Looking for deep snow or hiking protection for your lower legs? Hillsound Armadillo LT gaiters might be a good choice.
by Leon Pantenburg
I was not paid to do this review. Hillsound supplied the product, and at the time of publication, has no sponsorship or advertising relationship with SurvivalCommon Sense.com
An often overlooked piece of hiking gear is gaiters. These are essentially leg protection that also keeps dirt, sand, little rocks, snow, ice etc out of your socks and boots. They aren’t a new idea – soldiers have been using some variation of gaiters for hundreds of years. (Look at five tips for choosing gaiters.)
But you might want to consider gaiters if you’re looking at new boots. The right gaiters allow wearing lower and lighter versions, saving weight, and making it more comfortable to hike on dusty, sandy trails.
The Hillsound Armadillo LT gaiters combine waterproof and breathable materials with a solid design. They worked great for me for snowshoeing in deep snow.
Here’s the specs of the Armadillos, according to the company website:
– Weight: 300g (Medium)
– Available sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
– Waterproof to 20,000mm.
– Breathability rating: 6RET, 15.000 + g.
– YKK zipper brings the gaiter close to the leg.
– DWR coating will remain intact for up to 50 washes.
Materials: The LT is made of a waterproof and breathable upper made of Flexia three-layer fabric that is contour fitting and lightweight. This stretch fabric, the website claims, ensures a snug fit that won’t pinch or fall down. The lower is a 1000 denier, high-density nylon.
YKK zipper: The zipper on gaiters can be wonderful, or something that makes you cuss and swear when trying to operate it. The LT zipper has an easy-to-grab tag that is great!
Zipper cover tab: Once you zip the gaiter closed near your boot instep, a velcro tab covers the tag end. You won’t appreciate this until you’ve been hiking in the slush, and the temperature drops. This could freeze the zipper shut, making it a real pain to operate. The tab keeps this from happening.
Breathability: The LTs were comfortable to wear under all conditions I tried them in. I used the LTs snowshoeing, on a day when it started out cold, and warmed up to slush temperatures. I didn’t notice excess moisture accumulating underneath them, and the gaiters kept my pant legs and socks dry.
I’ll try the LTs later this spring, and see how they pan out in warmer, summer temps. I could see these being really nice when trekking through rain and tall, wet grass.
The DWR coating: So far, so good. I haven’t needed to wash the gaiters yet, so it will take a while to determine how well the DWR will last. Typically, snowshoeing is a clean activity, and I rarely need to wash my gaiters. If I do, it would be with a garden hose on my lawn.
Do you need a pair of Armadillo LTs?
Well, a good pair of gaiters can really improve your hiking/snowshoeing/winter sports experiences. I like the LTs, and plan on using them a lot. They might work for you, too.
Suggested retail price is $49.95, and the Armadillo LT comes with a limited lifetime warranty.