Our Everyday Adventures

We are not adventurers by choice but by fate – Van Gogh

Hillsound Armadillo Gaiter Review

 

Review by:  Jake
2/4/12

Last summer, while attending the Outdoor Retailer sporting goods trade show, I walked by a booth with one of the sexiest gaiters I’ve ever seen on display.  I thought to myself, that thing looks part formula one race car and part ninja, melded together into a gaiter.  I never thought a pair of gaiters could be sexy, but dang, I was in love at first sight!

While I was drooling, one of the reps came out and talked to me for a while about the gaiter.  I learned that I was looking at a prototype and that the full production wouldn’t be available for a few more months, and that it was from the company Hillsound, and it was called the “Armadillo Gaiter”, a rather unsexy name for such a sexy gaiter.  If they would have asked me it would have been called the “Scorpion Gaiter” or at least something a little more lethal than an armadillo.  I came to find out later that the actual name was the Super Armadillo Nano Gaiter, a little more sexy I suppose, but it’s still named after an animal that likes to play dead.

After researching the gaiter a bit more, I learned that it’s made with technology that mimics the lotus leaf’s cellular composition in that water and debris simply rolls off, like it would roll off the back of an armadillo.  All that functionality just made the armadillo look a lot more sexy in my book.  That’s it, I had to get my hands on a pair of these!  So I contacted the manufacturer and made it happen.  A couple months later, as promised, Veronica and I both received a test pair, the standard Armadillo gaiter and the Super Armadillo gaiters.  Finally getting some decent snow in the hills, I took out the gaiters and snowshoes out and tried my hardest to give them a good solid test.  Plowing through knee deep snow, then post-holeing (without the snowshoes) for a while, the gaiters held super tight and did exactly what they were supposed to do, they kept the snow out of our boots.  My single complaint with both the Armadillo and Super Armadillo was the front closure system.  The top and bottom are well secured with buckles and velcro closures.  But the front zipper makes going on and off a bit more challenging than if there was a wide velcro flap closure instead.  A large flap closure would allow the gaiters to go on/off a bit quicker especially if they are going over a bulky pair of snow pants, or around a wide mountaineering boot.  Although with 4-way stretchable material throughout the gaiter, I did find that little extra give I needed in order to zip up the front zipper.  Once zipped, they did feel A LOT more secure then other gaiters I’ve used with the big velcro front closure.  I’m sure with more use, I’ll really get the hang of the zipper.  All in all, a pretty darn nice pair of gaiters!

With 3 models to choose from, the Armadillo, Super Armadillo, and Super Armadillo Nano, there’s certainly going to be one that will suite your needs.  The Armadillo is a great gaiter for light use, snowshoeing, spring/fall hiking through wet and muddy brush, possibly with some snowfield crossings.  The “Super” is the next step up and is designed for mountaineering and ice climbing.  The base ankle material is “Super” durable and should easily withstand most normal crampon scuffs.  The Nano is for even more difficult terrain and deeper snow.  Super durable, yet super light; the Nano looks to be one of the burliest cutting edge gaiters available; and certainly the most sexy!

 

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