Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters
Low in weight, high in performance—an easy-on, easy-off option to prevent rain, snow, or debris from entering your shoes or boots.
- Quality construction
- Easy-on, easy-off design
- DWR weather resistant
- Bottom strap is not replaceable
Note: A quick check of of the Outdoor Research site lists this item a a current price of $33.50. It appears to have become unavailable on other sites recently.
There is a trail in southwestern that rises steeply from Helton Creek on the slope of Elk Garden Ridge toward Deep Gap, west of the summit of Mount Rogers in southwestern Virginia. It is a lovely trail beneath a soaring canopy of trees, a narrow footpath lined with shin-high vegetation. And just as one's eyes lift in exhilaration to admire the lofty boughs above, pain shoots through one's shins: the innocuous stinging nettle that lines the trail claims another victim.
It doesn't take too many experiences with nettles to crave a means of keeping their hypodermic barbs at bay. But nettles are not the only thing to attack one's ankles or feet: if one hike east of Mount Rogers along Wilburn Ridge, one will savor astounding views but also grow plagued by pebbles and scree that somehow finds its way into shoes or boots in irritating fashion.
Gaiters are the solution, and Outdoor Research's Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters (hereafter RMLG's) offer lightweight, durable protection that have kept my ankles free from nettle stings and my boots free from scree for many miles of trail.
Outdoor Research offers a wide variety of gaiters. I bought these for their comparatively low profile and low weight. I didn't want to tote a huge mass of material in the wild, and I wanted something with a bit more protection that what the popular Dirty Girl Gaiters might offer.
The material here is 8 oz nylon packcloth; despite the secure, inch-wide band of elastic that holds the gaiters close to one's calf and boot (or shoe), I have not found these to be especially hot. The gaiters wrap around one's ankle and footwear from behind, sealing on the front with a generously wide strip of hook-and-loop fastener.
A hook on the toe end slips over one's laces to secure that end in place, and at both top and bottom of the these 9.5-inch gaiters a second, rounded flap offers an additional measure of fastening security on top of the central hook-and-loop seam.
Beneath the arch of one's foot, a durable Hypalon strap loops from one side to a buckle on the other. This permits one to secure the gaiters comfortably, customizing the fit to one's footwear.
Durability is good. I've been both on trail and off with these gaiters, and they show little signs of wear or abrasion. The Hypalon strap on the bottom is slightly frayed at the edges, but this is an aesthetic concern, not a functional one. I understand some gaiters offer replaceable straps; these do not, a potential drawback if the packcloth outlives the Hypalon.
Comfort is also good. It takes a few moments to get used to the snug collar of elastic around one's calf or the tugging of the pants when some contortion pulls fabric out from underneath the gated, but these sensations quickly become the norm. I find them convenient, stowing them in an exterior side pocket of my pack for ready use. At 120g/4.2 oz (the pair), they offer good protection at what I deem an acceptable weight.
Do they do their job? Yep. Using the RMLG has become habitual, as natural as pulling on shoes or boots. They offer additional perks in rain or snow, too. Winter gave me ample opportunity to enjoy them in the snow, sledding with my kids or trekking in the woods. It was nice not having snow get packed in the top of my boots as I scrambled around in the snow. There were equally nice on a recent day hike that led be through beds of briars. My thighs suffered, but the tough packcloth resisted snags and helped me work my way through areas only B'rer Rabbit could have loved.
In short, the OR RMLG are perfect for someone who seeks a measure of protection from thorns, weather, or debris, and yet who wishes to eschew the weight and bulk of longer gaiters.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $19.34
Great low gaiters for light brush/leaves. Durable except for the string that goes around the bottom of the foot. The support around the bottom of the foot is one of the reasons I chose this one over others but the string is made of weak materials that shred after continued use.
5 stars if it wasn't for that. Waterproofing was great...never noticed any water getting in. Elastic on top and bottom seal off your boots. Metal laces clip is very nice.
Solid gaiter, Good price.
- Does the job
Looking to keep rocks, dirt, twigs out of your boots/shoes? These gaiters will do the trick. I am not quite sure why OR has the monopoly on gaiters, but all of their gaiters are solid and do the job. These are on the lower end of the price scale but not quality. A definite recommend.
Source: bought it new
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Current Retail: $20.97-$39.00
Historic Range: $7.40-$40.00
Reviewers Paid: $19.34
4.8 oz / 136 g (L/XL)