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Reviews > Footwear > Accessories > Dirty Girl Gaiters > Owner Review by Ray Estrella

Dirty Girl Gaiters
By Raymond Estrella
OWNER REVIEW

August 12, 2012

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Raymond Estrella
EMAIL: rayestrellaAThotmailDOTcom
AGE: 51
LOCATION: North Western Minnesota, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
WEIGHT: 225 lb (102.00 kg)

I've been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, Minnesota, and many western states. I hike year-round in all weather, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I make a point of using lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. Doubting I can ever be truly ultralight, I try to be as light as I can yet still be comfortable. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring/chilling. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot evening meals. If not hiking solo I am usually with my brother-in-law Dave or my twin children.

The Product

Manufacturer: Dirty Girl Gaiters
Web site: www.dirtygirlgaiters.com
Year manufactured: 2010
MSRP: US $20.00
Weight listed: N/A
Actual weights: DFL; 1.13 oz (32 g), Not Potable; 1.34 oz (38 g)
Height measured:6.5 in (16.5 cm)
Size: Large which fits US Men's 9.5 - 11 and US Women's 11.5 - 13
Colors reviewed: DFL Tan and Not Potable (Note: colors/patterns constantly change as Xy gets new ones or runs out of current stock.)

Quick & Dirty, Nitty Gritty

Yosemitemid-park


The Dirty Girl Gaiters are the coolest gaiters I have ever found. Cool in every sense of the word as they are the most breathable gaiter I own, plus they are pretty wild to look at too. Not waterproof in the least these gaiters are meant just to keep crud out of my shoes which is just fine with me. They are almost always good for a comment from passing hikers on the trail, probably just because they don't want to mention the kilt. ;-) Please read on for the details.

Product Description

My Dirty Girls


The Dirty Girls Gaiters are a very simple gaiter made by ultramarathoner Xy Weiss (who is a lawyer in "real" life). Unlike all my other gaiters, which are made for snow and/or major scrub protection the Dirty Girls have no cords, drawstrings, straps or fasteners.

The gaiter is made from one piece of four-way stretch Spandex with a seam at the front making a tube. The top and bottom is folded over and serge-stitched for strength and durability. The top is narrow, meant to sit tightly around the ankle while the bottom is cut wider, flaring out to go around a shoe.

At the front of the flared lower a double-thickness triangle of nylon provides the anchor point for a stainless steel lace-hook. The hook is meant to clip to the laces of a running shoe, trail runner, or low hiking boot.

Opposite the hook at the back a piece of in (2 cm) Velcro "loop" has been sewn on the inside of the gaiter. This will correspond to the piece of "hook" that is attached to the end-user's shoe. For this purpose a section of adhesive Velco loop is sent with each pair of gaiters, along with instructions for placing it in the optimal spot.

Ghostly


Because they are one-piece the Dirty Girl Gaiters need to be put on before the shoes are put on. I slide them on after I put on my socks. Then I put on and tie my shoes, after which I attach the lace-hook and then mate the Velcro pieces.

Field Data

Starting the Narrows


I got the Dirty Girl Gaiters in summer of 2010 and used them on most of my trips in California the rest of that year and the next. I also used them for a few trips in Minnesota.

In California I first used them hiking along the Kern River, then on a double peak bagging trip in the Mount Baldy area. A couple of trips in the San Jacinto Wilderness and San Jacinto State Park and one through the Narrows of the San Gabriel River (as seen above) joined at least four trips in Yosemite National Park as I was trying to hit as many spots I had never visited before I had to move. I probably have at least 400 mi (644 km) of hiking in with the two pairs I own.

In Minnesota I used them on a 4-day trip on the Superior Hiking Trail, and some backpacking trips on the North Country Trail in Itasca State Park and Chippewa National Forest to name a couple. Maybe another 100 mi (160 km) of use there.

For the most part the weather has been nice but there were a few rainy days. Temps encountered have run from freezing to 110 F (43 C). Elevations from sea-level to over 11,000 ft (3350+ m).

They have been worn with trail runners from Teva, Montrail (2), Oboz (2) and a pair of low-hikers from Garmont. Here is a shot taken on the Superior Hiking Trail.

Dirty Girl on the SHT

Observations

In 2009 I pretty much stopped wearing boots for 3-season hiking unless I was committed to a test/review. The only bad thing about wearing trail runners or low hiking shoes for me was the debris that would get inside my shoes forcing me to stop to empty them. I tried a couple pairs of major brand low gaiters but had a couple problems with them. The first was the fact that all my gaiters use a strap or cord running under the footwear to hold it in place. These work well when used with my boots as there is plenty of room between the heel and the sole to let the cord run. Trail runners do not have this kind of space and I was constantly breaking the cords from wearing them on rock as I hike. They were also quite warm as my gaiters tend to be made for water and brush protection too, so are made of thick heavy nylon.

I saw my first pair of Dirty Girl Gaiters while hiking a section of the Pacific Crest Trail and met a couple wearing some. I asked what they were and after seeing how they were built ordered two pairs as soon as I got home.

Dirty Girl on dirty snow


I love the Velcro instead of a cord for holding them on. Since I am not plunging through snow I don't need the security of an under-cord or strap. (Well usually not, the shot above was spring in Yosemite's south-west area.) The Velcro holds surprisingly well. In fact the only times I have had the Dirty Girls come off it was because I scrubbed the actual adhesive part right off my shoe while going through loose scree or hiking through rivers with lots of loose rocks beneath my feet.

The Spandex breathes great and works very well to keep the crud out of my shoes. They do get very dirty but are easy to rinse the dirt out while on the trail and dry quite fast. They dry quickly while on too, as I did a lot of river travel while using them with breathable non-waterproof shoes, like the Oboz Hardscrabble, which I just wore in the water. The material is so lightweight that they have no problem staying up on my ankles. I never have problems with them slipping down unless I drag them through a bush, forcing them down.

The gaiters never fail to garner comments due to the funky patterns they are printed with. Foreign visitors in Yosemite National Park were the most interested in them. I feel I have been quite the Dirty Ambassador for Xy over the past couple of years.

My gaiters have proven to be pretty durable so far. Both pair look good still with just a few broken threads, but no holes or tears to date. I plan on using these for a few more years yet, but if they get wrecked I will not hesitate to buy some more. In a funky new design I am sure! I leave with a shot of them on while climbing the Devil's Slide Trail in the San Jacinto Wilderness.

Dirty girl on dirtbag hiker...

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

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