Outdoor contact sensors

Do they exist? I’ve tried so many indoor sensors on external gates and they simply don’t last in the weather or have the worst battery life.

Anyone had any experience of good outdoor sensors for gates?

The issue is more likely the battery.
All batteries suffer in the cold and if it gets near freezing, then you will be unable to draw more than around 50% of your normal temperature battery setup. The battery will regain its normal properties once it gets heated up again.

Moving the battery away from the sensor electronics to a warmer place could improve your experience a lot. A heated area would be best, but a isolated area typical stays a few degrees warmer than outside and even that is a help.

Are there 12v outdoor sensors perhaps?

There is plenty of wired solutions.
This for example:

And you just hook it up to an ESP device indoor with a voltage divider or opto coupler to make sure it’s a safe voltage for the ESP.