A big thank you is due to Chris at Volt Heat who supplied wBW with the 2XL Volt Heat Fusion 12V/7V Dual Source Leather Motorcycle Heated Gloves and subsequently, one of the first (new) Fusion Vests in XL with wireless Bluetooth interface and App (wBW review to follow).
Winter in this part of the world means white stuff to shovel, cold temperatures to endure, and little or no riding for a few months. This is (usually) followed by less white stuff but other precipitation and somewhat warmer temperatures; all interspersed with the odd warm balmy day to fool you into thinking that spring is near – hah!
But compared to what is happening on a global scale now this winter wasn’t really bad, although the odd warm balmy days (aka chinooks) that sometimes allow a bit of winter riding didn’t materialize this season – c’est la vie.
But as we head into spring, the receding winter weather is providing some self-isolating riding opportunities that allow the heated gear products to be utilized for riding rather than other applications (see above). It is a well-known fact among those of us who live in such climes that heated gear can be used for many activities – mounted or dismounted, protective or therapeutic oriented.
Suffering from cold is or can be both a painful experience and an unsafe one. Cold (and wet) riding environments contribute significantly to physical and mental degradation, with reflexes and situational awareness abilities all impacted. Keeping the body core warmed, along with circulation maintenance and/or heating of exposed extremities is critical.
After a long military career and decades of riding through thick and thin, warm, and cold, one learns, usually the hard way, but one must learn that there are options and solutions, like heated gear.
Being wired-in with a 12V connection is more than tolerable, especially with a wireless controller of some sort in the loop. But portable battery-sourced products or dual power gear is an even better solution and more prevalent, thanks in large part to technology, mass production, and of course consumer demand.
And while heated gear can be utilized anytime or anywhere, outdoor enthusiasts in motion (human or motor powered) portable heated gear products make a positive contribution regarding comfort and safety.
In having used, and reviewed a fair number of heated gear products over the years, typically 12V wired, all of the pieces, for the most part, lived up to their respective claims especially one set of wired glove liners that after almost ten years are still in steady use for cold weather riding.
A newer pair of portable heated glove liners purchased from a local reseller see even more use between outdoor use and cold weather riding activities; all the heated gear has more than returned their respective investments made regarding comfort and safety.
The first heated gear product in my 2020 queue is a set of the Volt Heat Fusion 12V/7V Dual Source Leather Motorcycle Heated Gloves that allow full portability regarding heat generation thanks to the 7V battery in each glove and once seated with feet on the pegs, the 12V wired connection is made for even better output and, concurrent battery charging.
From a first impression or overview perspective, the Volt Heat Fusion 12V/7V Dual Source Leather Motorcycle Heated Gloves are indeed impressive and large.
Design and build wise these gloves are without a doubt one of the highest-quality, cold-weather gloves I have seen (or used for that matter). Others will comment, perhaps negatively, on the size, bulk, heft, and appearance of these gloves but from a functional perspective it won’t be me.
In putting on my ‘old school’ helmet for a moment, these gloves remind me of heavy-duty multi-season gauntlets (the non-armored type of course) that used to be commonplace and found particular favor among riders for their extended lower or forearm coverage. Gloves in this style can be hard to find, at least decent ones.
Key here are the facts that these gloves have both a sturdy build and a long wide flared cuff. Lots of gloves are well built with lots of effective features but many of them, even those styled with what a gauntlet look in mind, end up being of limited use due to the cuff component being too narrow or having limiting adjustability.
The long wide flared cuff of the Fusion gloves provide excellent extended lower arm coverage and needed storage space for the batteries in their waterproof zippered pockets and also for the 12V/7V connection harnesses.
Battery accommodation, including smaller 3.7V to 5V units becomes problematic, especially with lighter weight gloves or even glove liners. In this regard, the Volt Heat Fusion gloves address the issues well, although the battery pockets are on the small side.
Both power connection harnesses tuck away out of sight in their respective pockets. The 12V coaxial barrel connector resides inside a zipper pocket on the inside of the upper gauntlet cuff wall, while the water-resistant pouch for the 7V battery and micro-USB connection lead are located on the inside lower wall of the gauntlet.
Going for the 2XL sizing proved to be a wise decision. The hand and finger accommodations are first rate and although the fingers inserts are a wee bit long (~5mm), the thumb and joint accommodation is perfect, with excellent overall flexibility and grip.
About Volt Heat
As identified above the patented Zero Layer ® heating system is engineered for and used between the 3V, 5V, 7V, and 12V products.
