Lightweight, breathable and with a streamlined precision fit, these gaiters are ideal for technical mountain adventures on rock, snow and ice. However, if your crampon footwork tends to be a little clumsy, then you might want to opt for heavier and burlier options.
Top-of-the-range 3L Gore-Tex Pro waterproofing and breathability
Neat and precise fit
Not the burliest fabric
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Rab Muztag GTX Pro gaiters: first impressions
These technical Rab Muztag GTX Pro mountain gaiters are focused on keeping weight down while prioritising fit and performance. As such, top-of-the-range Gore-Tex Pro fabric brings optimum waterproofing and breathability. Lightweight 40-denier nylon uppers combine with more rugged 300-denier nylon panels positioned on the inside and outside of the foot.
Ergonomic design and clever patterning ensure a close and precise fit, so these gaiters fit neatly with stiff mountaineering boots and crampons. However, they lack the innovative offset front closure of some rivals, like the Montane Endurance Pro (which also feature in our best gaiters buying guide). Otherwise, they have a similar Velcro strip with a top press stud and lower plastic lace hook, plus an elasticated drawcord placed at the top of the calf to ensure a full range of adjustment. Since it isn’t a split drawcord design, it’s worth tucking the ends in to avoid the possibility of snagging, though.
Unique features we did appreciate included the rubberized inner elastic strip at the top of the gaiters, which helps to prevent any sagging or slippage. The instep straps are also very rugged and quick to adjust, utilising double Velcro strips rather than a metal buckle. This means there is less hardware to get in the way when wearing these gaiters with big boots or crampons. It’s a thoughtful piece of design from Rab. It does mean that the straps are only adjustable from the inside, though, so there is a little guess-and-check needed when you fit them for the first time.
• RRP: $80 (US) / £60 (UK)
• Weight (per pair): 208g / 7.3oz
• Length: Long
• Sizes: M / L
• Colors: Black / Ascent Red
Rab Muztag GTX Pro gaiters: on the trails
The Rab Muztag GTX Pro gaiters do their job without getting in the way, which is really exactly what you want from a pair of technical mountain gaiters. The Gore-Tex Pro fabric keeps your boots and lower legs reliably dry on snow or ice while avoiding too much condensation build-up, even with heavy winter pants or salopettes.
Their only real drawback is that they’re not particularly forgiving if your crampon footwork is a little clumsy. Those 40D uppers are easy to puncture, and even the 300D reinforced lower panels aren’t as rugged as some on the market. Of course, the lighter fabrics keep the weight down and allows for a more precise fit, reflecting their intended use for technical alpine pursuits. As such, they wouldn’t be our first choice for tramping through tangled undergrowth or dank bogs – but then, that isn’t what they’re designed for.
If you’re engaged in high-output mountain activities, you’ll appreciate their core attributes: low weight, excellent waterproofing and breathability, and decent all-round protection for winter weather. (But even if you've got your gaiters sorted, you still have to think about how to keep your feet dry while hiking.)
An outdoors writer and editor, Matt Jones has been testing kit in the field for nearly a decade. Having worked for both the Ramblers and the Scouts, he knows one or two things about walking and camping, and loves all things adventure, particularly long-distance backpacking, wild camping and climbing mountains – especially in Wales. He’s based in Snowdonia and last year thru-hiked the Cambrian Way, which runs for 298 miles from Cardiff to Conwy, with a total ascent of 73,700 feet – that’s nearly 2½ times the height of Everest. Follow Matt on Instagram and Twitter.