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’ve likely come to this page if you’re looking to buy snake gaiters or want to know if they actually work. If you’re an adventure lover or a fan of the outdoors, the chances are you’ll land yourself in snake territory at one point in time.
When you do, there’s the constant anxiety of wondering whether you’re going to tread too closely to a venomous snake. After all, most snake bites occur because of human error i.e. unaware that the snake is even there.
This means it is absolutely crucial you have a good understanding of the area you’re in and whether you’re likely to find a snake. For example, if you find yourself in long grass, you’re increasing your chances of bumping into one of these creatures as they love to hide in or under objects where they are least threatened.
There are several ways you can learn how to prevent a snake bit but as we said, they can just as easily happen without you realizing there’s a snake there. This is where protective snake gear comes in handy. We’re going to give you the ins and outs of snake gaiters and why you should invest in snake resistant clothing.
Snake gaiters (also knowns as snake guards or chaps) is a protective material layer, worn above your clothing, covering from your ankle to your knee. They are comfortable to wear and generally fairly lightweight.
The gaiters are specifically designed so that snake fangs cannot penetrate them, preventing you from suffering a serious bite.
Of course, they tend to come in different qualities, meaning the cheaper end may not be 100% bite proof. However, worn on top of pants and long socks, they can still add a good layer of resistance and make it much more unlikely for fangs to reach your skin.
Good quality snake gaiters will not allow a bite to go through them at all, so it’s generally advisable to choose from the higher end if you think you’ll be needing frequent protection.
Although even some main manufacturers don’t like to label them as completely snake-proof; there are far too many variables to take into consideration. Furthermore, snakes are well capable of striking above the protective clothing.
The answer as to how effective snake gaiters are? Very. If you choose the right pair. Like anything, you’ve got to pay for quality when it comes to investing in a pair of gaiters.
You can pick up a pair for as little as $35 or a pair for $135+. Will they be as effective as each other? Almost certainly not. You have to weigh up how much you’re planning on using them and how likely you are to be bitten.
Our advice is to stretch your budget to the higher end. Watch the YouTube video below to see a demonstration of the effectiveness of snake gaiters.
The comfort of your snake gaiter or guard can also often be based upon how much you spend. Like we discussed on the effectiveness of the protective clothing, the higher-end gaiters will typically be more comfortable.
In warm climates, you want to look for a pair that will keep you as cool as possible and are lightweight. Ideally, they’ll fit so that you barely notice you’re wearing them. Some gaiters can get pretty warm and rigid.
On a good pair of snake chaps, the material will be a good combination of light and durable. There is usually a waterproof membrane, as well, which is specifically designed to prevent the venom from soaking through. The lining is often made of soft cotton/polyester fabric.