DIRTY GIRL GAITERS
BY FRANCES PENN
August 08, 2012
fpenn AT sbcglobal DOT net
Costa Mesa, California, USA
5' 9" (1.75 m)
135 lb (61.20 kg)
I have been backpacking for five years mostly on long weekends in Southern California with one or two 5-day trips per year in the Sierras. My total daypack weight is usually 15 lb (7 kg) and my total backpack weight is usually 28-30 lb (13-14 kg). I am a tent camper and have experienced all night rain, heavy winds, camping in snow once, but mostly fair weather.
Manufacturer: Dirty Girl Gaiters
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Manufacturer's Website: www.dirtygirlgaiters.com
MSRP: US $20.00
Listed Weight: None
Measured Weight: 0.9 oz/pair (25 g total)
Height above high-top boot: 2 in (5 cm)
Size Reviewed: Medium (for my size 9.5 US high top hiking boots)
Sizes Available: Extra Small, Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large and an even larger size called Dang
Color Reviewed: Hottie (Flames)
Colors Available: 62 different patterns and four plain colors
Warranty from website: "If you are not satisfied with your order, please contact me at dirtygirlgaiters AT yahooDOT com and I will make it right."
|Gaiter on boot|
Dirty Girl Gaiters are lightweight breathable running gaiters in fun colors and patterns. The website indicates they should not be worn with hiking boots. I wear my gaiters with Asolo FSN 85 high top hiking boots as shown in the picture above.
The gaiter is made of soft four-way stretch Spandex material. It hooks under the front shoelace and secures to the back of the shoe with a self-adhesive hook-and-loop strip. Each order includes enough self-adhesive hook-and-loop (hook side only) for four applications. A 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) strip of the other side of the hook-and-loop closure is sewn to the inside rear bottom of the gaiter. There is no elastic band needed on the top or bottom of the gaiter due to the stretchy material. The gaiters are much smaller at the top so they hug my leg above my boot and stay in place. The top and bottom edges of the material are turned under and stitched. The inside of the gaiter is a plain buff color.
To install, attach 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) of the self-adhesive hook-and-loop closure strip to the back heel area of new or clean and dry shoes. Shoes with grooved or uneven heel surfaces may need glue to attach the strip. Let sit for 12 to 24 hours for maximum adhesion according to the website.
Pull the gaiter over socks, put on the shoes and then attach the rear hook-and-loop on the gaiter to the strip on the back of the shoes. Next, place the hook under the shoelaces closest to the toes, then adjust the gaiter over the top of the shoes.
|showing front hook & rear strip|
I have worn these gaiters on every backpacking and day hiking trip for the last two years which I estimate to be 50 or more days. I usually backpack starting in March and ending in October. I usually day hike year round on and off backpacking trips. These gaiters have seen field use in dusty, sandy desert terrain on and off trail at Joshua Tree, on and off trail on steep dirt and rock on peak bagging trips in the San Gorgonio, San Jacinto, and Big Pine areas, and on at least three or more days of light rain and subsequent muddy trail conditions on various trips.
I have not worn them in snow. Since these are lightweight running gaiters, I would not wear these in snow. The one time I backpacked in snow, I wore a knee high waterproof type gaiter.
The gaiters show wear in the front where they rub on the riveted boot lace loops and they have developed small holes near the back. I will continue to use them until they fail so I have an idea of how long they will last.
When hiking in the sandy desert terrain of Joshua Tree, California in the winter months, I noticed my boots were usually full of sand and rocks by halfway through the day. I tried wearing snow gaiters, but they didn't breathe well and were too much gaiter for those conditions. Then I found these gaiters and on the first use, I was happy to note they kept dirt and rocks out of my boots all day and were lightweight and breathable. They worked so well on that first trip that I continued using them for all of my trips.
I forget I am wearing the gaiters until someone comments on them. They bring a smile to my face and are a fun and very useful addition to my hiking gear. I hike with different groups and I have had people recognize me on the trail by my gaiters.
Washing instructions from website:
Place the gaiters in a lingerie bag to keep the hooks from getting caught in the washer and dryer.
I haven't washed mine and don't plan to. The dirt shakes out during the removal process.
I have enjoyed wearing these gaiters. The color has not faded but the gaiters show wear around most of the bottom half where they rub on my boots. This wear has not affected the performance of the gaiters. I plan to buy another pair as soon as these wear out. Just for fun, I am thinking fetish (pink leopard) might be a nice change of pattern. I wonder what comments I will receive on that choice. I like to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.
THINGS I LIKE
Fun color and pattern
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
They take a few extra moments to connect and disconnect to my boots, but the extra time is worth it.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
Once in a while I forget to slide them over my socks before putting on my boots, but I am getting better at remembering.
Not as durable as gaiters designed to be used with hiking boots.
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