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Reviews > Footwear > Accessories > Hillsound Super Armadillo Nano Gaiters > Test Report by Brett Haydin

Hillsound Super Armadillo Nano Gaiter

Initial Report - November 21, 2017
Field Report - coming soon
Long Term Report - coming soon

TESTER INFORMATION

TesterNAME:            Brett Haydin
EMAIL:            bhaydin AT hotmail DOT com
AGE:                44
LOCATION:     Madison, Wisconsin, USA
GENDER:         M
HEIGHT:          5' 11" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT:         200 lb (90.70 kg)
SHOE:             10.5 US
CALF:              18 in (46 cm)


I started backpacking in Wisconsin as a youth, being involved in Boy Scouts programs. As a young adult, I worked at a summer camp leading backpacking, canoeing and mountain biking trips. I now generally take short weekend or day trips. I plan several longer trips each year in different parts of the US, where I typically carry about 40 lb (18 kg). I prefer to be prepared and comfortable, but I have taken lightweight trips as well.

Initial Report

Product Information & Specifications

Super Armadillo Nano
Photo: From Hillsound Equipment's website
Manufacturer: Hillsound Equipment
Year of Manufacture:  2017

Manufacturer's Website:  www.hillsound.com
MSRP: $79 USD
Listed Weight: 14.2 oz (402 g)
Measured Weight: 14.1 oz (400 g)
Size Tested: XL (also available in XS, S, M, L)
Material: Upper Shell = 78% Polyester/ 13% PU/ 9% Elastin
                 Lower Shell = 88% Polyester/ 12% PU
                 Liner = 100% Nylon
Warranty: Limited lifetime

Other Details provided by Manufacturer

  • Waterproof to 20,000 mm
  • Unisex

Product Description

The Hillsound Super Armadillo Nano Gaiters, which I will refer to as Armadillos or gaiters for short, are water and dirt resistant gaiters suitable for a number of winter activities. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Armadillos is the lower half, which is constructed of SuperFabric. This material has raised, circular bumps and according to the manufacturer is abrasion/slash resistent, breathable and quick-drying. Because of this, the manufacturer recommends these gaiters for mountaineering, snowshoeing and ice climbing - all activities where gaiters can be punctured by crampons.

The gaiters are approximately 18 in (46 cm) tall, placing them just over the top of my calf muscle. The Armadillos have one YKK waterproof zipper that runs the entire length of the gaiter and secures at the bottom with a hook and loop tab. There is also a generous draft guard for the zipper that feels padded, almost as if there is insulation in it. The zipper pull is sized large enough that I should be able to use it with a gloved hand. There is a small metal hook to secure the gaiters to my shoelaces and a sturdy boot strap that runs under my shoe. The excess strap can be kept out of the way by tucking it through a rubber piece of fabric.

The upper portion of the gaiter is constructed of a Polyester/PU/Elastin material that provides a little stretch and still feels durable. This material also incorporates Schoeller's (a textile company) C_Change material. This material is a water/windproof material that has the ability to "open" at a microscopic level to allow moisture out depending on temperature. The top has a 0.75 in (2cm) nylon strap built into the hem that is secured with an adjustable buckle. Hillsound's logo is embroidered into the fabric as well. The fabric is finished with Schoeller's NanoSphere DWR technology that adds to the water repellency and is self-cleaning.

Initial Impressions

The Armadillos are exceptionally well-made with flawless craftsmanship. The material feels sturdy, but is still smooth and comfortable feeling to the touch. I have exceptionally large calves so I needed to go with the XL despite my shoe size being in the L range. It is especially important to verify the calf size correctly to ensure a proper fit. Even with the XL, the gaiters fit well over my shoe, although it is still snug on my calf where it is widest. Because of the Elastin in the fabric, it still stretches over my calf for a comfortable fit.

The SuperFabric is really keen. I like how it feels - it isn't nearly as stiff as I would have thought! When I am not backpacking, I do a fair amount of scouting for various hunting seasons. Because this takes me through a number of thorny, wicked places, I am looking forward to the extra protection! Another feature that I think I am going to like is the lace hook. Instead of curving toward my boot, these curve outward. Other gaiters I have worn have become unhooked so I will be interested to see if this helps.
Side ViewClose UpFront View
Side view of gaitersClose up of boot strap and SuperFabricFront view of gaiters

Reading the Instructions

The Armadillos come with three hang tags. One is regarding the product itself while the others advertise the benefits of the SuperFabric and NanoSphere finish. The website was easy to navigate and had a lot of information to sort through. As of the writing of this report, the hyperlinks on the Super Armadillo Nano Gaiters pointing to the Schoeller NanoSphere and C_Change materials were both "broken" links. However a quick use of the search engine helped point me to the correct pages where I was able to learn much more about these fascinating features.

The Armadillos come with instructions for care. While self-cleaning, if I choose to wash them, I am to hand wash in warm water with no fabric softeners. They need to be hung dry. It also states do not bleach, do not iron and do not dry clean.

Summary

The Hillsound Super Armadillo Nano Gaiters appear to be a high quality gaiter. I am anxious to get out in the snow and try these out! 

Pros: Puncture resistant, waterproof and comfortable fit.
Cons: None so far.

This concludes this Initial Report.  I would like to thank Hillsound Equipment and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to test the Super Armadillo Nano Gaiters. Please check back in about two months to see how they have held up in the field.





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Read more gear reviews by Brett Haydin

Reviews > Footwear > Accessories > Hillsound Super Armadillo Nano Gaiters > Test Report by Brett Haydin



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