OR - Outdoor Research Rocky Mtn Low Gaiters - Hollis Easter
- Dear friendly editors,
Please find enclosed a new OR from me. Thanks!
Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters
6 September 2008
The Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain Low gaiters are short gaiters that
fit over my hiking boots to keep trail debris from entering.
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* Reviewer Information
* Product Information
* Field Information
Outside view of the gaiters
Name: Hollis Easter
Height: 6'0" (1.8 m)
Weight: 205 lb (93 kg)
Shoe size: 13 US
Preferred hiking footgear: light boots
Email address: backpackgeartest[a@t)holliseaster(dah.t]com
City, State, Country: Potsdam, New York, USA
Backpacking Background: I started hiking as a child in the Adirondack
Mountains of New York. As a teenager, I hiked my way to an Eagle Scout
award. I love winter climbing, and long days through rough terrain
abound. The peaks have become my year-round friends.
I am a midweight backpacker: I don't carry unnecessary gear, but
neither do I cut the edges from my maps. I hike in all seasons, at
altitudes from sea level to 5,300 ft (1,600 m), and in temperatures
from -30 F (-34 C) to 100 F (38 C).
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
Year of manufacture: 2006
Listed weight: 4.8 oz (136 g)
Actual weight: 4.3 oz (122 g)
Size: L/XL fits 812 US (4146 Euro) shoes
MSRP: $22.00 US
Product features (from website):
* Traditional uncoated 8 oz (226 g) packcloth construction
* All-season performance
* Intended for use over hiking, backpacking, and cross-country ski
* One-inch-wide hook/loop front closure
* Boot lace hook
* Snaps at bottom and top
* Elastic bottom and top edges
* Nylon instep lace provided
Hiking locations used: Most of my spring, summer, and fall hiking
during the last two years, including mountains in New York's
Adirondack Mountains and Vermont's Green Mountains. I wore them most
recently on a section hike of the Appalachian and Long Trails near
Stratton Mountain in Vermont. I have also worn them for most of my
rock climbing approaches during that time.
Description of locations: trails and forest bushwhacks, mountains up
to 5,100 ft (1500 m). Highly varied.
Weather conditions: I've worn the Rocky Mountain Lows in bright sun
well above 90 F (32 C), in pouring rain at 40 F (4 C), and in lots of
conditions in between. I haven't taken them out in snow, as I have
taller gaiters for that.
Inside view of gaiters
Inside view of gaiters
I bought the Rocky Mountain Low gaiters after a particularly
irritating approach hike to a day of rock climbing. We had to
bushwhack the whole way, through waist-high plants that were covered
in dew. There was burdock everywhere, and the little burrs got stuck
in my socks constantly, cutting my ankles unless I pulled them out
immediately. It seemed as though I was stopping to pull rocks and bits
of mud out of my boots every five paces. Something had to change.
I bought the gaiters before my next hike, and I've been wearing them
ever since. They're small, lightweight, and effective at their job.
Every once in a while, a bit of dirt or a stick will sneak its way
down into my boots, but it happens very rarely, where it once was
commonplace. I'll take it!
Outdoor Research recommends their "WRAP IT, THEN STRAP IT" approach to
putting gaiters on: they recommend wrapping the gaiter around the leg
with the logo on the outside, closing the hook/loop fastener and
securing it with the snaps at top and bottom, putting the hook through
the front boot laces, and then doing up the instep lace.
I did that the first time. Now I leave the instep lace tied, and just
step into the gaiters. I move the lace so it passes under my instep,
put the hook in place, and then do up the Velcro and snaps. Easy and
quick! I find that the hook/loop fastener will stick to my boot laces
if I'm not careful, so I move them out of the way before donning the
Boots with and without gaiters
Boots with and without gaiters
The gaiters fit me reasonably well, even though I wear a size 13 US
(47 Euro) boota size too large for the L/XL gaiters. The calf opening
is a little tight on me, so I push the tops down until they're just
above my socks, and that works for me. The elastic edges of the
gaiters work well to keep out rocks, twigs, and mud.
The hook/loop closure was a big selling point for me, since it means I
can put on my gaiters without taking off my boots. I don't like to
wear the gaiters in the car, and this makes it easy to get ready at
the trailhead. Outdoor Research has installed snaps at the top and
bottom of the hook/loop strip, and these keep everything securely
fastened until I choose to change.
The gaiters work well in rain, too. I've hiked all day in rain wearing
them, and found my socks dry. The elastic edges work well keeping out
water along with everything else. Although the gaiters are made with
uncoated fabric and are therefore not waterproof, I've found that my
socks don't get really wet from rain. A happy discovery!
The gaiters fit my boots pretty closely, which is good. They don't
catch on underbrush, they do protect my ankles against cuts, and they
keep my boot laces from being snagged. I've added a piece of tubular
webbing as a sleeve for each instep lace, to help protect itso far so
The gaiters are easy to keep clean: even when they've been out in
serious mud, it brushes easily off once it dries. I wish I could say
the same for some other pieces of gear. I have never yet washed the
gaiters, and they do not smell. I don't notice that my feet smell more
or are much more sweaty after wearing the gaiters, although the
gaiters can be quite warm in bright sunlight. I wear wicking liner
socks, and I've been comfortable.
A few things I've learned: it's important to apply sunscreen before
putting the gaiters on. Hiking moves the edges of the gaiters around,
and I got pretty bad sunburns around both ankles before I figured this
The knots on the instep laces tend to loosen slightly. I think this is
about the material and the fact that, with my oversized boots, most of
the lace is taken up by surrounding my foot. I retie the knots
periodically, and it doesn't seem to matter which knots I choose:
they're usually a bit loose. This isn't a problem and doesn't affect much.
Gaiters in use (second from left)
Gaiters in use (second from left)
I have been very happy with the Rocky Mountain Low gaiters. They keep
dirt and other trail junk out of my boots, and that keeps my feet
content. They're pretty good in rain, even though they aren't marketed
Short gaiters don't look entirely cool, and my hiking buddies make fun
of me. My feet are happy, though, and that's the test for me. I plan
to keep using these gaiters.
* Keep out trail debris
* Protect my ankles from slashing by plants
* Fit pretty comfortably
* Weigh relatively little
* Don't turn my boots into saunas
* Instep lace begins to come undone sometimes
* I wish they made a size XXL for my big feet!
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Very nice review, thanks for making my job easy! Just one very nit-
picky edit - I wouldn't have flagged it but my grammar checker did -
and you are good to delete the file from the test folder and upload
to the folder at http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Rain%
I don't notice that my feet smell more or are much more sweaty after
wearing the gaiters, although the gaiters can be quite warm in bright
Edit: To be grammatically correct it should read "...are much
sweatier..." but I can live with what you've got!
--- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Hollis"
> Dear friendly editors,
> Please find enclosed a new OR from me. Thanks!
> or http://tinyurl.com/5uf39w