Author Topic: Keiss Heated Outer Gloves with Built-In Controller  (Read 1974 times)

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Offline Descolada

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Keiss Heated Outer Gloves with Built-In Controller
« on: January 14, 2014, 15:11:46 »
Here's my review of the "Keiss Heated Outer Gloves with Built-In Controller" - I hope you find it useful.

Supplier: Ebay UK (link:http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/adventurebikeshop)
Cost: £99.98
How long have I been using this item: Since October 2013.

CAVEAT

Before reading my review you should be aware that they no longer make this model of Keiss Heated Outer Glove, that's not to say you can't still buy them. They are available all over the place but as 2014 goes by I would imagine that their availability will diminish in favour of the (£50) more expensive replacement.

1. First Impressions/Unboxing Impressions

The Keiss heated gloves come in a very neat textile package that includes all the cabling (both from the bike to the gloves connector as well as the cable from the gloves connector to your gloves) and a selection of fuses (the main harness cable includes a built in fuse holder). The whole thing is presented in such a way that you can store the gloves and all associated parts away during the summer months.



2. Initial Setup/Installation

Connection of the main harness to the battery is a simple affair, in my case I ran the harness through my aux fuse box for an extra layer of protection. I then routed the cable down the side of the left hand seat rest and out the front of the seat (in line with the centre of the tank). Before starting to figure out how I was going to route the main cable that goes to the gloves I tested the whole thing by making the connections (main harness to clothing routed cable and then in to each glove).  The main attraction of these gloves (for me) was the in-built controllers. This meant no hunting around for the controller while I was riding and no additional dangling weight to address. To turn on the gloves you press and hold the controller (on each glove) for a couple of seconds and then the red light (full power) will come on. To change the setting you just press the button again and the glove will cycle through Full, Medium and Low settings (Red, Amber, Green). I have some comments regarding this set-up so take a look at my closing statement for more.

Simply put, routing and maintaining the "bike to gloves" cable through your jacket is a complete Sod and unless you are prepared to sew the cable into place you should expect to have to adjust this thing every time you climb into your jacket. The cable is 'Y' shaped with one end longer than the other. I guess they intend you to route it along one side (or perhaps they think we all have one arm longer than the other) but either way it shifts position every time I put my jacket on. The other thing is that you tend to flex while you are riding and this can make it move around inside your jacket, which in turn leads to it tugging on the main "harness to clothing"connector at the front of the tank. This connector is awful and works loose over time.

I realise it's meant to be a quick release in case you come off but it is horribly weak and comes loose on every other ride, turning the gloves off mid-ride.

3. Real World Testing (how did it perform)

For those of you who have never used heated gear before (I hadn't prior to this), it takes a certain persistence of will to make it work. Heated gear is bulkier and more padded. Add to that the cabling and the need to connect and disconnect every time you get on or off the bike. To be blunt, it can be a real hassle and, because of the huge cost, you had better know you are going to stick with it and give the gloves time to bed in or you are only going to resent getting them in the first place.

I tried four different heated gloves before finally settling on these Keiss heated gloves. I tried a bigger size of Keiss first, but that just felt like I was in a space suit and my jacket tended to push them off. I returned them and ordered a pair of Gerbing T5 Hybrid gloves, but when these came the first thing out of the box was a note from the manufacturer advising me that, as is, they were not waterproof and highly recommended applying a waterproofing product prior to use on the bike for the first time. At £130 I did not consider this acceptable, also when I tried them on with my jacket the 'gauntlet' style pushed against the sleeve causing it to ride up. There was no way I was going to go through this every time I wanted to wear them, so they went back as well.

I can't even remember who manufactured the final pair, but they only heated the back and palm of the hand so were no use. They went back and it was about this point that I started getting very irked looks from my other half.

This leads me on to a discussion of performance.

As mentioned, this is my first experience with heated gloves and it's quite possible that it is normal for this type of kit, but I find that my experience changes almost from one ride to the next. I am also aware that physiologically hands are different from one person to another and even from one side to the other (thus my left hand always seems to be colder than the other and the power setting almost always set to full). So you're experience of these gloves may differ from mine.

I find that heat will 'pool' in one area (most commonly the back of the hand) and then my fingers will get a sudden infusion of heat when I flex the glove (almost like a bellows effect), so I tend to have adopted an intermittent flexing of the hand as a standard for wearing the gloves. The independent controllers are a great way of countering days when one hand refuses to warm up as much as the other.

Here's a thermal representation of how I feel the heat is dispersed throughout the hands. Although I have used blue to indicate a cooler area that should not be perceived as uncomfortably cold because you simply don't get that wearing these gloves. It's just a tool to confer my observations.

Top down thermal range



Front on thermal range



With regards to the 'waterproof' label on the gloves. I have worn these in all kinds of weather and, to date, they have not let in any water. Water can be seen beading on the surface which suggests that whatever hydrophobic treatment the manufacturer has used is working well. Only time will tell whether this lasts or needs to be reapplied at regular intervals.

4. Specs & Other noteworthy facts

Keiss Heated Outer Gloves have a leather palm with a padded textile covering the top of the hand. The material used for the textile is marked as 'Thinsulate'. There is no additional padding protection for the palm.

While it is possible to operate them off an external battery pack I for one do not consider an additional cost of around £90.00 to be a reasonable outlay for such a common product (most modern batteries have charge protection built into them so this 'battery pack' is doubtless a plastic case with an LED and some wiring to the battery.

5. Tester's Opinion (summary)

I went for two Winter Seasons with standard gloves before giving these a try. I hesitated long and hard because to this day I don't believe these (or any of the other contenders) are reasonably priced. A heated blanket is pretty old technology and this is just a variation on a theme using modern materials. The other concern was other people's comments about waterproofing and durability combined with the bulkiness of the gloves (I'm generalising here and not just focusing on the Keiss gloves). That said, I was still unprepared for the new level of faffing about this new kit brought with it.

The individual controllers are a real plus in my opinion, but they are also a source of some consternation due to the power settings. If I am in a hurry or already riding when I decide to turn them on, why or why do they have to by default go straight to 'barbecue' mode. Would it not make more sense to turn on to the lowest setting - providing the wearer with immediate relief from the cold and then letting Him/Her decide whether to crank it up or not?

But here's the thing. After having gone through this winter season wearing these gloves and not experiencing the pain that goes with getting your fingers frozen off, I can honestly say that I would not choose to go through another without heated gloves. I can focus on riding and can ride for longer because I am not thinking about my hands getting so damned cold.

Sure, these gloves are not perfect, I doubt that any of them are, they can give me less heat than I might want or expect at times. They can turn off without warning because the damned cable connection comes loose and they can make me look like a right idiot when I am walking around the local Tesco with wires hanging off me everywhere. But I don't care because my hands are warm when I get to my destination.

6. Star Rating

 :star:  :star:  :star:

7. Pictures

None other than those already included.