I am excited about the new gaiter prototype I ...

I am excited about the new gaiter prototype I have been testing since receiving it in September.  It is bomber.

The fabric is better than I expected, durable and darn quiet for a 3-layer shell fabric. Plus, it is a Toray Primflex fabric which will save weight because of their patented spiral yarn.

As I mentioned in my 1st gaiter post, I want to design and build the best sheep hunting gaiter on the market. I have used the OR Crocodile and Black Diamond Front Point Gaiter in the past with good results. In my opinion each design has it’s short comings.

My goal is to take what I have learned from these products over the years to create a design that excels for demanding mountain hunting. Reliability, durability and function are paramount.

I want to share a sneak preview of the new design and list some of the changes I am sending off to the development room to get your feedback and opinions.

  • Reduce the width by 2 inches to give it a more streamlined fit.
  • Shape the lower seam for a better fit over the boot.
  • Move the lace clip to the inside of the gaiter versus on top. Needs reenforcement.
  • Move the strap adjustment buckle hypalon tab to the inside of the gaiter and add 3 additional bar tacks.
  • Add an elastic section to the webbing going around the upper calf for a more comfortable fit.
  • Change nylon webbing loop to hypalon for added durability.
  • Add silicone gasget to inside bottom to help create a seal for water crossings.  1″ in width.

They will be available in Vias Camouflage and a solid color.

If you are interested in guaranteeing yourself a set of these new KUIU Gaiters please click on the link below to reserve a set when they arrive in late spring.  There is no obligation.  Please note Gaiter Pre-order in the notes.

Gaiter Pre-order

I look forward to hearing your thoughts, opinions and ideas for additional changes and improvements to this design.  Please let me know your recommendation for a solid color for the gaiters and what we should name them.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Jason

This article has 115 comment(s)

  1. Patrick

    Don’t make them too narrow. Alot of guys like me have thick legs and calves and skinny gaiters will NOT work for us. Who ever’s legs are in the photos have relatively thin legs and calves. I wouldn’t shrink them up. Just add the elastic band(s) in the middle to draw the gaiter close if needed.

    That or offer different sizes like Kenetrek does with their gaiters.

    • Jason Hairston

      Well noted Patrick. I am planning on offering multiple sizes for better fit.

      J

  2. Mike P

    Jason,

    Looking forward to the new gaitor, have used both types you mentioned and they are good but have down falls with some tweeks this should be great.

    For a name idea i suggest the “Terrace Gaitor” named after one of the rainiest, brush choked areas in north america (Terrace British Columbia). If these gaitors can stand up to the wet, thick and gear shredding terrain there then they will be a winner 🙂

    cheers,

    Mike P

    • Mike P

      as far as color i like the Brindle and major brown

      Cheers,

      Mike

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Mike for your comment, well noted on the name.

      Jason

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Mike! I always appreciate your input.

      Jason

  3. Bryan aka TradRag

    Looks AWESOME! I think I am going to like the…”Add an elastic section to the webbing going around the upper calf for a more comfortable fit.” feature!

    Looks and reads like it is going to be ‘bomb-proof!’ Thanks Jason!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Bryan for taking the time to comment.

      Jason

  4. Matt

    I don’t have input on the design. Sounds solid to me. Here are a couple possible names: Willow Gaitor or the Ovis Dalli Gaitor.

    Matt

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Matt for the names, I will put them on my list.

      Jason

  5. smithhammer

    Pretty cool getting to see the process of a product being refined. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jason Hairston

      It is fun to include everyone in the progress of the design process.

      Jason

  6. Dave

    Maybe I missed it but do you have a pricepoint yet?

    • Jason Hairston

      I do not have pricing yet. This comes at the end from the factory once all changes are made and the design is finalized.

      JH

  7. Cameron Meier

    I really like how you are stressing durability with these. I think that is very important for a gaiter and to add a few oz here and there will help a lot! This is a piece of gear that takes a beating, and since the fabric is already light you can afford the extra weight in some areas.

    • Jason Hairston

      Your right, they do take a beating. Thanks for the comment.

      JH

  8. Evan Williams

    GREAT! Love the notes! What is the overall height on them? As far as solid colors: I like brindle, dark brown, grey. All are more neutral in my opinion plus all are IN Vias which I view as a plus.

    Also, Mr. Hairston I had some notes to share with you after a few hunts what is the best way to do that sir?

    Evan Williams

    • Jason Hairston

      This design is over the calf and below the knee. You can email me at jasonh@kuiu.com. Thanks Evan.

