If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere warm enough to keep riding year round – or if you’re a hearty soul who refuses to pack it in for anything less than the winter apocalypse, heated riding gear will make your travels not only a lot better, but a lot safer as well. Hypothermia is no laughing matter. To be clear, we’re talking more than just passive gear like thick jackets, we’re talking active apparel requiring an electronic heat source, either from your motorcycle or from rechargable batteries.
With proper heated motorcycle gear, it may be January on the outside, but it’ll feel like September on the inside. Heck, if your bike’s alternator is up to it, you can make it August with a full complement of jacket, pants, gloves and boot liners. It’s important to note that nearly all of the items listed below require some sort of external hardware like a temperature regulator and/or wiring harness be added to the motorcycle, which are not included as part of the guide. But you will find a sampler of our favorite heated vests, jackets, pants and gloves to get you started.
Aerostich Kanetsu AIRVANTAGE Electric Vest – $247
Evans made a strong case for the Kanetsu Airvantage Electric Vest by Aerostich in his guide to the Best Motorcycle Gear For Daily Riders piece, and frankly, the vest also warrants inclusion in this Heated Gear Buyer’s Guide, too. To be clear, almost any electric vest made for motorsports will do the trick, but we’re especially keen to this one because apart from the usual heating elements you’d expect to find on an electric vest, the Kanetsu goes one step further: Built into the Kanetsu is a patented inflatable bladder (the Airvantage!) which serves several purposes. First, it provides yet another layer of wind protection. Second, it also insulates you better. Third, the bladder gently presses the heating elements closer to your body, keeping you warmer, longer. The Kanetsu is also available with sleeves for an additional cost.
Bottom Line/Like riding on air but warm
Firstgear 12V Heated Women’s Jacket Liner – $114
If you’d rather not purchase separate sleeves to go with your vest there are also plenty of options (to be fair, Aerostich also sells a complete jacket liner), like this Firstgear 12v Heated Jacket Liner. As you can probably read, this is the women’s version, tailored to fit a woman’s figure. Integrated stretch panels allow you to move around, and heating elements across the upper and lower back, down the sleeves and around the neck keep you warm. However, since you obviously face forward when you ride (right?), the bulk of the heating elements are stationed along the chest to fight windchill. The liner features wiring connections for heated gloves and can also provide warmth without electricity, should the conditions be cool and not cold. When not in use the liner packs into its own zippered pouch.
Bottom Line/High quality low price
Gerbing 12V EX Pro Jacket – $300
If you’d rather not bother with putting a liner inside your existing jacket, then you might as well go for a jacket designed with a heated liner already built-in. Gerbing is one of the most trusted names in heated gear, and this EX Pro Jacket is one example why. Constructed of durable 500D Cordura combined with rip-stop materials and backed with Knox CE armor, the EX Pro has all the features you’d expect from a typical motorcycle jacket. Its secret weapon is the ability to keep you warm despite mother nature’s best attempts at trying otherwise. The key to this is the included heated liner with seven Microwire zones. If you really want to get fancy, you can also buy the separate Thermogauge Bluetooth device and adjust the temperature from an app on your iOS or Android phone. And don’t worry, the liner is removable should you not need sauna-levels of heat on a particular day.
Bottom Line/Keep it simple
Gerbing 12V EX Pro Pants – $250
Keeping your core warm is usually enough for most people, but when it’s really cold, pants are next. Your bottom half can be just as warm as your top half; naturally the Gerbing EX Pro people offer a matching pair of pants. Constructed from the same 500D Cordura as the jacket, from a features standpoint, expect similar heating elements (four instead of seven) and a removable liner like the jacket. There’s also Knox CE armor at the knees. In addition, both jacket and pants feature a waterproof liner so you can stay dry and warm during your ride. Should the combination get too warm, however, the pants also have large vents on each thigh to allow some air in. The EX Pro is a feature-rich combo, and the pants also come pre-wired to connect to heated insoles or socks (sold separately).
Bottom Line/Might as well be warm all over
Firstgear 12V Heated Pants Liner – $218
The Firstgear Heated Pants Liner is effectively a heated pair of Spandex that fits under your existing riding pants. This isn’t a bad thing, as the Spandex is form fitting, meaning you get direct warmth across your thighs and knees while also maintaining your natural range of motion. The Heated Pants have an anti-bacterial treatment and also wick sweat away to better manage your temperature. Integrated plugs for heated socks stow away when not in use, and there’s even a nifty zippered pouch to stow the pants once the cold weather goes away.
