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Warmthru Gloves

Warmthru G4 Gloves Review
Warmthru G4 Heated Gloves Review
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com

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Summary

The Warmthru G4 heated gloves are plenty warm; no doubt about it!

They're also waterproof and windproof and they have a comfortable lining. And a few other features have been added based on webBikeWorld feedback.

The G4 battery-operated heated gloves put out more heat over a longer period of time than any of the other battery heated gloves we've worn to date.

Introduction

Warmthru Heated Clothing is based in Scotland and their motto is "Warmthru products are in a permanent state of evolution".

Based on our experience with the previous three versions of Warmthru gloves, that motto is right on the mark.

Just a little over 5 years ago, Warmthru sent us a pair of the Warmthru heated gloves (review), called the "Fingerheaters". The gloves received a lukewarm (you knew that was coming) reception in the webBikeWorld evaluation, and we provided some feedback to the company, figuring that was the end of that.

Two years later, another pair arrived in the mail; the Warmthru G3 gloves (review), an improved version. Some major changes in the body of the glove and the electrics ended with a "better, but not quite" conclusion in that review, along with more feedback, specifically regarding the gauntlets and the placement of the battery.

Back to the drawing board it was, and now we have the latest edition, the Warmthru G4 heated gloves. I can picture the Warmthru engineers saying "Aye, so it's heat they want, eh? Then let's give it to 'em!"

And give it to 'em they did; the G4 gloves are the Bhut Jolokia of gloves. They're also waterproof and windproof, although the G4's would work down to temperatures so low that worrying about rain would be the least of your problems!

Warmthru G4 Gloves

Warmthru G4 Gloves - Details

The Warmthru G4 gloves are sort of a cross between a ruggedized ski glove and a motorcycle touring glove, with the bias towards the ski glove style in perhaps a 70/30 proportion. The gloves are not motorcycle-specific, having been designed for a broad market, with sports like skiing, hiking, hunting and fishing in mind, as well as motorcycling.

The G4 gloves do not have armor fitted, but they do feature very large rubber-type impact protection along the tops of the fingers. The palms and the underside of the gloves back to the wrist are made from a type of rubberized material that provides good traction on a motorcycle's hand grips, even when wet.

Overall, the construction of the G4 gloves is familiar to motorcyclists, with the appearance and fit of a pair of typical winter/touring textile gloves.

The interior of the G4 gloves feature a comfortable soft fleece lining. The water- and wind-proof liner can be felt as some stiffness when moving the gloves, but it's not bothersome. And it works; the gloves proved to be completely waterproof in the webBikeWorld "Bucket Test" (holding them under water for 3 minutes), so the liner definitely has its benefits.

The glove shell is made from Taslan nylon, a material commonly used in textile winter motorcycle touring gloves. Most of the seams are stitched internally, which provides a relatively smooth and quality appearance to the outside of the gloves. The overall styling is basic, compared to the "Transformers" look of most motorcycle gloves. But since style is completely subjective, I'll leave that judgment up to you.

The gray-and-black gloves have a large strip of highly reflective piping that separates the two colors. The level of reflectivity can be seen in the photo below.

The G4 gloves have a large gauntlet that should fit over any winter motorcycle jacket sleeve. A pull tab system is positioned along the cuff and the best way to snug up the gauntlet is to grab the little plastic end with the teeth while using the other hand to push in the button on the spring-loaded keeper while pulling the keeper in to tighten it up.

Depending on how tight you make the gauntlet, most or all of the rain can be kept from leaking down into the glove.

The gloves also have a very large wrist security closure along the top, which allows the gloves to be cinched down at the wrist to keep them secure. The wrist strap and the gauntlet are designed with a nod to motorcyclists.

Warmthru G4 Gloves - Palm

Warmthru G4 Gloves - Top

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Warmthru G4 Gloves - Accessories, Options and Sizing

We suggested an improvement to the battery pocket design on the previous version, the Warmthru G3 gloves, and Warmthru came through, if you will, with a completely redesigned system. While they were at it, they upped the ante with an option for doubling the battery power.

The new Warmthru G4 gloves now have two independent heating element systems, one on the top of the fingers and the second for the palm and underside of the fingers. Each heating element system is powered by its own battery. The gloves have two battery pockets, one on the top and one on the bottom of the gauntlet.

The G4 gloves are sold in either the Standard or Deluxe versions. The Standard kit is a pair of G4 gloves with two batteries, one dual charger and a pair of inner liner gloves for additional comfort.

The Deluxe kit includes four batteries, so two batteries can be used in each glove. This kit also includes an additional charger and a pair of arm bands to hold the batteries if desired. The arm bands have a longer wire to connect to the battery wire inside the pocket(s).

