The Best Gaiters for Hiking in 2022

Outdoor Research Crocodile gaiters

Outdoor Research Crocodile gaiters

Although hiking in snowy conditions is not easy, it can be an unforgettable experience to wander around an amazing snow-covered landscape. To be comfortable and safe on snowy trails you will need some additional gear, like insulated clothing, winter hiking boots and gaiters.

Gaiters are very useful for hiking on snowy trails because they prevent snow and dirt from entering your boots – and few things are more annoying than having snow melting inside your boots. Gaiters are worn over the top of your boots and over the lower part of your pant legs. You attach them to the boots with an instep strap and lace hooks. Usually, they also have a drawcord at the top which ensures that they stay firmly attached to the pants thus preventing snow and dirt from entering in-between. As gaiters keep your feet warm and dry while you are hiking in deep snow, they are crucial for comfortable winter trips.

Here we selected the best gaiters for hiking to make your buying decision a little easier. We only listed lightweight products which provide good durability.

To learn how to put on a pair of gaiters check out our article How to use winter hiking gear.

If you are planning to hike on icy terrain, we recommend that you also check out our reviews of the Best Crampons and Best Ice Axes. For those who plan to hike on trails covered with deep snow, we also selected the Best Snowshoes for Hiking.

Updated Content

We regularly update our reviews and selections to always recommend you the best products on the market.

Expert Selections

We only list top-tier products. Read how our selections of best hiking products differ from others here.

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1. Our Picks of Gaiters for Hiking

Best Gaiters for Winter Hiking

Best Gaiters for Winter Hiking

  1. Outdoor Research Crocodile
  2. Black Diamond Apex GTX
  3. Outdoor Research Helium
  4. Rab Latok Alpine
  5. Sea to Summit Quagmire eVent

2. Comparison of Hiking Gaiters

Scroll Horizontally
Feature/Product Outdoor Research Crocodile Black Diamond Apex GTX Outdoor Research Helium Rab Latok AlpineSea to Summit Quagmire eVent
Weight (pair)10 oz.8.1 oz.8.5 oz.9.4 oz.12.8 oz.
Weight -
Metric (pair)
289 g230 g240 g266 g362 g
MaterialGore-Tex, CorduraGore-TexPertex ShieldeVent, Tough Robic Nylon eVent, 1000-denier Cordura
Design3-layer3-layer2.5-layer3-layer3-layer
HeightKneeKneeKneeKneeKnee

3. The Selection

Outdoor Research Crocodile gaiters

Outdoor Research Crocodile gaiters

1. Outdoor Research Crocodile

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Ice Climbing

The Outdoor Research Crocodile gaiters are extremely robust and therefore perfect for mountaineering and tough expeditions. They are made of a 3-layer Gore-Tex fabric which provides great breathability, durability and weather protection. Furthermore, they are reinforced with a 2-layer Cordura fabric in the lower part. This is very practical because this part is very exposed to tears from crampons. Even though the Cordura fabric is sturdier than the Gore-Tex fabric, it does not significantly decrease the breathability. On the contrary, Cordura is known for being very breathable. The Crocodile gaiters are also equipped with double-stitched Velcro front entries which allow you to put them on quickly and easily. The instep straps are made by BioThane – a well-known manufacturer of durable sport accessories. The straps are coated with a protective film and therefore provide superb durability. In addition to the instep straps they have lace hooks which ensure that they stay firmly on your boots. The top closures use cam buckles and therefore allow you to quickly adjust the right fit. The Outdoor Research Crocodile might not be the lightest product, but because they provide great durability and functionality, they rank first in this selection.

Sizing: S fits US shoe size 4-7 (EU 35-40), M fits shoe size 7-9 (EU 40-42), L fits shoe size 9-11 (EU 42-44), XL fits shoe size 11-13 (EU 44-46), XXL fits shoe size 13-15 (EU 46-48).

Women's Version: Available - Outdoor Research Women's Crocodile Gaiters

Note: Women's version might slightly differ from the men's version.

 

Pros:

  • Durability
  • Protection
  • Reinforced with Cordura
  • Price

Cons:

  • /

Video

Black Diamond Apex GTX

Black Diamond Apex GTX

2. Black Diamond Apex GTX

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Ice Climbing

The Black Diamond Apex GTX gaiters are very well-made. Because they are very light, they are perfect for ice climbing and other demanding activities on snow-covered slopes. They are made of a breathable and waterproof 3-layer Gore-Tex fabric. In the lower part they have an abrasion guard which is made of a welded 600-denier double layer fabric. This sturdy fabric efficiently protects them against abrasion and tears. Great fit is ensured with the neoprene-coated instep strap and lace hook which can be attached to the boot’s lace from the underside.  The Black Diamond Apex GTX  are also equipped with side-release top closures which can be easily used, no matter the conditions. Next to the buckles there are even reflective panels which help you find them in low visibility conditions. The hook and loop front entries allow you to put them on without a hassle.

Sizing: S fits shoe size 6-8.5 (EU 38-42), M fits shoe size 8.5-10 (EU 42-43), L fits shoe size 10.5-12 (EU 43-45 ), XL fits shoe size 12-13 (EU 45-47 ).

Women’s Version: No – this product is unisex and can thus be used by all. Be aware of sizing, though.