      JH

  9. Jerry Gowins

    Sounds great! I’m looking forward to taking them on my caribou hunt next fall.

    Jerry

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Jerry!

  10. Rob

    One thing I notice about the Kuiu prototype is that the velcro seam is on the front. This seems counterintuitive to me. The front take more of the abuse than the back of the gaitor….wouldn’t be better to locate the seam in the back?
    After a hunting trip to South Africa I started using short gaitors like a lot of the PH’s wear. I hunt a lot in Florida and the short gaitors are more suited to the warmer weather…I bring this up because they have the seam in the back.

    As for a name…..how about the “Avalanche Chute Gaitors”

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Rob for the input. In my experience the front velcro closure allows for more adjustment and easier to get on. I personally have not had an issue with wear on the front, it usually is on the sides and hardware. The short gaiters will be the next design.

      J

  11. Jeremy Johnson

    Jason,
    Sounds like your on to somthing. You’ve covered all the bases I can think of, the two main things I would like to see in a gaiter would be the water proof gasket your talking about, and making a gaiter that is absolutly quiet. This would have to be accomplished by both soft, but durable fabric , and a snug fit that doesn’t rub between your legs. Since different poeple have different size legs you may get people griping that there to small, so might I suggest two sizes? Just a thought.
    Jeremy Johnson

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Jeremy. I agree we will need multiple sizes as fit is really important.

      J

  12. Aaron Hartzell

    Jason,
    The one complaint I have with gators I have used in the past is that the lace clip always ends up cutting my laces as they are made of metal. I don’t know if you have ever experienced that but it just leads to a whole other mess. Anyway, have you thought of using some material other than metal for the lace clip? Or if you use a metal clip use something without a sharp edge. Just a thought.

    Aaron Hartzell

    • Jason Hairston

      Great comment Aaron. The clip we are using does not have a sharp edge and I will make sure this is specked for production. Thank you.

      J

  13. Lloyd

    Jason I really like the idea of adding the elastic section to the webbing going around the upper calf for a more comfortable fit.

    I don’t have monster calfs and that is where they slip down on me the most looks good I will definatly get on the order list.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Lloyd, glad to hear you have this same problem. I believe this will help.

      J

  14. Scott Engel

    Jason, these look great! One question- what’s your best guess at a price? I promise I won’t hold you to an exact number! LOL Just curious about a rough guess…

    Also, I sent you a PM on bowsite- do you check them? If not, what’s the best way to send you a PM regarding jacket/vest design?
    Thanks,
    Scott

    • Jason Hairston

      Hey Scott,

      Email me at jasonh@kuiu.com. I do not have a price yet and cannot quote anything until we finish the design. One thing to remember we can build the best Gaiter ever made and you will pay wholesale for it.

  15. Tony Bynum

    I have about dozen pares of gators and have had various luck with each of them over the year (as an outdoor commercial photographer, I get to see lots of these things in action and have to try to make them work in various situations). I’m on board with your recommendations, but there’s one thing that I’ve always wondered about but have never heard a good answers too: Why have the hook and loop closure on the front of the gator? It grabs snow and debris. Why not put it up the back and make it wide enough so that you can adjust the tension of the gator depending on what boot you wear? You can snug the hook and loop to match with the size of boot you’re wearing. To me, it makes better sense to put it on the back of the gator than the the front. If you’re concerned about access to the lacing, it’s all the same, just tear open the seam and open the gator to make adjustments. I also think there needs to be a way to bury that tag end of both the upper webbing at the top of the gator, and lower strap that secures around the shank of the boot . . . those tag ends are annoying.

    • Jason Hairston

      Great question Tony! I will take a look at your idea of moving the velcro to the back of the gaiter. I know putting them on will be a little less convenient but it will keep dirt and debris out. Noted on the tags! I will work on this for you.

      J

  16. Michael

    Jason, that all sounds great, except not sure why to move the strap adjustment buckle to the inside (it would make it easier to get to I suppose but I worry that it might catch on the other leg/foot).
    The best gaiters I have used are OR Crocodiles and Kennetreks, with the OR’s being more water resistant/durable and the Kennetreks being more comfortable for wear against bare skin beneath my pants and over socks for really wet days here in Washington (to prevent wicking of water from pants to socks).
    So, I would recommend a soft backing inside of the upper calf strap portion of the gaiter as opposed to elastic maybe?

