Thanks to Volt Heat for providing the Fusion Heated Gloves for the purposes of this review
I am always anxious to get riding in the spring and push fall riding as late as possible. Cold hands during the extended seasons can have a detrimental effect on the ability to properly control the motorcycle.
This spring would be different. Nothing like a world pandemic to squash my enthusiasm. In the province where I reside the request was made for no non-essential travel. Although there was not a ban on riding, I felt it was best to park the bike in support of healthcare workers and all others that are fighting the virus.
Prior to a previous review of a pair of proper insulated motorcycle gloves, my default was always to pack my latest snowmobile gloves in case the temperatures dropped. These worked fine when it came to keeping my hands warm, but could be very bulky.
So, when the opportunity came up to review a pair of heated gloves (and vest, see separate review) I was all over it. The Volt Heat Fusion Gloves not only offered heat, but they offered it from dual sources.
Volt Heat makes battery-powered heated garments including slippers, vests, jackets, gloves and mid-layers. Depending on the product, the garment is powered by a 3V, 5V or 7V system. The gloves being reviewed here come from their motorcycle-specific line called Fusion. It combines the 7V cordless and 12V wired into the same garment.
I would be testing on two bikes. As I mentioned above they also sent a vest for review. This provided me with a power harness from each bike.
By late May restrictions had started to be lifted, and I felt comfortable heading out for short rides. Although the coldest of spring riding was behind us, there were plenty of very cool mornings and evenings to give the Volt Heat Fusion Gloves a good shakedown.
From Volt Heat:
ZERO LAYER® HEATING SYSTEM
Our patented Zero Layer® heat system helps eliminate bulk while providing more efficient heat transfer than any other heating system available.
Includes built-in push button controller located on the lower gauntlet cuff with 3 power level settings:
RED = High 2 hours
BLUE = Medium 3.5 hours
GREEN = Low 5 hours
True dual source heated gloves allowing you to use with either 7.4v batteries or a 12v power source.
Includes two rechargeable 7.4v 3350mah batteries and dual charger.
Comes with a Battery Harness and 12v Three Prong Harness that allows you to power the gloves from the bike’s electrical system.
Provides over 150 degrees of heat with heating elements placed throughout on both sides of the hand, the length of each finger, including the thumb.
150 grams of insulation
Touchscreen fabric on thumb and forefinger tips
Each glove has 2 amp draw at 12v when powering the gloves and charging the 7v battery simultaneously
(Optional 12v Y-Splitter available so you can. run gloves and vest from one battery harness).
Zero Layer® heat system eliminates bulk while providing more efficient heat transfer.
I am not one for flashy colors, so at first glance, I was immediately drawn to the simple styling. The gloves are well constructed with a mix of materials giving a quality look and feel.
I have always liked the versatility provided by battery-powered gear, as they can continue to keep your hands warm when you arrive at your destination. But, I also think that for extended rides a wired system offers better heat and peace of mind that the heat will always be there.
My first ride using the gloves (and vest) was on a cold morning, with the forecast to remain cool. I decided to use the 12V system to start out the day. The 12V on high generates a lot of heat and quickly found myself reducing the temperature setting to medium. For the second half of the ride, I unplugged from the bike and ran off the 7V system. As the temperatures were not as cold, I started at the medium setting and eventually switched the low setting. Both systems worked great, with the 12V system appearing to have higher output.
Volt Fusion Heated Vest Includes :
Two – 7.4V 3400 mAH Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery Packs
Double Wall Charger
12 Volt Coax Fused Cable / Plug
12V Three Prong Harness (to connect gloves to 12V fused cable)
Limited Lifetime Warranty
After several weeks of riding, these are my thoughts on the Volt Heat Fusion Gloves.
The outer shell is made up of multiple materials. The palm, back of the hand and outside finger boxes on the thumb, index and pinky finger are made from leather. There is also a section of leather on the padded leather on the top of the gauntlet. The gauntlet, finger boxes and back of the thumb are constructed of heavy nylon shell material.
The tip of the index finger and thumb is designed to allow for touch screen operation.
The Fusion gloves use a Hipora waterproof membrane insert. The gloves also have a full gauntlet offering protection against wind and rain. The gauntlet includes a neoprene lined cuff with a drawstring.