Pros:

  • Material
  • Functionality
  • Abrasion Guard

Cons:

  • /
Outdoor Research Helium gaiters

Outdoor Research Helium gaiters

3. Outdoor Research Helium

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking

The Outdoor Research Helium gaiters differ from the Black Diamond Apex GTX and Outdoor Research Crocodile gaiters listed above in fabric; instead of Gore-Tex, they are made of a 2.5-layer Pertex Shield fabric. The Pertex Shield fabric is very light, waterproof and breathable. However, it does not provide as good breathability as Gore-Tex. Due to the Pertex Shield fabric, these gaiters are super lightewight – they weigh merely 8.5 ounces. The Outdoor Research Helium gaiters otherwise have quite similar features as the Outdoor Research Crocodile gaiters; they have reinforced ankles (no Cordura though), cam buckle top closures, Velcro front entries and metal boot lace hooks. However, some materials used on the Helium gaiters are less durable than those of the Crocodile model. For example, the foot panel is made of 1000-denier fabric on the Crocodile model, while it is made of 420-denier fabric on the Helium. The Outdoor Research Helium gaiters are best for those who want lightweight gaiters for various activities in snowy conditions.

Sizing: S fits US shoe size 4-7 (EU 35-40), M fits shoe size 7-9 (EU 40-42), L fits shoe size 9-11 (EU 42-44), XL fits shoe size 11-13 (EU 44-46), XXL fits shoe size 13-15 (EU 46-48).

Women's Version: Available - Outdoor Research Women's Helium Gaiters

Note: Women's version might slightly differ from the men's version.

 

Pros:

  • Weight
  • Functionality
  • Reinforced ankles
  • Price

Cons:

  • Breathability
  • Less sturdy materials
Rab Latok Alpine

Rab Latok Alpine

4. Rab Latok Alpine

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Ice Climbing

The Rab Latok Alpine gaiters provide great functionality. They are made of eVent fabric which is super breathable (more so than the Gore-Tex fabric) and very light. The eVent fabric has a hydrostatic head of 30.000 mm and MVTR (Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate) between 15.000 and 25.000 g/m2/24h. This is indeed a superb result. The Rab gaiters are reinforced with Tough Robic nylon for increased durability in the ankle area. In addition to the high-quality materials, the Rab Latok Alpine also feature Velcro front closures, rubberized abrasion-resistant instep straps and single-hand drawcord top closures for easy use while you are wearing gloves.

Sizing: S fits shoe size 6-8 (EU 38-41), M fits shoe size 8-10 (EU 41-44), L fits shoe size 10-13 (EU 44-47)

Women’s Version: No – this product is unisex and can thus be used by all. Be aware of sizing, though.

Pros:

  • Weight
  • Material
  • Breathability
  • Design

Cons:

  • /
Sea to Summit Alpine Event Gaiter

Sea to Summit Quagmire Event Gaiter

5. Sea to Summit Quagmire eVent

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Ice Climbing

The Sea to Summit Quagmire eVent is a pair of high-quality gaiters which meets the standards of even the most demanding hikers and mountaineers. The Sea to Summit Quagmire gaiters are made of the eVent fabric like the Rab Latok gaiters above. Therefore, they provide great breathability and weather protection. In the lower part they are reinforced with 1000-denier Cordura for protection against the abrasion and longer lifespan. The Sea to Summit gaiters are also equipped with Velcro front entries, cam buckle top closures, high-quality stainless-steel lace hooks and replaceable boot straps. The gaiters come in four different sizes to offer good fit.

Sizing: S fits US shoe size 5-7 (EU 37-39), M fits shoe size 6.5-9 (EU 39-42), L fits shoe size 8.5-10.5 (EU 41-44), XL fits shoe size 10-13 (EU 43-47).

Women’s Version: No – this product is unisex and can thus be used by all. Be aware of sizing, though.

Pros:

  • Material
  • Breathability
  • Quality

Cons:

  • /

Where to buy?

Also available at:

Moosejaw

4. Hiking Gaiters Buying Advice – What is important?

Material:

High-quality gaiters are made of a fabric that is not only waterproof but also breathable – like Gore-TexeVent etc. They typically utilize 3-layer waterproof/breathable fabrics because these fabrics provide the best durability and weather protection. They consist of a face fabric, membrane and a liner. The face fabric protects against the abrasion while the membrane prevents liquid water from the outside to enter but allows water vapor from the inside to pass through. Note that these layers are bonded together and thus not visible to the naked eye. To learn more about waterproof/breathable fabrics check out our Comparison of Shell Materials.

Reinforcements:

The lower part of a gaiter is often reinforced with a resilient fabric such as Cordura or Kevlar for protection against abrasion. It is very common that a hiker accidentally gets his/her crampons hooked on the gaiters and tear them up. Therefore, a reinforced lower part is indeed a great feature.

Weight:

Gaiters should be lightweight as all other hiking gear. Lightweight gear allows you to hike faster and reach your destination easier. All products in this selection weigh less than 15 ounces (per pair). Read more about why it is important to use lightweight gear in our article Why hike lightweight.

Functionality:

Gaiters should be easy to put on. Therefore, they are typically equipped with Velcro front entries which allow you to quickly attach them around the pants. Older models  had zips which were difficult to use – especially if you were wearing gloves.

Height:

Gaiters come in different heights – such as over-the-ankle, mid-calf and knee. Short gaiters are best for trail running while high can be used in all conditions. Therefore, we only listed knee gaiters in this selection. These are also suitable for trudging through very deep snow.

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Author Information

Blaz

Outdoor enthusiast with experience in all types of hiking and mountaineering. Hiked in the Alps, Iceland and other countries. In love with via ferrata trails and snow-covered slopes. Check out my hikes.

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