We’re approaching that time of year when it seems a bit excessive, even for those of us with Raynaud’s syndrome, to wear thick winter gloves. Sure, they keep the fingers warm, but the variation in spring temperatures renders them a bit too hot at times. Lighter gloves seem to work during the day, but cold spring mornings and evenings can render fingers numb in no time flat depending on the glove. That’s not the case with the Brunton HeatSync heated glove liner, which turns any glove into a heated glove but can be worn just as well in warmer temperatures as well.
Companies like VentureHeat, Zanier and Outdoor Research make thick heated gloves for winter, but they’re a bit too much for springtime outings. By contrast, the new Brunton HeatSync heated glove liner is thin enough to insert into just about any glove you already have in your closet, turning it into a heated-glove system. And, because they’re thin, the Brunton liners can be worn on a stand-alone basis when the temperature rises and eliminates the need for electrically generated heat but not so high that you don’t want a little bit more insulation.
The Brunton HeatSync heated glove liner works simply enough. Though thin, each glove has an elongated gauntlet area above the wrist that houses a removable and USB-rechargeable battery. The batteries charge in just a few hours, and during my test sessions they provided powered heat for about as long as they took to charge. Battery life varies depending on whether you choose High, Medium or Low heat, with the highest setting draining the batteries the fastest.
Unlike some heated products I’ve tried, there really is an impressive variation between the three settings. On high, the radiating heat reaches temperatures of 131 degrees Fahrenheit. That may be hard to quantify, so let’s just say that even when my hands were super-cold, I could only tolerate shorts bursts of High heat before needing to scale-back to Medium or Low. I most frequently used High to kick-start the liners’ warming of my gloves, then quickly toned them down.
And kick-start it does. Within literally seconds of pressing the power button and seeing the Brunton HeatSync heated glove liner go on High, I started to feel warmth on the back of my hands and down toward my fingers. The heat didn’t seem so noticeable as quickly on the lower settings, but it probably was and I just didn’t note it because the heat’s just so hot on High.
What is worth noting is that the Brunton HeatSync heated glove liner isn’t as warm when used as a stand-alone glove. Its thin form factor does allow it to be worn as a lightweight spring glove, and in some cases it cuts the mustard in that regard. But the glove liners’ material is cold on the inside, so any breeze during a brisk walk or hike tends to chill the skin pretty quickly. That can be fixed by turning the power on, but even then, the liners are designed to be pressed tight against your hands by the “shell” gloves into which they fit. Without that exterior glove holding the Brunton HeatSync heated glove liner against your hand, about half of the heat you’d normally feel is imperceptible. Wringing your hands makes it more noticeable, since the pressure of your hands holds the liner against your skin, but nobody wants to spend their spring hike wringing their hands.
To be fair, I don’t hold this against the HeatSync glove liner in the least. I mean, the word “liner” is right there in the name. Just because something can be worn alone doesn’t mean it should be. Still, several features make it tempting to think you should wear them solo: Two fingertips are touchscreen-capable. They have great rubberized grip to minimize the chance of dropping a smartphone. They look sharp and fashionable. But while features make it possible to wear them without shells, the heated glove liners really do work best as part of a glove system.
On the surface they seem expensive, but most heated glove systems run at least as much if not more. Plus, buying another heated glove commits you to that form factor and makes you a little susceptible to having to pony up for a second pair if anything happens to the first pair. Going with setup like this minimizes both of those risks, as you can insert them into any inexpensive waterproof shell and get a highly functional heated-glove system. Then if something happens to the shell, you’re only out the cost of a new cheap outer layer.
I’m looking forward to diving into more heavy-duty heated gloves next winter. Until then, these new heated liners from Brunton are a great solution for springtime hikes: super warm when needed, and offering just a little bit of insulation when not.
The Brunton HeatSync heated glove liner was provided for review. All opinions and words are my own and honest, and the article contains no affiliate links.
Brunton HeatSync Glove Liner
- Form-fitting design goes in almost any glove
- The highest setting is nice and hot
- Super-grippy palms and fingers for smartphone handling
- Two touchscreen fingertips keep you connected while gloved
- Heated filaments down to fingertips
- Powered heat isn't as impactful when used on a stand-alone basis
- They CAN be used alone, but they're not all that warm without the heat turned on