When you go orienteering you can never be sure of what kind of terrain and environments you are going to encounter. If there is a field of tall, wet grass between you and your destination, for instance, you will have to go through it, and in such a situation a good pair of waterproof, full length orienteering gaiters will do wonders for keeping you dry. Even just a pair of ankle gaiters will do a lot to help keep the inside of your boots dry and free from debris that would otherwise find their way down your boots or shoes.
What to look for when you want orienteering gaiters.
Waterproof – Unless you’re sure of the weather and environment that you’re going in to, it is a good idea to have waterproof gaiters with you. Or at least water resistant gaiters, which will breath better than the waterproof variety and will still keep you dry from a limited amount of moisture.
Ankle or Calf – There are two main lengths when it comes to gaiters, the over-the-ankle kind and the mid-calf kind. If you’re wearing gaiters as more of a precaution than anything, and especially if the weather is good, then the ankle gaiters are likely ideal, but for bad weather, or snow, the larger, mid-calf gaiters are a better choice.
Best Orienteering Gaiters
Some of the very best orienteering gaiters.
The North Face Gore-Tex Gaiters - First, a tough, durable pair of mountaineering gaiters from The North Face. The upper portion is 3 layer Gore Tex, as the name suggests, which will definitely keep you dry in bad weather. And the bottom is very tough cordura nylon, which will resist damage done by things like scree slopes and boots rubbing together. The top of the gaiter is secured with a buckle and strap.
Rab Latok Extreme Gaiter - Another pair of gaiters ideally suited to mountaineering, though these with a lighter construction. First, they're 3 layer eVent, which is a waterproof fabric similar to Gore-Tex that actually breathes better. The bottom portion of the gaiter is 500D cordura nylon, rather than the 1000D nylon used on a lot of other mountaineering gaiters. Which is still a very touch nylon, but puts these in the lightweight mountaineering gaiters category. So they'll keep you dry, but are also lighter and will breath better.
Outdoor Research Crocodiles Gaiter (Women's Version) - The Crocodiles won the Backpacker magazine Editor's Choice Gold award way back in 1999, and have been a popular choice ever since. They use 3 layer taslan Gore-Tex for the top and very tough 1000D cordura nylon for the bottom, to resist the use and abuse that boots suffer. And these use a strap and buckle system to secure the top of the gaiter to your leg. So very similar to the North Face gaiters above, but with a lower price.