Gaiters for the Winter Bike Commuter or Fatbike Adventurer

The winter bike commuter or fatbike adventure rider may want to invest in a good pair of gaiters to keep legs from the knees down warm, dry and boots from taking on snow.  I had some time to test out two gaiters recently and depending on what type of winter riding you do, one of these will do the trick.

Louis Garneau Robson MT2

First up is the Louis Garneau Robson MT2.  This gaiter comes in two sizes (SM, L/XL) and is available in men's and women's styles.  It is constructed from 600D WR and Ripstop Nylon making them light, abrasion-resistant and water repellent.

The front Velcro closure made putting these gaiters on and taking them off quick and easy.  Three adjustable straps located at the top of the calf, ankle area and under the sole held them securely in place during my rides without any need for additional adjustments.  I hardly noticed I was even wearing them.  I like the rigid piping at the bottom of the gaiter and the boot lace hook.  These features keep it tight around the boot preventing snow and water from getting in and under the gaiter.

The Robson MT2 did perform well at keeping the snow out and prevented water and slush from getting my legs wet.  It rolled off the water-resistant nylon as I rode through puddles and melting snow.  When riding in winter, wearing apparel that is breathable is key and this is where the Robson MT-2 failed.  After longer rides and in warmer weather I noticed when removing them they did not allow vapor to pass through leaving my tights and baselayer damp from perspiration vapor.  For quick trips this may not be a problem but on longer ride it could result in legs becoming chilled.

These lightweight gaiters would be a good choice for winter bike commuters to keep legs dry on wet or slushy rides to and from work.  For the fatbike rider I wouldn't recommend using them because they do not allow transfer of vapor which is key on long rides in the cold to help regulate body temperature.

The Louis Garneau Robson MT2 is not available on the Louis Garneau website but can be purchased from various online sporting goods retailers for $34.99.

Outdoor Research Crocodiles

Next is the Crocodile Gaiter from Outdoor Research.  This gaiter comes in Men's and Women's styles with 5 sizes (S, M, L, XL, XXL) for men and 3 sizes (S, M, L) for women.  These expedition-style gaiters designed for mountaineering are extremely durable and come with Outdoor Research's Infinite Guarantee.  They are made with waterproof/breathable 3-layer 70D Taslan Gore-Tex fabric in the leg section and a 1000D Cordura boot section, lined with coated 8 oz. packcloth.  

The 2" wide Velcro closure, adjustable top strap, tapered ankle, boot lace hook and BioThane® Instep Strap combine to keep them in place without shifting while riding.  They fit nicely around the base of the boot preventing snow from getting in under them.  I have worn these gaiters on long rides in sub-zero temperatures and they do wonders at blocking the wind and provide a little extra thermal protection while keeping out the snow.  The breathable fabric construction allows vapor to pass through keeping my tights and baselayer dry underneath.

This is my go-to gaiter for all of my winter fatbike rides.  I was very impressed with its performance in a variety of different winter weather conditions.  The quality design/construction, durability, waterproof material and Infinite Guarantee make it an excellent choice for the winter fatbike adventurer.      

The Men's and Women's Crocodile Gaiter is available from Outdoor Research, Amazon, REI and various other online sporting goods retailers for $75.

Disclosure:  Louis Garneau and Outdoor Research provided the review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.

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