If your idea of winter fun involves snow, but not skiing or boarding, then the Hillsound Super Armadillo Nano Gaiter should be high on your wish list. Gaiters are made to keep your lower legs dry and warm, and the design and materials that go into them is what determines their effectiveness. Hillsound claims these are the most high tech gaiters on the market, and that’s a claim that is hard to refute.
For starters, the upper shell is a material from Schoeller called C_Change with NanoSphere. Schoeller is known for their ability to work magic with textiles. There is no other fitting word for what they do. This material can vary how much it breathes and how much heat it holds in, to maintain your comfort during use. While you’re moving it will breathe and let excess heat and humidity escape, to keep you dry. Stop for a snack, and it holds that heat in so you don’t freeze up. It also repels dirt like a politician avoiding the truth. That lighter colored material which makes up the lower is SuperFabric, which is aptly named, since it is strong enough to prevent your crampons as well as trail debris from cutting your gaiters. The rest of the Super Armadillo Nano Gaiter is finished with a waterproof YKK zipper, tough buckles and straps, plus plenty of durable stitching throughout.
Now for the bad news. I got the wrong size. A large is meant for size 10-12.5 shoes, the XL for 12-15. While I wear a size 12 boot, turns out I needed the XL, not the L. Lucky for us, there is no shortage of volunteers willing to test the gear we get for review. So I watched as someone else slipped the strap under their heel, zipped them up, adjusted the strap, closed the buckle, put the front hook under their laces, and sealed the front flap with the large Velcro patch. They went hiking in the snow, I stayed inside and had a hot cocoa. Not what I had planned. The good news is that they returned dry and happy. Turns out the Super Armadillo Nano Gaiter really does work like magic. No overheating, even when chasing dogs in the snow. No chills when taking a break. No snow soaking your pants and working its way into your boots. This may be the greatest winter product I’ve never tried.
With weights running from 342 grams for the small pair, up to 402 grams for the XL, the Super Armadillo Nano Gaiter probably still weighs less than the water you’d take on without them. Plus they help regulate your body heat. Retailing at just under $100, they’re not exactly cheap, but for the performance and durability, that’s a bargain. hillsound.com
Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the Hillsound Super Armadillo Nano Gaiter for free from Hillsound, in consideration for review publication