Ah well, it’s that time of year again!
We’ve passed the period of Jack Frost nipping at your nose, and now he’s nipping at your fingers on the morning commute instead.
But winter motorcycle gloves aren’t just for the daily trip to the office.
If you’ve ever been touring, you’ll know that a decent set of winter motorcycle gloves come in handy at any time of the year.
And it’s not only cold places like Scandinavia or Iceland.
The places that catch us out are wide-open spaces or mountainous regions, which seem to have a climate of their own.
I can’t even begin to tell you the number of summer tours I’ve been on where I’ve had to add layers mid-way through a ride. Swapping summer gloves to winter gloves when the temperature plummets is a very common occurrence.
And as described in the next paragraph, it’s not just your comfort that suffers. It could lead to far more serious consequences.
Winter Motorcycle Gloves: Beyond Comfort
Of course, we want our hands to stay warm and dry because it’s uncomfortable if they get cold and wet.
But having cold and wet hands can actually be dangerous.
Because if you’re riding in conditions that warrant winter motorcycle gloves, chances are you’ll need to be in excellent control of your bike.
And that’s something you can’t do if your hands are so cold that they no longer function without exerting real, physical effort.
Not only this, but cold and wet hands serve as a mental distraction. You end up paying less attention to the conditions in front of you, and more time worrying that you can no longer feel your hands.
Your brain is telling your hands to brake or pull in the clutch.
But your hands have other ideas.
Winter Motorcycle Gloves: Our Top 7
Fortunately, there are some decent options out there to keep your mitts warm in the cold. Here are 7 of the best winter motorcycle gloves available today (from cheapest to most expensive.)
In an attempt to mix performance with cost, we deliberately chose to leave out heated gloves.
But don’t worry, there’ll be an article on those soon!
All prices correct as of January 2021.
Richa Carbon, £40.49
I’m pretty certain that in your research for some new winter motorcycle gloves, you stumbled across pairs that were well into the hundreds.
Prices that were so high that they took your breath away!
And this is why we decided to include these winter motorcycle gloves by Richa.
As well as being weatherproof, these Richa gloves come with a Thinsulate layer to keep you warm, and reinforced Kevlar to keep you protected. Carbon-reinforced fingers enhance practicality and safety without compromising free movement of the hands.
They also have a reinforced palm to protect against a fall, as well as a suede visor wiper to clear the rain from your lid.
It’s worth noting that these gloves are quite thick, which some people may not like. But what they lack in svelteness, they make up for in warmth.
Which is kind of the point!
In terms of sizing, these gloves are on the large side so you may need to size down.
All-in-all, they are cheap as chips to buy and do exactly as they say on the box. And they come highly recommended as practical, winter motorcycle gloves on a budget.
Dane NordKap Gore-Tex, £74.99
Two-finger glove construction usually amounts to a marmite situation. People either swear by them or wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole!
And I suppose some of that comes down to looks, but it also comes down to the way you ride.
Personally, I can’t ride with the traditional 4-finger mitten style gloves. The reason being that a lot of the time, I use only 2-fingers to pull in the clutch or apply the front brake.
4-finger mittens mean I have to use my entire hand all the time. And whilst that’s fine, it doesn’t feel natural for me.
These two-finger winter motorcycle gloves from Dane, however, do a bang-up job of compromising between mitten-style and traditional gloves.
Together with their polyamide and goatskin leather, the Gore-Tex two-finger insert allows your fingers to share the warmth whilst the waterproofing keeps them dry.
As well as being waterproof and windproof, they’re also breathable, which keeps your hands comfortable as well as toasty.
The gloves come with soft knuckle protection as well as an integrated visor wipe.
If you’re used to normal gloves, they do take a bit of getting used to. But they work well in temperatures this side of zero degrees.
Alpinestars Valparaiso V2 Drystar, £85.49
These winter motorcycle gloves are made for touring. Their waterproof and breathable layers do a great job of holding in the heat, whilst Velcro closures create a weather-tight fit.
In terms of protection, these winter motorcycle gloves come with knuckle armour, a third and fourth finger bridge, and reinforced suede palm protection.
But it’s the little things that make these gloves a joy to wear.
Stretch inserts add greater flexibility. And the grippy material on the thumbs and palms prevents slippage in wet weather.
There are touchscreen-compatible fingertips which enable you to operate your satnav or smartphone without removing the gloves. And the added reflective piping enhances visibility in dark conditions.
Finally, the weather-tight cuffs work really well in cold and wet conditions by preventing wind and rain from entering your gloves.
The only downside we can find is that the cuffs are too short (and too tight) to sit comfortably over your jacket sleeves in wet conditions. But they are also too long and bulky to sit under your jacket sleeves when it isn’t raining.
It can take a little while to get it right, but if you can, these make for excellent winter motorcycle gloves when touring.
