SealSkinz Winter Gloves: Warmth and waterproof all in one.
As I sit here writing this review it's eight degrees outside. That's 20 degrees warmer than it was this morning when our overnight low clocked in at -15. When you don't live in Florida (or anywhere near the equator) it's going to get cold. In Indiana... it gets stupid cold. Naturally with temperatures registering in the negatives and after getting dumped on by 13 inches of snow in just a 12 hour window the conditions were ripe to test the SealSkinz Winter Gloves.
My initial observations of these gloves were that they were really thick. Typically I'm not a fan of "astronaut" gloves that limit dexterity and really render your hands useless to do anything besides hang off your body. However these gloves contained more than the limited range of motion, an attribute of most ski style gloves. I was able to pull keys out of my coat pocket, start my car and even take pictures with a point and shoot camera pressing a rather small shutter button.
After trekking out in the cold for a little while I was anxious to see how they lived up to the claim to be "water proof". As a backpacker and hiker I'm leery of any product that claims to be waterproof. If you're out in the elements long enough with enough rain, snow, sleet or anything falling from the sky eventually it's going to seep through and you're going to get wet. The 13 inches of snow that fell just so happened to be the heavy, wet snow that makes for awesome sculpting, molding and generally the most fun for building things. After nearly an hour of almost quite literally digging in the snow my hands were still dry. Remarkably dry in fact. I didn't even experience any sweat or clamminess inside the glove. With other gloves I've owned, after 15 or 20 minutes of intense snowball fights have resulted in them being soaked through leaving my hands wet and dangerously cold. The gloves are lined on the inside with a silky Polyester fabric, part of SealSkinz '3 layer technology' which allows the gloves to be breathable yet still keeping your hands dry. That internal layer combined with the 100% Nylon shell and Polyurethane palm make this a force to be reckoned with when it comes to terms of waterproofing.
You'd think a winter glove would be close to worthless if it didn't keep your hands warm... but you'd be surprised at the number of gloves I've tried and five minutes after putting them on my hands were tingling from freezing temps. These winter gloves stood up to some of the most bone chilling cold temperatures the U.S.A. has seen in more than two decades. Wind chills of -35 to -50 degrees blew through the great plains. I actually heard a stat that said parts of Antarctica were warmer than some of the states in Midwest America. These gloves were definitely some of the best I've worn. However my hands still experienced numbness and tingling in my fingertips when wearing these gloves outside for long periods of time. Most of those sensations were accompanied by me doing vigorous labor, like scraping my car. Those activities might account for the feeling as I was getting the blood pumping faster. SealSkinz puts a thermal rating (1 to 5 scale) on all their products to communicate what types of conditions the product is meant to be used. The Winter Gloves have a thermal rating of 4. I would agree with that rating. These gloves will do the job better than most at keeping you warm.
In addition the SealSkinz Winter Gloves have a velcro cuff fastener and a durable reinforced palm that add to the outstanding quality of the product. The $55.00 price tag for these gloves may seem high but for what you're getting it's really a good price. For anyone needing a sturdy pair of winter gloves for whatever activity you're getting into this is definitely a pair you should consider. Whether or not you're going to head out into subzero conditions and brave the arctic deep freeze check out the SealSkinz website (www.sealskinz.com) for more products. They produce gloves, hats and socks for a variety of activities including cycling, running and even golf. They've got more styles of gloves than you can shake a fist at (pun intended). C'mon... I had to find some way to close out this review!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the SealSkinz Winter Gloves for free from SealSkinz. I have not been compensated in any other way for my review. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this article are my own.