Cycling in winter: Heated gloves: The models from Sealskinz and Ekoi in comparison

Even if the big snowfall is still a long time coming in many ski areas: millions of Germans are looking forward to their winter vacation.

Cycling in winter: Heated gloves: The models from Sealskinz and Ekoi in comparison

Even if the big snowfall is still a long time coming in many ski areas: millions of Germans are looking forward to their winter vacation. And before you get started, it's worth taking a look in the wardrobe. Fits. No longer fits. Fits. Don't like it anymore. In any case, a small inventory makes sense so that you still have some time to get dressed for your ski vacation. If, despite a long search and many tests, you still haven't found the ultimate winter gloves against cold hands, you've come to the right place. Heated gloves are designed to keep your fingers warm when cycling in winter but also on skiing holidays. But how does that work? And how quickly do the batteries run out? Is the good old pocket warmer ultimately the better heater for on the go? We grabbed two models for a test.

At first glance, the Sealskinz Cycle Glove seems a bit sportier and more suitable for cycling. In purely visual terms, the Heat Concept 5 from Ekoi would also pass as a ski glove. This is mainly due to the generous shaft, which can even be lashed to the forearm with a rubber cord. This has some advantages. But more on that later. Sealskinz does without the protruding shaft, which looks a bit more elegant. To do this, the palms and fingers were given soft leather. The rest also makes a high-quality impression. The glove is said to be 100% waterproof. Ekoi leaves out the leather. A rubberized pad sewn onto the palm of the hand is intended to improve the grip on the handlebars (or ski pole).

The manufacturers placed the most important feature of the two test products roughly in the middle near the thumb on the back of the glove. Sealskinz's heating button is designed a little more discreetly. In addition to a printed colored legend in green, orange and red and corresponding LEDs, Ekoi also scores points with a charge status indicator. In the case of the competitor, the lights in all heating levels light up red. This means: The number of lit bars indicates the heating level that has been set.

Here you can find the Ekoi Heat Concept 5

Both gloves come with two separately packaged batteries. The packs from Ekoi (65x42x15 mm) are gray, angular and chunkier than the slightly flatter energy storage devices from Sealskinz (60x47x13 mm). The chargers are also included in the scope of delivery. With Ekoi, the power supply with plug is included. Sealskinz only provides the two-part cable with the 2.5 millimeter jack plugs. The right adapter should now be found in every household. Nice: Both are equipped with an LED that lights up green as soon as the batteries are fully charged. This took a few hours with the batteries in the test models apparently only partially charged. Only then were they ready for use.

Ekoi Heat Concept 5

Sealskinz Heated Cycle Glove

Area of ​​application

MTB, racing bike, winter sports

Cycling

Material

Top: 94% polyamide, 6% elastane

Inside: 100% Polyester

Outside: 50% leather, 46% polyester, 4% elastane

Inside: 92% polyester, 8% aluminum

Weight/Pair

including batteries: 353 g

without batteries: 187 g

including batteries: 379 g

without batteries: 228 g

sizes

S, M, L, XL

S, M, L, XL

Water resistant

and

and

Touch screen compatible

no

no

Heating levels

3 (30 / 35 / 40 Degree Celsius)

3

Batteries

2 (at 2200 Ah / 7.4 V)

2 (at 2200 Ah / 7.4 V)

Battery life according to manufacturer

1.5-4 hours (depending on heating level)

5-6 hours

Charge status indicator

and

no

Charging time (according to manufacturer)

2-4 hours

not specified

One thing first: Both pairs of gloves tested can be worn comfortably without batteries. We tried them out on the bike at temperatures just above zero degrees. Sealskinz did a little better here. Mainly because the lining on the Ekoi model was too thick on our fingers. The brake handles and gear levers were still safe to use - but with the Sealskinz gloves, control was noticeably more direct in our opinion. We still got cold fingers after half an hour in the Hamburg winter. Which brings us to the batteries.

For practical reasons, both manufacturers hide the batteries in the shaft of their gloves. In the small bag you will find a short cable with a 2.5 millimeter jack. So far so identical. Because that’s it for the similarities. Ekoi decided to hide its batteries in a pocket on the top of the shaft. The small zipper runs lengthwise in a way that we can understand and is closed from the wrist towards the arm. Sealskinz has placed its elastic, yet somewhat small, battery compartment on the underside of the hand. In addition, the zipper runs across the wrist. Plugging in the batteries only took a few seconds. There was nothing to complain about when stowing away the Li-Polymer power packs equipped with a solid 2200 mAh. Worth mentioning: The slightly flatter Sealskinz packs only fit horizontally into the compartments. There isn't much space for the cable and plug. With a little sensitivity and routine, the batteries slide into the intended place. The chunky batteries for the heated gloves from Ekoi are much more comfortable. Whether lengthwise or crosswise doesn't matter. During the test, we couldn't find that they were flopping around in the bag.

