(Last Updated On: September 24, 2021)

QUICK ANSWER: BEST GAITERS

BEST GAITERS COMPARISON

PRODUCT  WEIGHT HEIGHT MATERIAL PRICE RETURN SHOP
Best Running Gaiters

Kahtoola INSTAgaiter Low Gaiters
L/XL: 1.73 oz
S/M: 1.59 oz
5”
(Over-the-ankle)
Stretch woven nylon $$ REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
REI.com
Best Gaiters for Snow

Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiters
7.3 oz 16”
(Knee)
Lower: Cordura nylon
Upper: Nylon ripstop laminate
$$ REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
REI.com
Best Snake Gaiters

Crack Shot Snake Guardz
11 oz 6″ to 36″ Nylon, Polycarbonate Insert $$$ Amazon – 30 days (Learn More) Check Price
on
Amazon.com
Best Winter Hunting Gaiters

Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters
10.2 oz 17″ (Knee) Lower: Cordura nylon/packcloth nylon
Upper: 3-layer Gore-Tex/ nylon
$$$ REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
REI.com
Best Hiking Gaiters

REI Co-op Backpacker Low Gaiters
6.5 oz 9.25”
(Mid-calf)
Nylon $$ REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
REI.com
Best Gaiters for Snowshoeing

Black Diamond GTX FrontPoint
8.9 oz 15” (Knee) Lower: Ballistics nylon/ripstop nylon
Upper: Gore-Tex/nylon
$$$ REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
REI.com
Best Gaiters for UL Backpacking

Altra Trail Gaiters
2.6 oz 6.50”
(Over-the-ankle
Nylon $ REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
REI.com

BEST GAITERS REVIEWS

Kahtoola INSTAgaiter Low Gaiters

Best Running Gaiters

PROS:
– Excellent water resistance
– Excellent debris protection
– Lightweight
– Interchangeable instep strap
CONS:
– Instep strap is stiff
– Ankle cinch is tight

QUICK SPECS

  • Weight: L/XL: 1.73 oz / S/M: 1.59 oz
  • Height: 5” (Over-the-ankle)
  • Material: Stretch woven nylon
  • Price: $$
  • Return: REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (Learn More)

Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiters

Best Gaiters for Snow

PROS:
– Lightweight
– Waterproof
– Good quality
– Easy to cinch adjustable top strap
– Stays in place in all hiking conditions
– Cover more of the foot area compared to other brands
– Fits well
– Well worth the investment
CONS:
– Buckle closure is a bit fiddly

QUICK SPECS

  • Weight: 7.3 oz
  • Height: 16” (Knee)
  • Material: Lower: Cordura nylon / Upper: Nylon ripstop laminate
  • Price: $$
  • Return: REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (Learn More)

Crack Shot Snake Guardz

Best Snake Gaiters

PROS:
– Lightweight
– Easy to wear
– Durable
– Long-lasting
– Comfortable
– Metatarsal bones protection
– Sizing is accurate
– Sturdy
CONS:
– Get warm over pants in hot weather, but nothing unbearable

QUICK SPECS

  • Weight: 11 oz
  • Height: 6″ to 36″
  • Material: Nylon, Polycarbonate Inserts
  • Price: $$$

TODAY’S PRICE

Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters

Best Winter Hunting Gaiters

PROS:
– Durable
– Heavy-duty
– Waterproof
– Sturdy instep strap
– Trap heat well
– Comfortable
CONS:
– May be expensive for some
– A little heavy
– Not good for warmer weather
– Only fits boots

QUICK SPECS

  • Weight: 10.2 oz
  • Height: 17″ (Knee)
  • Material: Lower: Cordura nylon/packcloth nylon – Upper: 3-layer Gore-Tex/ nylon
  • Price: $$$
  • Return: REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (Learn More)

REI Co-op Backpacker Low Gaiters

Best Hiking Gaiters

PROS:
– Sturdy
– Durable
– Waterproof
– Versatility for multiple seasons
– Stiff
– Keep you dry walking through snow or wet grass
– Nicely adjustable
CONS:
– Heavy for their length
– No Gore-Tex protection

QUICK SPECS

  • Weight: 6.5 oz
  • Height: 9.25” (Mid-calf)
  • Material: Nylon
  • Price: $$
  • Return: REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (Learn More)

TODAY’S PRICE

Black Diamond GTX FrontPoint

Best Gaiters for Snowshoeing

PROS:
– Well constructed
– Long-lasting
-Excellent fitting
– Don’t slip around while wearing them
– Easy use and adjust
– Comfortable
– Do not ice up
CONS:
– Velcro grabs debris making the gaiters tops would not stick together anymore

QUICK SPECS

  • Weight: 8.9 oz
  • Height: 15” (Knee)
  • Material: Lower: Ballistics nylon/ripstop nylon – Upper: Gore-Tex/nylon
  • Price: $$$
  • Return: REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (Learn More)

