Used: Richa Cold Protect gloves

The start of a beautiful thing

IN November of last year, we undertook to find the best pair of gloves on the market for under £100.

The Richa Cold Protect came out on top in that test, so, standing by my conclusion, I undertook to make the Cold Protect my everyday glove. 

The tests we did on the resilience of the gloves are a good check on to what extent the manufacturer is justified in the claims they make regarding waterproofing, cold protection - and so on. But how a glove performs, day in, day out, is difficult to measure without putting on the miles.

Now, a couple of months later, and having had time to bed them in, I present my long-term conclusion: these gloves are fantastic. 

After a few months of consistent use, they are settling in nicely, loosening well in the right places, gaining flexibility in the fingers to just the right feel. The leather parts are starting to wear pleasingly and they have achieved a great level of comfort. 

I have found them to be warm and dry in some truly rubbish weather conditions. I don't wear undergloves, because I feel that they close up the gap between the fingers and the inside of the glove, preventing a layer of hot air building up. As a result I have ridden in sub zero temperatures wearing just these gloves and have found they keep my hands warm for nearly an hour. Minus 6 on the A3 is uncomfortable whichever way you cut the cake, but these certainly took the brunt on my hands, my hands stayed manuverable and I didn't climb off the bike unable to feel the tips of my fingers. 

That isn't to say my hands have never been cold in them - no gloves are superhuman (superglove?) but they are the best I have tried. 

One area they could be improved would be a slightly better tightening mechanism on the wrist section - the placement of the velcro is such that they can't be tightened enough to seal properly without a pretty thick jacket underneath. Not a huge problem, but it would be good to feel that they could be totally sealed at both adjustment points. 

The quality is most certainly high - the Cold Protect don't feature anything exotic technology-wise, but feel well put-together and rugged. All you could possibly want, really.

For £99, I feel the Cold Protect represent good value. Although there are cheaper gloves out there, there are also significantly more expensive ones, and the best part of £100 is not a huge amount of money to pay for something that performs so well.