This article was written by Connor, one of our founding editors. Connor is a full-time travel and lifestyle photographer with extensive experience in the outdoors industry.
You’re looking for the best hunting gaiters.
The problem? There are just far too many choices out there. You want to skip the cheap generic brands that don’t quite cut it (yet still pop on the top spots on Amazon?), but overspending isn’t necessarily on your to-do list either. We’ve gone through the annoying process of sifting through reviews and testing products so you don’t have to.
Our best hunting gaiter reviews will give you a few options, depending on requirements and budget. There is no one-size-fits-all, so keep that in mind before hitting that ‘buy’ button. For those of you watching your spend (and who isn’t in 2023?), we have reviewed a few gaiters for hunting that are one-size-fits-most.
Coming into the ring at a price of around $80, this pair of gaiters is the ‘go-to’ for many outdoor enthusiasts, especially hunters. They are a fantastic all-around gaiter, for use in the snow and wet.
Possibly one of the better-known gaiters, plenty of walkers and hikers like the comfort and protection they offer. They are made to last, so let’s have a look at some more details.
The great thing about these is the range of sizes available. This means that you are very likely to find a pair which fits well. Some gaiters are very limited in sizes, which can make it difficult to find the right fit. Here are some key specs (for US boot sizes):
Primarily made from nylon and 16 inches in height, they are ideal for use when hiking. The Gore-Tex nylon material means that they are very waterproof and near impossible to penetrate with a dousing of water. At the top of the gaiters, there is a 2-inch ‘hoop and loop’ closure system, which means that you can adjust the size depending on the boots you wear. Although the perfect material for walking and hiking, it can get a bit noisy if you need to be quiet.
At 10 ounces, these gaiters are definitely on the heavy side. So, if the weight of gaiters is very important to you, you might be better going for something less bulky. There are some concerns over breathability on warm days; it can be hard to find the balance between durability and breathability. On the flip side, plenty of reviews explain customers wearing them all year-round, with no bother.
These gaiters come with a durable bootstrap which stops them from moving around when you’re walking. Furthermore, you can close the top of them with an adjustable strap and buckles. The height of the gaiters means that if you are in long grass or snow, it will protect a large part of your legs from becoming damp and will keep snow out of your boots.
The product is well made and easy to put on, even in harsh conditions. The cam buckle has been built so that you can adjust it while keeping gloves on. However, if you want to adjust the instep strap, you’ll probably need to take them off.
Do they work and how do they hold up over time?
These gaiters have definitely been built to last and there are several online reviews with people saying that they have lasted up to 20 years without the need to replace them. Furthermore, the bootstrap is reported to be highly durable, lasting a good beating over time. Often with gaiters, the strap will wear away when walking due to the friction on the ground.
A weak spot for many of the gaiters is attachment points i.e. bootstraps, cords, and buckles. Not with these though as they seem to be very well made. The ideal use for these is on the mountain and although they can be stiff and heavy until broken in, they fit well over bulky boots. In fact, the stiffness helps to stop the gaiters from sliding.
The Outdoor Research Crocodile gaiters have been built well to survive wet conditions. Although no gaiter is absolutely 100% waterproof, these are just about as good as you’ll get. If you’re walking through streams, you should expect that a little water will still sneak in around the ankles or at the top. In the rain, snow and wet grass, the Gore-Tex waterproofing system works extremely well.
These gaiters are good at keeping debris out of your boots, like little stones and grit. The trick is to make sure you are wearing the right boots with them though. Wearing small boots will leave gaps for debris to get into. The gaiters have really been designed to be worn with chunky boots.
So what is it about these gaiters which deliver the knock-out punch?
It has to be durability.
These gaiters are made to last for a long time and will scrub up well after use in all sorts of terrain and weather. The straps and buckles don’t fall away like others on the market and the Gore-Tex material means you are well protected for years to come. Once you have purchased a pair of these, there is very little reason to replace them, making it a good investment. These fit the purpose of hunting but consider the noise (nylon) if you need to be super quiet.
Want to buy a pair? Click here.
These gaiters come in at around $75, only marginally cheaper than Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters.
Known Designed with hunters in mind, Kenetrek Hunting Gaiters are another popular choice. They are contoured to fit well with any kind of boot and adjustable straps secure the fit for a variety of conditions. Let’s dive into the specifics.
A contoured fit means that these hunting gaiters fit snugly over most boots, but are specifically designed to fit well with insulated boots. A full-length Velcro strip allows you to open and close the gaiters easily. Furthermore, there is a ‘snap-in’ button to secure it at the bottom. Here are some details on sizes:
As you’ll notice, there are only three size variations (compared to 5 of OR Croc Gaiters). Although there isn’t such a range in size, the fit is still good and there is an adjustable strap with a cam lock buckle to keep them in place. As you can see from the image above, there is an additional bootstrap for added security.
These gaiters come in two kinds of camouflage patterns, one variation above, and the other is a snow camo. They also come in a plain color. As well as having an under-boot strap, there is an additional hook to attach to your laces. The Stormblocker membrane of the gaiters means that they keep the wet out but allow sweat to escape. It is essential when the weather is warmer to have a breathable pair.
The main concern with these gaiters is not so much how quiet they are, but if they will hold up well over time. In terms of the material the gaiters are made from, Kenetrek focuses heavily on durability. For example, one of the main pain points in gaiters is the under-boot strap fraying or snapping.
The Kenetrek strap is made from a rubber material which means that it can take a good beating. The front-facing velcro is sturdy and holds the gaiters well but can take a little while to get used to using it.
