Sealskinz’s Waterproof Extreme Cold Weather Gauntlet Gloves have a high degree of dexterity and warmth. I use them when I need to use an ice axe above treeline in winter and need a warm glove that is flexible enough to wrap around the pick and adze.
I bring these gloves to your attention because it can be difficult to find gloves with gauntlets that are flexible enough for this purpose since most insulated winter gloves are designed for resort skiers who have different needs. This is actually, the second pair of these gloves that I’ve owned. I accidentally lost one from a pair when it was blown away in a mountain pass when I got back to my car after a winter hike. Made in the UK, they were difficult to replace until this year when they became available again in the states.
Specs at a Glance
- Insulation: Primaloft Gold
- Waterproof: Yes
- Palm: Goatskin
- Nose wipe: Yes
- Gauntlet: Yes
- Weight/pair: 7.7 oz
- Gender: Unisex
- Fit: Runs small, size up a size.
Sealskinz is a UK brand known for its waterproof gloves and socks. These gloves are single-layer gloves without a removable liner. The liner is a soft fleece material that is quite comfortable but a little difficult to slip on if your hands are already wet. The liner doesn’t bunch up inside the glove which is a real plus.
The gloves have soft goatskin palms and fingers which are pre-curved and great for tool use. There’s also a nose wipe on the back of the thumb. It’s covered with a softshell fabric and quite comfortable to use, although I’m a snot rocket man myself.
They have gauntlets, which I prefer for keeping my wrists warm, but there’s also a model available with a short velcro cuff that would work well as a work glove around the house. The gauntlets have a short external cord that is used to snug them closed, but the gloves do not have leashes. I find leashes to be pointless on single-layer gloves anyway: but you really want them on gloves or mittens that have removable liners when you take your hands out for high dexterity tasks.
Everyone has a different hiking gloves system for winter use and it takes a while to dial in one that you like and that matches the conditions you need it to perform in (see Winter Hiking Glove Systems). While I carry a pair of insulated waterproof gloves in my winter pack, I really only use them when I’m using an ice axe or at the end of hikes when we’re headed back downhill and I’m generating less body heat. When I’m hiking on level terrain or climbing uphill, I wear highly breathable fleece gloves by themselves or inside a waterproof /breathable mitten.
That’s relevant because I’ve never found single-layer insulated waterproof/breathable gloves to be all that breathable. They’ll get damp if you perspire in them for long enough, which is why I mainly use mine for day hikes and for limited periods during a hike in order to keep their interior as dry as possible. It’s worth noting that these Sealskinz Waterproof Extreme Cold Weather Gauntlet Gloves are only waterproof and don’t claim to be breathable, which is a delightfully accurate claim for a change.
In terms of warmth, I’ve taken these gloves down to 5 degrees F and had warm hands in them, but my preference on colder or multi-day trips is to use two-layer gloves with a removable liner, so I can vary the warmth of the liners or swap them out if they get too wet. The pair I prefer aren’t made anymore, but Outdoor Research is a good place to find ones for that purpose.
The one thing missing on the Sealskinz Waterproof Extreme Cold Weather Gauntlet Gloves are little clips to connect the gloves together so they stay together as a pair in my glover drawer. But otherwise, these are great cold weather gloves for tool use in cold weather, in the conditions I describe above. I hope this discussion has expanded your understanding of how to choose gloves for winter hiking and the strengths and weakness of different gloves components in a winter hiking glove system.
Disclosure: The author received a pair of gloves for this review.SectionHiker is reader-supported. We independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our affiliate links. Help us continue to test and write unsponsored and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides.