When I came across Guide’s new Vanguard heated glove, I was intrigued by its insulation, water resistance, and integrated heating combination.
But how does it compare to more heavyweight winter riding gloves when the temperatures really start to drop?
But, the main question I will answer in this review will be: Are these the best-armored motorcycle gloves for you? Let’s find out!
A Top-Tier Offering in Guide
Guide labels the Vanguard as the “top of the food chain” in their collection. It builds on its existing gauntlet glove lineup by adding an integrated heating system.
The glove uses Micrawire technology developed by Gerbing to provide heat on demand. An integrated controller lets you adjust the temperature settings, while a 12V power connection draws juice straight from your bike’s electrical system to heat the gloves (1).
For riders seeking ultimate comfort on cold days, heated gear can be a game-changer. But the Vanguard doesn’t just rely on its heating tech – it also uses a 150g Thinsulate insulation layer for warmth even when powered off. The guide also claims the glove has a waterproof Aqua-Tex membrane. However, they stopped short of calling it fully waterproof.
Overall, the Vanguard takes the best attributes of Guide’s Hero glove and then adds premium features to justify its $200+ price tag. Next, let’s look at some of those upgrades in more detail.
Key Upgrades Over the Guide Hero Glove
- Big hard knuckle protector – The Vanguard gets a large TPU shield over the knuckles. It uses elasticated panels and Blackwatch reflective piping for added safety.
- Superfabric reinforcements – Tiny ceramic plates provide slide resistance in key impact zones.
- Multi-touch finger – Conductive threading allows you to use touchscreen devices without removing the glove.
- Gauntlet wrist closure – A wide hook-and-loop cuff secures over your jacket.
- Microwire heating elements – Provides Faster, more durable heating than old-school copper wires.
With these upgrades, it’s clear Guide set out to create their most technically advanced cold weather glove. The next question becomes whether these features work well in practice.
Based on my experience testing winter motorcycle gloves, I have some reservations about their warmth and weather protection claims. But first, let’s run through a detailed breakdown of the glove’s construction.
Detailed Breakdown of the Guide Vanguard Gloves
Starting with the outer shell, Guide uses full-grain leather across the entire glove back, fingers, and most of the palm.
The leather thickness isn’t listed, but it appears reasonably thick for abrasion protection. The glove hasn’t been CE-rated, but expect it to perform similarly to many CE Level 1 gloves in a slide.
For flexibility, the fingers incorporate textile paneling on the backs. Stretch micro-elasticated inserts run down each finger to allow better dexterity and feel on the bars. The palms also get flexible textile panels for comfort, along with extra cowhide leather reinforcement.
Moving to the protectors, these gloves don’t hold back. Hard plastic knuckle shields cover the main knuckles, while D3O foam handles the panel between the knuckles. This advanced impact foam turns rigid on impact to disperse crash energy. Temper foam inserts in the finger knuckles add even more shock damping.
The gloves are secured with a wide hook-and-loop wrist closure, combined with a Velcro tab to lock the closure down. A modest gauntlet cuff should sit over your jacket sleeves reasonably well. But for really wet weather, I would have preferred an extended storm cuff.
For nighttime visibility, the knuckles feature reflective Blackwatch piping. This adds a nice styling detail during the day, too.
Heating and Insulation
This uses a micro-thin heating element laminated into the liner that produces instant, uniform warmth.
An integrated 12V power wire connects to your bike’s electrical system and is controlled via a separate handlebar controller.
Unlike battery-powered heated gear, you’ll never run out of juice mid-ride. The microwires heat up in less than 3 seconds and distribute warmth evenly across the fingers and back of the hand.
For additional warmth, Guide added a 150g Thinsulate insulation layer. This mid-weight insulation strikes a balance between bulk and cold weather protection. It should keep you reasonably warm for spring, fall, and mild winter riding.
However, for sub-zero and wet conditions, I would have preferred to see 200g+ insulation at this price point. Rukka, Held, and other premium brands offer bulkier winter sports gloves to block frigid wind chill. Guide says the glove has an Aqua-Tex waterproof lining, too, but admits it hasn’t been rigorously tested for waterproofing.
Considering the mixed weather protection, under $200, there are bulkier winter gloves that may keep you warmer and drier. But no other glove combines mid-weight insulation with heating elements at this price.
Who Are the Vanguard Heated Gloves For?
The Vanguard targets riders seeking to extend their riding season with amplified heating and insulation. It supplies the protection required for spring/fall use, plus the option to enable heating when the mercury dips.
The glove sits at an attractive price, considering its construction quality and heat tech. For riders already invested in heated gear, it makes an excellent addition to dial in your cold-weather comfort.
However, the glove isn’t waterproof and lacks heavy insulation for true winter duty. So if you ride through harsh northern winters and freezing rain, I would couple it with a heavier winter glove. Some ideas that work well with overheated liners include:
Think of the Vanguard glove as a 3-season offering with bonus heating for when frosty nights roll in. It won’t keep you warm through a Colorado blizzard, but it stretches the months you can sneak out for a ride.
Five Key Takeaways from the Guide Vanguard Heated Gloves:
- Top-tier features like heating elements and Superfabric
- Leather and textile construction with ample knuckle protection
- 150g insulation isn’t quite enough for harsh winters
- Twelve-volt heating connects to your bike’s electrical system
- Better for fall/spring than deep winter riding
Common Questions about the Vanguard Heated Gloves
Are the Guide Vanguard gloves fully waterproof?
How do you wire up and control the heating system?
The 12V power cord needs to connect to your bike’s battery, ideally via a handlebar-mounted controller. This lets you adjust heating levels on the fly.
What temperature range do the heating elements and insulation cover?
With low/medium heat, you should stay comfy from 40-60°F, give or take, based on your cold tolerance. Crank the heat up, and you can push into the 30s. Insulation alone provides reasonable warmth into the 50s.
Can you wash the gloves if they get soaked or dirty?
Yes, you can machine wash them and air dry them. Turn them inside out first and use cold water to protect the leather. Avoid harsh detergents.
I encourage you to share your experience with winter and heated gloves below! Let me know how you think the Vanguard would hold up for your local weather.
And Finally…Are They Worth Buying?
The Guide Vanguard Heated Gloves offer an impressive lineup of premium features for a reasonable price point.
The microwave heating tech surpasses most rivals in its heating quickness and distribution. $200 isn’t cheap – but it gets you excellent quality and reliable warmth for milder winter days.
Ultimately, the glove’s warmth and weatherproofing leave room for improvement. Bulkier insulation would bolster cold weather performance, while more rigorous water testing would back up their waterproofness claims. If you want guaranteed winter protection, adding heated liners to a heavyweight glove may work better.
But for stretching your riding season with amplified heating, it’s hard to beat what Guide delivers in the Vanguard.
If you’ve struggled with cold hands while riding, take a close look at this thoughtfully designed winter glove solution.
Sources: Motorcycle personal protective equipment (1)