At the Columbia Omni-Heat Electric launch event in November, I was given a pair of Bugaglove Max Electric gloves to try out. For the past month, I have worn the heated gloves almost every day for everything from snowshoeing in Utah to ice climbing in Colorado. Let me tell you, if you hate cold, wet hands, you will want to get a pair of these when they come out next year.
The Bugaglove Max Electric battery heated gloves operate on three levels- high, medium, and low with corresponding indicator lights of red, yellow and green. On high, the batteries will last for 2.5 hours, 3 hours on medium, and 4 hours on low. When you get back from your day, simply pull the batteries out of the back pocket and plug them into the wall charger. The batteries will be fully charged within a few hours.
I would recommend initially powering up the heated gloves on high to warm up your hands, then turning them down to medium or low to maintain warmth for a longer period of time. The heat you feel will not have the high intensity, next to skin impact of a hand warmer but more of an ambient heat. The Omni Heat Thermal Reflective lining helps to reflect the generated heat back at your hands.
For the past week of ice climbing in Ouray, I have been using the heated gloves as belay gloves. I would not climb in them as they are not quite dexterous enough for gripping your tools but are perfect to throw on when it's your turn to belay. On one particularly cold multi-pitch climb, I even kept the power on and tucked them into my jacket to keep my core warm while climbing. Normally I would power them off when I finished belaying in order to save battery life.
The Bugaglove Max Electric heated gloves feature OutDry waterproofing technology which is crucial to keeping your hands warm when handling wet ropes or skiing through powder. The split cowhide palm patch makes it easy to hold on to icy ropes or grip ski poles. The nosewipe on the back of hand comes in handy as well!
Bottom Line: The Bugaglove Max Electric gloves make the perfect ice climbing belay gloves, or gloves for snowsports such as skiing, snowshoeing and snowboarding.
The heated gloves retail for $400 and are available now. Yes that is a steep price for gloves but worth it not to have cold hands?