Nothing ruins a day on the slopes quicker than cold hands. Because of this, there are plenty of options available when it comes to keeping your hands warm. From cheap, chemical-laden hand-warmer pouches to heated gloves. The problem is, none of them seem to work well. The pouches often get too hot, causing discomfort and the occasional mild burn or making your hands sweat profusely, soaking your gloves from the inside. Heated gloves fall victim to the very thing they’re trying to protect against, the cold. The cold saps their battery life, making most heated gloves run out of juice by lunchtime. The wires used to heat the gloves also heat some areas too much while others (like the fingers) are completely neglected. Not to mention what they usually look like: With wires and battery packs joined haphazardly to a pair of ugly gloves, it feels as though you’re wearing some sort of ‘Mad Max’ prop.
This is where the Chaval Response-XRT Heated Gloves separate themselves, starting with a clean, European-inspired design using the highest-quality leather and minimal stitching. But the real genius behind these gloves, by far the best heated glove that we’ve found on the market, is Chaval’s proprietary AlphaHEAT technology, which allows the company to provide a perfectly regulated amount of heat all day long.
While other brands require you to adjust the heat in your gloves manually and often use wires to transmit that heat, Chaval gloves constantly monitor the temperature outside as well as inside your gloves and adjust the amount of heat accordingly using flat, flexible, conductive traces to transmit power and heat throughout the entire glove evenly (it’s the same technology that smartphones and computer chips use to transmit power).
The result is gloves that keep your hands ensconced at a comfortable 62 degrees, not too hot to make your hands sweat and cozy enough to endure the coldest mountain temperatures. This happens at the push of one simple button, and then you don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day. At the end of the day, the gloves also have built-in drying technology that dries out your gloves while they’re recharging. One of the bonuses we noticed about skiing with the Chaval gloves was that we could actually wear fewer layers since our hands never got cold. On the cold rides up the chairlift, the gloves noticeably increased their heat; and when we started skiing bumps or powder, the heat decreased, keeping us comfortable no matter what we were doing. We think they’d also be great for riding our motorcycles in cold weather.
Simply put, these are the first heated gloves we’ve used that actually work and even look good while doing it. [$390; chavalusa.com]