With winter just around the corner and the cold temperatures coming soon or having already arrived, those who work or spend a lot of time outdoors obviously need ways to keep warm. Our Volt Heated Work Gloves review takes a look at just one of the many battery operated heating clothing options that are available from the company.
The Volt Heated Work Gloves have the following features and specifications:
- Premium rich yellow leather and durable nylon shell and soft tricot fleece lining
- Waterproof/breathable membrane
- Heats the entire length of each finger as well as the thumb and each side of the hand
- Built-in 4 level microprocessor controller to select desired heat output
- Provides over 150 degrees of soothing heat for 2 hours on the highest setting and up to 8 hours on the lowest setting
- Shell: 100% leather
- Insulation: 100% polyester
- Battery: 7.4V 2200mAh 16.28 Wh Lithium-Ion
- Input: 8.4V DC 1.5A
- Output: 6-8.4V DC 2.5A Max.
What’s in the box
- Pair of leather/nylon work gloves
- 2x 7.4v 2200mAh 16.28Wh Lithium-Ion battery packs
- Instruction booklet
At a glance, the Volt Heated Work Gloves look pretty similar to other heavy duty work gloves on the market. The front of the gloves from the wrist up are manufactured from smooth yellow leather. The palm and inside of the thumb are reinforced with a softer leather piece. The leather wraps up around the sides and back and encases the entire thumb and index finger, and from the top knuckle to the fingertips on the other fingers. A diagonal leather strip with a zipper in it (more on that in a moment) runs across the back from the bottom of the thumb to the bottom of the pinky finger.
The bottom portion of the gloves is constructed of black nylon which also covers most of the back of the middle, ring, and pinky fingers. On the back of the gloves, near the opening where you put your hand into them is a small plastic window with the Volt icon just below that. The main opening of the gloves also has a stretchy band with a plastic toggle spring stop which allows you to seal the opening around your jacket for a tighter seal. A small plastic hook is located on the side of each glove as well so you can hook them together for hanging or to keep them together. The inside of the glove has a soft polyester lining which is quite comfortable.
Now back to the zipper located on the gloves. Unzipping this allows you to access a short cable which connects to a 7.4V 2200mAh Lithium-Ion battery. The battery, of course, is what powers the heating system on the gloves. The cable itself is about 2 ½” in length, which makes it a bit of a pain to insert the battery. Usually, you’d connect the cable to the battery in a natural way, but this leaves the battery outside of the glove and next to impossible to twist around and insert into the glove. The easiest way around this is to slide the battery most of the way into the glove and then connect the cable to it before sliding it the rest of the way in.
The cable locks into place in the battery, which given the functionality of the gloves is a must have option. When charging the batteries, the cables on the charger also lock into place on the battery. To remove the cable, you need to push on a little lever located on the end of the battery and the cable slides right out. The batteries themselves are roughly 3 ¼” x 2″ x 1″ and have a rounded edge shape. As alluded to above, one end has an inset port with a push lever off to one side. Near the other end, on the top of the battery, is a button which is used to turn on the battery, as well as select the power level and view the remaining battery life. Just below this is a four LED indicator light system.
The charging system consists of an AC adapter which connects to a Y-adapter allowing you to charge both batteries at the same time. When you connect the batteries to the Y-adapter, the cable locks into place just like it does when connected to the gloves. Just a note as well: while the cable connections look like Micro-USB, they are just a bit larger and not quite a Mini-USB size. You’ll want to make sure you don’t lose the charging cable as a standard Micro- or Mini-USB cable won’t be able to help you out.
While the battery itself is fairly compact, the “pocket” that the battery slides into is 3 ½” wide. When inserted, the battery tends to slide around and a slightly narrower pocket area would definitely help in keeping the battery in place. It’s not a huge deal but you’ll have to move the battery around so you can clearly see the button and the LED indicator lights.
As mentioned above, the gloves fit well and were very comfortable while wearing. Given the size though, they’re better suited for larger outside work and not fine motor-skill type tasks. They’d be perfect for snow maintenance type jobs, as well as jobs which consist of manually moving larger items or even oil rigging type jobs.
Ease of Use
Once you’ve initially charged the batteries, insert them partway into each glove and connect the Micro-USB cable, making sure it locks into place. Slide the battery all the way in and then close the zipper to protect the battery and connection from the elements. You can either turn on the battery before or after you put the gloves on your hands. It is easier to do it before, but it can be done while wearing your gloves as well.
Press and hold the power button for a couple of seconds and the battery will turn on at full power. If you press the power button again, you’ll toggle the power setting to 75% and so forth. Once the power button hasn’t been pressed for a few seconds, you will notice that the LED lights dim slightly. Pressing the power button will do nothing at this point and you’ll have to hold it for a few seconds in order to adjust the power. When activated, pressing the power button once will decrease the power output and eventually turn it off when pressed after only one LED is lit. In other words, if you are using the gloves at full battery power, you’ll have to hold and press the button for a few seconds to reduce it to 75% then press it three more times to turn it off. While it may sound like a pain, it’s a good system as you won’t be accidentally adjusting the power or turning the batteries off while you’re working.
So the question is, just how well do these Volt Heated Work Gloves work? Quite well to be honest. I remember as a kid putting one of those hand warmer packets in my gloves and smiling at the toasty warm feeling. These gloves offer the same thing but without the packets. On full strength, the gloves do get toasty warm inside without burning your hands. On 25% strength, the heat is barely noticeable but it is still warm enough to take the edge off when used in colder weather. During our testing, we did get a few cold days and in weather around -15C/5F, the gloves had no issues on 25 or 50% strength in keeping my hands and fingers warm.
As far as the warming area, the gloves not only warm up the back of the hand, but also down each fingertip which gives a nice, even warmth to your entire hand.
Depending on the power level that you’ve selected, the batteries in the gloves are supposed to last between 2 and 8 hours. At 100% they should last 2 hours, 75% 3 hours, 50% 5 hours, and 25% 8 hours. During testing, we found that these battery life estimates are pretty accurate — if on the low side. When at full power one battery lasted just over 2 hours and 20 minutes while the other lasted just under 2 ½ hours. On the lowest setting, which doesn’t provide all that much heat, the batteries lasted for around 9 hours each. You can tell how much power is left in the batteries by disconnecting it and then holding the power button for a couple seconds.
Charging, on the other hand, took quite a long time and it ended up taking nearly 6 hours to fully recharge the batteries. While you’re not going to get a quick recharge out of these, once you’re done for the day you could always plug them in and leave them to charge overnight.
The Volt Heated Work Gloves have an MSRP of $159.95 USD. Given the solid leather and nylon construction, as well as comfortable lining, coupled with the fact that these gloves do indeed heat up, it’s a pretty small price to pay if you spend extended amounts of time working outside in the cold. While lined leather winter work gloves range in price upwards of $90 USD, not having to deal with hand warmer packets and the associated cost is worth the extra cost.
If you work outside a lot during colder weather, the Volt Heated Work Gloves will definitely help keep your hands toasty warm — at least for a few hours. While these gloves are meant for more heavy duty outside work, Volt Heat does have a number of other heated glove styles and sizes to suit other needs.