The G4 gloves are available in four sizes: S, M L and XL. The size XL gloves shown here are all of that size and then some; too big actually for my hands, which usually take a size L.

Warmthru G4 Heated Gloves - Batteries

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Warmthru G4 Gloves - Batteries and Charging

The batteries provided with the Warmthru G4 gloves are 3.7 Volt Lithium-Ion types, with a 3.3 mAh rating. They meet the European CE and RoHS standards for batteries and electrical product recycling and reuse.

Each battery measures 70 mm tall by 49 mm wide by 15 mm thick and weighs 79 grams (2.75 oz.).

The gloves come with either a 3-pin flat BS plug charger in Europe or a North American style charger when the gloves are shipped here. The North American charger uses 100 to 240V AC input at 0.2 Amps and it outputs 4.2 Volts at 2000 mA. It also meets CE and RoHS standards. Each charger connects directly to the female plug in the battery and will charge two batteries simultaneously.

The switch was moved directly to the battery on the Warmthru G4 version of the gloves, which makes for a simpler approach that works well. Switch on the battery and a green LED light glows. A red light on the charger indicates that a charge is in process and it turns green when charging is complete.

It takes about 5 hours to charge a pair of batteries, although Warmthru says the initial charge can take up to 8 hours. In this case, it took a little over 7 hours to fill up the batteries the first time out of the box.

Note also that the batteries must be switched on when they're being charged, and both batteries must be connected to the charger when charging.

Additional batteries are available as options, so you can keep a couple of them charged and ready to go. There's also an accessory cigarette-type outlet charger that could be carried on the motorcycle. But extra batteries may not be necessary.

These gloves provide plenty of heat and they have lasted on average between 5.5 and 6 hours when I'm using both batteries in each glove (i.e., 4 batteries total). I think this is a pretty amazing performance actually, considering the level of warmth generated inside the gloves. By the way, the temperature level remains constant as the batteries become depleted. The heat can be felt for the entire time and then ends pretty quickly.

I used a thermometer with a probe to check the temperature after the gloves were on for 1 hour. The finger temperature is 102 degrees F (39 C) and the temperature on the outside of the gloves underneath the fingertips was 91 degrees F (33 C). There does seem to be a significant amount of heat lost outside of the gloves, which can be felt when touching the fingertips, but this doesn't seem to affect the heat on the inside.

Perhaps Warmthru may want to add some type of thermal barrier on the inside of the gloves and throttle down the heat level to make the batteries last even longer?

A nice feature of the dual battery system is that the batteries can be switched on just the palms or just the tops as needed. Warmthru is also about to release an optional battery pack with a heat controller, which would probably be preferred for motorcycle use, because the current system puts out more heat than may be necessary.

Actually, all you really need is enough heat to keep the chill off, which means that ideally the wearer wouldn't necessarily feel the heat but would notice that his or her hands aren't getting cold. Yes, it's nice to feel that delicious warmth up and down the fingers, but probably unnecessary. Besides, throttling down the firebox would make the batteries last even longer.

Warmthru G4 Gloves - Battery Pocket

Warmthru G4 Gloves - Batteries

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Warmthru G4 Gloves - Electrics and Usage

The battery pockets were redesigned from the G3 to the G4 gloves, and they're now nice and big and roomy, with hook-and-loop flap covers. This new design makes it easy to insert the batteries and the extra room means that the battery or batteries have minimal intrusion on the inside of the gauntlet; the older pocket design which made the gauntlets too snug when the batteries were inserted into the pockets in the G3 version of the gloves.

It's somewhat cumbersome to open the battery pockets to switch the batteries when wearing the gloves, but if it's cold enough to need the heat, you're going to be flipping that switch before you ride anyway, so just do it before you put on the gloves and you're all set.

The heat output is almost instantaneous; within just a few seconds it can be felt along the fingers and palm. With the bottom battery on, the heat starts in the palm and is concentrated along the bottom of the fingers to the fingertips. The top battery provides heat starting at the fingers and working towards the tips.

Since the fingers usually get the coldest, this is a very welcome design. If it isn't 85 degrees plus outside and I'm sitting in the sun, my hands are always cold and sometimes my fingers get so cold I can't type. So this type of heat, concentrated along the length of the fingers, is a real pleasure. Warmthru has lots of experience making heated clothing for medical use, and it has translated into their products for casual use also.

If heated grips are being used while riding, the top heating element on the G4 gloves can be switched on by turning the switch to "On" on the top battery only. No heated grips? Flip on both batteries (if you have the Deluxe pack, of course) and you're all set. But there's enough heat from either battery that you may not need both simultaneously. In fact, it would have to be very, very cold to need that much heat -- too cold probably for motorcycle riding!