When putting it on, it quickly became clear which idea was more practical. While the hands of the Ekoi model slipped easily through the elastic cuffs despite the batteries, the sporty Sealskinz shaft turned out to be more of a problem. And from our point of view, this mainly has to do with the inconveniently stowed battery. Only with a lot of effort and fumbling did the second glove finally sit where it belonged. It is difficult to judge whether the scope would have been more generous with size L instead of M. However, the glove fit perfectly on the fingers. The fit of the Ekoi Heat Concept 5 was also right. In our opinion, the generously sized shaft and the drawstring are the better solution. In addition, the glove can be closed on the forearm with the drawstring so that the heat stays where it should go. The Velcro fastener on the wrist of the Sealskinz heated glove is difficult to close. Here too you get into trouble with the battery.

Ekoi gives guideline values ​​of 25, 30 and 35ºC for the three heating levels of the Heat Concept 5. Sealskinz does not provide temperature information and promises a running time of 5-6 hours. There is no way to know how warm it is inside the glove during this time and what heating level that applies to.

To find out, we misused a classic roasting thermometer. For the test, the two tips of the temperature probe were pushed into the middle and ring fingers of the gloves from below. On both models approximately up to the middle of the finger. The batteries were fully charged. We first carried out this test at a room temperature of around 20ºC. Ekoi effortlessly achieved the values ​​stated on the packaging. After half an hour the thermometer showed a whopping 47 degrees Celsius. The heating elements in the Sealskinz glove reached 43 degrees Celsius after 30 minutes in our test. And here are all the other measurements from the first small series of tests:

Ekoi Heat Concept 5

Sealskinz Heated Cycle Glove

Starting temperature

21ºC

21ºC

Heating level 1

25ºC after 4'40 min

30ºC after 13'00 min

25ºC after 5'50 min

30ºC after 15'30 min

Heating level 2

35ºC after 18'15 min

35ºC after 22'20 min

Heating level 3

40ºC after 21'40 min

40ºC after 26'30 min

temperature after 30 minutes

47ºC

43ºC

Temperature 10 minutes after switching off

30ºC

32ºC

Both manufacturers recommend preheating the gloves on the highest heat setting for a few minutes before using them outdoors. In another test we tested whether this works, how warm it gets in the gloves and how long the batteries run out of power. This time in the fresh air at a temperature of around 2 degrees Celsius. Most important finding: Both models heat the interior to 35 degrees Celsius within ten minutes at heat level 3. After an hour of full power, they still warm your hands at a cozy 38 (Sealskinz) and 35 degrees Celsius (Ekoi). These are the complete measurement results:

Ekoi Heat Concept 5

Sealskinz Heated Cycle Glove

Starting temperature

20ºC

20ºC

35ºC

after 10'10 minutes

after 9'25 minutes

after 15 minutes

37ºC

38ºC

after 30 minutes

38ºC

39ºC

after 60 minutes

35ºC

38ºC

after 90 minutes

34ºC

36ºC

after 120 minutes

33ºC

36ºC

Battery empty (heat level 3)

after about 2 hours

after about 2.5 hours

First of all, you can say that both heated gloves do what they are supposed to do. Namely, keep your fingers warm. At the highest heating level, the Sealskinz and Ekoi batteries last at least two hours, although the Sealskinz packs showed slightly more endurance in our test. Both models are visually appealing and of high quality. One a little more elegant, the other a little more wintery. We liked the Ekoi Heat Concept 5 a little better in the practical test. It was easier to put on and close. Overall, the shaft of the Sealskinz Cycle Glove seemed a bit too tight to us. With a sports watch on my arm, getting dressed was a bit of an effort. Sealskinz, on the other hand, scored plus points in the cycling test. Here we felt safer on the brakes and gears thanks to the integrated leather on the inside of the glove. That's why we recommend this model for the way to work or short bike trips on winter weekends. The finger heater from Ekoi is also suitable for sleigh tours and particularly cold days on a ski holiday.

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