Bugaglove Max Electric

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. 

Bugaglove Max Electric

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.

Bugaglove Max Electric

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.  

Bugaglove Max Electric

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?

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  1. Hi Matt,

    Thanks! The batteries are not heavy at all- they are a little bulky and sometimes hard to get in and out but definitely not too heavy.


  2. Hi Mark,

    I have not personally tried the Cayenne yet so can’t say for sure. They look similar in concept. I know the Columbia ones run the heating element around the fingers instead of just on top of the hand to help with warmth. There is also the reflective liner.

    If I run across a Cayenne review I will post it here.


  3. Hi Amy,

    I’ve heard that these gloves don’t heat the thumb. Are you able to confirm whether the thumb is heated?



  4. Hi Amy, I own a pair of Columbia heated Gloves! No heat in thumbs! A very well made Glove, good quality . Not worth $399.00 Garry

  5. Hi Garry,

    Thanks for your comments. Yes $400 is expensive for gloves!

    I think the heated/not heated thumb confusion is centered around how far up the heating wires go. I have posted a picture on The GearCaster Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/thegearcaster) that shows the wiring of the gloves. The wiring seems to cut across the middle of the thumb so understandably the top of your thumb could easily get cold.

    Regardless- it sounds like from experience everyone is ending up with cold thumbs! Will try and see if I can find out from Columbia why they didn’t extend to wiring to the tip of the thumb.


  6. As a followup, I ended up buying these as a Christmas gift for my mom and unfortunately she intends to return them.

    She has issues with circulation in her hands and regularly relies on chemical hand warmers in her gloves so I thought this would be the perfect gift.

    Unfortunately she says these simply aren’t very warm. She thinks for the average person they’d likely do fine, but if not these are likely not the gloves for you.

    Now to figure out if it’s even possible to return them.

  7. Sorry to hear they didn’t work out for your mom Denis. I heard from Columbia- they said that the feedback from beta testers was that a full heated thumb wasn’t needed since the Omni-Heat help to retain heat, keeping your hands warmer. Obviously not enough for everyone!

  8. I own a pair of the Columbia Omni- heat. My question is on long ski days I would like to have an extra set of batteries. But I can’t find where they sell just the batteries. Any help?

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