Can't stand wet hands? The Gore-Tex in these Richa Altantic gloves is so stealthy I didn't even notice it

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Getting caught in a downpour can happen at any time of the year, and while it might be possible to stash a jacket drop liner somewhere on the bike for emergencies, I really don’t have space for a second pair of a pair of waterproof gloves, like the Richa Atlantic GTX.

What makes these so impressive however is the fact that the Gore-Tex lining is so well integrated, you can wear them (almost) all year round. The fact they’re impervious to weather is just an incidental benefit, and means there’s no need to pack a spare pair.

Is that peace of mind worth the price hike over a regular pair of non-waterproof gloves? Or are you still better off separating your gear by weather use?

Tested by Adam Binnie for eight months, 1,500 miles

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Good protective features
  • Very versatile

Cons

  • Tight to get on and off
  • No touchscreen compatibility
  • Comfort
    3.0
  • Looks
    4.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Protection
    4.0
  • Value
    3.0
  • Verdict
    4.0
Construction Leather and textile
Type Sports/sports touring
CE rating CE Level 1 KP
Armour Knuckle, wrist
  • Gore-Tex
  • D3O
  • SuperFabric

Comfort

The Atlantic gloves are made from a 70/30 leather and nylon mix, with a polyester lining and Gore-Tex insert. Most of the outer construction is leather, in all the places that need good abrasion protection. Textile is used across the back of the first finger, thumb and hand, as well as between the fingers.

This means cooling air can circulate and heat can escape easily – they don’t feature any mesh (which would be hard to waterproof) to really help in hot weather, but I’ve ridden long days in intense sunshine and my hands felt fine.

They’re quite a tight fit to get on and felt snug for the first couple of rides at least, but quickly loosened off after that and now feel great. Accordion stretch panels are used on the fingers and thumb to aid flex, but they feel a bit stiff to make a fist in even now.

That’s compounded by the lack of touchscreen compatibility – not a deal-breaker, but more it’s annoying having to take them on and off to use a device when it’s quite hard work to do so.

Richa Atlantic gloves knuckle protection

The knuckle protection is D3O, which means it’s way more bendy than a TPU equivalent, so you don’t feel it digging into the back of your hand at all. I do think it would benefit from some stretchier material behind, or even a floating design, though.

For me the little finger is a bit long, and the first finger a tad short, while the thumb “pad” seems quite wide, bulked up by internal seams. It’s not enough to give me problems with my indicator button, but definitely noticeable. The palm is reinforced between the finger and thumb (and at the base, which we’ll come to) but again, not so much that it numbs the connection with the throttle or levers.

Looks

I think the Richa Atlantic looks great – they’ve got quite a minimalist design and the cuff tucks neatly into my jacket sleeves.

Richa Atlantic gloves hand

I’ve actually got the matching Richa Atlantic textile suit and initially thought it was a bit odd that the gloves featured so much leather, but the black and red colourway share plenty of styling cues with the jacket and trousers.

Quality

Overall the quality feels really good – the leather in the high-friction areas (the palms and ends of the fingers) is starting to look a bit more distressed than when they were brand new, but only in the sense that they’ve been worn, rather than worn out.

The interior lining could be a bit more plush I suppose but it stays in place and seems to wick moisture away well enough. Because the waterproof “Gore Grip” lining is bonded to the shell, it can’t be pulled out when you remove your hand. It also won’t bunch up inside, which enhances tactility. You won’t know it’s there, basically.

Richa Atlantic gloves Gore-Tex

They’re also incredibly waterproof – I’ve ridden in some proper downpours to assess this and never been let down. The only caveat is that they have a short cuff that sits inside a jacket sleeve rather than sealing over the top, so after a while you might find a bit of water ingress there.

In terms of thermal protection, I rode in January and February with these and I’d say that was stretching what you could reasonably expect from a non-thermal lined glove. Not impossible with hand guards and heated grips but without those I’d say they perform best in double digit temperatures.

Protection

The Atlantic is rated to CE Level 1 KP and features patches of SuperFabric on the base of the palm and little finger – the areas likely to touch down first in a crash. This is backed with some additional padding and is incredibly flexible, making it much comfier than the harder TPU protectors found on other gloves.

Richa Atlantic gloves SuperFabric

Same goes for the knuckle protection, which is made of D3O, and flexes really naturally with your hand. In its natural state it’s quite soft and squashable, but firms up on impact to protect the body part underneath. As short gloves go these pack a lot of protection into a small area.

Value

It’s actually a bit tricky to find decent rivals for the Richa Atlantic because it has an unusual mix of characteristics – a short, mostly leather, waterproof glove that leans towards three-season riding and is a little bit sporty.

You can find things similar to that – the Oxford Mondial and Alpinestars SMX-1 – and both are both a bit cheaper than the Atlantic. If you’re not bothered by leather then the Weiss Wave does a similar job for half the price.

Richa Atlantic gloves D3O

Thing is, none of those have a laminated Gore-Tex layer, D3O armour, or SuperFabric protection, and for some riders the reassurance of those big names will be enough to point them in Richa’s direction.

Verdict

I hate getting caught in the rain wearing the wrong kit – especially when my hands get cold and wet, which can have a massive effect in how confidently I can use the bike’s controls. In an idea world all my gear would be waterproof as a matter of course, and then it wouldn’t matter what I was wearing when the weather changed unexpectedly.

If that’s you then these gloves are a great choice. Granted there are cheaper ways to do it, but the reassurance that comes with the name Gore-Tex and the way it has been so stealthily integrated into the construction makes them worth the extra money, in my opinion.

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