    • Jason Hairston

      Thank Michael for the comments they are well noted.

      J

  17. goathunter

    The design looks great. I vote for tan or dark brown (from the vias camo color palette). One more thing to consider is how these will be stored/carried when not in use. I personally don’t like having loose items in my pack as it increases the chances of it accidentally falling out when I pull something out. Just like the spindrift jacket packs into its own pocket, I’d like to see the gaiters designed such that they could be rolled and secured without the need for an extra bag, strap, or string. Proposed name: Scree Gaiter.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Goathunter! Your comments are well appreciated and noted. Thank you!

      J

  18. Jerry V

    “Coast Range Gaiters”

    Olive Green for solid color

    Really looking forward to these.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Jerry, well noted.

      J

  19. Gregg Cutting

    Jason,
    I have had Gaiters in the past that have worked their way loose, and slipped below the calf, or the opposite – so tight they are difficult to put on, or cause discomfort and hot spots.

    How about a fastening system comparable with the attack pant? And work the same alteration into all upcoming KUIU product line pants…….

    Also, I don’t care for front Velcro closure systems, why not use a weather resistant zipper closure, then possibly a Velcro flap over the zip? I would also prefer that up the back of the calf also, rather than the front.

    If you could find a fabric durable enough, WITH 4-way stretch capability, I think that would solve the sizing issue that others are posting about, otherwise I agree with sizing requirements.

    Just a few thoughts…….

    • Jason Hairston

      The elastic section in the webbing will allow you to tighten the gaiter so they do not slip or become uncomfortable. The challenge with a zippered front is it limits the range of boot sizes the gaiters will fit. The fabric I am using is a 4 way stretch as you are suggesting. Although I am going to offer multiple sizes for a custom fit.

      J

  20. Brent Cascaddan

    Jason,
    Just want to commend you on trying to create a hunting gaiter that can take punishment season after season! I have used a couple different brands in the past, and usually won’t even last a season here in MT. The strap that wraps under the boot ALWAYS breaks on the inside where the buckle is. Other than that your designs sounds great.
    My 2 cents worth on color would be a light earth tone such as sage or similar. I think anything too dark would stand out too much. I wear gaiters sometimes during archery season here when it is rainy to keep moisture off the bottom of my pants.
    Name: Full-Curl Gaiter!!!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Brent for the comment. Your ideas are well noted. The buckle will remain on the outside of the gaiter.

      J

  21. Matt

    Nice! Look forward to seeing these in action.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Matt!

  22. Huntem

    Sitis Gaiters, Sitis meaning dryness in Latin.

    Do you plan to incorprate a snap down near the lace loop? Looks good Jason!

    • Jason Hairston

      I was not planning on putting a snap as I have always had a problem with dirt and grime making them useless and I do not miss the snap when that happens. Do you have a certain pair with a snap that works? I would love to research it.

      J

  23. Biyjp

    I also reiterate the need for a wide enough gaiter to accommodate a Schnee type pac boot or the Alaskan Mudds. Having the closure in front is more convenient than the back – but only if that closure stays secure!

    • Jason Hairston

      I plan on having 3 different sizes for a better fitting gaiter. This should allow guys to accommodate pac’s and plastic boots.

      J

  24. Andy Bacigalupo

    Nice to see them coming along.

    Since these are primarily a sheep hunting Gator, and will be used in the Realm of the ancient ‘Bristlecone’ Pines,how about…

    ‘The Bristlecone Gator’

    • Jason Hairston

      Well noted on the Bristlecone. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      J

  25. T Downing

    Great design…Has a ton of potential. Having the top of the gaiter being able to adjust to stay tight to the leg is a must…Jason, seems to me you already have the future name already figured out….Bomber Gaiter!

    • Jason Hairston

      Bomber Gaiter. A certain possibility of a name. The elastic in the cinch strap will allow it to be pulled tight and remain comfortable.

      J

  26. Jordan

    They look great Jason! I can’t wait to get mine. Thanks for keeping us updated.

    Name idea: The Muskwa Gaitor, after the drainage the Chadwick ram was shot in.

    • Jason Hairston

      Muskwa, very creative. Thanks Jordan.

      J

  27. Cody Canale

    I see you plan to move the buckle for the foot strap, to the inside of the gaiter.. That is a good move.. I had a pair of the original Sitka gaiters, and having the buckle on the outside, caused it to get broken.. the new designs with no buckles showing on the outside are fair superior..

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Cody, glad to hear your comment.

