Richa Inferno heated gloves | Top end price tag but are they worth it?

4 out of 5

Richa Inferno heated gloves

from Sportsbike Shop
£219.99 View offer
Published: 12 June 2024 Updated: 12 June 2024

Heated gloves are nothing short of magical in wintertime, making those sub-zero rides bearable, and sometimes, almost even enjoyable. I always tend to feel the cold quite heavily which is why I always opt for the warmest kit on offer, and the Inferno heated gloves from Richa certainly do live up to their name, with a seriously toasty top setting. However, they’re not cheap, especially with the separate battery pack, which make the gloves quite bulky too.

Tried and tested by Carl Stevens for three months and 6,000 miles

Pros

  • Completely waterproof
  • Heat settings offer lots of warmth
  • They have a good tight closure

Cons

  • Not cheap
  • Bulky with external batteries
  • Batteries are an additional cost
  • Have to hold down the hottest setting, which is frustrating
  • Comfort
    4.0
  • Practicality
    3.0
  • Looks
    4.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Protection
    4.0
  • Value
    3.0
  • Verdict
    4.0
Construction Cordura 600D textile
Type Heated Gloves
CE Rating Level 1
Armour D3O knuckle protector and temperfoam palm slider
  • AquaShell LTZ waterproof and breathable membrane
  • Superfabric re-enforcement on palm/scaphoid
  • 3 level temperature regulation via single easy to use button
  • Status LED shows blue, orange or red depending on selection
  • Compatible with optional battery kit

How comfortable are the Richa Inferno gloves?

For winter gloves, the comfort can be really measured in two ways. Firstly, throughout ridiculous winds, heavy downpours and freezing rides, the Inferno gloves have kept my hands not only completely dry, but impressively warm too, even if I’m not utilising the heating element. But when the heat is on, they are mightily impressive.

Richa Inferno Gloves cuff

There are three heat settings of blue, which is very soft in its application of heat, orange which is spot on for pretty much most temperatures above freezing and then there’s the red setting, which is outstanding in how much heat is on tap. However, on the flip-side they’re incredibly bulky on the hands and I’ve found that when using the battery pack, the placement digs into the back of the wrists which causes a bit of an ache after a few hours of riding. It’s not something that would truly deter me from buying them, but they do feel far better if they can be directly connected to the machine with the included kit.

Are the Richa Inferno heated gloves practical?

For the most part, the Richa Inferno gloves offer a good level of practicality. They’re easy to get on and off with a quick loosening of the strap, and they’re spacious enough on the wrist closure system to get over the cuff of most jackets without too much stress, with an additional drawstring to retain the most heat possible.

Richa Inferno Heated Gloves palm

There’s also a little visor wipe on the left finger too, which does a reasonable job of against excess water or dirt. However, the battery fitment is quite tight in the zipped compartment, while the actual button function is frustrating as you have to ‘unlock’ the highest heat setting – so whereas it’s a simple push to change between the low and medium settings which can be operated on the fly, it’s a full ten second hold for the highest setting, on each glove, which does become frustrating.

Do the Richa Inferno gloves look good?

As far as winter gloves go, appearance isn’t the most important thing but the Richa Inferno heated gloves do look the part, as much as a pair of black, thick riding gloves can. The armoured knuckles look smart and not too excessive, the branding is a nice size and not too over the top and the detailing on the fingers is a nice touch too.

What is the quality like?

There is very little to complain about when it comes to the quality of the Inferno gloves. They’ve seen every element and have not let me down once, and even when being constantly chucked on the road or even run over (it’s easily done) there hasn’t been a single element that has failed on me, or shown signs of excessive wear. The tri-fleece lining feels really warm and soft inside, while the Spandex stetch fabric is a nice addition for the cosiest fit. Battery life is pretty decent as well with the aftermarket battery set, as in the lowest setting the batteries last for well over three hours, and they will go for around two hours in medium too.

Richa Inferno heated gloves logo

What protection do the Inferno gloves offer?

As with most winter gloves, the protection on offer can’t match a full-on sports glove as it’s always going to be a trade-off with levels of warmth, waterproofing and protection, but the Richa Inferno’s construction and protection measures up spot on, especially when compared to the majority of its rivals. The Inferno gloves approved to CE Level 1 and are constructed from a Cordura 600D textile, with goatskin on the inside of the palm, a D3O knuckle protector and a temperfoam palm slider.

