Page Type Gear Review
Object Title X-Gaiter
Manufacturer Outdoor Research
Page By Erik Beeler
Page Type Dec 15, 2003 / Dec 15, 2003
Object ID 9614
Hits 1292

When you need to bump up the insulation of your boots but will be covering long stretches of mixed terrain, you need an exposed boot sole. The X-Gaiter was designed with this in mind. The half-inch of removable insulation in the forefoot allows the gaiter to be worn on both warm and cold days and we supply a less compressible closed cell foam for strap-on type crampon systems as well. The innovative, shock-corded rand adapts to any boot, is field maintainable and not prone to total failure like tightly stretched rubber randed super gaiters. Grommets along the rand accept additional cord or wire and help keep things in place when the nylon keeper tab at the toe isn't secured under a crampon or binding. A D-ring on the toe keeps your skis around on those deep powder days that we live for. Like all OR Gaiters, a Velcro front opening keeps things easy.

Technical Pic

1000d Cordura foot section, coated

Urethane coating keeps water out

Highly cut and abrasion resistant. Resists the damage that ski edges and crampons so easily can inflict upon a gaiter in the foot section.

1 1/2-inch wide Velcro front closure

Wide Velcro front closure gives easy access to boot laces and socks.

Variable fit all the way up the boot and lower leg to accommodate different layers of clothing or different boot sizes. This also aids in controlling excess material building up at the leg and ankle that could catch on a crampon.

Velcro Cinch-Strap closure

Low bulk closure. In a fall the Cinch-Strap closure will not press on the knee.

Universally adjustable even with bulky mitts on

Can be left open to allow air flow over the upper leg or closed to keep snow or rain out.

3-Layer Taslan Gore-Tex leg section

Waterproof, vapor permeable, and totally windproof

The Taslan nylon face fabric on the outside is very abrasion resistant. This is important because of the constant exposure to the ski edges that this gaiter so frequently must deal with.

Coated packcloth lining of lower section

The inner layer is packcloth so that it will be a bit slippery and not grab the boot when it is being attached or removed.

This layer is coated to give even more water resistance and to keep as much moisture out of the foam as possible.

Choice of foam insulation:

1/2-inch Urethane Open Cell Foam — This foam is included to provide the highest insulating potential. It is the easiest foam to work with because it is very supple. It is also easy to compress at the heel and toe bail when using a step in crampon or alpine touring ski binding.

3/8-inch EVA Closed Cell Foam — When any sort of a strap-on binding is to be used, this less compressible foam is the choice. It will resist being crushed by the straps and therefore prevent the cold spots that would otherwise develop if the open cell foam were in use.

2-inch webbing toe tab

The toe tab is one more way the X-Gaiter ensures against the popping of the toe. It can be slipped in between the bail of a 3 pin binding and the boot toe for bombproofness. The tab can also be used in the same way with a step-in crampon bail.

Forefoot and instep grommets

On either side of the gaiter at the forefoot and the instep areas there are small grommets set at the bottom edge to literally wire these places down if need be. This can be particularly helpful with an extremely soft old boot that has become highly flexible at the forefoot.

Runaway strap D-ring, heavy welded stainless steel

When a runaway strap is going to be employed, as in the use of a telemark binding which does not have ski brakes, there is a heavy duty welded D-ring sewn to the front top of the gaiter to clip the leash. This is necessary because the gaiter covers the boot entirely and the leash cannot be clipped to a boot lace. (It is important to note that not all the D-rings used in a similar fashion are welded and can be pulled apart by the force of a fall.) We want the runaway strap to be able to do its job.

3/16-inch welt shockcord

The real guts of this gaiter are here, in the shockcord attachment method. The shockcord runs completely around the welt of the boot in a tunnel of Cordura material, emerging in four places and criss-crossing under the instep in an "X". Its stretchiness permits the X-Gaiter to fit snugly around the forefoot even on very flexible ski boots or lightweight mountaineering boots. Because the shockcord is not very wide the insulation can come all the way down to the welt of the boot, unlike the rubber-randed gaiters, which leave a large (4 – 5 cm) band without any insulation at all. The 3 /16 inch shockcord is surprisingly durable and easily field re-placeable.


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