      Jason

  28. Justin Starck

    Jason

    I think I was put on a waiting list back in August when you posted “Kuiu Product Development – Gaiter”. Is that good enough or do I need to sign up again?

    With your proposed changes, they should be really nice.

    JS

    • Justin Starck

      I would most interested in a grey color, something between charcoal and frost grey.

    • Justin Starck

      I think you are on the right track with the closure on the front. There is a reason every gaiter I know if is like that, a closure on the back would be awkward. Plus, I like that the velcro provides some padding for my shins.

      • Tony Bynum

        i have at least one pair with the hook and loop up the back. It tends to work better, but as i pointed out, i’ve never heard or read a discussion about why the front makes more sense and for the life of me having used both, i can not figure out why the front would be better. when the hook and loop is up the back it’s straight and very simple to close, it also allows for tensioning that the front system lacks. . . If you cross the flaps too far in the front you get a lot of debris build up, therefore the closure must be tight and square . . . The question is why have it on the front? I agree that most have it there, so my conclusion is that there must be a reason, but having used both styles, i’m not sure why . . . I surely am not trying to win an argument, but i’d like to know why so many close on the front . . .

      • Justin Starck

        Tony, if you has used a rear closure and it has worked fine for you than you would be more of an authority than me. What gaiter do you have that closes in the back? I can see how there could be some benefits to having the closure on the back, but I still think I would prefer the front.

        I can actually see the closure when it is in front and don’t have any problem lining it up. I imagine if I had a gaiter that closed on the back; I would actually put it on backwards, secure the Velcro and turn it around.

        I can get the Velcro to seal better by running my fist back and forth against a hard shin rather than a soft calf.

        The double layering and Velcro offer extra protection for your shins.

        The front may be where most of the abuse happens, but I don’t consider the Velcro closure a weak point. I might even consider it a reinforced portion on the gaiters.

        I am rather critical of my gear and how it functions. It seems there is always at least one or two things that I would like to change about any given piece of gear, but I have never had the thought, “ I sure wish these gaiters closed on the back.” On the other hand, it could be that I try out some gaiters that close on the back and think, “Where have these been all these years?”

    • Justin Starck

      There are lots of suggestions on here for lots of “extras”. I would like see them remain simple and functional by design, just like the rest of the KUIU gear.

      Sorry for all the comments on here, I am really looking forward to some good gaiters.

    • Jason Hairston

      You are on it from back in August. Thanks for the comment Justin as always.

      J

  29. Larry Schwartz

    Jason,

    I find that things like buckles and such that are located down near the bottom of the boot, like the strap buckle on the gaiter, tend to get banged up, stepped on, smacked on rocks and logs as you walk, and otherwise banged up. You might want to move them up a few inches on the gaiter to get them out of harms way.

    I also second the idea of straps around the gaiter to keep it tight against the leg instead of making it a narrower tube. Different sized legs, different size boots, all call for more leeway instead of going with the a trimmer outline. Maybe some buckles attached at the back of the gaiter to pull in the slack, like the cinches on the waist of military camo uniforms/BDUs.

    Larry

    • Jason Hairston

      Well noted Larry! Thank you.

      J

  30. Rakes

    I own the OR gaiter and love them with a couple of exceptions;
    1. The lace clip needs to be a more positive connection. The “hook” method always seems to come undone.
    2. In my humble opinion the velcro needs to be in the back, as the front of the gaiters take the most abuse.
    3. A semi ridgid vertically would be nice to asist in holding them up. This would help to not have to over tighten the top strap.

    Thanks for the oportunity to chime in on your creative process
    Chris R.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Chris, thank you for chiming in. You all have incredibly valuable input! I have learned a lot from this process and having this feedback.

      J

  31. Tony Bynum

    i have a pair made by a company called sports graphics that close in the back . . . i think i figured out why . . . in order to get the formed fitted cut of the OR, MH, and the one jason is designing, they have to have a seam down the front. so in stead of just a seam, they put the hook and loop there. I’m not convinced that it’s the way to go and until i can get some real intelligent dialog about it i’m not sold . . as for doing it the way everyone else does it, i’m not into reinventing the wheel, but i’m not the kind of guy who does it just like everyone else especially if i can come up with something better. . . so why do it the way everyone else does it cuz it must be right is one option and one that should be carefully considered, but i was under the impression that kuiu was all about making things better . . . If sticking with what works is any kind of model we’d still be in buggy’s and wearing cotton canvas drenched in beez wax . . . why some people want to change is not clear to me, but what is clear is that some people dont stop inventing and making changes until they get it right . . . I’m pretty sure were not dont creating a better gator . . .