Richa Arctic Gore-Tex, £116.98
Our first impression of these gloves is that Richa has done a sterling job of coming up with a design that is functional and practical whilst maintaining comfort and style.
The extra effort and expense on Gore-Tex is a welcome addition. And to this day, we are yet to experience any water leakage on soggy days in the saddle.
From a protective standpoint, these winter motorcycle gloves also come equipped with good protective elements. You will find hard protection across the knuckles, thumb, and third and fourth fingers. Similarly, there is softer protection on the palm, wrist, and pinky.
Made from a clever combination of textile and leather, the leather components are found on contact points in case of a tumble. The leather palms are also double-stitched.
The cuff fasteners and Velcro makes these gloves ideal for weather-sealing yourself from the elements. And once on, the internal padding is comfortable.
Considering these gloves are winter-inspired, they aren’t as bulky as many winter motorcycle gloves on the market.
Flexibility and dexterity aren’t a problem. However, the lack of touchscreen-compatible finger tips may be a little disappointing for some.
Dainese Scout 2 Gore-Tex, £119.96
These Dainese Scout 2 gloves are premium winter motorcycle gloves. And with an RRP of around £150, the current price of £119.96 makes them incredibly good value.
As you would expect from premium gloves, they are fully waterproof, have a thermal lining for warmth, and make use of CE certified protection.
Where many winter motorcycle gloves suffer from bulkiness, the Scout 2’s are thick enough to retain heat but thin enough to maintain dexterity.
Hard-wearing leather goatskin makes up the outer shell. Thermal primasoft padding forms the inner, and an Amica suede palm enhances rider feedback.
Overall, these gloves provide the premium feel that the premium price reflects.
The dual hook-and-cuff adjustment system makes for a comfortable fit around jacket sleeves. And the elasticated inserts ensure a comfortable riding experience.
And then there other little perks, such as reflective details in the gloves. A visor wipe on the left thumb is an ingenious adornment. Touchscreen-compatible fingertips and pre-curved fingers are also nice touches.
Held Twin Gloves, £129.98
Once again, as we stray into premium territory, the price goes up, but so does the performance.
The Held Twin gloves are not cheap. But if you are a lifelong sufferer of cold hands whilst riding, then these could make for the perfect winter motorcycle gloves.
As you would expect, these gloves come with Gore-Tex to protect your hands from the elements. But they also feature Gore 2-in-1 technology which splits the inner glove into two chambers. One chamber is dedicated to warmth, and the other dedicated to waterproofing. The warmth chamber is also waterproofed for greater performance.
These gloves make for a luxurious purchase, what with their welcoming, soft-feeling, fleece-lined inners. In fact, they’re so warm that they are one of the only pairs of winter motorcycle gloves that I often don’t need heated grips to ride with.
From a protective standpoint, the gloves have knuckle and finger armour, plus reinforced contact points in case of falls or crashes.
If you value dexterity above all else, these probably aren’t the gloves for you as they’re just so thick.
Operating your bike can feel a little fumbly until you get used to them. And getting used to them takes quite a while if truth be told.
This is made worse by the fact the gloves are stiff when you open them, and it takes a good few hundred miles for them to loosen and become more pliable.
But once they do, you’ll have some of the warmest gloves money can buy.
Rev’It Fusion 2 Gore-Tex, £129.99
The Rev’It Fusion 2 gloves make for excellent year-round gloves as well as dedicated winter motorcycle gloves.
As mentioned at the top of this post, I often carry winter gloves on summer motorcycle tours. Because you never know what mother nature is going to throw at you.
The Fusion 2’s sit into that category nicely with their Gore-Tex membrane providing waterproof riding, and with insulation coming from the Thermolite Plus inner with Exkin Platinum lining.
On top of this, the high loft fur lining adds a luxury feel to the gloves.
Enhanced protection comes as a courtesy from the hard shell knuckle protection and TPU hard-shell palm slider. And the 500D Twill outer shell construction provides comfort and protection.
The combination of leather and textile in combination with abrasion-resistant materials ensures hands are warm, dry, and protected in all the right areas.
Finally, the single-motion closure system works incredibly well once you have the gloves on. Getting them on, however, can be quite a faff!
It gets easier with practice, but they aren’t the quickest of gloves to get on.
Winter Motorcycle Gloves: Conclusion
When it comes to winter motorcycle gloves, there are some on the market for every need. For some, waterproofing is paramount, whilst heat retention is a priority for others.
Some riders prefer gloves which are thin and nubile, while others aren’t affected by the bulk that comes with insulation, padding and comfort.
Many riders revere protection above all else. Whilst others are happy to compromise on weather-proofing, insulation and protection to find the best all-round winter motorcycle gloves.
Whatever your preference, we’re sure there are a pair of gloves on this list for you!
Top image via Mechnotecs