Nov 28 2012
A little over 2 years ago, I invested in a Gerbing heated jacket liner for winter riding, and I’ve never regretted it.
About a year ago, I picked up a pair of the Gerbing Ladies Gloves. They’re not bulky (because the Gerbing Microwire technology is so svelte), but somehow I just couldn’t seem to get comfortably connected without a hassle, or lumps, or the total cable length being too short, and about the time I got all plugged in, I’d have to go to the bathroom… I just couldn’t seem to master the connections to the sleeve wires (more about that later), and became frustrated. [Note: heat controller and controller pouch sold separately. Dual control allows separate temperature settings for connected jacket and gloves.]
So when I saw the Mobile Warming battery-powered gloves, I thought they might be a better solution; no wires to run, quick to pull on. The gloves ship with two batteries and the wall charger.
While I was waiting for the MW gloves to arrive, I had a talk with a Gerbing rep at a bike show (an actual Gerbing heir, in fact), who gave me some tips on connections. This is embarrassing, but, despite the fact that I’m traditionally good with spatial reasoning, I’d been overthinking it, trying to pull the connected cables out of the gloves, back up over my jacket sleeves to get the connection lump out of the glove, and thus finding the connections too short. The answer is to just run the wire straight down into the gloves, then fumble around to try to get the connector lump positioned inside the gloves so it isn’t annoying. Takes some extra time, but then it’s fine. (This is when you really need a third hand.)
The Gerbing gloves get really warm; I barely have to crank them up. The last time I wore them, I seemed to have a bit of a hot spot in the left glove unless I kept them turned on low heat. I need to experiment a bit to isolate/fix that. But they certainly don’t lack for warmth.
If you’re running both gloves and jacket liner, you need to have the appropriate fuse. Both pieces together pull about 8.5 amps, so I have a 10amp fuse in the pigtail to the battery. (The Gerbing site provides electrical draw info)
Now to the MW gloves. At the highest setting, they don’t seem to get as hot as the Gerbing gloves, but I haven’t yet tested them on a truly bitter day, to see if that’s sufficient. They are bulkier than the Gerbing gloves, because of extra insulation. I feared that they would feel like snowsuit mittens, but they limbered up quickly (within a block), and actually weren’t cumbersome at all. Quicker to pull on than the Gerbing gloves, of course.
The MW battery is also the heat controller for each glove; it slips into a compartment on the back of the glove, plugs into the in-glove connector, and shows through a plastic window. Press and hold the large circular main button for 2 seconds, and the battery turns on at the highest heat setting. Press the control button once to step down to a lower level. Press and hold the control button for 2 seconds to turn off the unit.
Whereas the Gerbing gloves heat up almost instantly, the MW gloves take a minute or two to reach full heat. So turn them on while you’re still fumbling with your other zippers, snaps, and buckles, and they’ll be toasty by the time you pull them on (after you unplug, unzip, and go to the bathroom one last time).
Do I have a preference now? On cool days (45-50), I’d vote for the Cortech insulated gloves. On chilly days (40-45), I’d go for the convenience of the MW battery-powered gloves. But when it dips below 40, I think the Gerbing gloves are the answer.
As for cost:
Gerbing gloves: $169.95 (includes battery pigtail/harness, which I already had for the jacket)
Dual controller: $99.95
Dual controller cover: $10.95 (so I can anchor the controller to jacket or tank bag)
If you want Gerbing jacket liner only:
Liner: $219.95 (I’ve never seen new ones for less)
Single controller: $69.95
Single controller cover: $10.95
Mobile warming women’s TX Heated Gloves: $209.99
(I got’em on sale @ BikeBandit for $188.99, which includes two batteries + charger)
Spare MW battery: $35.99/each