Sealskinz Waterproof Cold-Weather Work Gloves are multi-use winter gloves perfect for splitting wood, shoveling snow, downhill skiing, ice climbing, and winter hikes. You can tell they’re intended for winter sports because they have loops on the back of the index finger to hook onto a climbing harness. Being leather, there is a short break-in period before these gloves soften up but they provide plenty of dexterity out of the box for most applications.
Specs at a Glance
- Best Use: Working, Snow Sports
- Materials: Leather, Wool
- Insulation: Merino Wool
- Waterproof: Yes
- Touchscreen compatible: Yes
- Weight: 6.4 oz in a size XL
- Sizing: Runs a full size small
- Gender: Unisex
The outer glove is made with soft goat leather with a reinforced palm, index finger, and grip, while the lining is insulated with warm merino wool. A waterproof membrane is sandwiched between the two using a special construction technique that prevents the liner from bunching up inside and making it difficult to get them back on.
There’s extra padding on the back of the knuckles and the tip of the thumb and index finger have smartphone-compatible patches, which kind of work, although the fingertips are a bit too large for any kind of nuanced control. There’s also a short wrist gauntlet at the base and a leather tab which makes them easy to pull on.
If you’re unfamiliar with SealSkinz waterproof gloves or socks, they really are waterproof, unlike ‘water-resistant’ gloves that will only withstand light rain. These are the gloves that I wear when we’re harvesting timber by hand in the late autumn for firewood in my local National Forest, the old school way, by dragging it out of the woods on plastic sleds before loading it into a trailer. This is frequently cold and wet work, often in snow, but these gloves are perfect for the job.
While they are billed cold-weather gloves, they’re intended for more active use and not as “last resort” gloves for sub-zero winter hikes or climbs. That said, they make great gloves, in terms of dexterity, for carrying an ice axe in the ready position, and provide enough insulation that your hands won’t freeze when clutching the cold metal for dear life!
The fit runs a full-size small and depending on your hand size, the fingers may be a bit long, but while they’re snug out of the box, they break in quite quickly and loosen up a bit. When sizing cold weather gloves, you want to use a slightly larger size than normal so that blood flow will keep your hands and fingers warmer.
While these Sealskinz Cold Weather Waterproof Work Gloves, are a bit on the pricey side, they’re really tailor-made for work and play in cold and wet weather. This isn’t the first pair of Sealskinz gloves I’ve owned and it won’t be my last. Their products work which is why I keep coming back to them whenever I need gloves for cold wet weather.
Disclosure: Sealskinz provided the author with a pair of gloves for review.SectionHiker is reader-supported. 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.
My friend operates a fork lift outside in Wisconsin. Would these be warm enough for them?
I have no idea what the weather is like in Wisconsin or how active driving a forklift is. I’ve been happy hiking in these gloves down to 20 degrees, no problem.
Great review, Phillip, especially helpful to me is your tip on sizing. The gloves are exactly what I’ve been looking for. Do you think a leather conditioner would be beneficial to extend the working life of the product?
I’m pretty sure they’re goat skin, which is loaded with lanolin to begin with. I think cleaning them and then conditioning them once or twice a year will do the trick. Had mine out today again for moving a cord of wood and cutting more.