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December 2018 Issue
Home / Gear reviews / Footwear

Hillsound Super Stretch Armadillo



Our Rating:

The Super Stretch Armadillo (340g) features two proprietary fabrics: a rugged domed ‘Superfabric’ provides protection from crampons or scree, and a breathable ‘Flexia’ fabric which provides a moulded fit around the upper-calf. The pairing produces a gaiter that is light yet rugged.

Gaiters with lightweight uppers have a tendency to slide down, but the Flexia fabric and ingenious clip and buckle combination on the top strap firmly secure the gaiter.

The slightly stretchable Superfabric and adjustable instep straps mean the gaiter will also fit around winter mountaineering boots. The instep strap is replaceable. The lace hook is made of metal and feels sturdy.

I have some reservations about the decision to eschew the traditional Velcro opening for a front zipper. The seam-sealed YKK zipper provides water-tightness, but is fiddly to thread and seems likely to snag once the gaiter is covered in mud and grit.

Those who do a lot of bush or crusty snow travel might also wish for more shin protection.

In summary

The Good: Hard wearing lower, comfortable and breathable upper, good fit, replaceable strap.

The Bad: Quite expensive, can be fiddly to do up the zipper.

Verdict: This is a high-quality gaiter that offers great durability for minimal weight.

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