Gear Guide 2012: Bargain Gaiters

Two gaiter styles–one full-coverage and one ultralight–that cost $50 or less.


Crampons, ice, talus—none penetrated the Rab Latok Alpine Gaiters. Credit the 500-denier Cordura and three-layer construction with an eVent membrane that testers ranked among the most breathable they’d ever worn. Stretch fabric on the calves trims up the fit and prevents crampon snags, while rubber underfoot straps hold them in place—even when a tester postholed in afternoon snow. $50; 7 oz. (S); S-L;


Ultralight With no zippers or Velcro weighing them down, the pull-on MontBell Stretch Semi Long Spats register at just two ounces. And worn over low-cuts, they’re surprisingly effective. Four-way stretch fabric keeps duff and scree from infiltrating on off-trail forays. A hook loops over shoelaces to keep the fabric snugly in place, and an elastic cord (encased in rigid polyurethane) runs underfoot. “The DWR coating repels light drizzle,” says our tester. $30; 2 oz.;