Riding a motorbike with cold hands can be uncomfortable, painful or even dangerous once numbness sets in and affects your ability to use the controls.
Even if it doesn't feel particularly chilly when you leave the house, the combined chill and wind blast can make your hands freeze up as speeds increase, especially on the motorway.
A good pair of winter gloves can mitigate this by keeping the elements out: wind- and water-proof layers help protect your hands from the worst of the weather.
Then, a fleece or thermal lining can trap heat inside the gloves to keep your hands from getting cold. Other features to look out for are long cuffs and something to remove rain from your visor with - either an absorbent pad or plastic wiper.
Related: Best three season gloves
On the flipside, thick, bulky gloves can leave you feeling just as detached from the bike's controls, so it's worth seeking out a pair that balances warmth with dexterity.
Luckily for those who ride a motorbike in winter, there are loads of options out there for keeping your fingers warm, and the MCN team has racked up some considerable miles and saddle time weeding out the best of the bunch.
Here are some of the best winter motorbike gloves available now.
Held Cold Champ Gore-tex gloves
Tested by Richard Newland, for six years, 25,000 miles. Quality 5/5, Value 5/5
“While many three-season gloves are akin to ski gloves, Held have managed to develop a glove that looks great, feels more like a thick sports glove and performs like one, too.
The Cold Champ is protective (certified to EN 13594:2015), functional and warm enough to cope with all but prolonged sub-zero use (and how often do you ride when it’s below freezing?). They feel plush but well-fitted, with a luxurious 3M Thinsulate quilted liner and Thermoplush fleece on the back of your hands – but they don’t feel baggy or overly thick. The Gore-Tex liner has proved 100% effective, and while they’re windproof, they’re also breathable so you don’t get sweaty hands.
The goatskin palm is tough but soft and flexible – the Velcro closures and leather stretch panels that haven’t lost any of their bite. The wrist and cuff closures are perfect for coverage and operation and are still holding fast after years of use. The visor wipe is useful, and the black Scotchlite reflectors are subtle but effective. The fact that they come with a 5-year guarantee speaks volumes for their quality."
Pros: Comfy, protective, waterproof, look great
Cons: Not warm enough for seriously cold rides
Richa Street Touring Gore-Tex Lady
Tested by Emma Franklin for six months, 3000 miles. Quality 5/5, Value 5/5.
“An impressive pair of waterproof leather gloves, geared towards all but the coldest of weather.
They’re impressive both in terms of their quality, which is really top notch thanks to great materials and double-stitched seams, but also their fit. Richa haven’t just scaled down the men’s version of their Street Touring GTX glove, but rather created a whole new pattern based on typical womens’ hand dimensions. The result is a glove that, for me at least, is a perfect fit in all areas.
Performance wise, they’ve kept out the rain during heavy showers, and the visor wiper on the left index finger is a real boon. However, they do become a little sweaty on the hottest of days. And, when it comes to protection, thanks to their great fit, quality construction, decent knuckle armour and wrist restraint, I’ve every confidence they’d keep my hands safe in a spill.”
Rev’it Summit H20 Gloves
Tested by Ali Silcox for 4 years, 3500 miles. Quality 5/5, Value 5/5.
“I’ve worn these textile and leather gloves for thousands of miles, in all manner of conditions and they’ve proven to be incredibly comfortable and hardwearing. They have moulded knuckle and scaphoid protection and extra padding on the fingers.
A fully waterproof and breathable membrane keeps hands dry and the natty slide adjuster at the wrist, combined with Velcro ensures a snug fit. I have slim hands, with long fingers, and opted for a size large, which fit well and needed very little breaking in.
“Mine are the Summit 2 version, which have been superseded by the Summit 3 but both versions are still available at certain internet stores.”
