FIVE + FIVE fiery fingers
When winter is upon us and you are over that numb feeling from your wrists down, taking half an hour to defrost your fingertips after a ride, then these gloves are definitely worth a look.
A little background about the FIVE Brand… they make motorcycle gloves!
That’s all they do and they are very passionate about it. In my personal collection of gloves, for various seasons and riding genres, all are FIVE branded, except one. I’d only noticed that, after purchasing these heated gloves from Richardson’s Harley Davidson, while in Tasmania… the land of the frozen.
Riding one morning in -4° C not only could I move my hands easily, but I could also feel my fingertips… my toes however, no and when I got off the bike after 1½ hours, I nearly face-planted when I tried to walk; my toes and top half of my feet were completely numb.
When I choose any motorcycle product, I go by safety, functionality, comfort/feel/fit, appearance at the very bottom of my list…
With gloves, I’ll check the quality of protection it offers and how well they are made… how well they fit, including to the end of my fingers, the opening and closing of my hands and lastly, appearance.
I always take them out to my bike, pre purchase, to see how they reach out for the clutch and brake levers:
Is there smooth action and room to move between handgrips and levers?
Far from being a brand person, for anything I buy, but FIVE is a glove winner for me. They have a terrific range of styles for women, so a greater chance of finding gloves to fit the daintiest of hands. I have large hands for a lady and although these HG1 gloves are generic sizing, they fit to the length of my fingers and hand width perfectly. FIVE does make a women’s version of a heated glove model, HG3, however this is more suited to commuting, rather than lengthy road trippin’.
The HG1 WP Heated Glove, initially won me over, as I tested them over a few icy hours. Even with the soft, furry lining and the slimline battery, slipping into a wrist pocket, they look rather stylish, which for a serious winter glove, is not that common. I did try another very comparable brand and it was a close call, but what tipped the scales for FIVE was the better movement of my fingers with them on, when I moved over the clutch and brake.
I did struggle with getting the little finger of each hand into the correct slot though.
The choice to go battery, instead of extending the 12V from my heated jacket insert to the glove was a personal choice. One less thing to unplug. The warmth without heat on, is superior to any other gloves I’ve tried, which means if you run out of battery power, you still have a great benchmark warmth with just the glove.
There are three heat levels and apart from the -4° C ride, I’ve only needed to use the 1st and 2nd levels.
The amount of time, the batteries last, depend on the heat settings you use. As I do regular, lengthy road trips, I purchased an extra set of batteries in case I needed to continually use the high setting, for an all-day ride.
The levels are different colours so you can easily see what power you’re using and super easy to push to change:
- Blue, the lowest heat setting gives you about four hours at 45° C
- White about two and a half to three hours at 55° C
- Red at about 60° C for about two hours
Charging time is super quick, so stopping for a decent lunch break would have the batteries recharged, if required.
As someone who is terribly geographically challenged and too old-school-stubborn to put Bluetooth into my helmet, I use written directions in a plastic sleeve, attached on my handlebars. Then, if I need finer details, like inner-city kind of directions, I will attach my phone to the bars… so having the Touch Screen™ on the index finger is an absolute godsend, coz who wants to remove a glove in sub-zero conditions to fart-arse about with Google Maps on some random roadside.
BIG FAIL is the lack of waterproofness. Taken on a road trip with drizzly rain in cold conditions… before lunch on the first day of a 4-day ride, they were soaked.
Once off, for refuelling, they would not go back on. No way could I get my hands into the wet fur-lined glove. My spare gloves were summer, with the index and thumb tops cut off so I can use the phone screen. Wow, a big Not Happy Jan moment! In the middle of the outback, with three more days of riding, lets just say there was a lot of swearing going on with the fail of this intensity.
A $350 pair of winter gloves that can’t handle a bit of water? Ouch!
Another downside is the tag that you’re meant to use, to pull the glove on, it’s too small to grab with a gloved hand. It’s not recommended to use the top of the glove to pull it on as there is element wiring, that can be damaged with rough handling. I’ve looped a cable tie through the pull tags, so I can get my finger through it to pull on the glove.
This is a premium priced product so better waterproof ability and ease of on/off should have been an important consideration.
- Mixed Stretch Cordura™ and full-grain goatskin construction (upper) / Full-grain goatskin for suppleness (palm).
- PU metacarpal-phalangeal protective shells under leather.
- Hypothenar protective shell (palm slider) in TPR.
- Heating through a separate battery, knob with three levels of heat.
- Weatherproof Hipora® internal membrane. X
- Bemberg™ internal comfort lining.
- Thinsulate™ thermal insulation.
- Digital Pittards® leather palm reinforcement for optimal grip.
- Dual closure system with a Velcro tab and waterproof zipper.
- ClearVision pad to wipe off the helmet’s visor while you ride, on the left-hand side only.
- Reflective strips for improved nighttime visibility.
- Over Size Cuff System™ sleeve.
- Touch Screen™ system (on index finger) for handling Touch Screens with glove on.
I had previously given this a 5 star rating, without testing them in the rain… it is now 3 stars due to the failure of a major function for winter gloves.
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