There’s nothing worse than wet feet when camping or hiking but a pair of the best waterproof gaiters in conjunction with a good pair of waterproof boots can save you from the misery of walking around with soaking feet. As with all camping and hiking gear just because it looks pretty doesn’t mean its going to last past your first couple of trips out into the winter weather.
Things to Consider When Buying Gaiters
Even though gaiters will add a little bit of extra warmth to your lower leg and foot they are designed more for waterproofing than installation with a snug fit being one of the most important factors for keeping water out of your boots.
Elastic around the bottom and top of a gaiter does make them a lot easier to put on with a fewer cords to tie up and offer a better fit to you boot and leg helping to keep out the snow and moisture. The only long term drawback with elastic is that it is built into the design of the gaiter and requires major surgery to replace if it breaks or doesn’t tighten up anymore whereas a cord can easily be replaced.
Cords should be as few as possible to keep things simple and save you time when putting your gaiters on, many times producers of outdoor gear employ elaborate systems either to change the look or hike up the price when there is just no need.
Doing up a cord can be very difficult when wearing gloves and messing with frozen cord with bares hands isn’t something any of us wont to do that often.
A good quality Nylon can be very hard wearing with good prospects of it surviving for more then a few seasons of bad weather and has the added benefit of being cheap when compared to the breathable range of materials.
Nylon is hardly the most pleasant of materials to wear in the summer months but with gaiters generally being cold weather gear you can almost forget about the heat problem.
Neoprene will cost a bit more and is also a tough fabric along with usually giving a better fitting product, then you have a whole range of special material mixes that individual manufactures use in their own creations.
Every piece of equipment or technology ever made has a weak spot that can cause failure if they are not designed properly with high quality materials. The use of high grade components becomes even more crucial when there is any stress or kinetic force associated with the items use.
Problem Areas to Check
The one crucial component of gaiters that is going to take the most abuse is the strap the goes under the boot and keeps the whole tight. Not only will it suffer from any hard objects that you walk on but will also get very cold while walking in snow and you need nothing short of complete sturdiness in this part of the gaiters.
As we have said many times before the power of online reviews posted by people who have enjoyed (or not) using products they have purchased is a very powerful tool in filtering out all the gear that doesn’t last very long once out in the field.