Knox Zero 3 MkII Winter Gloves
Tested by Justin Hayzelden for two years, 6,000 miles. Quality 5/5, Value 4/5
"These winter warmers from protection specialists Knox are as good as cold weather gloves get without going heated. The thick insulation can feel a bit bulky to begin with, but it soon beds in for a comfortable fit.
Waterproofing has proved faultless so far and the fleecy lining is well secured to prevent it from pulling out or twisting. The unique wrist closure consists of two straps that pull through loops to seal the cuffs around your wrists - it’s simple, effective and surprisingly robust, allowing most jacket sleeves to fit over the top. Finger tip pads mean you can still use touch screens and the thumb mounted visor wipe is a godsend."
T.ur G-Zero winter gloves
Tried and tested by Commercial Content Editor Adam Binnie: "I've gone into some length on these gloves in my T.ur G-Zero gloves review but to give you the basics, they consist of a weatherproof outer layer made of textile and leather, and then a fleecy inner layer than is held in place with Velcro. They stand up well to cold, rainy weather and don't add too much bulk in the process, so you can still feel the controls."
Other winter gloves we've tried
Evo New Leather Motorbike Motorcycle Bike Heavy Duty Gloves
Leather is a good basic material for motorcycle gloves and these gloves from Evo come with a detachable pair of thermal gloves to keep your hands warm. They feature toughened knuckle protection and stretchable panels between the fingers for ease of use. The gloves also include cooling ducts so they can be worn in summer too. Sizes S-2XL
Rev'it Taurus GTX
A luxury winter glove with an impressive warmth-to-weight ratio, reinforced with waterproof protection from Gore-Tex. By using Primaloft Gold Eco as the primary insulator these gloves give great warmth without sacrificing feel. Weatherproofing is further reinforced by way of a double cuff, and there's a visor wipe on the finger. There's also decent crash protection thanks to a goatskin palm with scaphoid protector, Seesoft knuckle protector, and a wrist retainer. Sizes XS-4XL
Richa 9904 Waterproof Gloves
Offering plenty of weather protection for not a lot of cash, these Richa gloves are a brilliant solution for winter riding. With 70g of Thinsulate providing the insulation and a Hipora membrane taking care of the waterproofing and breathability side of things, they should keep your hands pleasantly warm and dry during winter riding conditions. There's leather at the palms and backs of the hands, a zip closure at the cuff and a large easy-to-use Velcro wrist restraint. Sizes XS-2XL
Knox Covert OutDry
The OutDry membrane in these Knox gloves is bonded to the outer surface, repelling water at the first line of defence rather than once it's soaked through the outer layer. The Coverts are made from cowhide and goatskin, which is used on the palm and fingertips for better feel. There are moulded knuckle protectors, and Knox scaphoid sliders on the palm. Sizes S-2XL
Wtactful Touch Screen Motorbike Gloves
This option makes use of nylon and rubber to offer good hand protection at a reasonable price. Available in a range of colours and even available as fingerless gloves, these gloves offer protection guards, microfibre grip pads and are touchscreen compatible. The nylon construction also means it's fast-drying, ideal for winter weather.
Alpinestars Valparaiso Drystar
These touring gloves use Alpinestars' excellent Drystar waterproof and breathable membrane. The Velcro closure system is designed for a weather-tight fit and reflective details keep you visible at night, too. As well as protection from the weather, the Valparaiso will protect you in a crash with knuckle armour, suede palm reinforcement and third and fourth finger bridge. Sizes XS-XL
These are the top rated winter gloves on the MCN Shop by our users and they're under £40! They're waterproof, reinforced with Kevlar and come complete with a Thinsulate liner to keep the worst of the cold out. There's also a suede visor wipe to keep your visor clear of winter grime. Sizes These are the top rated winter gloves on the MCN Shop by our users and they're under £40! They're waterproof, reinforced with Kevlar and come complete with a Thinsulate liner to keep the worst of the cold out. There's also a suede visor wipe to keep your visor clear of winter grime. Sizes XS-2XL
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