LTR - OR Celestial Gaiters - Chuck Carnes
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Long Term Report
OR Celestial Gaiters
Name: Chuck Carnes
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 175 lb (79 kg)
E-mail address: ctcarnes1(at)yahoo(dot)com
City, State, Country: Greenville, S.C. United States
Report Date: July 1, 2005
I love the outdoors Ive spent time camping in
the outdoors since I was born, and have been actively
hiking and backpacking for the past ten years. I
consider myself a lightweight hiker, usually carrying
20 30 pounds (11-13 kg) for hikes up to a week in
length. I hike at an easy pace, averaging 2 mph (3
kph). I am a one-man tent camper for now until a
lighter two-man tent comes along and will give me more
room. I like to carry a single trekking pole when I
hike to help relieve stress to my legs and knees. I
like to get out on the trail as often as I can.
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
Model: Celestial Gaiters
Year of Manufacture: 2004
Color: Blue / Black
Listed Weight: 6.1 oz (171 g) (web site:
size Large, per pair)
Weight as Delivered: 6.2 oz (176 g)
* Gore-Tex® PacLite® upper section
* Coated 8 oz. packcloth lower section
* Velcro® front closure
* Boot lace hook and snap at bottom
* Strap and cam buckle top closure
* Elastic bottom edge
* Nylon instep lace provided
Long Term Report and Field Information
The OR Celestial Gaiters have been a great
piece of gear through out this testing period. As
discribed in my Field Report these gaiters work great
in the snow. They did the job they were designed to
do. In the past couple of months I have been able to
expose the gaiters to some hot, steamy weather and a
few thunder showers. Yet another type of condition
that Outdoor Research took in consideration when
designing the Celestial Gaiters. In the late sping and
summer, I like to wear my gaiters to protect my lower
legs from the dry, scratchy limbs from bushes that
impede on the trail. I also wear them when the trail
has low ground cover that is wet from rain or dew and
tends to soak my socks and boots with the first sweep
of the leg. I sometimes think one leaf can hold a
gallon of water, or so it seems. I want to note that
during these trips that I wore the gaiters, I was
wearing shorts and not long pants.
The trips I took since my Field Report
were one and two nights to a local park that my son
and I and sometimes a friend and I like to visit. It's
close enough to go quit often and it gets me out with
nature. The temperatures on these trips while wearing
the gaiters ranged from 78 F to 95 F (25 C to 35 C)
with usually about 70 to 85 percent humidity. I
experienced afternoon thunder showers and sometimes
just a steady rain. Most of the time it was just
really hot. I hiked 2 to 8 miles (3 to 12 km) on these
trips. It mainly depended on who I was with.
Here are some questions about the specific
features of the OR Celestial Gaiters that I was able
to answer from my Initial Report up to this point.
Answers that are in red are from my Field Report and
weather and temperature conditions are noted there.
Answers in blue are for my Long Term Report and
weather and temperature conditions are noted above.
Gore-Tex Pac Lite upper section:
* I sometimes wear my gaiters during the summer,
will these be to hot to wear? NA. No, I found the
gaiters to be very comfortable in very hot weather.
* How well do they breathe? From a visual
perspective, the gaiters don't seem to breathe as well
as I would have expected after seeing a good bit of
condensation on the inside. However, my lower legs
never felt hot or sweaty while wearing the gaiters. In
the warmer weather conditions, the gaiters breathed
well. My lower legs never felt over heated
* Will sweat build up under the gaiters and tend
to soak my socks? I found that the condensation did
build up under the gaiters but it did not wet my
pants, socks or boots. During my trips in warmer
weather the gaiters also showed condensation on the
inside. But here again, my socks stayed dry and my
lower legs never felt over heated.
* Do they clean easily? Yes, all I had to do was
wipe them off with a towel. I have not washed them in
a machine but I have dipped them in water, hand washed
with a mild soap and hung them to dry.
* Are there seams at the back and if so, are they
sealed? Not vertical but there is a seam that runs
horizontal all the way around the gaiter where the
upper and lower section meet, this can be seen in the
picture at the beginning of the report. This seam is
factory sealed and I did not experience any leakage in
that area on this trip. There has been no change since
the Field Report.
Coated 8 oz. packcloth lower section:
* Does it keep briers and sticks from penetrating
in this area? I did encounter a few sticks and brush
when I went off of the trail a bit and the gaiters
protected my leg in this area. As mentioned above, the
gaiters have protected my lower legs from protruding
objects onto the trail. They have also kept my legs
dry from the wet leaves.
* How well does this area keep water out? The only
weather element that the gaiters have been exposed to
in the field is snow and the lower section did its job
keeping snow and slush from getting into my boots.
They also do there job at keeping water out. I have
walked through shallow creeks and although the outside
was wet, the inside was dry.
* Does this material clean easily? Yes, as
mentioned above, all I had to do was wipe the inside
with a towel. The outside was cleaned by scrubbing a
little snow on the dirt spots, wiping off with a towel
and hang dry. I simply dipped them in water, hand
washed with a mild soap and hung them to dry.
* Are the seams sealed between the two materials
(upper and lower)? Yes, they seem to be factory
Velcro front closure:
* Does the Velcro seal good enough to keep water
from penetrating? I have not hiked in the rain or
crossed a creek with the gaiters on at this point but
it does do its job keeping out snow and slush. I have
walked through shallow creeks and experienced rain
with the gaiters on and there has been no signs of
leakage through the velcro area.
