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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
Great way to get protection from the cold and wet, with built-in facemask included
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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.
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?
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
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.
Feels and looks premium, well assembled.
Kept my head warm and dry through some pretty darn cold days.
Early days, but looks like it will last ages.
There's enough to keep movement easy and comfortable without feeling baggy.
Only two sizes means it will be big on some, so check fit before removing tags.
Very light and rolls up small.
Often forgot I was wearing it. Very comfy.
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
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.
About the tester
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
Living in the Highlands, Mike is constantly finding innovative and usually cold/wet ways to accelerate the degradation of cycling kit. At his happiest in a warm workshop holding an anodised tool of high repute, Mike's been taking bikes apart and (mostly) putting them back together for forty years. With a day job in global IT (he's not completely sure what that means either) and having run a boutique cycle service business on the side for a decade, bikes are his escape into the practical and life-changing for his customers.