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Best Gaiters for Hiking

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Best Gaiters

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This is a gear review about the best gaiters for hiking, backpacking and thru hiking.

Hiking gaiters can protect you from all the elements. Whether it is sand, rocks, mud or snow a good pair of Gaiters will protect your feet.

I’ve been checking some of the best backpacking gaiters on the market today, and after much deliberation, we’ve come up with a shortlist of the Best Hiking Gaiters for you here now.

Best Hiking Gaiters

The Best Hiking Gaiters on the market in 2022 are:


Best Gaiters – Overall

Outdoor Research Crocodile Gore-Tex Gaiters

Pros:
> Waterproof

> They secure in two places
> Abrasion-resistant
> Usually true to size

Cons:
> Not as breathable as most people think

We’re going to kick this off with a classic. These gaiters, fondly known as crocs have been around forever and they still remain a mainstay to this day.

These award-winning gaiters are waterproof yet at the same time breathable, thanks to their Gore-tex fabric. They come up almost to your knees, providing excellent protection from abrasion caused by overgrowth on the trails. They secure to your person both at the top of the gaiter and also to your hiking boots as well.

It’s important to note at this point that you should size down one full size for a good fit over your hiking boots. And the strap is supposed to go over your socks rather than underneath your shoes.

Overall, these are one of the best hiking gaiters on the market in 2022.

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Altra Trail Gaiters

Pros:

> Perfect for ultralight thru hikers
> Easy to pull on and they fit securely
> Excellent at keeping out debris & sand.
> Nice, sporty gender-neutral aesthetic.

Cons:
> Only recommended for to keep out sand and light debris, not for mud or snow

These are the perfect option for ultralight thru hikes where all you want is something to keep out the rocks and sand during the warmer months.

They are designed to cover the area of the upper part of your hiking shoes and your ankles, so you can wear them with shorts.

Or alternatively, you could wear the gaiters over your shoes but under the pants. They are a pull-on design and will fit very securely to your bare ankle. There’s also a Velcro fastening too. 

They are available in small or large sizes, and in a choice of 4 colors, all of which look very sporty and are gender-neutral.

Overall, these are one of the best gaiters for thru hiking.

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RAB Latok GTX Waterproof Gore-Tex Gaiters

Pros:
> Gore-Tex’s most hard-wearing fabric.

> Long, and cover most of your lower leg.
> Big enough to fit over most hiking boots.
> Reinforced ankle made with 300 D nylon.
> No moisture comes through in snow.

Cons:
> Premium product at a premium price.

These bright red show-stopping gaiters are made with the gore-tex pro, which is Gore-Tex’s most rugged and hard-wearing fabric. This gore-tex has increased protection from harsh mountain environments.

They are very long and are able to cover most of your lower leg. Better yet, it even fits over most larger mountaineering boots.

The lower part of the gaiters features a reinforced ankle, where there’s extra tough 300 Denier nylon to protect your feet and boots from scree and loose stones.

The steep price tag is something of a drawback, but so far most people think it is worth the money.

Overall, these are one of the best heavy duty gaiters for backpacking


Outdoor Research Helium Hiking Gaiters

Pros:
> Lightweight fabric.

> 100% waterproof.
> They offer excellent coverage.
> They are easy to pull on.
> They feel very secure on.
> Abrasion-resistant fabric.

Cons:
> Lightweight strap underneath the boots can get damaged with use

These gaiters are made with Outdoor Research’s ever-popular Helium fabric, which is well known for being lightweight and waterproof. These particular gaiters weigh a mere 4.9 ounces (that’s 139 grams).

They offer excellent coverage, almost reaching the knee. They are easy to pull on and fasten up, with their Hypalon instep strap that goes under your hiking shoes and with the drawcord cinch at the top hem.

Thanks to the hook and loop closure at the front and the elastic across the back heel, they feel really secure.

They have a 100% nylon ripstop 30 denier fabric in the upper leg panel, you don’t have to worry about getting scratched by bushes.

It’s available in a choice of 3 different color options and in a wide range of sizes, starting at small and going all the way through to extra, extra-large.

Overall, these are one of the best lightweight full length waterproof gaiters on the market. These are the perfect gaiter for early season thru hiking when there is still a lot of snow on the trail or for someone wanting to hike on formed trails with lots of mud but not much in the way of abrasive bushes.

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Sea to Summit Alpine eVent Gaiters

Pros:
> Has a breathable eVent fabric upper.

> They’re tough & abrasion-resistant.
> They are surprisingly lightweight.
> They offer excellent coverage.
> Moisture does not penetrate.

Cons:
> This is a popular product, retailers occasionally run out of stock.

One of the best features of these particular gaiters is just how breathable they are, thanks to their breathable eVent fabric upper which serves to prevent the wearer from getting too hot and sweaty.

