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Reviews > Footwear > Accessories > REI Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters > Owner Review by Josh Breslow

OUTDOOR RESEARCH ROCKY MOUNTAIN LOW GAITERS
Owner Review by Josh Breslow

Name: Josh Breslow
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Height: 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Weight: 170 Pounds (77 kg)
Email Address: jbreslowsubs [at] gmail [dot] com
City, State, Country: San Diego, CA, U.S

Backpacking Background: I am fairly new to the backpacking world, having done it now for about 8 months. But I have been an avid hiker for many years. I mostly take weekend trips to the San Bernadino Mountains with an occasional trip to the desert. I am trying get my pack down to about 10-12 lbs (4 kg - 5 kg). An aspiring "gram weenie".

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: www.outdoorresearch.com
MSRP: US$22
Listed Weight: 4.8 oz (136 g) for L/XL size
Measured Weight: 3.5 oz (98 g) for S/M size
Size: S/M, also available in L/XL
Color: Black
Fabric: 100% nylon
Length: 9 in (22.86 cm)
Width: 16 in (40.64 cm)

The Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain Low gaiters are made from 100% nylon fabric. Each gaiter has the OR logo embroidered in gray on the outside. There is an elastic band sewn into each gaiter at the top and bottom to keep it snug against the ankle and the shoe. A 1 in X 9 in (2.54 cm X 22.86 cm) strip of hook-and-loop is used to keep the gaiter closed. There is also an extra flap of hook-and-loop at the top and at the bottom to make sure the 9 in (22.86 cm) strip doesn't start coming apart. At the bottom-front of the gaiter is a riveted metal hook that is used to hook into the shoe's laces. This keeps the gaiter pulled down snug over the tongue/laces of the shoe. On the left or right side (depending on how they are put on) is a 1 in X 8.5 in (2.54 cm X 21.59 cm) piece of leather with 20 evenly spaced holes running the length of it. This strap is used in conjunction with the buckle (similar to a waist belt) located on the opposite side of the strap to keep the gaiters pulled down around the ankles. The leather strap runs under the arch of each shoe.

Field Use

I have used these gaiters on almost all of my hiking and backpacking trips. I have a tendency to kick sand and debris up into my shoes; I think because of the way I walk, so these are a must for me. They have been worn in the desert, walking through sandy washes, thorny and rocky terrain, the mountains where tree and brush material can stick in my shoes/socks and become a nuisance as well as through streams and snow.

A few examples of the trips I have worn them on are:

  • Hiking to Goat Canyon Trestle, Anza Borrego
    about 8 miles (12 km) of steep, rocky and sandy terrain in hot, around 90-100 F (32-37 C), weather.
  • Hiking to Montero Palms, Anza Borrego
    about 6 miles (9 km) in sandy, prickly terrain with lots of small pebbles. Hot, around 85-90 F (29-32 C), and dry weather.
  • Backpacking to Maidenhair Falls, Anza Borrego
    about 7 (11 km) miles in sandy terrain, some small river crossings Hot, around 90-95 F (32-35 C), and dry weather.
  • Backpacking to San Gorgonio, San Bernardino Mountains
    about 18 miles (28 km) in steep terrain. Lots of pine needles and other tree/brush to get into shoes. Warm to hot temperature, about 80-90 F (27-32 C), and dry weather.
  • Backpacking through Mineral King, Sequoia National Park
    about 22 miles (35 km) over 3 days. Cool, around 70-75 F (21-24 C), and dry weather, several stream crossings and some snow.
In each and every trip over the years the gaiters performed up to expectation. They kept dirt and debris out of my shoes and socks for the entire trip. While they are not waterproof, they did help keep snow from entering the tops of my shoes thus keeping my feet drier and warmer than they would have been without them.

An added bonus of keeping my feet cleaner is helping to prevent blisters. I developed fewer blisters or hot spots caused by debris being in my shoes.

I was also able to hike longer and with fewer stops. Other people had to stop every couple of hours to empty their shoes, where I did not have to stop and could keep hiking.

They are comfortable to wear and I hardly noticed that they were on. They do add a little weight and bulk but it is hardly noticeable. The elastic that goes around the ankle fits snug but not too snug where it was cutting off circulation

In certain terrain, snow, I did have a hard time keeping the leather strap under my foot, especially when sliding down snow embankments on my feet. My shoes either did not have a big enough arch to keep the strap firmly in place or the friction was too much and caused the strap to slide off my foot.

The only other downside or fault I have with them is the leather strap that runs under the shoe around the arch. Leather is strong but isn't something that is going to withstand the constant abrasion from rocks, logs, and sand that the foot encounters. After many many trips, the leather strap finally broke. The company has a lifetime warranty on all of its products, so my gaiters were promptly replaced with a brand new pair.

In Summary

I find these gaiters to be very useful in keeping things out of my shoes and will continue to wear them on every trip I go on.

Pros

  • Price
  • They work remarkably well
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • Leather strap will eventually break
  • Weight
  • Strap slips off of foot in certain conditions


Read more reviews of REI gear
Read more gear reviews by Josh Breslow

Reviews > Footwear > Accessories > REI Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters > Owner Review by Josh Breslow



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