The Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Multi-Activity Glove with Fusion Control doesn't really need any more description than that. The company specifically mentions mountain biking as an activity, but while these are high-quality gloves, they're not especially good for technical off-road use and not quite perfect for road or gravel either.
The main issue is dexterity, or the lack of it. The thickness is uniform across the whole glove, which leaves a fair bit of fabric for your palm and fingers to bend. There's extra padding under your knuckles too, which adds to the resistance.
On the upside, nothing bunches up as you grip the bar, and the padding is very good at damping tarmac vibes. In case you're wondering, Fusion Control is Sealskinz' name for bonding the liner, hydrophilic membrane and outer together to form a single composite.
The upper surfaces of these gloves could do with a little more give/length, as it stretches tight as you make a fist and adds to the strain. Holding a handlebar also pulls the fingers just ever so slightly short, though never enough to cause discomfort for me personally.
All this means that, especially when new, these gloves constantly try to spring your fingers open. While they do break in and acquire a more curved shape, the constant (gentle) pressure you're squeezing against can weaken your grip over multi-hour mountain bike rides.
It's much less of an issue on a drop bar bike, because if you're on the hoods or even drops your fingers are (or can be) pretty straight anyway, and gear changes require less curling of thumbs and fingers. Here, the thick fabric and extra padding proves extremely comfortable, damping vibes and staying firm enough to support you for hours.
On a road bike, the biggest issue is cuff length – it's just a little too short to seal neatly over sleeves, and I always end up with gaps. It's a shame, as the big Velcro adjuster is great for sealing drips and draughts from the gloves themselves.
I'll round out the whinges with one final small one – the touchscreen-friendly parts of the thumb and forefinger sit under your fingerprint, rather than looping up towards your nail. Poking at things doesn't work; you have to dab and wipe at the screen instead, so it's hard to be accurate.
All that aside, overall quality and performance is impeccable. They feel very sturdy and are surprisingly light for their bulk, and all the fabric and stitching is impressive. The suede-like palms are very grippy on the bar – they'll even squeak if you wring the hoods in the dry, so well stuck are they.
They also have soft, absorbent inserts for dabbing at your brow, if that's what you insist you're doing (we all know it's your nose).
They're warm too (at least for activity – less so for walking), shielding you very effectively from wind and rain and breathing impressively for a waterproof glove. I'd recommend them for around 10°C and below, though even one 12°C ride only got my hands to toasty warm and a bit sweaty. I wouldn't want them any hotter, but they breathe well enough to avoid becoming uncomfortable.
The liners work very well to wick sweat – they get pretty soggy without feeling more than damp – and always stay put inside the gloves, which is a luxury. These gloves do take a while to dry out, though (think overnight), and longer still to dry from the washing machine. They're happy with 30° and regular liquids, at least, and need no special care.
At £65, the Sealskinz are expensive. There's a fair bit of competition around the £40-£50 mark, and while few of our recently reviewed examples are perfect either, they're generally better tuned for cycling.
The 100% Hydromatic Brisker Glove is much thinner, very waterproof and just £38, for instance, while the Polaris Trigger Waterproof Gloves are £39.99. These have an awkward liner, though, and aren't the warmest despite their unusual 'lobster claw' design.
The Velotoze Waterproof Gloves are a bit more at £49, but very slim and dextrous with good long cuffs. They get pretty sweaty on mild days though, and can't match the Sealskinz for breathability.
Overall, these Sealskinz gloves are very well made and very protective, but their lack of cycling-specific features does work against them. Yes, you can cycle in them quite happily, but their multi-activity design means they never seriously outshine their cheaper competition for serious riding.
Very well made waterproof gloves that breathe well, but too 'multi activity' to excel on the bike
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Multi-Activity Glove with Fusion Control
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Sealskinz says: "A close fitting yet rugged glove, the Waterproof All Weather Multi-Activity Glove with Fusion Control will keep you dry and comfortable during any kind of wet weather. Cold hands can lead to blisters, numbness, and worse, which is not an ideal outdoor experience. Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Multi-Activity Gloves with Fusion Control will keep you protected, warm, and dry in any wet weather situation.
"A perfect choice for outdoor activities where dexterity and protection are needed, it's ideal for MTB rides on muddy and wet terrain, early morning climbs, ice climbing, cycling on rainy days, commuting in wet conditions, and even skiing."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Innovative Fusion Control technology bonds the liner and outer shell to a unique hydrophilic membrane creating a 100% waterproof fabric with unmatched breathability. This also eliminates any movement between layers and enables the glove to fit much closer to the skin which provides:
* High dexterity and wide range of movement
* Significant improvement in grip
* Precise control between the glove and equipment
* Zero risk of liner pull-out or slippage
* Unmatched thermal regulation and moisture control
* Touchscreen compatible for easy smartphone use
Very well built.
Tough fabric and stitching give no concerns.
Comfortable and well judged in general, though cuff could be longer for cycling and I found the fingers ever so slightly short when gripping a handlebar.
Pretty light given their bulk and warmth.
Effective padding, excellent wind/rain shielding and they're pretty good at wicking sweat. The short cuff makes draughts hard to seal from sleeves, though.
They're expensive, but very well made and very protective. For pure cycling use they're a little lacking, but they're genuinely good 'multi-activity' gloves.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The regular 30 degree wash is fine, though they take some time to drip dry.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a multi-activity glove these work extremely well. For pure cycling use they're not that well tuned, and probably least suitable for mountain biking (the specific discipline Sealskinz recommends them for). I'd say they're happiest on road or gravel.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very well made, liner wicks sweat well, breathe fairly well and are very protective.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Too-short cuff, fairly inflexible fingers, slightly short fingers.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're expensive. The 100% Hydromatic Brisker Gloves are much thinner, very waterproof and just £38, for instance, while the Polaris Trigger Waterproof Gloves are £39.99. These have an awkward liner, though, and aren't the warmest despite their unusual 'lobster claw' design.
The Velotoze Waterproof Gloves are a bit closer at £49, but are very slim and dextrous with good long cuffs. They get pretty sweaty on mild days, though, and can't match the Sealskinz for breathability.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Not for cycling.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your overall score
These gloves are comfortable, waterproof and windproof – plus they're extremely well made. But despite their 'multi activity' design (or perhaps because of it), they're not that well suited to cycling. The cuffs are too short for reliable sealing, the fingers pull up tight when gripping the handlebar, and the palm is too thick and inflexible for dextrous control. They still work pretty well on road and untechnical gravel, though they're not cheap.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,