For insulation, the Fusion gloves use 150 grams of insulation. The inside of the glove is lined with soft fleece lining.
The design includes knuckle armor, protective gauntlet and padding on the lower palm. There is also a double layer of leather on the palm and outside of the pinky finger. All the protective padding and additional leather are double stitched.
Although the gloves have some protection built-in, this is one area that I feel the Fusion gloves are lacking. Although the lower palm has additional padding, a skid pad would add greater protection. Although the knuckles have armor, there is no CE Level rating on the armor. This may just be a case of not undergoing the required testing.
The interior contains heating elements placed throughout on both sides of the hand, the length of each finger, including the thumb. The heat zones are well placed and cover a large area, with a claimed 150 F of heat. I did notice that slightly more heat was generated while using the 12V connection as compared to the 7V.
The gloves include two 7V Lithium batteries along with a dual wall charger.
I fully charged the batteries as recommended by Volt. Simply plug the charger into the wall and plug the cables into the batteries. When the four lights on the front of the battery stop flashing the batteries are fully charged.
The batteries can also be charged while on the bike. If the batteries are plugged in while using the 12V system, the batteries will be charged.
Volt indicates that a full charge should take about 2 hours and I found that to be accurate.
Volt also recommends that you charge the batteries immediately upon receiving and that you charge the batteries regularly, at least every other month. Volt also recommends that you maintain at least a 25% charge when the batteries are not in use to help prolong battery life.
Usability is simple. After charging the batteries:
Locate the power pocket on the outside bottom of the gauntlet.
Open the power pocket to locate the power plug and plug it into the battery.
Press and hold the power button located on the battery until the LED lights illuminate.
Place the battery into the pocket and close the pocket.
Use the push button control switch to change power level settings.
To check the battery level of charge:
LED lights to indicate the remaining power will illuminate (4 lights indicate a full charge, 1 light is 25% charge.
During my use, I found the battery life to be very close to the numbers provided by Volt.
High (Red) – 2.5 Hours
Medium (Blue) – 3.5 Hours
Low (Green) – 4.5 Hours
Additional batteries cost about $50 each, the dual car charger is about $20.
First, you must connect the 12V fused wiring harness to the motorcycle. This is relatively simple, but if you do not feel comfortable with this task, have it done by your local shop.
Again Usability is simple. After harness is installed:
Locate the 12V coax plugs, located in a pocket on the inside top of the gauntlet.
Connect the plug to the 12V three-prong harness.
Connect the 12V three-prong harness to the fused wiring harness installed previously.
Use the push button control switch to change power level settings.
For extended cold-weather riding and for peace of mind, I would lean toward a 12-volt system that plugs into the bike directly. Two hours on the high setting would not be enough in these situations.
Built-in rubberized controller switch (marked with a “V”)
Press and hold the “V” button. High (Red), Medium (Blue), Low (Green). Press and hold the button to turn off.
The controller switch has a built-in preheat feature where it will start on High (Red) for 5 minutes, at which time it will automatically reduce to Medium (Blue). You can override this feature by manually switching through the power levels to your desired level.
Overall Build Quality
The Volt Heat Fusion gloves appear to be very well put together. During my review period, I have not encountered any problems with the build quality.
Fit & Feel
The Volt Heat Fusion gloves fit true to their sizing chart. Depending on the manufacturer I wear either a large or extra-large. Because of this I always refer to the sizing charts. My hand measures about 9”. In this case, I ordered a size Large. I did have a small issue with the finger length being too long. I have had this issue in other gloves, so perhaps this is a ‘me’ thing.
The Fusion vest comes in 5 sizes;
Medium (7.5” – 8”)
Large (8.5” – 9”)
X-Large (9.5” – 10”)
2XL (10” – 10.5”)
No women’s specific sizes were listed.
The leather is soft and took no time to break in. The fingers are pre-curved and have accordion knuckles for better articulation.
The soft fleece liner makes for a very comfortable interior feel. The combination of insulation, heating elements gives a bulky feeling as compared to conventional gloves. The addition of the battery pack throws off the weight balance and adds additional bulk to the gauntlet. That being said, the insulation appears to be mostly on the back of the hand which still allows for adequate dexterity when operating the handlebar controls.
