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Hillsound Super Armadillo Nano Gaiters Review

Bomb-proof Supercloth Spike Guards

Hillsound Super Armadillo Nano Gaiters are made with an armored material called SuperFabric. It’s covered with small epoxy circles that act as armor and prevent you from spearing or slashing yourself with a front point. I’ve (inadvertently) tried to stick myself a few times with some very sharp new crampons over the past few years, and this SuperFabric stuff works.

The upper half of the gaiter is made out of Schoeller c_change, a slightly elastic, breathable windproof, and waterproof fabric, coated with a Schoeller Nanosphere, a type of DWR used on softshell garments to repel water and dirt. This results in a very natural feeling upper gaiter that hugs your leg without feeling like an extra heavy layer. I like the Schoeller fabric a lot and I haven’t experienced drenched socks (my calves sweat a lot) when wearing these gaiters

Form Fitting Gaiter with Front Zipper
Form Fitting Gaiter with Front Zipper

So far, so good. Unfortunately, Hillsound included a zipper in the design of this gaiter, which runs along the front to secure it to your leg. This is a concern for me because zippers fail sooner or later:  having it happen on an overnight mountaineering trip would really suck and compromise my safety unless I repaired it by wrapping duct tape around my leg to keep the gaiter shut.

While that’s a worst-case scenario, I still don’t like the zipper because it runs from the top of the gaiter to the bottom which is a very unnatural direction to pull a zipper and makes putting these gaiter on a challenge if you are short of time. For example, it’s not unusual for me to meet a hiking group at a trailhead a few minutes before a hike, after a 2-3 hour drive,  and have to dress quickly. The zipper on the Super Armadillo takes me a long time to close.

While there’s no doubt in my mind that the Super Armadillos are more comfortable and more breathable than all of the other high gaiters I own, I really don’t trust that zipper and will only use them on day hikes when I know I don’t have to take them off during the day. My suggestion would be to replace the zipper with velcro or some other less vulnerable closure system. Otherwise, I really like the fabrics in this gaiter and think they provide an outstanding level of comfort and safety.

2015: Postscript. The zippers failed.

Disclosure: Hillsound provided the author pair of Gaiters for an honest review.

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  1. Nice review.
    Zippers are schetchy!
    I skied with duct-tape around my leg for 4 days
    after the vent zipper on my pants broke.

    The gaiters look pretty nice!, to bad there was a BIG but!

  2. All this winter gear!

    Makes me begin to think about how to arrange a sabbatical in New England.

    Looks like great fun.

    • I’m having a really great winter this year, even though the snow isn’t as deep as we’d like. I love to hike in winter, but testing gear gives me an excuse to hike even more! Talk about a dream job. Take a sabbatical up here – we’d have a blast!

  3. thanks for this…have you examined .C.A.M.P. – Duo Gaiter-?

  4. I love the inverted zipper. the sizing was a little small. very durable materials.
    the cut around the boot is very nice, all though the under strap is a bit far back, kind ill fitting.
    overall a very solid gater.

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