It wasn’t long after returning to Australia after spending a decent chunk of time Hiking in Hong Kong, that I discovered the need to purchase a pair of Sea to Summit Quagmire Event Gaiters.
I was hiking through Lerderderg State Forest by myself (not recommended by the way), exploring the many hiking trails that led out from O’briens Crossing, when I had a close encounter with an Eastern Tiger Snake. To be more precise, I almost stood on it, and then we both froze, looking at each other for the next 5 minutes. I was totally unprepared, and felt totally helpless. I didn’t even know what type of snake it was, let alone what to do if I got bitten – did I mention the lack of reception in the area?
And so, from that day forth I made it my priority to become prepared. My first purchase was a pair of Quagmire Event Gaiters by Sea to Summit, followed by a first aid kit and a Bob Cooper Snake Bite Kit. I also made it a priority to start hiking with other people to start with, and grabbed myself a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) so that I could hike by myself again – which although not recommended, is something that I do enjoy doing.
For those who don’t know about gaiters, they are typically fitted to the outside of your pants from your boots to below your knees. Some gaiters only cover your ankles. Their main purpose is to provide lower leg protection against bushes, shrubs and other low lying flora that would otherwise scratch or be abrasive to your skin or clothing. They can also be useful to protect yourself from snake bites – it is difficult for a snake to bite through them, and they are especially helpful to protect against leeches. Some gaiters are waterproof, giving added protection against dew and/or wet flora.
Sea to Summit have a wide range of gaiters available for hiking and I did a bit of research into it to figure out what I needed. My first priority was to get some protection from snake bites obviously, and gaiters were one way of doing this. Although it is worth noting that while gaiters do offer some protection from snake bites, they do not guarantee that a snake won’t be able to bite you through them, or above them for that matter – but they will help by adding an additional layer between your skin and their fangs. Any additional layer makes me a happy hiker.
Secondly, I wanted something that wasn’t going to make me hot and sweaty – read breathable. And lastly, I wanted something that was also waterproof: I wanted to get my money’s worth out of these products, and by being waterproof it meant that it could also protect me from wet bushes and low lying shrubbery, as well as from rain forest dew. And so I settled with my first pair of Sea to Summit Quagmire Event Gaiters.
Sea to Summit Gaiter Specifications
I mentioned that Sea to Summit have a range of Gaiters available. Since grabbing these at full retail price over a year ago, I have started my own business selling these beautiful gaiters and so you can pick them up for yourself at a very reasonable price, shipped to your door, from our Green Trails Australia online store. I’ll be going over the ones that we have for sale (insert disclaimer here: we sell hiking gear… that we use regularly ourselves and test thoroughly) and in particular, the pair that I own and have used myself for over a year.
Below is a table of the gaiters that we currently have in stock and that we recommend with some finer details:
|Brand||Type||Sizes||Length||Calf Circumference||Material Construction||Use||Waterproof/|
|Sea to Summit||Grasshopper||S/M,|
|N/A||600D Ripstop Polyester||Hiking||No/No||S/M=188g|
|Sea to Summit||Quagmire Canvas||Small,|
|boot – 1,000D Kodra|
upper – 8oz Corespun canvas
|Sea to Summit||Quagmire Event||Small,|
|boot – 1,000D Kodra|
upper – eVent®
For the moment the gaiters that we have for sale are the full length gaiters as these are the only gaiters that we have tested personally and can fully recommend. If you’re after any other types of gaiters you can check out our brand catalogues and put in a special order.
Quagmire Event Gaiters Comparison – Used vs New
Over the course of a year, with at least 52 wears put into them, my pair of Quagmire Event Gaiters have taken quite a beating and they are still going strong. Below are some comparison photos between my one year old used gaiters and a new pair that we currently have in stock (click on the images for a larger view):
Clearly stated on the event tab is the fact that these gaiters are waterproof. On the surrounding material you can see a little wear over the course of a year.
The 5cm wide Velcro strap is heavy duty and works great as a shin protector against rocks. On the surrounding event upper you can see some scratches on the used pair of gaiters, and the Sea to Summit branding is a little worn down.
The lace hook is used to keep the gaiters firmly in place on your boot. Average wear and tear here with no significant damage. Nice to see that the connectors are made from high quality metal beneath the black outer coating.