Are these heated gloves good value for money?

With a retail price of £220, and then an additional £119.99 for the external batteries and charger, the Richa Inferno gloves aren’t cheap, but they aren’t crazily expensive for a high-end heated glove either. I think the gloves are well worth the money, however I would like to see a price reduction in the external battery unit, which is handy when jumping between bikes, or running out for shorter, snappier journeys.

Rival products

MCN Rated
Price: £151.73 (was £209.99)
Tested by Ben Clarke for three months, 500 miles. These heated gloves from Macna can be powered three ways. You can either run them from your bike's battery, use battery packs or connect them to the brand's Core heated jacket. Rather than using a bulky single battery in the cuff, the Progress has three much thinner batteries per glove that fit into their own slots. The cuffs themselves have an elasticated inner and an outer that means you don’t get wet hands in the rain.

The elements do a great job of warming your entire hand evenly and the hottest of the four temperature settings is really toasty. You can control the gloves with Macna’s Bluetooth app, but it’s not really worth the bother when the control is on the back of your hand anyway. It’s useful for checking the battery levels though. Score a typical “1 KP” rating in CE tests.
Quality: 5/5
Value: 4/5
Tested by Bruce Dunn for four months, 1,000 miles. The latest heated gloves from Keis (an update on the G601) are made from a stretchy bonded textile outer which makes them extremely comfortable and easy to wear. Slipping your hand inside the Thinsulate interior is a bit of a treat as it feels really fluffy and warm, even when the gloves are turned off.

They definitely have a premium feel. Once they're turned on via the easy-access rubberised button on the backs of the hands, the G701 warm up extremely quickly and within 15 or so seconds they feel up to temperature. They have some good features like the visor wipe on the left index finger and have touch screen pads on the index finger and thumb, so even when they're turned off they're still pretty decent winter gloves.

The outer fabric is hydrophobic so is supposed to repel water, meanwhile there's a Hipora waterproof/breathable membrane beneath to back this up, however, I have yet to test their wet-weather performance. There are three heat settings that are easy to toggle with the button.

With the optional batteries installed in the back of the wrists they are un-obtrusive and will last easily a couple of hours or longer depending on what heat setting you choose. The batteries take two hours to recharge. The gloves come with an in-line fused lead in order to power them directly from the bike's 12v battery, which is definitely the way to go if you're only using them on one bike as the batteries are quite an expensive convenience.
Quality: 5/5
Value: 4/5
These retro-styled gloves are from Merlin's Heritage range and show that practicality needn't be dull. They are short-ish gloves formed in cowhide leather and backed with a Hipora breathable and waterproof membrane with two different densities of Thinsulate, thicker on the back of the hand and thinner on the palm for warmth and feel.

They also feature D3O knuckle armour and padding over the scaphoid and the heating elements have three power levels, activated by a button on each glove. Power comes from two batteries supplied with the gloves.

Pros

  • Retro styling
  • Hipora membrane
  • Thinsulate insulation

Cons

  • Short cuff may not keep all weather out

So what’s the verdict?

I’d struggle to ride in winter without heated gloves, and the Richa Inferno set are the warmest I’ve ever sampled, making them perfect for those really cold days in the saddle. Sure, there are a few niggles such as unlocking the hottest setting, the bulky batteries and the cost, but I have to admit that it’s forgiven when the heat is turned up to the max. Without batteries the Infernos fit nice and snug and feel secure when on, and they offer a reasonable amount of protection too, thanks to D30 armour, Cordura 600D textile and goatskin reinforcement.

How MCN tests products 

At MCN we pride ourselves on our rigorous product testing, putting thousands of miles and/or hours on the kit we review to give you our definitive verdict.  

Our team of expert journalists have decades of experience to call upon, and cover serious mileage to delivery impartial buying advice you can rely on.  

We’ll never suggest you buy something we haven’t tested, and if we don’t like what we’re testing we’ll tell you that too.  

To find out more, head to our dedicated page explaining how we test motorcycle products.