    • Justin Starck

      I think everyone here on the blog likes to see items evolve to be better suited for the tough conditions of mountain hunting. I am defiantly not against making improvements in gear, that I why I participate in this blog and this process. That is why we discuss issues like this back and forth. Just as you are not convinced about the reasoning for the closure on the front, I am not convinced that the closure on the back is the best option.

      • Tony Bynum

        final thought – just to be clear, i’m not saying the hook and loop should or should not be on the front. I’m suggesting a discussion or asking if anyone knows of one wherein the subject of closing a gator on the front or back has taken place. As a user of both styles, I’ve always been interested in why so many gators close along the front. In my own conclusions it it not harder or easier to close when it’s on the back vs the front, there are issues with both. So, i was hoping to hear some pros and cons or, a couple of solid responses as to why, it seems, most gators have front closer. I assumed there was a reason, so far it’s not that apparent or obvious. I’m not married to front or back closer, just thought since we’re talking about designing a new gator, and jason wants to create the best gator on the market, it’s worth discussion or considering one of the main and most obvious features of any gator. . . I’m not saying do one or the other, i’m encouraging the dialog about why one over the other hoping to spur some useful discussion and information that could lead to a better product. I’m not pro front or back closer . . . both work and both have their drawbacks . . .

        I just found another pair that’s both front and back, it’s more of spiral from back to front with a flap over the zipper starting at the shin and spiraling down to the outside of the leg and around to the back of the boot. It’s got gortex inside, with a wool, poly exterior in outfitter camo once sold by cabellas. They also have a steel cable for the shank strap – which to me is the way to go if you get the right cable. They area bout 5 or so years old i suspect. For winter hunting in the snow and cold they are my favorite . . .

      • Jason Hairston

        I will do some research and testing with a back of the gaiter closure and let you all know my findings. I agree with Tony in looking and considering all options and I firmly believe in thinking outside of the box. Sometimes we end up winning and other times we figure out why jackets have two sleeves. I will take a hard look at both.

        J

  32. Bwana Ken

    Jason, I’m excited to see the final product and would like to offer these comments:
    1. Sizing: The first poster said don’t make them too skinny. He’s right. I had thick (not fat) calves and was never able to wear the Sitka gaiters, especially in cold weather where I was wearing thermals under my pants.
    2. Color: In a solid color, almost anything but black. EVERYONE (OR, REI, Black Diamond) makes black gaiters, and it isn’t a good color for a hunting garment.
    3. Closure: A couple of posters thought it should be at the back. While this seems good in theory, I believe it would make the gaiter much more difficult to put on/take off. For this same reason I believe your decision to move the strap buckle from the outside to the inside is a good one.

    • Jason Hairston

      Well noted BK! Thank you.
      J

  33. Adam

    I agree with Rob at the top about issues with the velcro being in the front. The gaiters from Sitka have velcro in the front and tend to take a beating and make a surprising amount of noise as you walk. You can hear the crinkling of velcro with every step. Just something to think about.

    • Jason Hairston

      That is because they are from Sitka:) Well noted Adam.

      J

  34. Kim

    I prefer elastic with velcro belt on the top of the gaiter rather than a belt and some type of buckle. Also there should be elastic in the middle of the gaiter to pull in any loose material. I too have big legs and skinny gaiters don’t work for me. Also, if I’m wearing heavy wool pants it is hard to get any gaiter to go around my leg. I also don’t like buckles for the boot strap. I agree an inside buckle is better than outside. There should be elastic around the bottom of the gaiter as well. Rather than a hook for a lace clip I would like to see a short 3/4″ wide strap to go around the lace with a snap on the gaiter.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Kim, great suggestions here.

      J

  35. Cameron Meier

    This might be overkill but have you considered bonding 1000 denier nylon to the lower part of the gaiter to increase durability and wear resistance? If you bonded it so water wouldn’t get trapped between the nylon and Primflex fabric and sew it on for added durability? Not that the Primflex isn’t durable which I am sure it is but a second layer would help strengthen the gaiter at a weak point.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Cameron, we can do this but it will make the bottom very stiff and noisy. I have 800D Cordura bonded on the inside of the Gaiter that makes it pretty darn tough and keeps it much quieter.

