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Do you have a knack for backpacking? Or maybe just love being in nature and need to be prepared for the elements that come along with it? If so, then you might want to invest in some gaiters.
Gaiters are a key piece of gear for outdoor enthusiasts. They can help save your feet from blisters, keep rocks and other debris out of your shoes, and protect you from the elements when used correctly. But with so many on the market, it can be difficult to know which ones are best.
This blog post will go over some of our favorite gaiters that we recommend.
Before we get into our list of the best gaiters, here's an overview of what we'll be comparing.
The Outdoor Research Crocodile GORE-TEX Gaiters are one of the most popular pairs on the market, and for a good reason.
These waterproof gaiters have a unique hook-and-loop enclosure that is easy to close over your shoes. The straps stay secure while hiking but are also easy to release and adjust for fast on-and-off. Equipped with durable BioThane® Instep straps, these gaiters offer the perfect amount of security for most hikers.
One of the best waterproof hiking gaiters available, the gore-tex fabric on these Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters is also windproof and breathable. This helps keep your feet dry and comfortable even when you're hiking during the hottest parts of the day.
They're also abrasion-resistant and have a snug fit that won't allow mud or snow to get inside. In addition, the Crocodile GORE-TEX Gaiters are extremely durable and should last for years on end.
Made with 100% nylon, the fabric is easy to pack. However, I did find the fabric heavy, and it can easily get warm in summer. It may also be difficult carrying these on a long backpacking trip.
However, despite these disadvantages, the Crocodile GORE-TEX Gaiters have a well-rounded design that makes them ideal for most hiking conditions.
The Pike Trail Leg Gaiters are a good option for anyone who is looking for extra protection. This is one of the best pairs of gaiters for hiking in snow, mud, or other difficult conditions.
These gaiters are made from durable polyester water-resistant and extremely breathable, letting air flow freely so your feet won't get sweaty.
There's also an adjustable strap to help secure them around your boots and hold them in place while hiking.
Perfect for any backpacker, the Pike Trail Leg Gaiters also come with velcro tape to help keep your laces from getting stuck. In addition, they're reinforced with strong stitching, so they don't rip easily.
I also like that these gaiters come with a carry-on bag which is very convenient for traveling. This way, I can keep them clean and organized when not in use.
The TRIWONDER Hiking Gaiters are perfect for anyone who wants a comfortable fit. These gaiters are designed for both men and women, with adjustable straps to ensure they'll fit securely over any shoe size.
These running gaiters are made with 600D Oxford Fabric, which provides excellent protection against water and tear. It also offers high breathability, making them perfect for both hot and cold weather. The breathable design also makes them easy to put on and take off.
They're easy to clean, too, so you can toss them in the wash when they get dirty after a muddy hike. The adjustable drawstring allows you to make them tighter for a smaller shoe size or loosen them up if they feel too tight.
One of the best features of these water-resistant gaiters is their snow protection. In addition, the gaiters come with strong velcro, which can handle the snowiest days without any problems.
With a hook and loop closure type, they're easy to wear but still extremely secure. They also feature strong stitching along with an adjustable buckle for a customized fit.
The size may run a little tight, so make sure to order a size up. Overall, due to their specs, these waterproof hiking gaiters have a wide range of applications, whether it's heavy-duty hiking, running, or backpacking.
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The Unigear Snow Leg Gaiters offer the ultimate protection from strong winds, heavy snow, icy, or any other rough terrain. Made of Taslon and 1000D nylon, the high-quality water-resistant fabric is abrasion resistant to ensure long-lasting wear.
The water-resistant fabrics offer excellent protection against wet, snowy, or muddy terrains. One of the best waterproof gaiters available, these gaiters are treated with TPU water repellent, which helps to keep your feet dry even when going through deep snow.
The Unigear Snow Leg Gaiters have an ergonomic design that's easy to put on and offers a secure fit around your calf. It's reinforced with magic tape and a special design lace hook that prevents it from falling down. Moreover, the TPU instep strap is incredibly resistant to cold and won't break easily.
The fabrics also offer maximum breathability, allowing your feet to breathe and remain cool even on hot days. With an adjustable strap, this pair of waterproof hiking gaiters offer a customized fit. These gaiters are also quite tall and come just below your knee.
I did think the size runs big, and the gaiters were loose around the ankles. Additionally, although the fabric is lightweight, it's not ultralight. This may not make it ideal for wearing in warmer weather.
Regardless, they are great for blocking strong winds and even heavy snow. This gaiter offers the perfect protection against water and debris when you're going on long hikes or treks.
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Made with abrasion-resistant and lightweight 900d and 420D fabric, few hiking gaiters offer as much protection as the Frelaxy Hiking Gaiters. The fabric is made to last long and withstand the toughest of conditions. I also found it very easy to clean them, even after going through rough terrains with a lot of rocks and dirt.