The foot strap is where you will probably see the most wear. You will see considerably more wear if your hiking shoes or boots are flat underneath because they will impact with the ground on every step. My hikes are typically very long – up to 45km for a day hike – and I have a flat sole on my hiking boots, so these straps have taken a hard beating, and it is almost time for me to replace them.
This is the inner strap connector which will rub up against your boot. It is a little worn but no significant issues here. Note the double stitching used near the points of the most wear.
The foot strap buckle near your ankle, on the outer side of your boot will take a beating, and it can be seen here that it is made from top quality metal and can handle it. I always like to see wear and tear on the products that I use to know that I have gotten my money spent out of them.
The top buckle that fastens your gaiters above your calves doesn’t get as much of a beating as the one down by your ankle, however it is also made from top quality metal and can take it.
Quagmire Event Gaiters – Pros and Cons
So over the course of a year what can I say about my Sea to Summit Quagmire Event Gaiters – well many things. And mostly good.
The gaiters that I have are extra large and I wear them on almost every hike that I go on, and that is quite a lot of hikes considering that I have my own Meetup Group at Green Trails Australia. I am hosting hikes almost every weekend in Victoria, and now during the colder months I am wearing the gaiters even just for an extra layer of warmth.
Weight is a very important factor for me and at just 370 grams for the pair of extra large Quagmire Event Gaiters I barely notice them on my legs.
Many people become concerned about the length of the Sea to Summit gaiters, however it should not be of a concern. The fact is that the actual length of the gaiters should not be a guide as to the length of your lower legs since the lower part of the gaiter is designed to cover a decent portion of your shoe, thus making them shorter. When measuring the length of the gaiter compared to the length of your leg, you should start the measurement from the base of your (bare) foot and up. Even then if you feel that it is too long, this is soft material and will crumple a little when you are wearing them, and even more so as they age, so the strap to tighten them around your calf is the main thing that will be holding them up, along with the sturdy front Velcro closing section. I have had no problems with my extra large Quagmire Event Gaiters, and the length measures right to beneath my knee from the bottom of my foot.
The upper event material on the Quagmire Event Gaiters is both breathable and waterproof making them super comfortable. Even on the hottest days (35+ degrees Celsius) I have had no issues about sweating beneath them. The material has also held up well to bushes and multitudes of abuse over the past year. I even use them on occasion to wade through blackberry bushes to get to the best blackberries at the back where ordinary folk cannot get to.
The lower 1,000D Kodra material is very durable and takes the most abuse. Through multitudes of mud and scrub, it still looks like new when washed.
All the buckles, connectors, and most especially the stitching, have held up after constant abuse. I have no issues whatsoever with any of the material on these gaiters. It is top notch and can take any abuse you throw at it.
Some things to note about these gaiters is the lower material and the boot strap. Although some websites claim that the 1,000D Kodra (Cordura) fabric is breathable – it is only so much breathable. On warmer days it will hold some heat in around your boot, and some sweat might build up causing some moisture beneath. This is not a huge issue because the most important thing here is the quality of this lower material. It is more important for it to be durable rather than not – this is it’s main purpose. So it is only a small compromise for a large gain.
Another issue is the boot strap. If your shoes or boots are flat on the ground, then these straps will get a constant beating on every step. Having said that however, my hiking boots are flat, and I go on long (up to) 45km day hikes with my gaiters, and my gaiter foot straps are still intact with just over a year of wear. They are cheap to replace, and they are replaceable, which is important to note. So when they do wear out, you can bring your gaiters back to life at a cost of less than $10.
Sea to Summit Quagmire Event Gaiters Conclusion
For someone who never used to wear gaiters and in fact didn’t even know that they existed or what they were, to someone who wears them on almost a regular basis now – I would say that gaiters are a necessity. They can be used in all types of weather and all types of terrain, for the purpose of protecting yourself from low lying shrubs, spinifex, bushes and blackberry thorns, as well as from snakes and leeches, and dew and wetness from bushes… Well put simply gaiters are a must. Sea to Summit make a range for beginner hikers to advanced hikers, and truthfully I would recommend them to every hiker out in the Australian wilderness. These gaiters are robust and can take a good beating. Foot straps are replaceable and all parts of these gaiters are designed to last. They look good, they feel good, and they go the distance.
Last modified: April 19, 2018