      J

  36. Jim

    Jason
    On bullet point 4 are you referring to the adjustment at the top and moving the buckle from the outside to the inside of the leg? If so that could cause a noise issue with tje buckles clicking together while walking/ stalking. Or having the tag end flopping aroud and brushing the inside of your legx again a noise issue bit more of a “drive you nuts” issue.
    I may be misunderstanding what you are talking about though.
    I’m reserving a pair so I have them for my goat hunt next year.

    • Jason Hairston

      I am moving it to the inside of the gaiter, not the leg to help with wear and tear and noise. Glad you reserved a pair!

      J

  37. Louis Brown

    Great stuff Jason!

    I have used the OR gaiters lots, and I find that the velcro seam at the front is hard to get a flat seal along without any lumps and it always lets water in on crossings, no matter how carefully you seal it up. I would be interested in your thoughts on using a waterproof zipper along with a velcro tab over top instead of the straight velcro. Is this something you have looked into? There may be a good reason why it doesn’t work…

    I am on the list for when they come available and can’t wait to get my hands on a pair!

    p.s. I like ‘Scree Gaiter’ that Goathunter suggested and second the opinion that any solid colour that is neutral and not too dark would be great. Maybe your ‘brindle’ colour

    • Jason Hairston

      The down side to a zipper is durability and adjustability and reliability. Well noted on the name and color. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      J

  38. Dreux

    I like Velcro on the front. Easier to get on when wearing a stiff boot. Carefully plan on sizing, most gaiters fall short in accommodating large calves. Biggest weakness is usually light weight buckles used on boot straps, or the straps themselves!

    • Jason Hairston

      Well noted Dreux! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      J

  39. Sebastien LeBlanc

    They look awesome Jason!

    The only suggestion I have is to make to lace hook face upwards instead of down into the boot. Two reasons are that it is nearly impossible to come undone and I have found that sometimes the hook chews up the top of my boot sometimes. Cheers and great work, I’m definitely on the list!!!

    Sebastien

    • Jason Hairston

      Great suggestion! Thank you.

      Jason

  40. RyanHC

    Being a long time user of the OR Croc gaiters, I appreciate the nod to what may be the most widely used and popular gaiter on the market. OR got a lot right with that product which is why it endures today. I also appreciate the elimination of the seam on the inside of the leg (looks laminated in the photo?) which has consistently been the primary wear point on my OR gaiters.

    I have over 100 weeks of field use in OR gaiters, and if interested can gather thousands of weeks of over decades of use worth of experience with those and other gaiters. Here are my thoughts on some parts of the discussion:

    The instep strap is always the first thing to go. Where I work we take a piece of 1″ tubular webbing and thread the strap through it to lengthen it’s life span. I’ve toyed with coating that webbing in silicon or tool dip to reduce clumping in wet snow (super annoying). If you could build a better instep strap, you would be winning. Kevlar? Spectra? carbon infused unobtanium? In place of that, a replaceable strap would be great. OR did this, but inelegantly in my opinion. The instep attachment for the strap should be inside the gaiter, not outside, if making a replaceable system, again in my opinion.

    I would absolutely keep the buckle on the outside of the foot. I’ve seen some ugly incidents of unintentional, lockstep induced soil surveys when folks accidentally put gaiters on the wrong feet

    Talk to me about the decision to move the outboard end of the instep strap back towards the heal. It looks like the proposed position would place the strap under the heal, increasing wear?

    The silicon strip/gasket is intriguing. I am sure it will increase the water resistance in shallow, below the gaiter river crossings. Personally, wet boots/feet don’t bother me, so my gaiters serve to primarily keep snow (brrr) dirt, twigs and such out of my socks to reduce blisters, and to keep my pants drier. Still, I think this is a neat value added piece if you can make it work.

    On the primary velcro closure location (front vs. back) I vote front. Velcro running up the back of the calf is prone to being opened while walking through willows and brush, while on the front it is pressed shut. Additionally, if you spend any time hiking (read that as post holing) in deep snow you will quickly find that velcro on the back of the calf is prone to releasing from the bottom and coming undone. The placement on the front of the shin allows one to punch into snow, creating a hole with just space in front of the gaiter, vs. direct contact with the back of the hole if the velcro is on the back side.

