Montane will not release the Trail Stretch Gaiter, due to a potential patent infringement with another company. See other Montane gaiters>>

Specs

Weight 2.6 oz / 75.1g (medium)

Reviews

A low trail gaiter that finds a pleasing blend of…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample provided by Montane for testing and review)

Summary

A low trail gaiter that finds a pleasing blend of light weight, durability, and functionality. This product is especially good for trail routes requiring frequent put-on and take-off (such as creek fords) due to ease and speed of application and removal.

Pros

  • Light
  • Comfortable / wearable directly against skin
  • Highly water resistant
  • Fast to put on and take off

Cons

  • Front lace hook hard to attach to some laces
  • Some of the threading has minor fraying after 250 miles of use

MTSG_summary-view.jpg 

Click to enlarge

About the Gaiter:

This product is marketed as a trail running gaiter featuring Granite Stretch fabric (90.5 % nylon / 9.5 % spandex with DWR), RAPTOR UTL kick patches (500 denier 100% nylon with DWR), hook and loop fastening (known as Velcro to you and me), durable TPU underfoot strap, and Reflective logo details.

The medium is listed at 2.6 ounces. My sample weighs 2.8 ounces on my scale and could very well have .2 ounces of dirt on them. I don't subscribe to the activity of gaiter cleaning; why bother? :)

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Video review covers the basics in about three minutes with field test clips following.
Video is best viewed in full screen:

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MTSG_front-view.jpg

Front View: click to enlarge

MTSG_rear-view.jpg

Rear View: click to enlarge

MTSG_front-lace-hook.jpg

Front Lace Hook and Underfoot Strap: click to enlarge

MTSG_heel-elastic.jpg

Heel Elastic: click to enlarge 

MTSG_kick-patch_outside.jpg

Kick Patch outside view: click to enlarge 

 

MTSG_kick-patch-inside.jpg

Kick Patch inside view: click to enlarge

About the tester and testing

I'm an avid backpacker and trail runner with many years of experience (check out my trip reports to see where I go). At the time of this review I've done about 200 miles of backpacking and about 50 miles of trail running in these gaiters. ( I backpack in low top trail shoes for which gaiters are requisite)

The backpacking was mostly done in the Southern Appalachian mountains and the trail running done in local wildlife management areas on multi-use single track trail. The longest single day of wear while backpacking was about 10 hours covering 26 miles. The longest continuous wear while trail running was about 2.5 hours covering 13 miles.

Fit and Comfort

I found that these gaiters provided a bit more coverage on my running shoes than when I wore the larger hybrid trail shoes that I use for backpacking; but they do in fact stretch enough to use for that purpose. The ergonomic cut and shape is among the best I've used and allowed the product to work (and work well) even when worn on shoes that could not accept the front lace hook.

The upper band is more comfortable against the skin than others I've used in this class; when backpacking I tend to favor socks that reach at or above the ankle but when running I prefer lower cut socks and these gaiters caused no irritation when worn directly against the skin.

Functionality

This is the area that really shined in my testing. The basic purpose of any low gaiter is to simply keep debris out of your shoe and this product does that even when you can't attach the front lace hook.

But what I found really useful was the ease and speed of taking them off and putting them back on. Because of where I live and play I frequently navigate water crossings (everything from rock-hops to fords and even wades) and this product really excelled in such scenarios. I have an array of gaiters that I use for different purposes and in this aspect the Montane Trail Stretch is among the top performers in my lineup.

I initially had some difficulty in properly lining up the primary Velcro faster but after a few uses I got the hang of it; There is a "pull and press" motion needed for good fastening.

Durability

As mentioned in the cons there are some threads fraying on my sample, but I have no concerns at all about durability. This product is quite solid and all the areas that need reinforcement have it in ample supply. As listed in the marketing there are sturdy 500 denier kick patches and closer examination reveals solid reinforced seams with multiple lines of stitching and the connection points for the underfoot strap are very strong.

Water Resistance

I found these gaiters to be quite water resistant; I spent more hours walking in the rain than I would have preferred, but my greatest exposure was when I spent an entire day doing trail maintenance on the AT. I was mostly standing with limited small movements while shoveling out water bars and was wearing thin DWR coated wind pants (Patagonia Houdini) that did wet through after a while. I was pleased to discover that no water had entered my shoe after many hours of this.

(Note: No low gaiter that I've ever used will completely keep out water that runs down your legs if the top of the gaiter is directly exposed in a downpour).

Breathability

While difficult to objectively assess breathability in a low gaiter, I observed performance in this category as adequate. For comparison (though not apples to apples in terms of product class), it's less breathable than a Dirty Girl (thin nylon) but far more breathable than the Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain Low Gaiter (thicker nylon).

Adjustability

There are no special adjustment points on this gaiter other than the velcro fastener (which could be set tighter or looser as required), but the nature of the stretchy fabric and ergonomic shape allowed me to use them with various running shoes and trail shoes.

Conclusion

I like these gaiters and they have earned a primary place in my kit. If I know I'm going to pull a lot of water crossings or expect a lot of wet weather on an outing, these will now be my first choice for a low gaiter.

Sean Van Cleve GUIDE/OUTFITTER

Very strong review, Patman!!!


5 years ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Nice work, Patman! Thanks for yet another helpful review.


5 years ago
KiwiKlimber

You seem to know your gaiters, Patman. Nice review.


5 years ago
jboothmtnbkr

Great review! I tried OR gators for the first time this past July when I backpacked a portion of the Colorado Trail. I'm now a fan.


5 years ago
Ashleigh

What a professional review, Patrick


5 years ago
Twig

Lovely video. Great work went into this review! And like others said, you really seem to know your gaiters! I only mostly know about 'gators' but have often wondered if these would help hiking in the mostly wet and muddy conditions found on trails in southern Florida. On a 3 day hike through Big Cypress last year, my minimalists shoes (no socks) performed great except for the fact that water beetles got sucked into my heels a couple times, where they proceeded to sting like hell! I never even knew they posed a threat! This happened to a couple others in my group, leading us to consider some sort of barrier. I think I'm going to try a pair of these.


5 years ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Unfortunately, even though Patman did such a great review of these gaiters, Montane will not be releasing them due to a potential patent infringement with another company. Sounds like Patman may be one of the few with this disappearing model.


5 years ago
G00SE

Tested for the Review Corps, and 5 months later it's discontinued. Guess we always need the newest model to spend money on!


4 years ago

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