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Gear Review: Dirty Girl Gaiters

Ultralight, simple design for light-and-fast hiking
Dirty Girl Gaiters are feathery light, washable, durable and inexpensive. And, despite the name, they're not just for women or style-mongers. Over one hundred miles of hiking and running proved it for me. Text and photos by Dan Larson
  • Many trail runners and thru-hikers have found Dirty Girl Gaiters a great option for traveling light and fast in the backcountry. They're also hard to beat for weight at 1.2 oz. per pair (men's 10) and they pack much smaller than traditional gaiters.
  • How do they work? Stick the included Velcro on the heels, and let it bond overnight. Slide the gaiters on before shoes, stick the heel Velcro to the gaiter, then hook the front shoelace. (Hiking without the gaiters will get the Velcro dirty.)
  • DG also makes a hiking version (not tested) for tall boots that is about an inch taller than their standard model, but I found the standard height (shown) sufficient for mid-height hiking shoes when hiking through muck and mud.
  • These gaiters held up over long miles of hiking on muddy, rocky trails, and even off-trail, when I tried to snag the material in underbrush. I loved not having gaiter straps underfoot to catch on roots and rocks.
  • The fabric (swimsuit Spandex) stained, but didn't fray, nub, shrink, or stink after repeated abuse. To clean simply throw them in the washer and then air dry for a couple hours. The Spandex-y material breathed better than traditional gaiters too.
  • Whether you're a fashionista or more demure, you'll likely find a print to suit you, from wild animal prints to plain navy. These gaiters not only look good, they ward off snakes.
  • <b>The Specs:</b><br> Price: $17, with free shipping<Br> Sizes: Men's and women's 6 to over 13.5<br> Weight: 1.2 oz. standard, 1.4 oz. custom hiker<br> www.dirtygirlgaiters.com
Many trail runners and thru-hikers have found Dirty Girl Gaiters a great option for traveling light and fast in the backcountry. They're also hard to beat for weight at 1.2 oz. per pair (men's 10) and they pack much smaller than traditional gaiters.
Image 1 of 7

Many trail runners and thru-hikers have found Dirty Girl Gaiters a great option for traveling light and fast in the backcountry. They're also hard to beat for weight at 1.2 oz. per pair (men's 10) and they pack much smaller than traditional gaiters.

READERS COMMENTS

Page 1 | 2 | 3

I'll apologize for my brashness up front. Those things are freakin' hideous! Skulls? Multi-colored leopard print? Really?
— E Nelson

I agree with E. The prints, REALLY?? Ugh.
— D Munckin

I'm guessing they're not WATERPROOF... I suppose that would be too much to ask for...
— Greeny

It's all about the fun! I've been wearing them for years on the PCT, etc. When you are tired of wearing the same thing day in and day out, Dirty Girl gaiters spice it up. Besides there are many other prints available -- hearts, leopards...
— Susan "Backpack45" Alcorn

I used these for over 500 miles on the AT and they are awesome. The prints are certainly a conversation starter, and she doesn't make them in black for a reason. My only complaint is that if you stretch the fabric too far, the stitching loosens otherwise these are comfortable, breathable, easy to use, and everyone who sees them is jealous at just how much fashion sense you have on the trail! Kudos to Backpacker for reviewing this one-woman business!
— Curio

How do they ward off snakes? The color? Snakes fangs can't penetrate?
— L Bird

I like the wild style. There's enough black out there, of course they come in solid colors too.
— nanci

I checked out Dirty Girls' website. At least I think it was their website.... That, or a clever high school-er has hijacked the Dirty Girls brand for their intro to web design class. The site, unfortunately, is awful. Is there something/somewhere more professional to find info regarding the company? Like the other users who've commented, I'm not super interested in looking like I just ran through a big pile of endangered species. Anybody know of a decent place to get product information, including pics of the available prints?
— Josh

OK, so I went to the website, and I have to say I like the Giardia print; and, well, the name is just disgusting enough to welcome a few comments. Not sure how long Lycra/Spandex will hold up to the off trail. I really don't need gaiters for the trail unless it's very wet, and then the spandex is useless anyway. Still gotta go with Cordura.
— E Nelson

I get the feeling that E Nelson is generally a negative person.
— J Chrzanowski


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