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review

Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Head Gaitor

9
£25.00

VERDICT:

9
10
Great way to get protection from the cold and wet, with built-in facemask included
Waterproof
Great value
Covers collar of jacket
Snugs around face
Doubles as facemask
Only two sizes
Weight: 
109g

The Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Head Gaitor is totally waterproof, fleece-lined and adjustable, and will keep you warm and dry.

Designed in the UK and coming with a lifetime guarantee, the Gaitor is a multifunction item of headwear designed to keep you both warm and dry across a multitude of outdoor pursuits.

Coming in two sizes, small-medium and large-extra large, and four colour options, it's surprisingly technical. Aside from the triple-layer breathable fabric, the other standout features are the face mask and the elasticated drawstrings.

2021 Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Head Gaitor - drawstring.jpg

The mask comes up to cover your nose and mouth – something Sealskinz designers couldn't have foreseen as being of huge benefit to all cyclists a year ago. Having a mask built in means you'll never be caught short popping to the shops, or on a long ride where you need to procure food or use the conveniences.

The mask is perforated with tiny holes to aid airflow, but you'll still most likely need to use anti-fog treatment on glasses. Whether these holes render it COVID-legislation-incompatible is a different matter, but then seeing how anything from a Buff to a pulled-up sweater seems to pass, I don't think anyone's going to be stopping you. Emergency use only, perhaps.

2021 Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Head Gaitor - breathing holes.jpg

If it gets warm, or you remove your helmet and don't want to look like a medieval peasant, the hood slips easily off the back and the Gaitor then resembles a hefty neck draught stopper.

The overlap is guaranteed to keep every drop of rain, front or back, away from your inners. It's designed to go over the collar of a jacket, but if it's dry and you have quite a loose neck fit it could go under, if you don't fancy the executioner-mask look.

2021 Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Head Gaitor - detail.jpg

The elasticated side pulls are good for snugging down around the arms of your glasses, minimising any nasty draughts even at high speeds. They can be loosened one-handed, but not tightened one-handed unless you involve teeth somehow.

The facemask-chin covering can be either completely down, just over your chin, or the whole over-the-nose shebang. This can lead to fogging your glasses if you are breathing hard, mind.

Worn under a helmet, after a few minutes there's no sensation anything's unusual. You do have to loosen your chinstrap a bit, and it buckles up nicely under the jaw while still allowing movement of the head left and right.

If you are sweating hard it will saturate – it's breathable, but not a miracle fabric. Fortunately, the fleece pile inside does a good job of keeping things comfortable.

In extremely cold weather you don't want to be sweating hard, as when you stop the chill induced in damp skin and clothing can be debilitating. This makes the Gaitor an unlikely go-hard-out item of clothing for the UK in that case, where a simple Buff or similar will probably do the job. Unless it's pouring wet at the same time, in which case you're going to get soaked inside and out alike if banging out the watts.

> 9 top survival tips for cycling in the rain

Over New Year we had a break of fabulous weather, sub-zero mornings with brisk winds making for windchills in the -5 to -10°C range. In these conditions the Gaitor was extremely welcome – keeping my face, neck and head warm and happy for multi-hour studded-tyre hilltop ice rides. Several times I stopped to speak to friends (properly distanced, obvs) and forgot I was wearing the Gaitor until they mentioned it. I was wearing a jacket with a removable hood of its own, but as that was focused just on water protection, I was very glad to be wearing the Gaitor for the warmth and wind blocking it afforded.

Oddly for Scotland, I had few opportunites to test its waterproofness, but when I did it worked perfectly. Under the road.cc freezing garden hose of doom it fared perfectly well, not a drip or drop after a persistent soaking. All Sealskinz kit has a lifetime warranty so should it spring a leak, you're covered.

> Winter cycling clothing – 49 of the warmest garments you can buy

The Gaitor cleaned and dried quickly in a normal wash – ready the next morning for another ride. Weighing only 100g and rolling up small, it could easily be carried in a pocket ready for a long descent, or in case the heavens opened and you were wearing a hoodless jacket.

There are many head-neck warmer products we've reviewed over the years, but none that combine all the features of the Gaitor. This makes comparison hard, but on price for features and functionality it's clearly a winner.

All in all, for £25 it's a great bit of winter kit I never knew I needed until I tried it. If you're lacking a really good hooded jacket, or go out in penguin-friendly conditions, this could be the thing to uprate your cold-weather protection to 'Full-On Minging'.

Verdict

Great way to get protection from the cold and wet, with built-in facemask included

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 Head Gaitor

Size tested: L/XL

Tell us what the product is for

It's for people wanting the ultimate cold and wet-weather head protection under a helmet.

Sealskinz says:

Versatile and Reliable Waterproof Protection in any Weather

Stay protected and on the move with the Waterproof All Weather Head Gaitor. Designed to keep you protected in the wettest of weather, you'll have no problem staying out on the road or trail when a little rain comes your way.

Water dripping down your neck or a wet head after a morning commute can be the worst. Say goodbye to all of that mess and tackle the wet weather with the Waterproof Head Gaitor. Fits under bike helmets with ease to make your commute or ride even more fun in the rain.

Ideal for a Wide Range of Activities

An ideal choice when there's a risk of getting wet while cycling, commuting, hiking, hunting, fishing, or even working outside.

Full Coverage in the Worst Weather

Designed to be worn alone, or under a helmet. 100% waterproof with an extendable waterproof hood and a micro fleece liner to keep you warm and dry during rainy and windy conditions.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Sealskinz lists:

Materials

Our 100% waterproof gaitors are constructed using premium materials so that they're highly waterproof and breathable:

* Outer Layer - 94% Polyester, 6% Elastane

* Middle Layer - 100% Polyurethane

* Inner Layer - 100% Polyester

Technology

Using a unique three layer construction with the middle layer being a laminated waterproof membrane, our waterproof head gaitor can withstand any amount of rain or snow while also keeping you cosy and warm.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
10/10

Feels and looks premium, well assembled.

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

Kept my head warm and dry through some pretty darn cold days.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Early days, but looks like it will last ages.

Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10

There's enough to keep movement easy and comfortable without feeling baggy.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
7/10

Only two sizes means it will be big on some, so check fit before removing tags.

Rate the product for weight:
 
9/10

Very light and rolls up small.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10

Often forgot I was wearing it. Very comfy.

Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

You can pay this much for non-windproof/non-waterproof neck warmers... For what it gives you, it's a steal.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Dead easy, dried quickly.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Can't fault it.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The chin covering. Toasty!

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Given a standard neck warmer is around £15, the waterproofness and tech features are great value.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's exceptionally good! The only think I can mark it down on is that it's only two sizes.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 47  Height: 183cm  Weight: 77kg

I usually ride: Sonder Camino Gravelaxe  My best bike is: Nah bro that's it

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, general fitness riding, mtb, G-R-A-V-E-L

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