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Reviews > Footwear > Accessories > Hillsound Super Armadillo Nano Gaiters > Test Report by Gail StaisilHillsound
Super Armadillo Nano Gaiters
Test Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan
Initial Report - November 12, 2017
November 12, 2017
Name: Gail Staisil
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 160 lb (73 kg)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com
For the last 20 years, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan. My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8 kg). I am primarily a tarp camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.
Initial Impressions and Product Description
The Hillsound Super Armadillo Nano Gaiters arrived in the requested size of Large based on calf circumference. No imperfections were found. Even though my calf was on the smaller end of the range for the size selected, I found the gaiters to be more close fitting than other long gaiters that I have worn in winter. It will be interesting to see if this is an asset. The gaiters are long and end just below my knees. The gaiters are the top of the line product for Hillsound as they also make two other styles. This style is recommended for mountaineering, snowshoeing and ice climbing. The gaiters were designed and developed in Canada but the place of fabrication is in China.
I am guessing there is a reason that part of the name of the gaiters is "Armadillo". The lower half of the gaiters feature SuperFabric which is an "abrasion and puncture-resistant material that can withstand your most extreme outdoor adventures" according to the manufacturer. The material features very small raised dots that have a tough look to them. NanoSphere coating is used as a permanent DWR coating so that the gaiters will likely be water and dirt resistant. Uppers of the gaiter feature patented Schoeller C_Change which is a wind and waterproof membrane. Reportedly it allows heat retention or cooling dependent on the temperature. The fabric is also stretchable.
When I put the gaiters on, I noticed that there is one outstanding difference from my other gaiters: the zipper hooks at the top edge of the gaiters, meaning that I close the zipper the opposite way that most zippers operate. Seemed a bit awkward so hope I get used to it! There is a rather nice big loop on each zipper to make using the pull easier by hooking a finger through the large loop. The zipper is a water-resistant YKK zipper with a wide storm flap behind it (about 5 cm/2 in wide). The top edge of the gaiters have webbing and buckle closures. The bottom edge has a hook-and-loop tab. There is also a bottom metal hook so that the gaiter can be secured to a loop on my backcountry ski boots (one boot pictured at right) or other footwear. The instep strap of the gaiters is a TPU-coated nylon and is replaceable. It is very shiny and looks like patent-leather right now. The strap has an adjustable buckle at the lateral side of each gaiter.
Care instructions are basically easy. The gaiters can be hand washed with warm water then hung dry. That's all that I need to remember as the usual warnings about not dry cleaning, no bleach, etc are only necessary if one is truly puzzled!
I would consider the Hillsound Super Armadillo Nano Gaiters to be close fitting and very sturdy looking. Lots of high tech materials are used to hopefully improve performance and durability. I look forward to backcountry skiing and snowshoeing with these gaiters. They will also likely be used with crampons while exploring ice caves this winter.
Thanks to Hillsound and BackpackGearTest.org for this opportunity to test the Super Armadillo Nano Gaiters. This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be ready in about two months.
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