At the beginning of winter, I received a set of Armadillo LT Gaiters from Hillsound Equipment to review. Thankfully, we’ve had a great winter so far, with plenty of opportunities for me to try them out. First of all, these gaiters are a step up from my old, inexpensive set I’ve been using for years. These gaiters have a sturdy nylon fabric that covers the boot and ankle area. I don’t use crampons, but these are touted to be tough enough to protect from your crampon spikes. The upper fabric is lighter weight, but is still very sturdy. I have found them to be more breathable than my old pair, allowing more sweat to evaporate along my legs. They are held around the leg by a burly waterproof zipper instead of velcro, which I’m finding to be more tidy and conforming better to my body. (If you’ve ever struggled to get long stretches of velcro to line up properly, you’ll know exactly what I mean.) The strap that goes under the shoe is a strong plastic, and it looks much more sturdy than the thin cords that go under our cheaper gaiters. It doesn’t collect water or gunk, as it’s smooth and hard.
The top of the calf has a buckle that tightens to keep them from slipping down. I like this better than the toggle variety. The one thing you’ll want to watch out for is the circumference of your calves. I’ve got the size small, and they barely fit around my calves when I’m wearing tights. I had a really hard time getting them to fit around my jeans when I wore them briefly to get from the car to the house in 11 inches of snow. You can find a size chart with calf measurements at the bottom of this page. When in doubt, I recommend sizing up. The upper calf area does not stretch.
I’ve been extremely happy with these gaiters on our snowshoe trips, winter hikes, and muddy walks. They’ve kept out the snow and debris, they are not too hot, and they are quick to get on and off. In addition, they look good.
They sell for a recommended retail price of $49. I haven’t need to wash mine yet, but these gaiters are machine washable on the gentle cycle. The website gives complete washing instructions, including how to use a technical wash instead of regular detergent. Hillsound claims that with proper care, the DWR coating will last for up to 50 washes, and they can be re-waterproofed if needed.
Edited to add: I received this product for the purposes of review from the company. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated in other ways for the review.