Designed to keep ice, water, pebbles, and dirt out of your boots, this pair of hiking gaiters offer increased durability and reduce wear-and-tear thanks to the reinforcements on the instep strap. I particularly liked the versatility of the gaiters that offers protection for all kinds of outdoor activities like trail running, mountaineering, skiing, and climbing.
The gaiters are also waterproof, ensuring you'll stay dry even in the wettest conditions. This is complemented by a breathable PU coating that prevents stuffiness and keeps you comfortable.
The Frelaxy Hiking Gaiters are also easy to clean. They're made with lightweight fabric, making them perfect for everyday use. While the gaiters are heavy-duty, the strap under the boot may not be as durable. While the gaiters are equipped with an adjustable top buckle strap, a TPU instep strap, and a velcro opening, it leaves room for improvement in terms of the design and adjustability
Overall this is a great pair of hiking gaiters that can withstand tough conditions. I'd recommend it for any outdoor activity, especially multi-day hikes.
The Azarxic Hiking Gaiters are made with 600D Oxford Cloth that offers maximum durability, keeping them strong even under the heaviest conditions. The light fabric is also anti-tear, ensuring they'll last a long time against ice, rocky terrains, deep snow, or any tough conditions.
The Azarxis Hiking Gaiters are great for any weather, and they're 100% waterproof to keep your feet dry even when walking through puddles or mud. The leg guard is also windproof and comes with a metal buckle to make them easy and secure to wear.
One of the best hiking gaiters available, the adjustable straps make these pair of gaiters easy to fit over large shoes if needed. I found the instep strap to be particularly helpful, as it helps to hold the gaiters in place.
The Velcro fastener is strong and allows you to secure your laces as well. With a sturdy TPU strap, this gaiter holds up to the toughest conditions and can easily prevent snow from getting in.
Overall, this pair of waterproof running gaiters are a great option for anyone looking to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about bad weather.
There are quite a few things to think about when choosing the best gaiters. Refer to our buyers guide below if you need help deciding which pair is right for your needs.
Gaiters are typically made of nylon, polyester, and/or synthetic leather. It's important to choose a comfortable pair and will hold up for your entire hiking trip.
Before you buy, make sure that the materials are breathable so they won't cause discomfort. Your gaiters should be durable enough to withstand a little bit of abuse. In addition, you'll want to make sure they're abrasion-resistant and won't easily tear or snag on branches and other items along your hike.
Apart from this, opt for water-resistant material that will protect your shoes from creek crossings. The best gaiters will keep your feet warm and dry even if you're crossing a rushing river.
Gaiters that fully enclose your shoe tend to be the most comfortable and easiest to put on. We also prefer a design with elastic straps, so you don't have to tie them tight. These are easier for kids or those who lack strength in their fingers and hands.
You can also find gaiters that fasten around your ankle or just below the knee. If you're hiking in warm weather, these will keep water from collecting on the tops of your boots. The downside is that they tend to be less durable than fully sealed gaiters.
The ideal adjustment type is a hook-and-loop strap. This allows you to get the perfect fit every time.
If you're looking for gaiters that you can use with snow boots, opt for a design that has an extra-tall instep. These will help keep your pants dry and prevent snow from building up in your shoe. They also tend to have a taller shaft to protect against snow build-up around your ankle.
Gaiters should fit loosely around your lower leg. The height of the gaiter is important because it determines how much protection you get from water or snow buildup on your boots.
In addition, gaiters need to be tall enough to protect the top of your pants and shins from getting dirty. Otherwise, you'll have to stop every time you need to scrape mud off of them.
The height of your gaiters should also be proportional to the height of your boots. If they are too short, they won't protect you from craggy rocks and other hazards. If you're looking for protection both above and below your knees, go with a gaiter that is roughly double the height of your boot.
This refers to the method you use to close your gaiters around your shoes. A drawstring is the most common option, but magnetic clips are easier for kids to manage.
If you're hiking in snow or have larger boots, some pairs of gaiters feature a zipper. This will make it easier to take your shoes off without having to struggle with the gaiter.
In-strap gaiters are another option. These strap around your leg below the knee and hold the gaiter in place over your boot. This is a good choice if you're hiking with kids because they won't be able to take their gaiters off.
Make sure the entry system will stay tight while hiking over uneven terrain, especially if there's a lot of mud or snow. Apart from this, magnet closures are usually the easiest for kids to close.
Your gaiters need to fit well so they don't ride up and get in the way of your hike. We recommend trying them on with your full hiking outfit before you buy, if possible.
The best gaiters will provide ample protection without being too long or short for most people. Also, look for a pair that will stay put without being too tight around your ankles.
Lastly, remember to account for any socks or other clothing you'll be wearing with the gaiters. They should fit well, even if they are covering multiple items of your outfit. Include any knee-high socks or pants underneath when measuring the length and width of a gaiter.
Gaiters can make a world of difference when you're hiking outdoors. If you don't have any yet, I strongly suggest checking out the list above.
There are so many options available that it may be hard to make up your mind on which ones to get. But this list is a good starting point in helping you decide.