The Best Hiking Gaiters in Australia [2019]

Best Gaiters for Snakes

Author: Gaby Pilson - Professional Mountain Guide

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Whether you wear them to keep your feet dry, to keep sticks and rocks out of your boots, or to protect yourself against snakes and leeches, gaiters have long been a staple of the outdoor adventurer’s outfit.

These pieces of outdoor gear are effectively a garment that wraps around the outside of a shoe or boot and can be really effective at protecting your lower leg and your feet, so they’re a must-have for hikers.

That being said, there are many different kinds of gaiters out there so it can be difficult to figure out which pair is the best for your needs. That’s why we’ve created this guide to the best hiking gaiters on the market.

After the summary table below, we discuss the key things to look out for when choosing your gaiters, followed by our detailed reviews.


iMAGE
PRODUCT
OUR #1 RATED
OUR #1 RATED

Sea to Summit Tumbleweed Ankle Gaiters 

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Velcro closure
  • Boot clip for better placement 


Sea to Summit Spinifex Canvas Ankle Gaiters 

  • Universal sizing
  • Canvas for maximum
  • Breathability
  • Waterproof
  • Large opening for easy on/off


Sea to Summit Quagmire Canvas Gaiters 

  • Breathable canvas
  • Durable and protective in all conditions 


Salomon Trail Gaiters Low 

  • Lightweight
  • Highly breathable
  • Keep sand and debris out of shoes 


Sea to Summit Quagmire eVent Waterproof Gaiters 

  • Waterproof/breathable event membrane
  • High height for maximum protection
  • Durable

How to Choose Hiking Gaiters 

While gaiters are actually pretty simple pieces of gear, there are many different kinds out there, each of which serves a different purpose. Here are some of the different kinds of gaiters you might consider adding to your gear list:

Nylon gaiters

Nylon gaiters are made - you guessed it - from nylon. They tend to be the most affordable of the bunch and are pretty good at keeping your feet dry in the rain or snow and at keeping sticks and twigs out of your shoes.

But, the main problem with nylon gaiters is that they don’t breath... at all. Usually, it has to be reasonably chilly out for you to feel comfortable in your nylon gaiters without sweating profusely. This doesn’t seem to bother some people, but it drives others crazy.

Canvas gaiters

Canvas gaiters are slightly more expensive than their nylon cousins, but they tend to be a bit more breathable.

While canvas gaiters are also heavier than nylon gaiters, they tend to be more comfortable in a wider range of temperatures due to their better breathability. Thus, if you plan on hiking in the summer heat, it’s probably worth investing a bit more cash to get a slightly more breathable gaiter.

Short gaiters

As the name implies, short gaiters are, well, short. These gaiters reach just over the top of the ankle and are usually made from a thin piece of lightweight, breathable fabric. Short gaiters are ideal for use while trail running or doing similar activities because they’re great at keeping sand and twigs out of your shoes, but not much else.

They don’t provide nearly as much protection for your lower legs as other gaiters do, so they’re best suited for light and fast activity.

Do gaiters protect you from snake bites? 

In Australia, one of the main reasons that people wear gaiters is for protection from snakes. The thinking is that the gaiters can stop a biting snake from actually reaching one’s skin, thus protecting them from any potential venom.

Although there’s no conclusive evidence that gaiters can prevent all snake bites, they do seem to offer some protection, especially if you have an encounter with a small snake that wouldn’t be able to break through the material of both gaiters and trousers.

Ultimately, however, gaiters alone are not enough. Being constantly aware of one’s surroundings, reacting appropriately, and keeping a large distance from any snake is more important than what you wear on your lower leg.


Hiking Gaiter Reviews 

#1 ​​Sea to Summit Tumbleweed Ankle Gaiters REVIEW

TOP PICK

BUY AT wildfire sports

These ankle-height gaiters from Sea to Summit are made from Taslan - a strong, lightweight material that can protect you from sticks, rocks, and insect bites. Breathable, yet protective, these gaiters feature a velcro front closure and a boot clip to keep them in place as you hike. 

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Velcro closure
  • Boot clip for better placement             
cons
  • Ankle height doesn’t offer as much protection                                               

#2 ​Sea to Summit Spinifex Canvas Ankle Gaiters REVIEW

best value

BUY AT wild earth

Designed specifically for cooler climates, the Sea to Summit Spinifex Canvas Ankle Gaiters are made from a dense canvas weave that’s waterproof and breathes well while offering maximum protection. Plus, with a large 50mm adjustable front opening, the Spinifex can be fit to any shoe, regardless of size. 

Pros
  • Universal sizing
  • Canvas for maximum
  • Breathability
  • Waterproof
  • Large opening for easy on/off              
cons
  • Relatively expensive

  • Ankle height doesn’t offer as much protection                                                          

#3 ​Sea to Summit Quagmire Canvas Gaiters REVIEW

BUY AT wild earth

The ultimate gaiter when it comes to protection from the elements, the Sea to summit Quagmire Canvas are made from a waterproof corespun canvas that keeps you cool and comfortable, regardless of the conditions.

Perfect for off-trail travel, these gaiters cover almost all of the lower leg, so they a maximum amount of protection in one versatile package.

Pros
  • Breathable canvas
  • Durable and protective in all conditions                                                
cons
  • Expensive                                                          

#4 ​​Salomon Trail Gaiters Low REVIEW

BUY AT wild earth

These short gaiters are designed specifically for trail runners and day hikers who hate having rocks and sand in their shoes.

Made from an elastic jersey material and a external side velcro closure system, the Salomon Trail Gaiters are a lightweight way to keep your feet happy on high octane adventures.

Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Highly breathable

  • Keep sand and debris out of shoes                                                                 

cons
  • Offer minimal protection

  • Not waterproof

  • Durability concerns in the long-term                                                          

#5 ​​Sea to Summit Quagmire eVent Waterproof Gaiters REVIEW

BUY AT wild earth

These gaiters feature eVent - a top-of-the-line waterproof breathable membrane that is perfect for anyone who travels off trail. If you cross streams frequently and hate wet boots, these waterproof gaiters just might be for you. 

Pros
  • Waterproof/breathable event membrane
  • High height for maximum protection
  • Durable                                                    
cons
  • Expensive                                                             


Conclusion 

At the end of the day, gaiters are some of the most versatile, yet underrated pieces of gear we use in the backcountry. Gaiters offer unparalleled protection from the elements, so they’re a must for any hiking fanatic.

For us, the Sea to Summit Tumbleweed are the pick of the bunch thanks to their superior breathability while not compromising on protection.

What’s important is that you find a pair that best fits your needs. Happy trails!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mountain guide

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gaby Pilson

Professional Mountain Guide


A professional mountain guide and experienced outdoor educator, Gaby enjoys travelling and exploring the world’s most remote locales.

As a writer and editor, Gaby has written for a variety of climbing and travel blogs, news sites, and climbing magazines.

She is currently finishing a master’s degree in outdoor education but in her free time, Gaby loves a strong cup of coffee and searching for the next great adventure.