They’re also very tough, constructed with tough, thick 1000 Denier nylon, so you can be sure that you don’t have to worry about abrasion from sticks and bushes.

They were easy to put on, thanks to the adjustable 38 mm front opening. And despite their thickness, they’re surprisingly lightweight.

They are great in the snow thanks to their knee-high coverage, not much moisture will get through. 

Overall, these are a solid gaiter best suited to snow, mud and heavy duty use.


Black Diamond GTX FrontPoint Gaiters

Pros:
> Nice fit

> 100% waterproof
> They have tear-resistant ballistic lowers.
> Front entry hook and loop velcro closure.

Cons:
> They become less wind resistant after a muddy hike.

These very sleek and smart all-black gaiters offer an excellent sculptured fit. These gaiters are great for ice climbing, mountaineering or backpacking.

They feature gore-tex lined nylon uppers which means that they are 100% waterproof and will not ice up or absorb water from rain or snow.

The lowers feature ballistic nylon which is highly resistant to tearing.

They’re easy to put on, thanks to the front entry hook and loop velcro closure. And they can fit over the likes of plastic mountaineering boots and hiking boots.

They are available in a range of different sizes from small all the way through to extra large.

Overall, these are one of the best mountaineering gaiters that are equally great for muddy hiking trails.

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Sea to Summit Quagmire eVent Gaiters

Pros:
> Great length and coverage
> 100% waterproof

> Tough 1000 Denier lowers.
> The strap can be replaced.

Cons:
> Some people found that they run small.

Gotta love the length on these gaiters – they go all the way up to our knees.

The boot section is super tough and thick, with a 1000 Denier nylon lower with lining. It will really save your shins on overgrown trails. And if you are hiking in mud then these are as good as it gets but they also work well in snow and areas with sharp sticks and bushes. The eVent fabric is 100% waterproof and breathable.

The strap that goes under your shoe can be replaced if it starts to wear.

Overall, these are one of the best gaiters for mud and rough terrain.


Dirty Girl Gaiters

Pros:
> Bargain, affordable price point.

> Very popular for thru hikers
> Ultra lightweight at just 2 ounces
> Keeps debris out of your shoes.
> They’re stretchy, comfy & secure.

Cons:
> They don’t protect your lower legs from scratches.

The great thing about dirty girl gaiters are the colors.

They’re perfect for trail running and thru hiking because they’re ultra-lightweight, coming in at less than 2 ounces per pair. They keep all the scree and debris out of your trail running shoes as you run or hike.

They are easy to put on thanks to the stretchy spandex, and they feel soft and comfortable to wear. And they fit really securely, too, thanks to the hook under the front shoelace, and the hook and loop velcro strip.

They also happen to be the most affordable gaiters on our shortlist.

Overall, these are one of the best gaiters for thru hiking and trail running.


REI Co-op Backpacker Low Gaiters

Pros:
> Waterproof and breathable.

> Deflects snow and debris.
> Excellent coverage & protection.
> Easy, adjustable on and off.
> They provide a good snug fit.

Cons:
> Some customers feel they run a little small.

These gaiters tick a lot of boxes. They are waterproof, breathable, and deflects the likes of rain, snow, and debris. They are shin length and offer easy on and off. They provide a good snug fit over most hiking footwear, thanks to the adjustable Velcro straps. And the strong fabric at the ankles offers excellent protection against sharp shrubs.

They are available in a range of different sizes from small all the way through to extra large and are reasonably priced.

Overall, these are a great budget gaiter for those not wanting or needing a full length pair of gaiters.

REI

Buyers Guide

Here are some things you might need to consider before purchasing gaiters.

Water Resistant Gaiters

The best waterproof gaiters are made with some form of waterproof and breathable membrane such as Gore Tex or eVent. Gaiters made with these materials are great for use in snow or muddy trails. For use in the desert to prevent sand and rocks from entering being waterproof is no as important.

Breathable Gaiters

The best breathable gaiters are ultralight and mostly used in the desert to prevent debris from getting into your shoes. And they do a great job without making your feet too hot.

Durability

The best durable gaiters are solid enough to withstand walking off trail and bush bashing through potentially rough terrain. The overall weight of the gaiters are usually a good indication of how durable they will be

Conclusion

There are some really great gaiters out there to choose from, and the main factor influencing your decision about which ones to get will probably be the height they reach. Knee-high waterproof gaiters are great for snow sports and deep muddy trails. But if you’re trail running or thru hiking you will be better off with spandex based gaiters that are pulled down to your ankles.

The Best Backpacking Gaiters on the market in 2022 are:

Another one of the Best Hiking Gear Reviews from BikeHikeSafari.


Read More:

Best Waterproof Hiking Boots
Best Winter Hiking Boots
Best Waterproof Hiking Shoes
Best Trail Running Shoes for Hiking

Best Snowshoes

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Sydney, Australia.

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