The Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather MTB Glove has been designed for the rigours of mountain biking in adverse weather, boasting total waterproofing thanks to the brand’s impenetrable polyurethane membrane mid-layer that stops water in its tracks.
The palm is made from a durable synthetic material mix, while there are knuckle and finger protection pads on the back of the hand. Silicone grippers feature on the two forefingers, and there is a suede wiper on the outside of the thumb.
The cuff has a hook-and-loop tab to adjust fit. Sealskinz claims the gloves were designed to have zero movement between the liner and outer portion. The pair of large gloves I tested weighed 121g.
Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather MTB Glove performance
True to those claims, the gloves feel like a single-layer design rather than the triple-layer setup they are, and there was no liner movement even when my hands were twisting on the bars.
To boot, the palm is soft and malleable, and its textured finish provides exceptional grip. There are also no ridges or stitching lines, which means comfort is high and no hot spots were generated on long, pounding descents.
Finger dexterity is also impressive, and they feel closer to a summer glove than an all-weather, waterproof model for winter riding.
Brake levers and gear shifters were easy to discern with no searching around, and there was plenty of normal feedback when using them. Likewise, the bulk-free palm meant I didn’t feel disconnected from what the bike was doing.
The back of the gloves isn’t quite as forgiving as the palm, feeling quite rigid and stiff, especially when I was grasping the handlebar. This put pressure across the back of my hand, focused quite specifically along the padded bar of protection.
This tension didn’t fade with time, and I already felt I was wearing the most suitable size for my hands, with going up a size likely to reduce dexterity and feel more than it would improve comfort.
The gloves feel fairly thick, but are closer to gardening gloves than skiing gloves in overall composition, lacking specific, fluffy insulation. It’s their thickness that provides the warmth, but it isn’t lofty enough to generate heat on super-cold days.
They’re perfect for milder winter days, or cold days when you want to ride hard, and give an exceptional balance between heat, feel and waterproofing.
Once my hands were sweaty and clammy, the gloves remained easy to put on and remove, and taking them off didn’t turn the liner inside out.
In the two-minute submersion test, no water penetrated the gloves. It was the same story out on the trails riding in wet weather, where although the palm wetted out, it didn’t wet through. The backs of the gloves beaded with water, and just like in the submersion test, my hands remained entirely dry.
Windproofing was also impressive, and they blocked all cold air from reaching my skin. The adjustable cuff was slim and its fit adjustable, which meant it slid easily underneath the sleeves of my jacket. This helped improve the waterproof and weatherproof sealing.
Despite the small suede wiper, I couldn’t find a section of glove soft and big enough to comfortably wipe my nose. I was also unable to operate my touchscreen phone with gloves on.
How we tested
We tested five pairs of winter gloves back-to-back in the widest variety of conditions we could find. Temperatures ranged from a mild 10 degrees celsius, right the way down to a positively chilly -5 degrees celsius. We endured cold, crisp and sunny days, and the heaviest rain the great Scottish mountains could provide. We tested the gloves on low-intensity ebike rides, through to heart-pummelling cross-country epics to really get a handle on performance.
Also on test
- Altura Polartec Waterproof Glove
- Giro Proof Glove
- Specialized Men’s Trail Thermal Gloves
- Troy Lee Designs Swelter Glove
Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather MTB Glove bottom line
Impressive waterproofing and the transmission of ride feel through the malleable palm make the Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather MTB Glove a great performer.
They’re close in feel to a summer glove, but with the added benefits of being suitable for most winter rides.
Just make sure you try before you buy to verify their backs aren’t too tight for your tastes.