* Will the constant opening and closing of the
Velcro make this area weak for protection? At this
point the Velcro is still in good condition and shows
no sign of wear. The velcro is still mending together
as it was the first day I received them and still no
signs of wear or weakness in the velcro.
* How long will it take for the Velcro to wear
out? NA. The velcro is still in great condition.
* Once the gaiters are around the leg, is it hard
to get the Velcro to align just right to get a good
seal? Not in my experience. I was able to straighten
my leg and feet and get a good straight line seal.
* How often do I have to clean the Velcro to
maintain the performance that it is intended? At this
point the Velcro has maintained its performance but I
will continue to monitor this for future reference.
With a few cleanings by hand the gaiters are still
perfoming as intended.
Boot lace hook and snap at bottom:
* With the hook on the lace, will it wear the lace
out and cause it to break? At this point the laces on
my boots do not show any signs of wear from the boot
lace hook. The edges on the lace hook are smooth and
has not worn out any of the laces on my boots or
* Will the hook reach the bottom lace on my boot
or shoe without too much tension on the lace? This has
a lot to do with how tight the user wants the elastic
cuff to hold to the boot. I personally have the instep
lace fairly tight which in turn pulls the elastic cuff
tight against my boot and therefore puts a lot of
tension on the bottom lace. This ensures me that it
will be difficult for water to seep up through the
bottom cuff. The boot lace helps keep the gaiter down
over the laces to prevent water from entering in this
area but I have found that the bottom two laces are
exposed and this will give water an opportunity to
find its way through the laces, through the tongue and
into my boot. I don't know how this could be fixed to
completely cover the laces. I will do some adjusting
before the Long Term Report to see if I can remedy
this potential problem. I have yet to figure out a way
to completly cove the laces with the gaiters. As long
as the hook is connected to the gaiters, it doesn't
seem to be a way to cover the last lace; unless the
hook is under the fabric instead of being exposed.
Strap and cam buckle top closure:
* Will this pull tight enough to my leg to keep
water from flowing down my leg and into my boot? I am
able to tighten the strap tight enough to prevent snow
from entering. I will monitor this area when I come
across rain or a creek crossing. I have now
experienced rain. During this period of rain showers,
rain ran down my legs and continued over the gaiters.
The cam buckle was tight enough to keep the rain out
but not so tight to cut off any blood circulation. As
far as creek crossings, I never kicked up enough water
for it to enter from the top of the gaiters.
* How well does the cam buckle hold the strap?
Very tightly. I squatted down on several occasions
which put tension on the strap and buckle and the
buckle held tight and did not slip loose. The cam
buckle still holds the strap tight and does not slip.
* Will it work itself loose as I walk? No, not in
my experience. At this point, the buckle still holds
tight as I walk.
* Can I open and close the cam buckle with gloves
on? It was not very easy to open it with out gloves,
especially with one hand. When I tried it with gloves
on I could not open it.
* Can the cam buckle be replaced if it breaks or
stops functioning? NA. The cam buckle is still
functioning as intended and after talking with a
seamstress, she says that it can be replaced if
Elastic bottom edge:
* Does the elastic fit tight enough to keep water
from entering from underneath the gaiter? At this
point I have not experienced water but it does keep
out the snow. While walking through shallow creeks the
elastic did prevent water from entering from
* Can I cross a shallow river or creek and have
confidence that the gaiters will keep my upper boot
and socks dry? I will simulate this in a tub or bucket
of water at home before trying it in the field. NA.
Yes, as mentioned above, I crossed shallow creeks with
confidence knowing that my upper boots and socks will
* What is the durability of the elastic? So far it
has kept its elasticity. The tension of the elastic is
still tight and continues to keep tight against my
boots or shoes. The edges at the elastic are frayed
slightly but is typical with this much wear.
* Will it start weakening at the grommet area? So
far it has not. No, the threads and gromets are still
in good shape and shows little wear.
* Does the bottom edge cover the top of my trail
running shoes? Yes, but barely. I think water could
potentially get in at this area but I will monitor
this when I am faced with this situation. While
wearing these over my trail shoes and walking through
shallow creeks, I did not experience any water
entering into my shoe. The gaiters covered the tops
Nylon instep lace provided:
* How long will it take for this lace to break or
become frayed? So far the lace has not broke and as
far as fraying, after I cut the excess off I burned
the ends to keep this from happening. So far the lace
has not frayed at the ends or anywhere else. The lace
is still tied and staying strong. There is still no
signs of wear on the lace.
* Is it protected enough in the instep area of my
boot to keep from constantly stepping on the lace and
weakening it? Yes, on my boots the lace sits right in
front of the edge between the heel and the arch. On my
trail running shoes, the lace comes in contact with
the ground more than my boots, but the lace is still
in good shape.
I have been very happy with OR Celestial
Gaiters. To me they have done the job that they were
designed to do. They protected my legs from sticks,
snow, rain and occasional kicked up water. They kept
my legs warm when they needed warmth and they kept my
legs cool in the blistering heat. I have enjoyed this
great piece of gear and I hope that my reports will be
found informative and thorough.
* my legs didn't get wet when I needed them dry
* the durability of the fabric
* the ease of cleaning
* the lace hook area is vulnerable to water
seaping into the boot or shoe; depending on the type
of boot or shoe
Thank you again Outdoor Research and BGT for giving me
the opportunity to test the OR Celestial Gaiters.
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