After the G3 review, we also suggested that Warmthru perhaps design an arm band that could be placed on the rider's forearm to hold the batteries outside of the gloves, and they came through on that also.

Ironically, they forgot to include the arm bands in our kit, but now that the gauntlet has been redesigned, the external battery holders don't seem as necessary, although there is some added bulk when both batteries are inserted in each glove.

Warmthru G4 Gloves - Fingertips

 Warmthru G4 Gloves - Fingertips Close-up

Warmthru G4 Gloves - Reflectivity

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wBW Video: Warmthru G4 Gloves and Accessories (Deluxe Pack)
Video Produced by Warmthru Heated Clothing
Here's a 3D 360-degree view of the Warmthru G4 gloves.
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Conclusion

The Warmthru G4 batteries definitely take the prize as the current champion of heat in the battery-powered motorcycle glove category.

They beat the Gerbing Hybrid gloves (review) in that department, and although the Gerbing gloves are more "motorcycle-like" and the Warmthru gloves more "ski like", the Warmthru gloves gain points for comfort and the implementation of the battery operation and storage system, which is less complex and more streamlined than the Gerbing gloves.

I'm surprised at how much heat can be felt from the palm to the fingertips in the G4 gloves. A favorite trick is to get the gloves warmed up and hand one to an unsuspecting bystander and ask them to slip it on. The reaction is invariably a big set of raised eyebrows, wide eyes, the "O" mouth and a "Wow!"

So if you're looking for wireless heat along with waterproof comfort, the Warmthru G4 gloves are ready to please.

wBW Product Review: Warmthru G4 Battery Heated Gloves
Available From: Warmthru Heated Clothing List Price: 120.00
Colors: Black and gray. Made In: China
Sizes: S to XL
Review Date: March 2011
Star Rating (1-5): Four Star Rated
Note: Item was provided by a retailer, distributor or manufacturer with these Terms and Conditions.

Note: For informational use only. All material and photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC since 2000. All rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld© Site Info page. Product specifications, features and details may change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read the Terms and Conditions!

Your Comments and Feedback

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Comments are ordered from most recent to oldest.
Not all comments will be published (details).  Comments may be edited for clarity prior to publication.

From "M.D." (April 2012): "I recently purchased a set of Warmthru G4 Heated Gloves, pretty much entirely on the basis of your review. I live in Canada, so I had to make my purchase sight-unseen - there is no local distributor.

The gloves were shipped quickly and arrived in good time - I was very happy with the service. I wanted battery powered gloves since I don't wear a heated vest and don't like the idea of being tethered to my handlebars. The lower price relative to the Gerbing gloves and your statement that they actually exceeded the Gerbing gloves in certain areas won me over.

I ordered the Standard gloves in size L with a single battery pack. I was rather shocked when I opened the box and tried them on for the first time. On the positive side, the length of the fingers was perfect and I appreciated the long gauntlet. The insulation in the glove was also much more flexible than that in my Alpinestars WR-V gloves.

However, I was surprised to find that the heating elements are made of relatively-stiff flat plastic that is just cut in the shape of fingers. Because of the generous diameter of the fingers, when I move my fingers inside the glove, they just slide against the heating elements and don't actually curl the glove. It's not a big deal when riding, but would be a nuisance if I were to use the gloves for other purposes. I have to say I was expecting a woven mesh of wires, or something of that nature that was more integrated into the glove.

The other unpleasant observation was that the wires connecting the heating elements to the battery pack had been welded with the pointy ends facing down. They dig into my knuckles when I curl my fingers. I also quickly noticed that for my thin wrists at least, the wrist strap does not provide enough adjustment. Even at the tightest, it is easy to pull off the glove.

The gauntlet draw string was also not very effective. Even with a long length of the draw cord hanging off the glove, there doesn't seem to be much tension around the gauntlet opening.

Finally, I noticed on my first ride that the thumb isn't heated. This is probably a good thing for dexterity given the technology they are using, but it seems to me that the thumb is just as likely to get cold as the other fingers. Perhaps they could have put a heating element on the back of the thumb, at least.

For my first ride with gloves this morning, I attached the battery to the heating element on the back of the gloves. I could definitely feel the heat, but it was a lukewarm heat and not as hot as what you seem to have experienced in your review.

 My hands were warm enough throughout the 20 minute suburban commute at 41F, though I could feel the cold metal of the brake levers leeching heat from my fingers through the gloves. With my Alpinestars WR-V gloves, my fingers would usually feel close to frostbite, so it was a definite improvement.

I have to say I wasn't expecting so many niggles for $195, however."

Editor's Note: As noted in the review, the gloves are available with a dual battery option, which probably increases the amount of heat compared to your single battery version. We did not notice the other problems you mention; it is possible that the design of the gloves has changed since this review was first published.

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