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Apparel Review

Danalco's extreme SealSkinz gloves that are guaranteed to be 100% waterproof and breatheable

Date: 4/4/02
Tackle type: Apparel
Manufacturer: Danalco
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.92

Introduction: The weather forecast predicts an unstable storm pattern.  The winds are picking up, the cold front moves in, and the rain is near.  But you have that itch in your hands to go fishing.  When you want to fish in extreme weather you should use an extreme glove that's wind-proof, comfortable, warm, skin-tight, breathable, and something that's 100% waterproof.  TackleTour had this opportunity to test out the SealSkinz Gloves in the unstable weather we experienced in March.


SealSkinz Waterproof Glove Specifications

Materials Triple-Layer system: Coolmax, MVT, nylon/Lycra
Sizes Available Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
Colors Available Black, Olive, Blue
Features Gripper dots, 100% waterproof, breathable, seamless
MSRP $29.95


About Danalco: Danalco was founded in 1970 by Cole Williams.  Cole and the Danalco team had been manufacturing high quality giftware for many years.  In 1990 Cole was given a challenge where he developed a new fabric glove liner to prevent skin rashes caused by latex gloves.  Not long after, a researcher from DuPont approached Cole and a partnership was formed to produce the first fully waterproof sock and glove for recreational use.  Cole and the Danalco team shifted their focus and left the giftware industry to invent and engineer SealSkinz, the market's only 100% waterproof and breathable socks and gloves.  Today Danalco continues to improve their high quality socks and gloves by adding other innovative products aimed towards extreme sports, including the sport of fishing.


Impressions: First of all, Danalco, the makers of SealSkinz, is ISO 9001 Certified.  In a brief description, this means that Danalco follows a strict manufacturing standard for quality and continuously improve the performance of its products and processes.


After examining 3 pairs of gloves we became aware of why Danalco received the ISO 9001 approval.  Each glove is carefully manufactured in the United States with top quality material along with an incredible design.  The gloves are seamless and looks comfortable due to it's knitted construction that's elastic and skin-hugging fit.  


SealSkinz Gloves has a really nice tight and flexible fit.  The palm side and fingers are covered with rubber dots that provide superb gripping power

The palm and the fingers are covered with soft rubber gripper dots that will aid in holding your prized catch for those Kodak moments, provide good grip to the gear wet or dry, and much more.  Since the rubber dots are soft it will not harm the fish in anyway but provide an added feature for the gloves and your fishing experience.


The gripper dots assist in palming, providing a non-slip grip to the rod and reel 


SealSkinz Patented MVT: MVT stands for Moisture Vapor Transpiration.  This patented 3 layer fabric makes the gloves and socks 100% waterproof and breathable that will protect your hands and feet from getting wet and cold during any of your fishing expeditions.  

SealSkinz's 3 layer system.  So how does MVT work?
  1) The outer layer of the glove is an abrasion resistant nylon or Lycra.  This layer is used to increase durability and to prevent the loss of shape after extensive use.  2) The waterproof MVT membrane lets perspiration out while blocking water from entering.  3) The inner layer that comes in contact with your skin is made out of Coolmax, a DuPont fabric that wicks away the moisture caused by sweat glands.  This material assists in the extraction of perspiration by spreading it over a large surface area allowing quicker evaporation.


Lab Tests: Knowing that the gloves will be used in extreme conditions we tested the glove in as many ways as possible under careful lab setups.  First we ran cold water of approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit over the gloves while wearing them.  This was performed with 60 second intervals using a "shower-head" setup to simulate heavy rain.  After 20 minutes we analyzed the outside of the gloves.  Some water does collect on the outer material, but how about the inside.  Did water get in?  SealSkinz are 100% waterproof and we found that to be true after we ran this test for about 1 hour long.


When using Danalco's gloves Anglers will be sticking them into the water to catch and then release the fish.  The next setup will test the SealSkinz gloves while most of it will be submerged in water.  Not that Anglers would have their hands in water for extended periods of time, but TackleTour really wanted to see how waterproof SealSkinz's 3-layer system is.  The duration of this part of the test took 12 hours while doing frequent checks for leaks or any moisture build-up inside the gloves.  Again the results are outstanding.  Danalco's MVT material really prevents water from entering even though it's breathable. 


Real World Tests: Lab tests are good because they are under a strictly controlled environment, but the better way to test the SealSkinz Gloves is to use them in real fishing adventures.  That's where we take you next.


We used the gloves in both largemouth bass and rainbow trout fishing in local lakes such as Anderson, Lexington, and Steven's Creek Reservoir under different weather conditions that included the sun, the rain, the wind, the cold, and a mixture of all of the above.


Comfort: Many of you have tried on Neoprene waterproof gloves that are fully fingered, but how comfortable were those?  Comfort-wise I found them okay at first.  Later my hands start to sweat and the level of comfort begins to go downhill from there.  


Danalco's SealSkinz Gloves display an entirely new level of comfort in fishing gloves.  First, SealSkinz gloves are knitted.  These gloves provide a skin-tight fit but it does not decrease dexterity because it's knitted design provides great flexibility.  Because these gloves fit nicely and allow easy hand movements I was able to use them during an entire day of fishing without discomfort.


Yes, SealSkinz gloves are knitted, but they are 100% waterproof and breathable.  These two elements are very important because when you're fishing and it's cold outside, keeping your hands dry and warm will allow you to fish longer during those freezing days.  Many times when I fished during the winter months the freezing cold weather ended my fun early, but now that I use the SealSkinz Gloves I am able to fish the entire day while other anglers have to retreat to the warmth of their homes.


Coolmax, the inner layer of the Danalco Gloves, is used to wick away moisture, but it also provides a nice feel to one's hands and will not irritate your skin.


