Brand: Mountain Laurel Designs
Model: LightSnow Gaiters
Our take Most gaiters fall into two categories: heavy, high, and armored enough to deflect a wayward crampon point; or light, low, and stretchy enough to keep rocks and sand out of your trail runners without overheating your foot. The LightSnow Gaiters offer a third way, providing ultralight, knee-high waterproofing without being hot or heavy. The trick: a simple tube of waterproof/breathable eVent fabric (you have put them on before your boots). We used them in Colombia, where we crossed a bog a minute, and they kept water out even when we overtopped our boots. Obligatory ultralight caveat: The material is too thin to withstand much branchy abuse (let alone crampon points); we snagged and ripped our test pair on barbed wire.
Trail cred “The weather in Colombia was cold and wet for five days straight, but my feet stayed warm and dry without overheating,” says our tester. “These gaiters were so light, I barely noticed them.”