Richa Arctic GTX review

Visordown's Harry McKenzie has been putting some miles on Richa's winter touring gloves. Here's how he got on.

Fully waterproof, No clumping of lining
Stiff construction when new

The new Richa Arctic GTX gloves were a welcome sight as the UK winter came into full swing around January time. After testing these gloves for over two months I can say that they are kept firmly in my armory, especially if the heavens look like they are about to open.


After numerous wet winter rides the mixed leather, textile, and most importantly internal Gore-tex construction of the Arctic GTX’s held up a treat, absolutely no wet or damp hands at all. After some of the winter monsoons I got soaked by, my completely dry and warm hands were a real surprise.    

The leather construction of the Arctic GTX, located on the palm which, coupled with the slim inner thermal lining gave me the feel of a summer-oriented glove. Unlike many other winter gloves there was no bunching of the lining. A snug fit is further aided by the GTX’s sturdy feeling main strap and a smaller secondary wrist strap, which offers more than enough adjustability to get the gloves feeling just right. If I’m being completely honest I did find the construction a bit stiff at first, but it's something that most would get used to.


A useful small feature is the suede material between the fingers, which I found handy for wiping off the London muck from my visor. Another slick addition to the GTX’s is the leather-covered knuckle guard. It’s a small touch, but something which says quality. Again, I have to sing the praises of the all-important inner Gore-tex lining, a feature synonymous with water-proofing and thus less soggy commutes.  

Comfort and Practicality

On my sometimes-depressing winter commutes through London I was only brave enough to ride in just above freezing temperatures, the lowest being around two degrees. In those conditions, I found my fingers were getting a little bit chilly, and I occasionally grabbed the engine casing at a set of lights to warm them up. However, to only have slightly chilled fingers, when I don’t have heated grips or hand guards is quite an achievement. In my opinion it’s a fair trade-off for the great level of feel that the gloves provide through the bars. Any temperatures above 4 degrees and the glove performed perfectly (no engine grabs needed).

I also tested these gloves off-piste in Tenerife to see how they performed in slightly sunnier conditions as I rode the delightful range of new CB500s. Quite remarkably in the sunnier but cooler conditions of the mountains they performed really well, and at no point did I feel that there were a bulky set of winter gloves on my freakishly large, 2XL sized freakish mitts. So, in practical terms the gloves can be used for a bit more than just militant winter riding, and could certainly be used for parts of ‘spring’ in the UK.         


If you are looking for a fully water-proof winter/spring glove that doesn’t break the bank, and provides great feel on the bars, the Richa Arctic GTX may just be for you. The Gore-tex lining and leather/textile construction for under £120 is great, and for this reason, I would definitly recommend them.   

Fully waterproof, No clumping of lining
Stiff construction when new

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