Bottom Line/Bottom line = Warm Bottom
Tour Master 12V Synergy 2.0 Heated Chap Liner – $83
If wearing traditional riding pants leaves your lower half claustrophobic, maybe a pair of heated chap liners, like the Synergy 2.0 from Tour Master is more your calling. With expandable closures along the bottom of the thigh and calf, the undersides of your legs get a little breathing room. Lightweight and flexible steel fiber heating elements discreetly wind their way through the chap, and combined with the mandatory (and separate) rheostat, can adjust the temperature of the chaps to five different settings. Tour Master is closing out this item; everybody loves a sale!
Bottom Line/For $83 you can’t go wrong
Joe Rocket Rocket Burner Textile Glove – $141
The nice thing about the Joe Rocket Burner Textile Gloves is the fact they don’t need a connection to the motorcycle to operate. A lithium-ion battery housed above the wrist provides up to four hours of heating time. Of course, some may take this as a negative if an all-day ride in the cold is in the cards. Nonetheless, the Burner gloves feature three-stage heating, a waterproof, breathable, and windproof HiPora liner, heavy duty Nylon outer construction, accordion paneling across the wrist for better fit, and silicone inserts on the palm to better grip the controls. Best of all, the Burners also feature conductive materials at the fingertips so you can use your smart devices without having to take the gloves off. Two rechargeable batteries and a charging unit are included.
Gerbing Vanguard Mens Gloves – $160
For those who don’t want to be reliant on batteries to keep their hands warm, the Gerbing Vanguard glove is one (of many) solutions. This insulated and water resistant glove features a floating TPU knuckle, Superfabric palm/finger, and pre-curved ergonomic fit. Outer construction is Aniline cowhide leather with Microwire heating elements throughout. Like the Joe Rocket Burner gloves, these Gerbings also feature a smartphone-compatible index finger so you can grab directions without needing to take the gloves off. The gloves are designed to connect to the EX Pro jacket or liner, but can be paired with any number of other garments with available connectors (sold separately).
Bottom Line/Warm and dry is even better than warm
Hotwired 12V Heated Glove Liners – $90
Of course, some people out there have a pair of gloves they absolutely love, and if they could wear them year-round, they would. The Hotwired heated glove liners could be just the thing for such people. Worn inside your existing gloves, the liners are lightweight and can be used independently with a stand-alone harness (included), or connected to an existing Hotwired jacket liner (not included). These can get to maximum temperature in seconds and feature an automatic temperature cutoff for safety. For $80, these are a worthy alternative to dedicated winter gloves, depending on your location.
Bottom Line/Very packable, great for a saddlebag backup
Gerbing 12V Hybrid Heated Insoles – $100
Riding with cold feet is a much worse feeling than getting cold feet after asking for someone’s hand in marriage. At least, we think so. Not to mention it’s especially aggravating to ride with cold feet while the rest of your body is nice and toasty. This doesn’t need to be the case with these Hybrid heated insoles from Gerbing. Heating elements are placed throughout the insole to provide heat over the insole’s entire surface area, meaning cold feet are a thing of the past.
Bottom Line/Treat your feet
Aerostich Electric Warmbib – $97
On shorter rides we’ll often debate over whether to put on all the warm gear we typically would. You know the story; putting on all that stuff just for a quick trip can be a pain, so sometimes we’ll grin and bear the cold for a short spell. When it comes to your chest and neck, at least, this doesn’t need to be the case. With the electric Warmbib from Aerostich, you can get evenly spread warmth across your chest quickly. The Warmbib is windproof and patented and packs really small. The smooth outer fabric layer is black Gore-Tex Windstoper and the side toward your body is a comfy black micro-fleece. The radiant electric heating layer is between. The bib won’t move anywhere once your jacket is on because the fleece will grab your jacket’s liner (not literally) to help stay put. In addition, the neck collar quickly fastens via Velcro and keeps wind from creeping in. It stores away neatly when not in use and is a great companion. Don’t forget, the Aerostich folks are in Minnesota. They know a thing or two about riding in the cold.
Bottom Line/Keep it in a saddlebag at all times
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.
Become a Motorcycle.com insider. Get the latest motorcycle news first by subscribing to our newsletter here.