Gaiters come in handy when you’re heading up dusty trails, or when it starts raining heavily, but gaiters can also be extremely useful in the snow. Snowshoe gaiters are great because while snowshoes are supposed to allow you to float on top of the snow, and not sink in, it sometimes doesn’t work out like that. Maybe you get really powdery snow, or you strap on a heavy backpack and start sinking in. Whatever the case, snow down your boots is often a reality of snowshoeing, but not if you have a good pair of snowshoe gaiters.
Snowshoe GaitersThings you want to see on a good pair of snowshoe gaiters.
- Height – When snow goes flying it really goes flying, and so something like ankle height gaiters is unlikely to cut it, unless you can make them work with a good pair of snow pants. It makes things a lot easier if you get the full length gaiters, that go up to at least the mid-calf, so that you can be sure the snow stays out.
- Waterproofing – Another thing that you definitely want is waterproof snowshoe gaiters. Snow by itself can actually be quite dry, but it has a habit of sticking to clothing like gaiters and then melting, from your body heat. So get waterproof gaiters if you don’t want to get wet from melting snow.
Best Snowshoe GaitersSome of the better choices when it comes to snowshoe gaiters.
- The North Face Gore-Tex Gaiters - First up, a very solid pair of gaiters from The North Face. They're made with Gore Tex uppers, which will definitely keep you dry, and on the bottom heavyweight cordura nylon, which will shrug off any wear and tear. These are a heavy duty pair of gaiters that would be right at home on a mountaineering trip, and would make a great pair of snowshoe gaiters for the serious snowshoe enthusiasts, or the more casual hikers.
- Outdoor Research Crocodiles Gaiters - The Crocodiles have been around since way back in 1999, when they won the Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Gold award. They've survived this long because they're an extremely popular product. The upper portion is very tough taslan Gore Tex, and the bottom is very tough cordura nylon. Like the North Face gaiters above these are made to handle even the worst that mountaineering can throw at them, and will perform well on a casual hike too. There's also a women's version.
- Rab Latok Alpine Gaiters - If you don't need something big and heavy duty for snowshoeing, and just want something that will keep you dry, the Latok gaiters are ideal. The uppers are made with 3 layer eVent, which will keep you dry, but will breath better than the heavy duty Gore Tex. The bottom portion is made with a lighter weight cordura nylon than the gaiters above. Like the two above they're a mid-calf length, however, which is ideal for keeping snow out. So a great pair of snowshoe gaiters that are ideally suited to the range of snowshoeing activities.