I really like using good riding gear, but sometimes it can be difficult to demonstrate just how good the best equipment is. This time, it is the new Klim Hardanger HTD Long gloves, featuring battery-powered heating.
Over a two-week period, I went for rides at 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 43 degrees and never felt the need to turn on the battery-generated heat. I was truly comfortable riding for over an hour at 43 degrees at 65 mph on the Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike, which is equipped with Touratech Defensa handguards. I was beginning to wonder how I could test their battery warming capability when I checked the upcoming overnight temperatures here in Portland, and it was going down to freezing early the next morning.
I didn’t have to convince myself that the Klim Hardanger gloves would keep my hands warm. I just needed to psych myself into purposely going for a no-destination ride at 32 degrees. I have ridden in temperatures that cold twice—a freak snowstorm just north of Los Angeles, and the other was due to get-home-itis in the same area. Both times I would have really benefited from these gloves. My only source of hand heat was alternately warming my gloved hands on the engine while leaning from side to side.
The Klim Hardanger HTD gloves are feature-rich, and all of them directly benefit the rider. They are warm, waterproof, windproof, breathable (Gore-Tex), comfortable, have a visor wiper, mobile-phone-compatible thumb and index-finger tips, and have three levels of battery-generated heat for up to a claimed eight hours.
Here is a tip that slipped my mind until after I started riding that cold morning—keep your hands warm rather than trying to warm them up.
I fiddled around for a few minutes getting my bike ready in 32-degree ambient air before putting on the Hardanger HTD Long gloves. These gauntlet gloves are tall and have a wide opening to slip over your jacket sleeve. They cinch at the top and just above the wrist with adjustable hook and loop straps.
My hands were already cold when I slipped them on and headed out for my eight-minute ride to the freeway. I did a long press on the raised button on both gloves to turn them on. They start on the high-heat setting.
Klim has designed in the smarts to automatically reduce the high setting to medium after 10 minutes to extend battery life. While the reduction can be overridden, I found that once the gloves are warmed, the low heat setting is all I need to ride all day at 32 degrees.
I timed the battery durations at each setting. Low lasted for 6:30, Medium for 3:15, and High for 90 minutes (pressing the button every 10 minutes to stay on High). Keep in mind that lower temperatures will cause the batteries to drain faster.
The Aetwa lithium-ion batteries are charged by a proprietary connector on a dual battery wall charger—yet another charger you have to bring along on a trip. You cannot charge the batteries while they are in use, so you will have to purchase additional batteries from Klim ($30 each) to extend your ride in freezing temperatures.
The top of the hand area is insulated with 100-gram 3M Thinsulate. Between the windproof, waterproof Gore-Tex and the Thinsulate, it was obvious why my hands were comfortable, yet unheated, at 43 degrees.
All the gripping area is goat leather and not heated. I like that I can feel the throttle and levers with no bulky insulation reducing tactile input. Your palms and the underside of your fingers are separated from the goat leather by a layer of microfleece material.
I didn’t feel any cold coming up from my palms as the whole interior of the gloves felt heated, even though only the tops of the hands and tops of the fingers are. There is goat leather covering XRD knuckle and palm impact protection foam. Plus, there are five 3M Scotchlite reflective accents on each glove. The gloves are CE Level 1 rated.
Rain rides gave me chances to use the wiper on the left index finger, and the wiper does a good job of clearing my faceshield with each swipe.
I thought it would be telling to test the seams with submersion in a bucket of water for 10 minutes. Although the surface does not repel water, the Gore-Tex layer underneath does. After 10 minutes of submersion, I did not detect any leaks.
The mobile phone screen touch works on both index fingers but only on the right thumb. I can accurately enter my password and type phone numbers with no mistakes, using either index finger.
I wanted the Klim Hardanger HTD Long Gloves ($280/pair MSRP) for two reasons—keep my hands warm and provide a unique, tactile feel of the hand controls (most winter gloves don’t). These new Klim gloves do a great job of keeping my hands warm, with and without battery-powered heating. Because they are breathable, the Hardanger gloves can be worn any time of the year. However, winter is where these heated gloves will earn their purchase price.
Klim Hardanger HTD Long Gloves Fast Facts
- Sizes: XS-3X
- Color: Black
- Battery type: 7.4-volt lithium-ion
- Battery capacity: 2 Ah
Klim Hardanger HTD Long Gloves Price: $280/pair MSRP