Sealskinz produce totally waterproof hats, gloves and socks suitable for a variety of outdoors activities.Last month they sent us Mid Weight, Mid Length Socks, Thermal Liner Socks, a Waterproof Beanie and Ultra Grip Gloves to test out. Here’s what we think of it all.
Waterproof Beanie: Â£24.95
They SayÂ - Our best selling, totally waterproof, windproof and breathable knitted beanie hat. Suited to a multitude of outdoor uses, could this be the most versatile hat on the market?
â€¢ Totally waterproof, windproof and breathable
â€¢ Acrylic knitted outer for maximum water repellancy
â€¢ Close fitting knitted construction with IMPROVED fit
â€¢ Micro fleece lining for warmth and moisture control
We SayÂ - I’ve appreciated the warmth this hat can give me this past month, when I’ve used it for running, canoeing, sitting around whilst camping, and cycling. The bright colour isn’t something I usually go for in the general outdoor clothing that I’d use for hiking, but when cycling and canoeing it’s especially useful to help cars/boats to see you from a long way off. It fits nicely and stays in position, never riding up as some beanies do. Is it waterproof? Most definately. I’ve actually been wearing this same style of Sealskinz hat for over a year’s worth of trail running, as I had one given to me in early 2012, and it’s never let me get wet at all during that time. It also wicks away moisture excellently.
Ultra Grip Glove – h-vis yellow: Â£32.50
They SayÂ - The original, totally waterproof, windproof and breathable, close fitting stretch gloves. Incredibly versatile, multi-use and offering great grip, even in wet conditions.
â€¢ Merino wool lined for warmth and moisture control
â€¢ Grip dotted palm for excellent hold, even when wet
â€¢ Hi Vis yellow & orange gloves are ideal for riding, running or walking during winter months
We SayÂ - The grip on these is very useful. Holding glasses, bottles and cans whilst in camp can be difficult on cold, numb days, and it’s easy to drop stuff, which is a pretty soul destroying thing to have happen if you’ve been looking forward to a relaxing drink all day only to see the bottle slip and smash. I also appreciated the grip when I was in the canoe and having to grip the wet paddle in rough sea, or onto rusty or barnacled wrecks when we were landing, and on the bike whilst gripping the handlebars and brakes in the cold.
I have to say though, that as far as keeping me warm goes, these gloves are not great. I’ve got some other fleecy gloves for running and whilst they’re not as hard wearing or grippy as these, they keep my hands warmer. On the flip side of that though, when I’ve finished my usual 12km circuit my fleece gloves are very wet with sweat, whilst these are relatively dry, so I can say that their moisture control works well.
When cycling on a 4 or 5 degree day, they’re good for about 90 minutes, but then I get cold fingers. Nothing that’s going to stop me cycling, but enough for me to be thinking about it every few minutes. But whilst other gloves made especially for a certain activity might beat these in the warmth stakes, as a multi purpose glove though they’re great and if you’re looking to buy only one pair of gloves to use across all your activities, then these are a sound choice.
Thermal Liner Socks with Merino Wool Â£9.95
They SayÂ - Close fitting inner socks in loop pile Merino wool. Can be worn on their own or under any SealSkinzÂ® socks for additional thermal insulation. Every kit bag should have a pair.
â€¢ Anatomically designed ankle length fit
â€¢ Close fitting knitted construction
â€¢ High Merino wool content for extra comfort and increased moisture control
We SayÂ - These Thermal Sock Liners are brilliant. They’re extremely comfy and totally up to the job of keeping your feet warm. I’m really glad I’ve got them, as I do like Sealskinz products but find that whilst the socks, such as the Mid Weight ones I review below, are completely waterproof, my feet can get cold in them sometimes compared to my plain, old fashioned woollen socks. With these though, that’s not an issue. Plus they double up as regular socks, and very comfy ones at that.
Mid Weight Mid Length Socks: Â£29.95
They SayÂ - Totally waterproof with a heavier gauge knit and longer sock length. Ideal for use in cold, wet weather conditions.
â€¢ Anatomically designed mid-calf length fit
â€¢ Close fitting knitted construction
â€¢ Merino wool pile lining for warmth and moisture control
â€¢ Poodle padding for extra comfort
â€¢ Elasticated instep and Achilles ankle panel provide support and ensure a close, comfortable fit
We SayÂ - As I said above, these socks are totally waterproof. I did a more extensive test of Sealskinz socks before, standing in bowls of water with them on. Whenever I go to trade shows there’s usually a Sealskinz rep doing the same thing. They’re totally confident that their socks are 100% waterproof, and so they should be, in my opinion. I’ve tried all the lengths that Sealskinz produce, and this mid length are my preference. They are more comfy than the other fits, for me, they don’t slip down your calf at all and the top of the socks don’t cut into your calf at all either, as some elasticated socks do. My feet do get a little cold in these compared to all-wool socks, but that really is a minor issue as the difference is small and more than eradicated when you wear the Thermal Sock Liner under these.
I have worn them across my activities. They’re very good for canoeing and cycling, fine for running (never done more than 15 miles at one time in them though, I use them more for short trail runs of about 12km) as their moisture control is decent, and they’re superb for hiking.
Sealskinz’s Ethical PolicyÂ - We asked Sealskinz about their ethics. Where is their product made, how did they ensure good practice in the workplace and in sourcing materials, that sort of thing. Here’s their statement;
“SealSkinz knitted socks and gloves are made and assembled in the UK.
To ensure good employment practice in the workplace, SealSkinz operate to ISO 9001 and to ensure these materials are responsibly sources they are OEKO-TEX and REACH compliant.”
SummaryÂ - The Beanie Hat and Thermal Sock Liner are superb additions to any active persons wardrobe, whilst the Ultra Grip Hi Vis gloves are very useful for cycling and canoeing, so a good all-rounder if you’re into a range of activities, although they’re not as warm as I’d like if I’m out on a very cold day. And the Mid Lengths socks are solid performers, 100% waterproof and comfy. Overall, Sealskinz are a brand you can trust.
To find out more about Sealskinz and to see their full range of clothing please check their website out