    Integration to attack pants is a valuable thing to explore. I think a better solution (for me) than gaiter integration would be to hybridize the bottom of the Attack pant so that the instep and shin of the leg is waterproof breathable. When I finally get some attack pants, I intend to hem them long enough so that when sitting they still sit on the foot (like properly fit jeans when wearing cowboy boots). I’ll sew a “tunnel” in the cuff with one or two button holes on the inside, allowing me to thread a small bungie into the cuff. I also intend to add two loops of 1″ flat webbing, one to the instep and one to the outside of the foot, still hidden by the cuff, that will allow me to tread p-cord/bungie through to hold the pants down in deep snow. Between these two methods I should get a decent seal against snow and debris. To me, this type of customization is the greatest advantage of the “raw” 35″ inseam.

    I look forward to the evolution of these gaiters and the process of the shorty gaiters too, I love shorty gaiters for ultralight backpacking.

    The discussion and ideas is such a great thing to observe, participate in and see put into action. Jason, I love the model you are using, keep up the good work.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hey Ryan,

      Great comments and ideas. What causes the snowballing on the strap? Would a cable type strap work better? Any ideas? I am not moving the strap back to the heal, I had to adjust the dimensions of the Gaitor and had to move the location back a bit for this adjustment. My plan is to have the buckle on the outside of the boot but inside the gaiter for protection. Keep the ideas coming, they are very helpful.

      j

      • RyanHC

        Hi Jason,
        I think some other folks touched on the answers to your questions below, particularly the cable strap idea, which is interesting to me. For me the snowballing only happens on the straps that I have retrofitted with the tubular webbing cover, to protect the factory instep strap.
        Ryan

        • Jason Hairston

          Thanks Ryan for following up.

          J

  41. Bob K

    I wore plastic boots on my sheep hunt and it was difficult to get the gaiters to fit around their larger size. you may want to try your gaiters on with plastic boots (i wore scarpas) as some people hunt in plastics.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Bob, I will take a look at how they fit on plastics for sure. Great point.

      J

  42. Daniel Liss

    Looks like a great design any idea on when they will be available!

    • Jason Hairston

      Late Spring is my estimate. It will depend on Toray’s delivery lead time.

      J

  43. Mike E

    Ryan is right on. Velcro in back gets all the snow and mud kicked on it and if it is cold enough it freezes same thing with zippers water resistant or not it doesn’t matter, zippers freeze. The buckle on the inside is bad. What about a long velcro strap running up that is on the inside of the gaiter cause once i get my OR set for a pair of boots i don’t undo it i just undo the velcro. Velcro is the best way to get a custom tight fit around a lot of different boot pant combos. A stip of silicone at the top would aid in keeping them from sliding down. Snowballing on the instep straps sucks bad, one thing that helps is Pam spray. Good luck Jason what a challenge.

    • Jason Hairston

      Points well taken Mike. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I will try Pam.

      JH

  44. Mike W.

    My thoughts on the “Kenai” Gaiter…
    1) Durability has to be a priority especially for me on the bottom inside where even if they don’t rub together the mud and debris on your boots seems to cause wear.

    2) Fit for me seems to be opposite of many on here. I have smaller calves so I find that in order to get the gaiter to stay in place while in use I’m either cinched as tight as possible on the tops which is uncomfortable, and I have to deal with the extra strap hanging there. Or I’m constantly adjusting them. I’d like either a lining with some grip (such as seam tape) to help keep them from falling down or even possibly a stiff closure to help support the gaiter from sliding down if not fit tight above the calf (the velcro on the kenetreks does this to an extent). Another possible solution might be an elastic type top with a draw cord so that it could expand to larger leg, and if drawn tight with the cord, the cord would not be dangling 5 in. off the top of the gaiter.

    3) I think an often overlooked problem with gaiters is breathability. I currently use the kenetreks and it’s the first thing I notice when I take off and start building a little body heat is the moisture and heat within my gaiter.

    I love the idea of the gasket bottom for stream crossings. I would consider a softer but thicker gasket. It may wear faster but may in fact seal more consistently on a variety of boots with different seam patterns. What about an apron within the gaiter, above the ankle? The gasket could seal there which seems to be a more consistent shape/size than around the boot itself.

    I look forward to seeing the final product!

  45. Jason Hairston

    Those are my calves in the photo and as you can see I have the same problem you do. I have added elastic to the webbing strap on top to allow you to cinch the strap snug without cutting off the circulation or being uncomfortable. Toray’s laminate has amazing breathability. Ask anyone who owns the Chugach rain gear. I will look into a softer type gasget, my concern as you mention is durability. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    J

    • Mike W.

