THE BEST WINTER MOTORCYCLE GLOVES
Anyone who rides throughout the year, in all weathers, knows the value of having warm hands. It is bad enough for the pillion, but the rider is out there in front, hands extended into the wind, rain and snow. This can cause your hands to become stiff, achy and numb, which decreases your ability to use the throttle or breaks, effectively and safely. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find a respectable pair of all-weather gloves. And, often not considered enough, a cooling down of your body temperature affects your reaction time and ability such as clues from the behaviour of other motorists. Cold hands are bad news in more ways than one.
FINDING THE BEST WINTER RIDING GLOVES
In 2012, our friends at Visordown conducted a 5-point test to find a pair motorbike gloves that would be genuinely warm, waterproof, and suitable for all-weather riding, and all for under £100.
10 pairs of gauntlet-style all-weather winter motorcycle gloves that ranged in price between £60 and £100, including Richa Cold Protect GTX, were tested to determine their ability to keep your hands keep warm and dry in wet conditions and freezing temperatures, as well as road-testing them to determine their overall comfort, fit, usability, and performance.
They tested water-resistance by holding the gloves under a water tap opened fully for five minutes. Additionally, the gloved hands were submerged in ice for five minutes. This was followed by testing the waterproofing, submerging the gloved hands into a bucket of water up to the cuffs for 15 minutes. The gloves were then weighed to see if they had taken on any water. Finally, the gloves were road tested for usability, fit and performance in genuine riding conditions.
After this test of the 10 pairs of winter motorcycle gloves, the winner was the Richa Cold Protect GTX. They scored a remarkable 10 out of 10, making them Visordown’s “Best winter motorbike gloves” for 2012.
RICHA COLD PROTECT GLOVES GTX REVIEW – WINNERS OF THE 2012 COMPARATIVE TEST
These gloves may not be “the latest thing” but they are still among the best winter gloves money can buy. They will not only keep your hands dry thanks to the Gore-Tex, but they will also keep them toasty warm, without being so thick and cumbersome so as to dull, or remove, your ability
to feel the controls while providing protection.
The Richa Cold Protect Gloves GTX scored an amazing 45/50 over all for the tests performed by Visordown.com, making this pair of gloves a top pick! Your hands will certainly remain toasty and dry this winter riding season with the Richa Cold Protect GTX! Following the test in 2012, they declared that the Held Freezer Gloves could rival the Richa Cold Protect GTX in the motorbike winter gloves stakes.
NEW INNOVATIVE OPTIONS FOR 2016
That was four years ago and as with most things, technology advances. Over the course of four years, many pairs of gloves have come and gone. The question now is; what’s new for 2016?
There are a few main brands to keep an eye out for as rivals to the Richa Cold Protect GTX of 2012. Two of the technical advances being used in the latest in motorbike gloves are Primaloft Gold and OutDry. Up until now you had to rely on bulk for warmth. Now, with Primaloft Gold and OutDry, this is no longer a problem.
Primaloft is the manmade equivalent to feather down that was originally developed by the military, and far exceeded their expectations. It was released to the public for general use, and over the years with further development, it has improved and the spongy aspect of the product has been reduced, creating a “Thinsulate”. Now, they present a very thin, lightweight but durable fabric that is the warmest man made material in existence. The second quality that makes Primaloft Gold so unique is that it is waterproof. The latest developments in Primaloft has made it perfect for motorbike gloves, as it provides all the warmth and waterproof factors that are desired, but without losing the flexibility and ability to feel what you are gripping.
OutDry is the other brand to watch for in 2016. OutDry uses a patented one-piece construction process to create an impenetrable, waterproof barrier inner layer that is still breathable. The unique inner layer is heat-bonded directly to the outer fabric. This process leaves no seams or gaps for water to get through and into the glove fabric. This is a huge improvement over traditional waterproofing technology, which allows water to get inside and collect in the space between the glove’s inner and outer layers., making them wet and heavy. OutDry’s patented design also provides an improved fit and dexterity due to the high elasticity. All the above makes for thinner, lighter and more comfortable standard winter motorcycle gloves.
2016 NEW RECOMMENDATIONS
Here is the GetGeared pick of gloves that use the latest innovation.
REV’IT! TAURUS GLOVES GTX REVIEW
The Gore-Tex line of winter motorcycle gloves are the top of the line for Rev’It!. The Rev’it! Taurus gloves are new for 2016. These gloves are insulated with Primaloft Gold; this ‘thinsulate’ helps hold in the heat produced by your hands within the gloves more effectively than any other man-made materials. The Taurus winter gloves are expected to be the warmest motorbike gloves produced by Rev’It! to date. Another advantage is that due to the thin design of the Primaloft Gold, these gloves are not thick and bulky. Additionally, the palms of the Taurus gloves have been lined with Primaloft Gold Gold Eco, for better flexibility and dexterity. The Gore-Tex lining further helps with the insulation work by ensuring your hands do not become damp with sweat by allowing your skin to breathe, but working with the insulation to keep your hands warm.
ALPINESTARS WR-1 GLOVES REVIEW
Also new for 2016 are the all-leather Alpinestars WR-1 winter motorcycle gloves. These are expected to be the warmest winter riding gloves in the Alpinestars range. The back of the glove hand is lined with Primaloft, and the Primaloft Grip lining on the palm means the WR-1 gloves keep your hands warm without compromising grip and hold. The Gore-Tex lining keeps your hands free from sweat and dampness throughout the life of the gloves.
If you are familiar with the WR-3 gloves from Alpinestars, you will recognise that these are essentially the same motorcycle gloves, but with a different knuckle protector and the addition of Primaloft as the primary insulation.
HELD GLOVES KIRUNA 2572 WP REVIEW
In 2014 GetGeared bought the entire world’s first shipment because we believe so strongly in these Held winter motorcycle gloves. They were not available anywhere else until the release of the second shipment in 2015.
Held Gloves Kiruna 2572 WP are made of high grade leather for durability, and contain 3M Thinsulate lining to ensure your hands remain warm and cosy for the duration of any winter ride. The gloves are made 100% waterproof through the use of an OutDry membrane, laminated to the outer leather shell. This translates into better grip, no added padding on the gloves palm, a shorter drying time for the outer shell since water cannot penetrate through the outer shell, and no lining that pulls out when you remove the gloves.
YOUR GETGEARED TOP TIP
But which one should you choose? You cannot really go wrong with any of the 4 gloves presented here. If you want to go for the maximum warmth you can probably narrow your selection to the Held Kiruna or the Rev’it! Taurus gloves.