Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Sealskinz – waterproof uber kit? Or wet flannels?

I have been using Sealskinz products for over 3 years now, this includes; gloves, socks and hat. These products boast a high level of waterproofing and breathability but is this the case? And are they worth the money?
The first piece of kit we will look at are the Sealskinz Ultra grip glove (approx £25). These gloves appealed to me as they were a close fitting, waterproof glove. Useful for maintaining dexterity, whilst remaining warm when wet. I have used these now in Scottish and Welsh winter, high altitude climbing in Morocco, glacier work in Iceland, climbing gritstone HS 4b at Windgather, and many more trips, and can honestly say these bad boys live up to their reputation. They are comfortable and warm, but close fitting enough that tying knots, boot laces and other tasks is simple and doesn’t require them to be taken off. They are also thin enough that they can be worn under a larger pair too. As for the waterproofing on the gloves, you can test this for yourself, stick a small bit of tissue paper in the glove, submerge your hand in a sink full of water, then check the tissue. For me this test left a piece of bone dry tissue!

So far so good Sealskinz!

The second piece of gear is the Sealskinz beanie (£15 approx). This has been a faithful companion of mine for a number of years now, and has accompanied me all over the place. It is comfortable, waterproof, and cozy. It also comes in tactical olive green for military use. The hat itself does tend to rustle a little bit, I imagine this is due to the waterproof layer including in the hat. I have never liked wearing a hat on the hill, but this one is ideal for me, keeps my head dry and warm all day!

Last but not least, Sealskinz socks (approx £20 a pair!). I have 2 pairs of these and have used them extensively all over the place! They are a great sock on their own, what I particularly like is the fact that they come quite high up the calf. This means should your foot plunge into a dreaded Kinder Scout peat bog over the ankle, your foot will avoid the “over the boot” misery many of us have experienced, and keep your foot dry! I tend to wear these with a second pair of socks underneath, this keeps my foot comfortable, dry and warm, whilst protecting against blisters. Again they have a bit of a rustle due to the waterproofing, however they are great socks and really do what they say on the tin with regards to waterproofing so can’t complain about a bit of noise when putting them on!

So overall what would I say about Sealskinz? Great products, and they keep you dry. Certainly at £20 per pair the socks are not cheap, but they are an ideal piece of kit to keep feet dry on those naff days on the hill and certainly worth investing in! The gloves at £25 are excellent, and better/cheaper than other gloves out there that claim to do the same thing.

In a nutshell: Give Sealskinz a go, you won’t be disappointed!


  1. Hi Chris, Thanks for the SealSkinz Heads up. Do you think that the gear will be any good for skiing? I am heading to Austria in 4 weeks and I have been thinking of buying these SealSkinz socks but I am not sure if they will provide the warmth, I would perhaps need. With you being a mountain leader I'd presume you spend time in the snow and even perhaps ski yourself, so just wondered if you thought they would be suitable? The ones I have but through are slightly longer than the ones in you pic I think too. Cheers, Rich.

  2. Hiya Rich,

    Thanks for your comment, sorry my blog isn't more active at the moment, masters degree keeping me busy!

    As regards the socks, The SealSkinz are great BUT warmth wise I have always found that I have to wear a second walking sock underneath the SealSkinz to get all the warmth I need. For example in Scotland earlier this month I had a pair of Brasher walking socks, with my SealSkinz over the top, this provided the warmth I needed, and kept my feet dry. With skiing I have done the same also, and never had any issues, I just tend to wear a normal ski sock and then my SealSkinz over the top....toasty!

    Hope that helps!