The Zero Layer approach sees ultra-thin heating panels constructed using tiny (imperceptible) stainless steel fibers woven into the insulating fabric panels. These heating elements are then encapsulated to protect the heating panels and connections from wear and tear for proven durability while eliminating bulk.
Application of the Zero Layer Technology is indeed a layered approach: (1) the top or outer layer is the shell fabric or mix of material (textile and leather) to keep the elements at bay; (2) insulation – advanced material to reflect heat back to the body and create a ‘cocoon’ of warmth; (3) the Zero Layer with its ultra-thin heating wires; and, (4) heat conduction and radiation – these heat transfer methods keep the user warm and help you resist the cold.
Note: Conduction is the direct heat flow through matter resulting from physical contact; whereas Radiant heat is generated by infrared rays that emit towards the body.
All the Volt Heat products are tested at an Institute for Environmental Research so that the warmth and efficiency of the garments is both tested and validated for optimal performance.
Research is done under ATSM standards, with a thermal anatomical manikin utilized for precise baseline computer-based measurements. The results of the research activities provide the means to engineer the heating system to each product for optimal performance over a wide range of temperatures.
Power source and connectivity across the products is provided by:
- 3V – 1.3mm x 3.5mm coaxial DC plug
- 5V – USB-A
- 7V – micro-USB style power connector, and
- 12V – 2.5mm x 5.5mm coaxial plug
For the Fusion dual heat products, including the gloves and now the vest, both 7V and 12V connection interfaces are found on the products.
Fusion Dual Source Leather Motorcycle Heated Gloves
- Dual voltage heating, 12V wired, 7V battery, micro-USB style charging interface
- Uses Volt’s new patent-pending Fusion Heating System
- Zero Layer® Heat System provides efficient heat transfer without the bulk
- While riding, glove batteries can be charged while powered from the 12V source
- When dismounted, two rechargeable 7.4V 3350mAh batteries take overheating duties
- 4A total draw, 2A per glove at 12V when connected and 7V battery is being charged
- Heating elements on both sides of hand and along length of each finger and thumb provide over 150 degrees of heat
- 3-position push button on each gauntlet (Red = High, Blue = Medium, Green = Low)
- Typical output duration; High = 2hrs, Medium = 3.5hrs, and Low = 5hrs
- 7V battery and mating plug stored in waterproof zippered pocket on underside of cuff
- 12V coaxial plug stored in zippered pocket located on the upper inside of cuff
- Made with nylon and drum-dyed premium leather
- Extra double layer reinforcement on the palm
- Knuckle armour and padding on lower palm (scapular area)
- Long protective cuff (gauntlet)
- Waterproof breathable membrane
- 150 grams (plus) of insulation along with soft tricot fleece lining
- Thumb and forefinger finished with touchscreen fabric for device interaction
- Adjustable wrist strap for sealing
- Neoprene lined cuff with cinch pull for sealing between gloves and outer garment
Sizing, Fit & Weight
The oft-used expression, ‘fits like a glove’ has a lot of relevance when looking for the best, or perhaps elusive ‘perfect’ fit. And of course, we know that variances between size charts and manufacturing specifications come in to play.
As such, depending on the brand and style of glove my fitment range varies from Large to 2XL, generally due to the previously mentioned factors but specifically due to my finger and thumb requirements.
As such, based on the sizing chart, the perceived build/function of the gloves and the usual fudge factor, I went for the 2XL size – not ‘perfect’, but a very good choice as it turned out.
The finger inserts are a bit long (5-6mm) whereas thumb/joint, palm and back of hand fit is perfect. This overall fitment is appreciated in the greater scheme of things as so many other pairs of gloves used or evaluated over the years were often short regarding finger length and thumb/joint for degraded comfort and flexibility.
Weight & Feel
You might think it odd to assess gloves by weight and feel, but with heavy-duty and/or battery-powered heated gloves it can be an important consideration for long term comfort and of course, safety.
The Volt Heat Fusion gloves are indeed hefty, and they do look bulky but, sensitivity and flexibility overall is good for such a well built, well-insulated glove.
- Gloves, per pair, without batteries, 534-538gr or 18.977oz (1.186lbs)
- Batteries, per pair, 254gr or 8.95oz or 0.559lbs
- Gloves, per pair, with batteries installed, 793gr or 28oz (1.74lbs)
With the batteries removed, the gloves are well balanced regarding hand and gauntlet, with a snug encompassing fit from the fingertips to the end of the long effective cuff.
