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Reviews > Rain Gear > Gaiters > MEC Nylon Gaiters > Owner Review by Andrea Murland

MEC Nylon Gaiters
Owner Review by Andrea Murland
October 12, 2011

Tester Information

Name: Andrea Murland
Email: amurland AT shaw DOT ca
Age: 26
Location: Rossland, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Weight: 125 lb (57 kg)

I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, and spent 2 months backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, but don’t have a lot of experience with winter in the backcountry yet. Elevation is typically 500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk, Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t consider myself a lightweight backpacker.

Image Courtesy of MEC
MEC Nylon Gaiters

Product Information

Manufacturer: Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC)
Manufacturer's URL: www.mec.ca
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Model: Nylon Gaiters
MSRP: CAD 15.00
Sizes Available: Small, Large
Size Reviewed: Small
Colours Available: Black, Blue #3, Sage/Black
Colour Reviewed: Black
Listed Weight: 240 g (8.5 oz) size Large
Measured Weight: 220 g (7.8 oz)
Measured Height: 39 cm (15.4 in)
Measured Circumference: 43 cm (16.9 in) at the top

Description

The MEC Nylon Gaiters are basic, nylon, knee-high gaiters. They are constructed from waterproof packcloth in the lower section and nylon in the upper section. The gaiters close with a full-length plastic zipper with a metal zipper pull. The zipper is covered by a flap which fastens with three snaps, at the bottom, top, and middle. There is elastic at ankle-height as well as at the bottom of the gaiters. At the front (at the bottom) of the gaiters there is a metal hook for keeping the gaiters forward to the front of the laces on my boots. The top of the gaiters have a drawcord with a cord-lock to snug them up around my legs. At the bottom of the gaiters, on either side, are metal grommets, which are connected together with a tied lace. This lace goes under the bottom of my boots to keep the gaiters from riding up.

Field Conditions

I purchased the MEC Nylon Gaiters in early 2007 prior to heading to Australia. Over the past 4.5 years I have used them a lot. In Australia I used them on one overnight trip as well as several dayhikes to keep my legs dry in wet weather and from being scratched on the unfamiliar bushes. In 2008 I used them mostly in the Alps when I was backpacking (the hiking kind) for two months. They were used there mostly to keep snow out of my boots early in the season but also in the rain to help keep my boots and socks dry. As a rough estimate, I probably hiked about 10 days in them there. In 2009, 2010, and 2011 I’ve continued using the gaiters while dayhiking in wet weather, early season snow, late season snow, and while snowshoeing. A rough guess would be about 10 more days. I have also used them for two days of cave rescue training to keep cave mud out of my boots. I usually have my gaiters in my pack if I don’t have them on when I’m out with Search and Rescue in the bush. So, as a very rough estimate I’ve probably used these gaiters for about 30 days of hiking or snowshoeing.
2007 to 2011 - Hiking in the MEC Nylon Gaiters across 3 continents
Use Collage

Review

The MEC Nylon Gaiters have served me well for the past 4.5 years. I consider them an essential part of my kit. I rarely go on a Search & Rescue mission or a backpacking trip without them.

Fit
The small size gaiters fit me well. They come up to just below my knees. The elastic around the bottom of the gaiters is a snug fit on my boots, but not too tight.

When I put each gaiter on, I slip my toe into the loop of the under-boot lace and then do up the zipper and the snaps. Then I hook the metal lace-loop onto my boot laces as far forward as my boots allow. Finally, I tighten the drawcord at the top of the gaiter. I prefer to wear the gaiters with the zippers on the outside of my legs so that the flaps covering the zippers aren’t rubbing on each other as I walk, and I tuck the tail of the drawcord lace inside the top of the gaiter so that it’s not flapping around.

Occasionally, over many hours, usually in thick brush or other conditions where there is a lot of friction on the gaiters, they will slip down towards my ankles. It really only happens when I’m wearing pants, since with shorts on I’d feel the slipping. This exposes slightly more of my pants but doesn’t really impact the function of the gaiters.

Function
The Nylon Gaiters do an excellent job as a basic gaiter. I use them mainly for keeping snow, muck, or water from coming in the top of my boots or onto my socks, keeping my feet dry from the top. Although they are not perfectly waterproof, I only notice leakage when I’m in such a downpour that everything else that I own is also leaking, at which point the water could really be coming from just about anywhere.

The zipper can be a bit sticky if it’s full of mud, but I have a habit of rinsing the gaiters off after a particularly mucky trip (so they’re not getting mud everywhere in my house), and a quick rinse of the zippers is enough to clear it. In general the flaps covering the zipper do a decent job of keeping muck out of the zipper except under the worst conditions. I’ve never had an issue with the zipper at all. The snaps have gotten harder and harder to do up over the years that I’ve used the gaiters, particularly the middle snaps, and there are days when I’ve had to leave a snap or two undone because I just couldn’t get it to work.

Since these gaiters are made from simple nylon and packcloth with no fancy membranes or coatings, I have had no hesitation throwing them in my regular wash, hanging them to dry, and occasionally boosting the water repellence with a standard off-the-shelf waterproofing product for non-technical garments. It’s nice to have a functional piece of gear that doesn’t require special treatment in the wash.

Durability
These gaiters are still in GREAT condition. Some of the black coating has come off the snaps, and the laces on the drawcords and the under-boot laces are a bit fuzzy, but otherwise they look almost as good as new. No loose threads even. The waterproof coating on the inside of the lower section is a bit worn, but hasn’t cracked.

Summary

The MEC Nylon Gaiters are simple knee-height gaiters that do a great job of keeping snow, mud, and water off and out of my hiking boots. They have never caused me any problems, have performed well, and have stood up well to abuse. I consider them an essential part of my hiking kit.

Thumbs Up:
Simple product
Easy to wash and re-waterproof
Great durability

Thumbs Down:
Not completely waterproof
Snaps hard to do up



Read more reviews of Mountain Equipment Co-op gear
Read more gear reviews by Andrea Murland

Reviews > Rain Gear > Gaiters > MEC Nylon Gaiters > Owner Review by Andrea Murland



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