I've got raynauds, which is a circulatory disease that affects blood flow to extremities, like fingers and toes. In other words, I'm always looking for good, warm, waterproof gloves. When my hands get cold or wet once, it's game over. I lose circulation in my fingers and they turn into big, cold, painful blocks.
I checked out the Cottonwoods (actually, a gift from my wife), and had low expectations. I'd used Stoic gear before, but never Backcountry. My best performing gloves are all technical fabrics--goretex this and that. So I didn't have the highest of hopes.
I've been incredibly pleasantly surprised by how versatile these are. Between the leather and the DWR, they're great in just about any reasonable conditions. They're not 'dunk in a bucket of ice water' waterproof, but they're functionally waterproof for outdoor activities ranging from skiing to snowball fights.
On the range of warmth, these are mid-high warm gloves--think of them as a 7 on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being super thin and 10 being the warmest 5 finger gloves available on the market. They're surprisingly warm, keeping my hands comfortable in temps down to the mid 20s when engaged in active pursuits like skiing.
They come cut to allow for curled fingers, such as when you're gripping ski poles, and they have surprising dexterity. Manipulating zippers, buckles and bindings is very easy.
The tensioning system at the wrist is the BEST SYSTEM I'VE SEEN ON ANY GLOVES, EVER. I have gloves that cost $350. The Backcountry gloves have a better tensioning system at the wrist than even those super pricey ones. When you pull them on, pull the velcro away from the glove and it tightens up the nylon strap; then slap the velcro down and they stay taut. To take them off, release the velcro, and slide the tensioning cam down the nylon strap. Super easy to do (even with gloves on), super reliable, bulletproof, and it just plain works. I'll repeat--it is the best system I've ever seen in a glove.