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Reviews > Footwear > Accessories > Hillsound Super Armadillo Nano Gaiters > Test Report by David Wilkes

Test series by David Wilkes

Hillsound Equipment 

SUPER ARMADILLO NANO GAITER

Initial Report - Nov 17 2017
Field Report - due Jan 2018
Long Term Report - due Mar 2018

Tester Information

Name: David Wilkes
E-Mail: amatbrewer@yahoo.com
Age: 50
Location: Yakima Washington USA
Gender: M
Height: 5'11" (1.80 m)
Weight: 200 lb (90.7 kg)

Biography:

I started backpacking in 1995 when I moved to Washington State. Since then, I have backpacked in all seasons and conditions the Northwest has to offer.  I prefer trips on rugged trails with plenty of elevation gain. While I continuously strive to lighten my load, comfort and safety are most important to me. I have finally managed to get my basic cold weather pack weight, not including consumables, to under 30 lb (14 kg).

Product Information

Manufacturer:

Hillsound Equipment

Year of Manufacture:

2017

Manufacturer’s Website:

www.hillsound.com

MSRP:

$79 USD

Sizes:

XS, S, M, L, XL (see specification chart below)

Listed Weights (pair):

320 g / 11.29 oz (XS)
342 g / 12.06 oz (S)
362 g / 12.77 oz (M)
380 g / 13.40 oz (L)
402 g / 14.18 oz (XL)

Measured Weight (pair):

Size L :  358 g / 12.65 oz

Product pix

Product Description:

The Super Armadillo Nano gaiters are HILLSOUND's most feature rich gaiters. They are intended for demanding activities such as mountaineering, snowshoeing, and ice climbing. They include features that make them water, dirt and stain resistant, as well as being resistant to cuts and punctures, while also being comfortable and breathable over a wide range of temperatures and conditions.

Initial Report

Nov 15 2017


InsideThe HILLSOUND Super Armadillo Nano gaiters is a bit much to type/read over and over and so throughout this report I will to refer to them in an abbreviated fashion such as "the gaiters", expanding on that as necessary for clarity.

I have used a pair of HILLSOUND crampons for a number of years and really like them so was excited to have the chance to review these gaiters. In preparation for this I did a bit of reading and was surprised at the number of features as well as the use of some materials/technologies that were unfamiliar to me. The uppers utilize "Schoeller C_Change" which is a water and wind proof membrane that allows moisture and excess heat to escape by becoming more porous when warm, but retaining heat by contracting the membrane when cold. They also have permanent DWR by way of "NanoSphere" coating. According to what I have read this borrows from a natural water and soil resistant feature some plants employ, where the surface structure causes moisture to bead and roll off rather than soaking in, and in the process dirt particles are washed off therefore making it "self-cleaning." The manufacturer states the lower half of the gaiters are made from a "SuperFabric" that it abrasion and puncture resistant. In addition to these the gaiters have a number of more traditional features like waterproof YKK zippers up the front with a very large insulated zipper guard, and large (glove compatible?) loop attached to the zipper pull. The boot strap is removable (replaceable). The upper portion of the gaiters are stretchy to make them more comfortable, and the top of the gaiters feature an adjustable web strap with buckle to help keep them in place.

The gaiters are offered in 5 sizes. These are listed by shoe size and a calf circumference. I requested a size Large based on my shoe size without realizing that I actually have extra large calves (18" / 46 cm). The large size were too tight around my calves and I could not zip them closed so needed to get the larger (XL) size . So I would recommend when choosing a size go with witchever measurement (shoe or calf) results in the larger gaiter size.Size chart

Unlike most other gaiters I have used, these zip in the front. This makes them easier to get on/off than ones with side or back closures. I also prefer zipper closures over hook-n-loop. True, zippers can be less durable than hook-n-loop, but I find them easier to deal with and more waterproof. The lace hooks are configured as I have heard some refer to as "backward". That is they point up/out away from the shoe. I have used gaiters with this style hook before and while it takes a bit more effort to get them hooked on to the laces of my footwear than if they were pointed the other way, it makes them very unlikely to come off, which is why I prefer this style. There is also a large hook-n-loop tab at the bottom of the gaiters that covers and secures the zipper, which I find is a very nice detail. At the top of the gaiters is an adjustable web strap with plastic buckle. This is to help keep the top of the gaiters cinched tight around the users leg as well as help to prevent them from slipping down the leg. The boot strap that goes under the boot looks to be a rubber impregnated (or encapsulated) nylon strap. This is similar to some other high quality gaiters I have used, with the exception that these are removable. Now I would note that I have broken the boot straps from other gaiters but never ones of this style. However that is a likely failure point for a product like this so I appreciate that these can be easily removed by simply slipping them out of the buckles that connect them on both sides of the gaiters.

In going over the gaiters I found them to be quite well constructed with no obvious flaws or indications of weak and/or potential problem areas. The zipper appears to be of quality construction and looks waterproof. The notably large zipper guard behind the zipper suggests the zipper is unlikely to snag (on the gaiter or my clothing), should help keep water out, and should also allow me to use these with shorts in warmer weather (zipper should not snag my leg hair or scratch my skin).

I would note here that I am a big fan of gaiters throughout the year. Obviously in the winter they help keep snow and moisture out of my boots and pants, but they also help to keep my pants and boots dry in warmer months when I am likely to encounter mud and or wet brush as well as helping to keep debris and critters out of my footwear. And in the rare occasions when I hike in shorts, in addition to the above uses, they also help to protect my lower legs from scratches and critters.

At the time of this writing I have not yet received the replacement size XL gaiters. I will include fitting information and weight in the Field Report.

Likes:
  • Well constructed
  • Puncture resistant
  • Waterproof and breathable 
Dislikes:
  • None so far

Field Report

due Jan 2018

Long Term Report

due Mar 2018


This concludes my Initial Report. I would like to thank the folks at Hillsound Equipment and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product and invite you back in about 2 months for the Field Review.

 



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Reviews > Footwear > Accessories > Hillsound Super Armadillo Nano Gaiters > Test Report by David Wilkes



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