*Initial Report: MountainAbout GatrGuard
1 Oct 2007*
*About Wayne, the tester:
Height: 1.8 m (5' 10")
Weight: 95 kg (211 lb)
Email address: wayne underscore merry at yahoo dot com dot au
City, State, Country: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
*Backpacking Background:* I started overnight backpacking six years ago.
I hike in various terrains from moderate/hard track walks to some off
track and rivers. I like the temperature to stay above freezing, and
have not camped above the snow line during winter. I enjoy going on
weekend and multi day walks up to two weeks as well as day walks. I
carry a moderate weight pack, enjoying a few creature comforts at camp.
I would normally do at least 2 overnight or longer walks every three
months, in addition to a number of full day length walks.
*About the test environment:*
I will be testing the MountainAbout GatrGuard in Victoria and Tasmania,
Australia. Elevations will vary from 0 m to 1500 m (4950 feet) although
I may climb higher up to 2000m (6600 feet). The test will be conducted
in spring and summer periods with temperatures varying from 10 C (50 F)
to 40 C (104 F). Humidity varies widely during this time of year.
Conditions could vary from quite wet to very dry. The Tasmanian
conditions are expected to be very wet and muddy.
I will be testing the MountainAbout GatrGuard on all my overnight or
longer walks, in addition to some of my day walks.
* Manufacturer: MountainAbout
* Web site: http://www.mountainabout.com/
* Year of shipping: 2007
* Place of manufacture: unknown
* MSRP US$7.99
Manufacturer's description: Sick and tired of replacing that flimsy
instep cord on your lightweight gaiters? Does the cord not even make it
through a single trip rendering your gaiters almost useless? Have you
even glued Velcro to your shoe and gaiter so you can finally be rid of
the shredded cord? If this sounds familiar then you need the GatrGuard.
Finally, a lightweight instep strap that actually stands up to the abuse
of hiking. The GatrGuard uses 1/2 inch nylon webbing for the high wear
areas and stretchy shock cord to make the strap flexible and taut. It
also uses cord locks on each end of the strap to keep it fully
adjustable. The GatrGuard is lightweight too. It weighs in at a little
under 0.7 ounces per pair.
*Specifications for product as tested:
o Manufacturer specified:
+ Weight: 20 g (0.7 oz)
o As tested:
+ Weight: 19 g (0.7 oz) - as a pair.
Initial Report: Item Receipt & First Impressions:
1 Oct 2007
I received the MountainAbout GatrGuard in a plastic sleeve with a
stapled on cardboard card describing the product and instructions. The
instructions describe the product and how to attach it to gaiters. The
GatrGuard requires that the Gaiters have eyelets to attach to, although
the shock cord could be threaded through clips as well.
In the lead up to this test I lost one of my old gaiters, and used this
as an opportunity to upgrade. My old gaiters used a steel cord as their
strap to keep them secured. This strap was easy to take off. I often
walked with the strap off as rocks and the general surface of much of my
walking tended to wear straps down, so that straps would fail after 20
to 30 hours of walking. My new gaiters were not designed to remove the
strap so easily, however I was able to remove it from one side and
attach the GatrGuard easily. The manufacturers of the new gaiters must
have been more confident about their strap given that it is not designed
to be easily removable, however I will not have an opportunity to see if
this is the case as I will use the GatrGuard exclusively during the test
period. I cannot remove the manufacturers strap completely, however I
will have it out of use during the test of the GatrGuard.
The material of the GatrGuard seems quite strong, but it is not thick.
My initial thought was - is this going to handle the rocks and other
hazards of the tracks that made such short work of my old steel straps?
MountainAbout have designed this product to perform significantly better
than the usual straps supplied with some gaiters, as described on their
web site. We shall see, given that I have over 30 days of walking
planned during the test period.
I would like to thank BackpackGearTest and MountainAbout for the
opportunity to test the GatrGuard.
*Field Test Report:*
Please check back in January/February for the Field Test report.
*Long Term Report:*
Please check back in about March/April for the Long Term Report.