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Thread: Gaiter Question / Recommendation

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Gaiter Question / Recommendation

    I'm on a bit of roll with VFTT members of late getting spot-on, rock-solid recommendations on gear and services so I have another question. I'm not a huge fan of gaiters and generally only wear them in Winter for snow but I've been reconsidering that decision of late. I'm looking for a gaiter to wear primarily in the shoulder seasons in that say 20 deg F - 50 deg F type weather where it is brisk and wet and muddy. I don't really like the velcro seam type gaiters and the stuff with elastic seems like it is much shorter than I'd want (top of boots type height). Looking for a streamlined type product versus a baggy, bunchy gaiter.

    So the question I had is whether or not there is a "compression type" gaiter with minimal hooks or fastenings that relies primarily on snugly fitting around the foot and calf versus a loose nylon type thing that bunches, snags on branches, etc. I've done a little looking around and haven't really come across such a thing other than really low trail running gaiters that basically cover the ankle and top of shoe. If I remember right, a year or two ago someone in a post about some other topic mentioned wearing elastic knee braces as a gaiter for the snug fit, which is what initially thinking about a product for this.

    Any thoughts on what people here are doing, product suggestions would be appreciated as always. Thanks in advance.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    Yikes. Maybe the concept, not the colors. :P

    Seriously, I don't think I want them to be all the way to the knee. More of a full boot cover than anything. My current "leader in the clubhouse" thought is these:https://www.amazon.com/d/Mens-Neck-G...ge=en_US&psc=1

    I have actually found a few stretch gaiters but the customer reviews are quite bad, which makes me leary. Kahtoola also makes one which is very similar but has a zipper closure, which I want to avoid. Most of the "best of" searches on gaiters keep turning up the same few models. The search continues....
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

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    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    Check out Dirty Girl Gaiters.

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillwalker View Post
    Check out Dirty Girl Gaiters.
    I'm familiar with that brand. I'd consider them to be a trail running shoe gaiter and not the best choice for shoulder season conditions. Looking for a somewhat beefier and taller gaiter than that.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

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    These look pretty nice: https://kahtoola.com/products/gaiters/

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    Yes they do. That was the model I mentioned in my comment above to JoshandBaron. They're the height I am looking for and the design is good but I'm leary about the zipper and the attachment to wrap under the shoe looks a bit flimsy. The Ultimate Direction gaiters I listed have velcro and a snap and the strap under foot seems to have a better design. I really like the "shell" of the Kahtoola model though. Just about exactly what I wanted as far as shape. Just wish it was a solid sleeve instead but I haven't found anything quite like that.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

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    I guess if you don't want the ones with velcro closures and you don't like the ones with zippers, then there aren't many other options.

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    I guess if you don't want the ones with velcro closures and you don't like the ones with zippers, then there aren't many other options.
    Nope. Thus the reason for my post. The more I go back and forth with this though I'm thinking those Kahtoolas are going to be the ones that come closest to what I want so I'm just going to have to deal with the zipper.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

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    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    I rarely wear them and only when the trails are covered in leaves and debris may get in my boots do I even think I might want them otherwise. (keeping snow out of the boots in winter is vital so not much thought on a full day hike or overnight)

    The Velcro ones from OR are designed to work in conditions that might foul a zipper like ice, or a lot of dirt/mud. OR products are usually designed to work in bad conditions. Ones from trail shoes are designed for conditions they customers are likely to find. mid-to late fall up near treeline in the Presidentials where a few inches of snow and ice and mud where the snow is melting like last week in the warm temps and then leaf debris down low.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    I'm actually not a lover of gaiters but in some conditions, I wear them. I wear the Black Diamond Talus Gaiters. The hook in the front keeps the gaiter from riding up and the strap on the bottom is optional, I do no use a strap. They do have Velcro, but its an effective and sound method of keeping them closed. They are bombproof, unlike many others that will not last years. Trust me, you will overlook the Velcro.

  12. #12
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    I'm actually not a lover of gaiters but in some conditions, I wear them. I wear the Black Diamond Talus Gaiters. The hook in the front keeps the gaiter from riding up and the strap on the bottom is optional, I do no use a strap. They do have Velcro, but its an effective and sound method of keeping them closed. They are bombproof, unlike many others that will not last years. Trust me, you will overlook the Velcro.
    That doesn't look like a bad design. Interesting that the hook on front bends up instead of down like most others. I'm guessing that probably keeps them on better having to go up and under the lace? Have to keep these in mind as another option.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

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    My short gaiters are a MEC model similar to the BD Talus model, but the velcro is in the rear. I have no problems with them and use thin shock cords under the boots. Another option is wearing pants with elastic in the cuffs like rainpants have. My latest pants purchase: https://www.rei.com/product/148667/r...nds-pants-mens
    Last edited by jfb; 11-16-2020 at 08:46 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    I've had a few different brands. None of the manufacturers really gets everything right. My comments:

    >Velcro is OK; works pretty well if it is the "Industrial Strength" type (with higher holding power than the "standard" velcro). You need to know that the higher strength version is used. If they don't tell you, you have to handle it to find out (the difference in holding strength is pretty obvious). The other thing to do is remove sewn in labels that interfere with the velcro. For example, OR sews their big floppy product labels into the seam next to the velcro (probably the cheapest way to do it), and these interfere with the velcro closure; you have to cut them out of there.

    >I agree with concerns about zippers; they can fail, and typically are hard to repair in the field.

    >"Up pointing" hook is a bad idea; avoid. It's a classic example of "too clever by half" where some designer just wants to do something different. I had a pair with the up hook (I think they were from EMS) and that thing collects all kinds of debris from the forest; you'll constantly have a pile of sticks, leaves, grass, etc. on top of your foot.

    >Under foot strap: How much you need this depends on your shoes. Probably optional with a high or mid height shoe; I have tried gaiters without an under foot strap with lower height trail runners, and the gaiter usually slips up over the top of the shoe at the heel and allows debris into the shoe. Also you are right to suspect the durability of the under foot strap. That component takes a heck of a beating, being on the bottom of your shoe, and most "original equipment" under foot straps are flimsy. Many folks end up having to do a "home made" replacement with more durable material.

    For high gaiters I have an old (fairly torn up) pair of OR Crocodiles. Probably due for a replacement soon. For low gaiters, I am using OR Rocky Mountain low. The fabric is a little bunchy, which I don't prefer. I used to wear OR Flex Tex, but OR destroyed that model when they went to the "Flex Tex 2" a few years ago. They degraded the product in several ways, and doubled the price. So I switched to the older Rocky Mountain Low, and I put up with the bunchy fabric.

  15. #15
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    I use two - trail runners + Dirty Girls and boots + OR crocodile (winter). The latter is about as bulletproof as you can get, in my experience. All other under foot straps fail rather quickly, again in my experience. Granted, these don't get much use on rocks, except during shoulder season, and as you might (also) expect, the lugs remain in good shape longer as well, all thanks to microspikes and/or snowshoes (which both take quite a beating.)

    I used to use the Rocky Mountain low gaiters but the straps wouldn't last an entire summer in "The Granite State".

    OR will replace anything that is broken or even worn out for no charge, so they've got that going for them.

    TIm
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