There is a noticeable change in weighting and balance when the large high-capacity batteries are installed. And unfortunately, when the large batteries are fitted into their cramped (too small) unlined pockets on the underside of the glove cuff they can be seen and felt…
If there is (other) minimal layering between the gloves and the lower arm the batteries make their presence known. If as expected, given use of heated gloves, the user is wearing a mid to heavy outer garment then the bulk and pressure from the batteries is minimized but, they can still be felt although they don’t become an impediment of sorts.
And the too-small pockets make it almost impossible to adjust or rearrange the batteries to a more comfortable positioning – something that can go a long way in reducing the impact of their presence over the longer haul.
Volt Heat is aware of the issue and while battery sizing is what it is for now, they are working on enlarging the battery pockets – a change that should mitigate the fitment issue.
Glove Features & Construct
The Volt Heat Fusion 12V/7V Dual Heat Leather MC Heated Gloves are indeed intended for use as heavy-duty protective and warming hand, wrist and forearm covers; and their overall design and features validate this stated functionality.
Premium (drum dyed) leather is used for the palm and back of the hand with textile (nylon) inserts for the outer thumb and finger walls. A double leather layer is stitched onto the upper palm with a forefinger extension, while a double leather padded palm slider section stitched into the lower palm with a partial wraparound to the outside.
Fingers are box-style, with leather used on the upper and lower sides or walls and textile used for the sidewalls. The forefinger and top of thumb are treated to a section of what is meant to be ‘touch-sensitive’ material, but it isn’t very effective overall – although bulk and layering are also impediments to this type of input.
A hard silicone knuckle guard is well-positioned and securely stitched onto the back of the glove, with a small triangular padded insert stitched below as additional back of hand and wrist impact protection as well.
The extended flared cuff is textile, with an underside wrist gathering and long adjuster strap on the top side finished with long hook-n-loop strips providing excellent adjustability at the wrist for seal and security.
A large triangular padded leather insert is stitched onto the top and outer side of the upper cuff for even more impact protection.
The flared cuff is finished with a stretch material insert housing an elastic drawstring and cinch pull tensioner to provide an absolute seal between garments and for security.
On the back of the cuff is found the On/Off three-position settings control, along with the waterproof zipper providing access to the battery storage pocket and the pass-through for the 7V battery connection lead.
Moving to the inside, a small zippered pocket on the inside upper cuff keeps the 12V connection harness out of the way when not in use.
Slipping the hands into the gloves is another positive experience; the smooth low-resistance comfortable tricot fleece lining is a great introduction to the inside of these protective and encompassing gloves.
You want more? Turn the gloves on and activate the heating elements positioned on both sides of the hand and along the length of each finger and the thumb. Over 150 degrees of heat over the 12V/7V source and three output position range is available, although the 12V source provides the most effective sustained output.
Preparation & Connectivity
As the name implies, the Volt Heat Fusion 12V/7V Dual Source gloves offer the user output and connectivity options between a 12V connected (wired) source or the 7V portable (battery) source for heating output.
For wired or battery use, everything needed, other than a dismounted recharging source e.g. – outlet, is provided in the densely packed long zippered pouch housing all the piece. Save the pouch as it provides a handy and easy to carry storage venue for everything.
12V Wired Option
The 12V power source harness is 100cm/1m (39.3in) long with an in-line fuse holder and both the positive and negative leads terminate in ring terminals to facilitate battery connectivity. The individual glove connection leads on the 1 into 2 harness are 152cm and 172cm (59.8in and 67.7in) long; just keep them safely routed in use.
7V Battery Option
Preparing the gloves for 7V battery use is simple, just make sure the two batteries are given a full charge first, indicated by all four (25/50/75/100%) of the tiny Blue LEDs lighting up when the (very) sensitive test button is pushed on each battery. To install, unzip the underside outer waterproof zipper and extract the micro-USB style power connector and once properly oriented, push the connector into the battery port until it clicks into place.
Pushing the spring-loaded release tab on the connector end of the battery allows the glove connection to be removed; the positive lock and release mechanism is a nice detail and functional inclusion.
The charging kit includes an AC/DC adapter with power interface lead and a short 1 into 2 Y-harness for use in charging two batteries vice one. As noted above, the four Blue LEDs flash in sequence to communicate battery and/or charging status, in 25% steps.