      I have the chugach rain gear and was very pleased with the breathability and also the quietness. It’s obviously louder than a fleece material but still alot quieter than expected. I didn’t use the jacket enough to experience any durability concerns but it does seem that heavy briars or thorns might possibly puncture it more easily than a less breathable material. Adding a reinforced front may solve any issues with this and still allow the leg to breath through a thinner material in the rear where the muscle is going to build the majority of heat anyway. The only downfall is to add a reinforced front with a front closure means a minimum of 2 more seams to fail.

      • Jason Hairston

        Toray developed a new fabric for this gaiter. It is more durable and heavier than the Chugach fabric. The same laminate is used on both. Primeflex is the type of yarn technology and they make a lot of different weights and fabrics using it.

        Jason

  46. Mike E

    snowballing on hypalon comes from the fibers on the inside fraying and little at a time the snow builds up. Steel cable insteps freeze quick then the snow starts sticking and the same thing happenes but stomps off a little more easy. Burn or trim the hypalon fibers hanging out before Pam. I have used electric tape in a pinch before and it sheds snow great but doesn’t last but something about its slick outside works any thoughts on something that has the same properties? As far as dead quiet I glued full cut out section from a thin wool shirt to a pair of old OR gaiters years ago and I still use them. Tear Mender is the glue GREAT STUFF. Man that damn instep strap. Somebody has got to come up with something better. Good luck Jason and I want to say I think this the best way to find out new ideas and build the best product. Kudos to you and your staff, what a concept to ask for help sometimes.

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Mike for the input and compliments I really appreciate it.

      Jason

  47. Otar Kishinski

    Jason
    It is great deal to develop Kuiu product with potential customers.
    I’m successfully using my Kuiu gear in my Caucasus Mountain Tur hunting up to 4000 meters above the sea level. (I am living and hunting on another part of the earth) 🙂 and for hunters like me is very important to wear durable and comfortable gaiters for crossing the rivers and for walking on a deep snow. Conditions on this level are very sever and strict. According to what I have read here I am sure completed gaiters will be perfect for mountain hunters.
    Respect you guys and hope they will be available soon.

  48. Jason Hairston

    Thanks Otar for the nice comment. I am pushing for a delivery this spring depending the testing and development.

    Jason

  49. Greg Maund

    I’m not sure its been mentioned but the strap that goes under your boot HAS to be easily replaceable. I hunt a lot in B.C and I’ve blown through that strapping on scree and once on a pointy stick. Just my 2 cents

  50. Dustin Pitcher

    Jason,

    Looks great and I can not wait to try a pair on my next fly-in hunt. I believe a great name would be the “Gataga Gaiter”. Gataga Lakes, BC was the site of my first fly-in hunt and let me tell you the bush is thick and the scree slopes are sharp and steep. Chewed through a pair of Hanwag boots and Rivers West Gaiters in 11 days out. These look like they would make it back for a return trip up there. I second Greg M’s comment on the strap. Keep up the good work with your line. Very impressed with your product so far.

    Regards,
    Dustin

  51. Russell

    The gaiters look great I have owned several pairs of gaiters now and the big things I see that are important are a plasic coated strap that goes under the boot for durability, and a quiet but waterproof and durable fabric. I can’t stand the plastic diaper crinkly sound, for loss of a better description, of some high dollar gaiters. I vote for the brown color found in the Vias camo pattern for the solid color. I am on the waiting list and can’t wait to see the finished product!

  52. Derrick Poet

    Major Brown for a color

  53. Chad St.

    I really like how you strive to push the limits of gear! And your gaiters look qreat however is there anyway you could make the top clip replaceable? I have a pair of kenatrecks and on there first trip into the mountains I fell and the clip got damaged and I have never been able to get the clip to work again. It would be really nice to be able to change the clip on the fly if fails.

  54. Ian McLendon

    I’m psyched you guys are making gaiters! One design that I think you guys should consider is having the strap adjust internally. Most gaiters have the buckle and strap on the outside. I have experienced two problems with this design.

    1. If you hunt in rocky sheep and or goat country the rocks tend to abraid the metal buckles causing noise and often times breaking them.

    2. External straps that come up on the outside of the gaiters snag grasses and other branches on the ground causing trip hazards.

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  56. Paul

    Are you selling these? In interested if there is a large calf size.

    • KUIU Ultralight Hunting

      Paul,

      We are selling these, and we have 2 sizes, L and XL. They are called the Yukon Gaiters and can be found in the Boots section of our website with sizing details.