TUNDRA - AS TOUGH AS THEY COME!
I’ve had many different gaiters over the years, including some older Hunters Element models. None of them have ever been perfect; they’re a simple piece of gear but they cop a hard time when thrashed about in the bush and soon show their weaknesses.
So I had a good chat with the designer and the marketer at Hunters Element before they sent me down a pair of their new Pinnacle Gaiters. They were well aware that their old XTR gaiters hadn’t performed as well as customers had expected; a few of the problems included the zips failing, the hook on the front of the gaiters breaking, and the stitching parting. One of the things that annoyed me when I put them on in the morning was the tightening strap moving right around my leg – so when the new ones arrived I eagerly ripped them out of the plastic and had a look at how they’d sorted that problem. I was impressed straight away.
These new gaiters look tough. The material is more of a rugged canvas with a camouflaged fleece outer finish which helps keep the noise down, and all the stitching is doubled up, using German-made thread. The top tightening strap is stitched to the gaiter which makes it easy to get the top of the gaiters tight to your legs. Proper Velcro and YKK zips have been used; they’re designed to wrap from the outside of your ankle at the bottom of the gaiter to the middle of your shin at the top to avoid debris getting caught in the Velcro. The hook on the front looks a lot more robust than previous ones, and it’s big enough to actually stay hooked on to your bootlace. Also, they’re shaped to fit down over the boot which stops gravel and sticks from working their way between your boots and the gaiter.
Two small webbing hoops on the bottom of the gaiter allow the fitting of an instep wire if desired.
After using them for several months in the Alps chasing chamois, and in the scrub chasing pigs, I am impressed. I’ve used them daily on my possum lines and dragged them through gullies and creeks in South Canterbury while wallaby culling. So far there’s no sign of wear except for a dented dome, but it still works so I’m not complaining. I’ll keep thrashing them and I’ll recommend them.
They’re certainly much better than the previous Hunters Element gaiters; their design team are to be commended. They’ve done their homework and fixed the problems that let their old ones down.
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