Anyone who has ever managed to get one or both hands wet in a cold environment has wished for a heated glove or better yet, a pair of heated gloves. Most of us are aware of heated socks, which have been around for many years. But, what about heated gloves? The good news is that there are many varieties of heated clothing available and both gloves and mittens are included.
When you are shopping for gloves, the first decision to make is the style. Some prefer a mitten style and others prefer the regular five fingered kind. Both are available at competitive costs. The mitten style might keep you a little warmer should your battery operated gloves lose their charge, but you give up a certain amount of dexterity. Some mitten styles come with a tip that can be folded back out of the way to allow your bare fingers to work a zipper or button and then be folded back over to help keep you warm. While this type of mitten offers convenience and dexterity far above a five fingered glove, it also reduces the effectiveness of a standard mitten since the air chamber around your fingers is no longer completely sealed.
A second consideration when purchasing battery heated gloves is to decide if you want rechargeable gloves with built in rechargeable batteries, or if you want a glove that takes a standard disposable battery. Lower cost gloves will usually require disposable batteries and often won’t work well with nicad or NI-MH batteries. More expensive gloves may come with rechargeable batteries, but you sacrifice a higher cost to purchase these gloves.
Typically, more expensive gloves come with thermostats to provide for multiple heat settings and lower cost gloves may have a simple turn-on that involves closing the battery compartment door. More expensive gloves are also often part of a complete personal heating system that includes a vest and perhaps arm covers.
Another thing to watch for is the method of distributing the heat. None of us want heated gloves that only keep our palms warm. We want our fingers warmed, too. So look for gloves that have individual heating elements that run the length of each finger. If your fingers are warm, the rest of your hands will feel warm too, but fingers are hard to keep warm because of their small diameter and distance from the body core. Keeping your fingers warm is the most important job a pair of battery operated gloves can perform.