heat in the middle fingertip of each glove. All of the gloves are rated around 150° F (65.5° C) and all came close. But each glove feels different during motorcycle riding.
The Mobile Warming gloves peak at 150° F after 4 minutes and we measured the Volt Titan gloves at a 144° F peak after 4 minutes (see the chart below).
Yet the Volt gloves feel much warmer than the Mobile Warming LTD Max gloves when riding, because the Volt gloves retain more of the heat, probably due to the extensive insulation. The Mobile Warming gloves are thinner and apparently have less efficient insulation.
Just for comparison, the Gerbing Hybrid gloves also topped out at 150 degrees F after 4 minutes. They have about the same bulk as the Volt Titan gloves but the Gerbing Hybrid gloves feel slightly warmer; I almost always have to use them at a maximum of temperature level 3 rather than the full level 4, because they're too warm at the highest setting, probably due to the 11.1 Volt output?
But there's a catch: the 1.2 Ah (1200 mAh) batteries of the Gerbing Hybrid gloves last only about half the time of the Volt Titan batteries.
Many motorcycle riders make the mistake of thinking that you need high temperature levels all the time in heated garments.
This is not correct. The temperature should be adjusted to be "heat neutral"; that is, just enough heat so that you don't feel the cold. Anything more is a waste...although I'll be the first to admit, it sure feels good!
The Volt Titan gloves come with two 2,900 mAh batteries and a dual charger. Setup and charging is simple; it took us about 3.5 hours to fully charge the batteries.
Volt claims that the Titan gloves provide "over 150 degrees of
soothing heat on high for 3 hours and up to 12 hours on the
lowest setting". We haven't used them much at the lowest setting, but bouncing between setting 4 (high) and 3, we easily get 3-5 hours worth of heat.
Each Volt Titan glove has a large nylon webbed strap across the back of the wrist to keep the glove in place. The strap is located so that it interferes slightly with the battery, so we can't get the straps tight enough to keep the gloves firmly in place.
The strap is very long and the extra length must be tucked under a plastic hook attached to part of the strap. The arrangement is a bit clumsy and not as efficient as the hook-and-loop style wrist strap used on the Mobile Warming LTD Max gloves and the Gerbing Hybrid gloves.
The Volt Titan gloves have a double gauntlet. I'm not sure if the second gauntlet, which can be tightened with a round cord, is something used in skiing. But I don't find it very useful for motorcycling and I'd rather have a single, larger gauntlet with some type of hook-and-loop flap adjustment system. The cords only get in the way when motorcycle riding and I'm concerned that they might catch on something if I had to exit the bike unexpectedly.
The gloves shown here are a size large. They fit slightly big; more like a size XL motorcycle glove I think. I'm not sure if the sizing runs large across the product line, but I think I can safely say that the size L Volt Titan gloves are similar to other size XL motorcycle gloves I've worn.
The Volt Titan Menís 7v Leather Heated Gloves (the official name) are comfortable and good-looking, with higher-quality leather that is more supple or softer than the type usually found in winter motorcycle gloves.
This pair is also fully waterproof, at least up to the wrist, which is as far as we dared try during the "Bucket Test", considering the electrics in the battery compartment.
The thick padding provides very good insulation and the hefty 7.4 Volt 2,900 mAh battery packs provide a lot of power for the heat, which feels evenly distributed throughout the fingers. At the highest setting, I find the gloves to be a little too warm -- and that's a good thing, as it gives me some reserve power just in case.
For most riding on a completely open or "naked" bike at around 45-50 degrees F, the second setting is "heat neutral", providing just enough heat to ensure my hands don't get cold and the batteries last several hours.
Sounds good, right? Well, here's the best part: the price of the Titan gloves isn't much more than a good pair of non-heated winter motorcycle gloves, with a current list price of $219.95.
|wBW Review: Volt Titan 7v Battery Heated Motorcycle Gloves|
|Manufacturer: Volt (H2C Brands, LLC)||List Price (2013): $219.95|
|Colors: Black||Made In: Unknown (Battery: China)|
|Sizes: Men's: S to 2XL. Women's: S to L.||Review Date: November 2013|