The Fusion uses a velcro wrist closure on the back of the glove to keep the thing snug. It also has an elastic drawstring at the top of the gauntlet to help keep the weather out.
Care Instructions & Warning Label
Always remove the battery before washing. It is recommended to spot clean with a damp cloth or hand wash in cold water with mild detergent, hang dry. Do not twist the garment to prevent damage to the cable. Do not dry clean. Do not bleach. Make sure the plug is completely dry before using it.
When you purchase a Volt product directly from Voltheat.com you will be covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If for any reason you are not satisfied with the purchase of your Volt Heat product send it back within 30 days for a full product refund. Please note that in order to take advantage of this offer; the item must remain in new and unused condition with all the original packaging.
LIFETIME Limited Warranty
All Volt Resistance heated gear excluding batteries/chargers (“Products”) is covered by a lifetime limited warranty against defects in materials or workmanship (“Manufacturer’s Defect”). If it is determined that your Product has a Manufacturer’s Defect within the first year of original purchase, we will replace or repair (at our option) that Product at no cost to you. All you do is provide us with proof of purchase (from an authorized reseller) and pay the cost of shipping it to us. Volt Resistance has sole discretion to determine Manufacturer’s Defects. Lost or stolen items are not covered.
We will cover the battery(ies) and charger for up to 90 days after the purchase date. Proof of purchase is necessary. We recommend that upon receiving your Volt product, immediately remove the battery(ies) and charger from the package, inspect for any visible damage and proceed to fully charge the battery(ies).
After the first year and for the lifetime of your product, the Warranty Processing Fee of $30, plus any applicable taxes, will be charged.
I received the gloves in mid-April, expecting that I would be able to get out riding almost immediately. I was able to get a couple of good rides in before the provincial government put recommendations in place to restrict all non-essential travel. It was not until the second half of May that these recommendations were eased.
By this time temperatures had started to rise, but I was still able to get several rides with cool weather, or at least cool mornings and evenings. Most of my use was between 2 degrees Celsius (35 degrees Fahrenheit) and 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit). Any warmer than this I found that I turned the heat off and just relied on the insulation in the gloves.
The gloves worked great. The insulation and heating elements added some bulk but still allowed for good control. My hands were at all times warm with no hint of cold. I have used the gloves many times in similar conditions, around town, and on secondary highways. They have continued to perform very well.
I use my smartphone as a GPS, for speed/speed limit and music. The index finger and thumb allow for the use of touch screens. This is a great feature for modern motorcycle gloves. The touchscreen-enabled finger and thumb were spotty at best. I would attribute the lack of function to the length of the fingers and the added bulk from the insulation.
I did have the opportunity to use the gloves in the rain. While testing a waterproof jacket and pants combination for another review, I threw the gloves on as well. Because it was warm I did not turn the heat on, this was purely a waterproof test. After a 40 km ride in steady rain and spray, my hands were completely dry. The neoprene cuff with drawstring on the gauntlet even prevented water from leaking in from the top (a typical water entry point). The Volt Heat Fusion Gloves passed the rain test easily.
I have a few negatives to say about the Volt Heat Fusion Gloves, and much to praise.
They are very well constructed of quality materials. They have the features that I look for in a cold-weather glove; heat, waterproof, insulated, some protection, comfort and subtle styling. Plus, in this case, dual sources of power.
These are cold-weather gloves aimed at keeping your hands warm and dry and they do so very well. I did have the opportunity to wear the gloves in warmer weather. Based on the fact they are insulated and provide no ventilation, as expected, my hands got quite warm.
One of my negatives was regarding the level of protection. Perhaps future versions may include upgraded protection, but that could also drive up the costs of the gloves. Also, on very cold days I would gladly compromise a little bit of protection and additional bulk for warm hands and the ability to better control the motorcycle.
Although they are expensive gloves they compare well with other gloves of similar quality and features. As one of my friends said, you can’t put a price on warm dry hands.
It was great to have the Volt Heat Fusion Gloves (and Vest) along for my first rides of the season.