I’ve been using the ‘All Season’ Sealskinz Gloves for five months now as my primary set of technical mountaineering gloves and have been very impressed. Although not marketed as a mountaineering glove, I find they meet my needs well over a wide range of conditions and activities.
I first used them last summer in the European Alps on the mixed terrain near the summit of the SW Ridge of the Noir de Pueterey. They were warm and dry in the snow while being dexterous enough to easily place and remove rock gear.
Later in the same summer, I used them rock climbing on the Grand Chamoiz to Grepon Traverse after the weather came in, and on the upper ice section of the Frendo Spur. Again, I impressed by their dexterity and warmth.
More recently, I have been using these gloves as my primary leading gloves while ice climbing in Canada this winter. I was a little nervous to be using them in temperatures below -10C, but the added dexterity of the glove actually left my hands warmer than other gloves with much more insulation.
Regardless of intended use I always consider the same five properties when selecting a pair of gloves: warmth, dexterity, waterproofness / breathability, robustness and cost.
The gloves have and inner and outer layer. The outer is synthetic on the back of the hand and leather over the palm and fingers. The inner is polyester. The gloves have no insulation, but I have found them to be warm while wet down to -10℃.
With a good fit and minimal seams I find the gloves to be very dexterous. I have had no trouble using them to place and remove rock gear, ice screws, etc.
Waterproofness / Breathability -
These gloves are billed as ‘100% waterproof and breathable’. While I seriously doubt there is any product out there that is truly waterproof and breathable, these gloves do a descent job at both. I find they stay dry in dry snow, but do eventually succumb when used in wet snow for an extended period. Similarly, my hands will stay dry at low to moderate perspiration rates, but they do eventually get wet at high sweat rates.
So far, the gloves are holding up well. I have yet to have any seams go and the palms are yet to show any signs of wear. I think this is pretty good going give all the contact they have had with rough alpine granite.
These retail for only £35 in the UK (sorry NZ, I’ve only found the ‘hunting’ version - which looks the same plus a little extra leather on the top of the index finger - retailing in NZ for $100NZD). With the reasonable UK pice, I would be happy to replace these every few seasons, but perhaps not at the NZ price.
Availability and cost in NZ isn’t great. Additionally, l find the thumb to be a tad on the short side. While this doesn’t effect there performance on me, I reckon it with leave them unsuitable to anyone with longer thumbs.