They typically don’t produce the same “swish” noise that Outdoor Research gaiters do, which is a huge benefit for hunters. This is due to the material not being as stiff and not made from nylon. In terms of waterproofing, the tight fit and contoured shape means that water doesn’t easily find its way in at possible entry points.
The material does a good job of keeping water from penetrating, even after hours of walking through wet terrain or rain. The tight seals also help to keep out snow.
The biggest selling point for these gaiters is the fact they are almost silent when you are walking. This is often crucially important for hunters and noisy gaiters can be a pain. A combination of noise and waterproofing makes these a solid choice if you are looking for a good pair of hunting gaiters which will last.
Want to buy a pair? Click here.
These come in at the cheaper end of the market at around $15 for a pair. This means that these are the ideal pair if you think it might just be a one or two time a year thing, wearing gaiters for hunting.
They are a solid, all-around gaiter that can provide protection from snow, dirt, mud, and rain and are suitable for hiking, climbing, and hunting.
Unlike the two gaiters we reviewed above, these are a one size fits all. This can often raise doubts about the comfort and fitting of the product, given that people come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Contrary to doubt, the gaiters have been well constructed, meaning they are easy to put on and off. They should fit comfortably for most people, giving a snug fit. Furthermore, the material used is a fleece, which gives it extra warmth. Because of this, these gaiters may be more suited to wintry conditions.
Having said that, the outer material is made of nylon and is breathable; even in snowy conditions, you can get warm with gaiters on! The breathable material will help to minimize this.
Because of the price ($15) you can’t expect these to stand a chance in comparison to the durability of Outdoor Research gaiters. Like we said earlier, these might be the ideal choice if you aren’t a regular user of gaiters and only need them a few times per year. That’s not to say they’ll disintegrate on first use and the material used is durable.
The main snagging point for these gaiters in the endurance round is the fasteners, which can become damaged quickly. In fact, there are a few online reviews suggesting that the zipper has broken early on. We advise that you take care in putting them on/off so that you can prolong its lifespan.
The gaiters are made from a waterproof nylon material and do keep the rain out as designed. This gives you peace of mind if you know you’re going to be walking through long grass, deep snow, or in the rain. As with most gaiters, if you’re walking through streams, you can expect a trickle in through the seals at top or bottom.
The biggest thing these gaiters have got going for them is the price. At only $15, you’ll really struggle to complain about going for something at this end of the market. These would be ideal for someone who only needs them a few times a year or is looking to try out gaiters for the first time.
Want to buy a pair? Click here.
The Brambler Gaiter from First Lite comes in at $100, they sit at the more expensive end of the market. These gaiters have been built with the hunter in mind, are durable, and come in two different camo options. Purchase these gaiters and you can trust that they’ll keep you dry and comfortable in a variety of conditions.
Although many people feel they don’t need them, gaiters can provide many benefits when you’re out hunting or simply hiking. First and foremost, a good pair of gaiters should protect your legs and boots from moisture and debris.
One of the main benefits of wearing gaiters is that they act as a layer of protection from sharp spikes or nicks which are inevitably hard to avoid in the outdoors.
Gaiters are usually relatively inexpensive yet decent ones have a good lifespan which should see several seasons worth of protection. There is an argument to be had for them saving you money since they can protect more expensive items like boots and pants from damage.
Anything that keeps you dry can also impact breathability and that’s one of the downsides to gaiters, especially in some of the cheaper models. This can be a pain on particularly warm days and you might notice a build-up of moisture in your boots or around your shins.
That said, overall, gaiters can be a really positive piece of equipment to invest in for the protection they offer. Moreover, they’re generally much easier to dry than integrated ones on boots.
Depending on your level of activity and the terrain you will be facing, there are three main choices in gaiter height. For the most protection, a taller gaiter is usually preferred. For greater mobility and breathability, shorter gaiters are usually a better option.
For hunting, knee gaiters are typically the preferred option since you’re often required to go through long grass or rub against bushes and trees. Knee gaiters are normally about 15-18 inches in height, covering from the mid-top of your boot to your knee.
Mid-calf gaiters are smaller, at about 8-12 inches in height, and are normally best used in less rugged conditions. They’re ideal for light hunting sessions where all you really need to do is keep out debris and need minimal protection from brush or short grass.
Finally, ankle gaiters are not normally the best option for hunting. They’re usually worn for trail running or warm-weather hikes and are designed to keep small debris from going in your socks and shoes. Ankle gaiters won’t protect you against long, wet grass or other abrasive objects.
Although all gaiters will be built with the same core functionality in mind, each specific model will be made with unique features that may set them apart from others.
Here are some features we love to keep an eye on before you hit the buy button.
Good-fitting gaiters should feel easy and relatively hassle-free. Ideally, you should be able to try them out in a store with the boots you’ll be wearing. Since you’re looking for them online, make sure that you can return them within a good time period if they don’t fit right.
Gaiters are usually sized simply as S/M/L etc. but obviously the actual lengths can vary between manufacturers. You should always refer to the Amazon description or manufacturer website for the correct length. You should pick a pair that fits over your boots, pants, and socks easily but they shouldn’t be loose. On a lot of models, it is not uncommon to find adjustable straps which are useful to tweak them to exactly the right size.
If you’re not sure which pair to buy, it is an easy process to measure the right parts. Simply measure the circumferences of your calf and also the widest part of your boot. This should give you an idea of what size to buy.
If you’ve managed to try them on before buying, make sure that they remain in place if you’re moving around. This can be achieved easily if they have hooks or buckles which keep them from moving.