Warranty & Product Support
Volt products are covered with a Lifetime Limited Warranty, and if purchased from www.Voltheat.com directly, a 30-day money-back guarantee is included.
If a Manufacturer’s Defect is determined within the first year from the original purchase, Volt Heat will replace or repair the product at no cost, less shipping back to Volt Heat. Batteries and chargers are covered for 90 days from purchase.
After the first year and for the lifetime of your product, a Warranty Processing Fees table identifies the warranty processing fees by product. The Volt Resistance Lifetime Limited Warranty can be downloaded for reference and use.
Using the Gloves – Heat, Health, & Safety
Use of the Fusion 12V/7V Dual Heat gloves is certainly not restricted to motorcycle riding, although that is indeed their primary function, especially as riding time ramps up with sunny days and cold nights, with morning and evening periods optimal for wearing heated gear.
And as noted early on in this review, for other than riding (or snowmobiling) activities, the gloves, in 7V portable (battery) mode are protective and warming at just about any time one is outside in temperatures down to minus 20C or minus 4F.
Ambient riding temperatures ranging from -3C (26.6F) to 10C (50F) are the norm, with both 12V and 7V modes used on a 50/50 basis to get a good sense of the deltas between the two modes.
12V is Optimal – output efficiency and effectiveness is of course provided when the Fusion gloves are powered from a 12V high-output source…like the battery when the motorcycle is in use.
There is a clearly discernable difference when switching from 12V to 7V mode; a change that is offset by typically one output setting. For example, Hi (Red) 12V output is almost too much (for my hands) even with significant wind chill – using Med or Lo works well; whereas in 7V mode, maintaining the same level of warming requires Hi or Med.
7V is Fully Acceptable – in 7V battery (portable) mode and the batteries fully charged (all four Blue LEDs lite when tested), Volt Heat claims that RED (Hi) provides 2 hours of heating, BLUE (Med) 3.5 hours and GREEN (Lo) up to 5 hours. In actual use these claims are quite accurate; typically, within ten minutes on either side of the identified output timings.
This is all good from a predictive perspective and in knowing the typical run-times for any of the modes, the user can plan accordingly when portable mode is used. The great thing here of course is that when running in 12V mode the batteries are constantly trickle charged; all good as a valuable ‘fail-safe’ if 12V power is lost for some reason…
As expected, there is a decrease in heating efficiency and thus warming effectiveness when going from 12V to 7V portability, most often felt in ambient conditions with significant wind chill values. But this is a known and very acceptable tradeoff in getting the dual output capability.
Outside of the overly large batteries that feel even larger due to their too-small battery pockets there isn’t, so far, much else to raise as issues with the Fusion Heat 12V/7V Dual Source Leather MC Heated Gloves – gloves that can be used for much more than just riding.
The 2XL gloves are admittedly just a tad large but where the XL could be a better fit in the fingers, they would likely be tighter in other areas, with less airflow/circulation overall and more impact on heating efficiencies.
And no matter whether on 12V or 7V power, the active display three-position control button delivers positive switching. When first activated, the default output setting is Hi (RED), then it automatically switches to Medium unless another setting is activated by the user.
The Bottom Line
The first pair of real riding gloves ever owned were heavy-duty long cuff gauntlets that did double duty for work and riding. I don’t think this type of glove will ever go out of production as the long flared glove cuff remains one of the best solutions going. In this regard, the well-built, well-insulated and, well-warmed Volt Heat Fusion gloves are indeed a great solution.
- Dual-source heating for versatility, efficiency & portability
- Heavy duty cold weather gloves – with or without heating
- Very functional on or off the motorcycle
- Quality materials and build
- Fit like a glove – cut, fit and comfort
- Excellent heating coverage for fingers, thumb, front/back of hand
- Integrated three position controller for each glove
- High capacity batteries
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Great return on the investment
- Gloves a bit bulky overall
- Batteries are large and heavy
- Too-small battery pockets (issue being addressed)
- Batteries lose charge quickly when connected but not in use
- High initial investment
- Manufacturer: Volt Heat
- Price when tested: $279.95 USD, about $405.00 CAD
- Made In: Pakistan
- Colour: Black
- Sizes: Small (7in), Medium (7.5-8.0in), Large (8.5-9in), XL (9.5-10in) and 2XL (10-10.5in)
- Warranty: Lifetime Limited Warranty – one-year standard, with pro-rated product fee table beyond this time; 90-day warranty on batteries and chargers
- Review Period/Date: February to March 2020, submitted 3 April 2020