Altra Trail Gaiters

Best Gaiters for UL Backpacking

PROS:
– Super lightweight
– Easy to attach
– Flexible
– Fit very well
– Super-stretchy fabric makes them barely feel like they are there
– Pack down small enough
CONS:
– Not waterproof
– Won’t protect you from thorns
-They stretch but not enough to fit over Olympus shoe heel

QUICK SPECS

  • Weight: 2.6 oz
  • Height: 6.50” (Over-the-ankle)
  • Material: Nylon
  • Price: $
  • Return: REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (Learn More)

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR BEST GAITER

TYPE

  • Hiking Gaiters: These are used from day-hikes to multi-day backpacking trips because they are breathable, lightweight, and offer limited protection against rocks and rain. You can also found some waterproof hiking gaiter for winter weather.
  • Mountaineering Gaiters: These are waterproof and breathable, heavy-duty with some insulation keeping snow, scree and other trail debris out of your boots in extended trips in harsh conditions.
  • Trail Running Gaiters: These gaiters are very lightweight and compact keeping debris out of the shoes of ultralight and thru-hikers.

HEIGHT

Gaiter height is coherent to the protection level that you want, the more protection you need the more height you should have.

  • Low-cut Gaiters: These over-the-ankle gaiters are good to keep debris and pebbles out of your shoes during trail-running and hot weather hiking. Thay are the lightest and the least durable.
  • Mid-calf Gaiters: These all-around gaiters are good for less-than -extreme muddy and wet conditions like in spring and falls hiking.
  • Knee Gaiters: These heavier and more expensive gaiters are designed for extreme conditions like deep snow and very bad weather hiking.

GAITER SIZING

GENERALLY SPEAKING:

Your gaiter should fit comfortably snug around your legs, calves, and over your boot to keep debris, water, and snow out without fall off during activity.

I recommend you to never buy gaiters without trying them with the shoes you plan to wear, and if you are buying them online, always buy with stores that let you return them back in case they didn’t fit you.

The majority of gaiter comes in sizes that are aligned with boot and shoe sizes.

HIKING AND MOUNTAINEERING:

Hiking and mountaineering gaiters should have a half-inch overlap in order to not let the moisture get in and if your boots are very large, a size up

If you have large calves, I recommend the hook-and-loop entry system because they let you adjust the fit.

RUNNING

Running gaiters should not rub around your ankles and lower shine in order to be comfortable and should be snug to stay in place during activity.

For attachment, they should have the same system on your shoes. Some use instep straps while others have hook-and-loop patches that attach to your shoes at the heels.

MATERIAL

The gaiter material is an important thing to look at because it affects the gaiter’s weight, insulation, breathability, waterproofness, which means your level of comfort and the performance you will get out of it.

Examples of high-quality waterproof and breathable fabrics are Gore-Tex and eVent.

  • Gore-Tex/eVent: High-quality fabrics utilize 3-layers, the first one consists of a face fabric that protects against abrasion, the second layer is a membrane that allows vapor to pass through but prevents water to get inside and an outside layer that is a liner.
  • Nylon: This fabric is used for high-gaiters that need to be rugged and abrasion-resistant. Nylon gaiter’s top and bottom can vary in the nylon thickness because each part is against different things.
  • Spandex: This is a super-stretchy, lightweight and flexible fabric that provide a low level of protection against trail debris.

BREATHABILITY

Breathable gaiters are something that a lot of hiker look for, because they don’t make you feet sweat in hot and humid climates.

Even with the development of our century technology, most of the time, breathability is still coherent to waterproofness. The more breathable a pair of gaiters is the less waterproof it is.

REINFORCEMENTS

In order to prevent abrasion or crampons tearing the lower part of the gaiters, some manufacturers reinforce these lower parts in gaiters with fabrics like Cordura or Kevlar that are known to be resilient.

FAQ

WHAT GAITER FABRIC SHOULD I GET A BEGINNER?

For beginners, I recommend durable fabric gaiters instead of waterproof and breathable fabrics, like Gore-Tex or eVent, because durable fabrics are cheaper and still keep most of the snow and debris outside.

Gore-Tex or eVent gaiters are good for serious hikers that will be wearing their gaiters all day.

HOW SHOULD MY GAITERS FIT?

  • Low-cut gaiters: These should wrap tightly around the top of your ankles or calves making the best possible sealing.
  • High gaiters: These should wrap around the top of your calf muscles.

THE CORRECT WAY TO WEAR GAITERS WITH PANTS?

  • Snow conditions: put your gaiter on the outside of your pants.
  • Rain conditions: mimic the roofline system by putting your pant over the top of your gaiter allowing water to fall off to the gaiter then to your footwear.

HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR GAITERS?

If you got a hole in your gaiters, a patch kit or tape can be enough to seal it.

For washing, simply rinse them off after easy use. But if they are made of Gore-Tex or eVent, wash them less with an outerwear detergent.

Last modified: September 24, 2021

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