Waterproof & Breathable: Danalco SealSkinz gloves claim that they are 100% waterproof, and from the lab test results that statement is 100% true.  So the next step is to take the gloves out and apply them in all the different ways an angler would use them where they would get their hands wet.


When you are float tubing in water that's 50 degrees Fahrenheit, SealSkinz gloves really help.   I usually engage all the buckles once I am in the water.  This would mean that my hands will get wet.  Previously without SealSkinz gloves my hands would be burning-cold after reaching into the water to secure the apron.  But with the 100% waterproof gloves I am able to stick my hands in the water without getting them wet.


For those who have used a float tube before, you know that from constant kicking and wearing Neoprene waders can cause you to sweat even on the coldest days.  Staying dry and being able to wick the sweat from your skin is important to keep yourself warm and to prevent hypothermia.  Danalco's 100% waterproof gloves are also breathable.  The patented MVT material, as explained above, allows moisture to leave the membrane while keeping water out.  Also the Coolmax inner layer spreads out the moisture from your skin allowing faster extraction.  I did notice that my hands started to sweat and I can feel minimal moisture inside the gloves, but soon after the perspiration was removed from the inside due to the material's ability to breathe.  These gloves are breathable, but it works best when the air temperature is cold and your hands are warm.


Other times where an angler would get their hands wet is when they stick their hands into cold water and lip largemouth bass or to pick up the trout, while releasing the fish, and also fishing when it's raining.  SealSkinz gloves kept my hands perfectly dry while I did this from a boat, shore, and float tube.


Usability: When wearing the SealSkinz Gloves for fishing, how well can you perform regular fishing tasks?  Throughout the testing period I was able to experience and feel the differences with and without wearing the gloves while fishing.


1. Casting: While wearing the SealSkinz Gloves I was able to cast both a baitcasting and spinning reel without any problems.  The first few tries weren't too pretty, but after I got used to it casting became normal like I didn't even have the gloves on.


The skin-hugging fit allows easy casting, even with baitcasting reels.  Using your thumb to control the line is also possible 


2. Tying Knots: I have mentioned above that the gloves have a skin-tight fit, but did I tell you that they are really thin?  Well, they are.  The overall design of the thin flexible gloves allowed me to tie different knots.  Some where easy to tie while others had a little more difficulty; and some that I couldn't tie without removing the gloves.


3. Catch & Release: The SealSkinz Gloves act as a great tool for you to land your fish in cold weather either by lipping them, holding them by body and tail, or any other way an angler would bring their fish into their hands.  I found that the 100% waterproof gloves kept my hands dry while attempting this, and it has great dexterity that allowed me to quickly move my hands into position to take on the prized catch.  Also because the gloves are thin and skin-hugging tight they are no where near the clumpsy category.  The gripper dots also aid in holding the fish without causing any harm.


Lipping a largemouth bass using the 100% waterproof gloves keep the hands dry and warm.  The gloves also assist in holding the fish 


And while releasing the fish I usually hold them in the water allowing oxygen to pass through their gills to get the back to a stable state before I let go.  Again the SealSkinz waterproof gloves protected my hands from the freezing cold water while releasing the fish.


4. Other uses: Danalco's SealSkinz Gloves are great for fishing in extremely cold and wet weather, but they are good for other purposes as well.  We at TackleTour found that the gloves can also be used for other things while fishing.  The gloves are great for driving the boat since they are flexible, wind-proof, and has excellent grip to the steering wheel and the throttle... wet or dry.


Danalco's gloves can also be used for driving the boat in extreme conditions. The superb grip insures that you will never slip when steering or controlling the throttle 


The SealSkiz Gloves can also be used when you take your kayak or canoe out for fishing.  They provide good grip to the oars, and of course they will keep your hands dry throughout the entire expedition.


5. Need longer gloves?: The SeakSkinz Gloves extend a little above your wrists.  This might cause a problem for some of you who like to stick their entire hands into the water while releasing the fish or for any other reason.  But don't worry, Danalco produces the SealSkinz Gauntlet Gloves.  They are elbow high and will allow you to reach well into the water without getting any water into your gloves.


SealSkinz Gauntlet Gloves are elbow high protecting you from getting wet even when your entire hand and wrist are in the water 


Care: This is very important to assure greatest longevity of the gloves.  Hand wash the gloves and allow them to drip dry.  DO NOT twist or wring them.  Machine wash on low temperature and tumble dry on low.  Remember to reverse the gloves halfway through when machine drying.

SealSkinz 100% Waterproof Glove Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality SealSkinz Gloves are constructed using a high quality patented 3-layer system, seamless, and are ISO 9001 certified 9.5
Performance The gloves are there to keep you dry. They are 100% waterproof and breathable.  The knitted design allows full dexterity.  An extreme glove to be used in extreme conditions 9.5
Price A good price for a glove that's fully waterproof and breathable 9.0
Features The gripper dots add gripping power in wet or dry conditions 8
Design (Ergonomics) The flexible knitted skin-hugging design provides good comfort while fishing 8.5
Application A great glove that will help you fish longer in winter months by keeping your hands dry and warm 9.0

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J 100% waterproof L Hooks can snag on knitted material if careless
J Seamless design  
J Gripper dots  
J Breathable  
J Good price  
J Comfortable  

Conclusion: When the weather calls for extreme gear, don't forget to bring Danalco's SealSkinz 100% waterproof gloves.  The patented 3-layer system along with the other features make these gloves a very useful tool for fishing.  They will keep your hands dry and warm in the unstable cold winter months and allow you to fish much longer.  For an incredible price you get a product that's fully waterproof, breathable, allows full dexterity, comfortable, and is constructed with quality while following ISO 9001 standards.  I would recommend using SealSkinz Gloves the next time you are out fishing in extreme weather. 










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