This winter-ready gaiter keeps it all out: snow, slush, and sideways sleet. Credit a clean, contoured fit that never sagged or slumped, plus snag-free waterproof zippers that run up the front. Unlike Velcro closures, these zips didn’t lose their effectiveness when clogged with snow and ice. The waterproof/breathable Schoeller c_change upper fabric expelled heat, even during snow climbs on Longs Peak in July (the membrane’s pores open up for better breathability when you start producing heat).
After climbing 6,289-foot Mt. Washington via the Lions Head winter route, one tester reported that the five-inch lower section, which is made of a proprietary ridged material called SuperFabric, deflected errant crampon points like chain mail. Bonus: The rugged, rubbery underfoot strap has ample adjustment to fit a wide range of boots, and it’s replaceable if it ever wears out. Downside: The burly design is overkill for anything but serious winter mountaineering trips. $98; 12.8 oz. (M); hillsound.com