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Nathan Moody
(atomick) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Arm Gaiters on 07/16/2006 23:19:13 MDT Print View

I've been increasingly switching between biking, kayaking, hiking and running for exercise and I've come to love a very simple, incredibly lightweight extension to my comfort zone, which has other uses as well: arm gaiters.

Long used by bicyclists and runners, arm gaiters are fantastically flexible for backpackers as well. A sleeveless base layer and a pair of arm gaiters weighs about the same as a long-sleeved base layer of the same material (usually, don't quote me on ounces/grams here but mine weigh 1.5 oz. for a pair)...but has the rather massive advantage of not requiring pack removal to remove the gaiters.

My cold-night-hot-day mountain clothing system now revolves around sleeveless LW capilene tees, one pair of arm gaiters, a windshirt, an insulator, and a rain shell. I find that arm gaiters can be slipped on and off easier, and more frequently, than a wind shirt and keeps my other layers in the pack a lot more frequently. That keeps me hiking comfier, farther, and faster.

Arm gaiters to be useful when knotted together and soaked, to keep an injured or heat-exhausted colleague cool (personal experience forced this particular usage). They can be used to insulate the hand from hot objects (careful, though, typical polyester melting rules apply!) They can even be used as insulators on thin water bottles!

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Arm warmers... on 07/17/2006 06:59:20 MDT Print View

my cycling friends and I call them arm warmers. They come in a variety of styles too (thin to fleece lined and warmer).

Pretty essential part of my 3 season riding gear once it's warm enough to ditch the LS base layer.

Michael Wands
(walksoftly) - F

Locale: Piney Woods
Re: Arm warmers... on 07/17/2006 09:18:20 MDT Print View

I have some of the fleece-lined warmers for both arms and legs. Don't usually hike in the leg warmers because they seem to roll down, but they are great to sleep in.

Richard Stein
(buckaroobanzai) - F
Re: Arm Gaiters on 08/09/2006 17:45:47 MDT Print View

I am exceptionally sensitive to the sun, so arm gaiters sounded like a great strategy. I just got back from the high Sierras (my very first backpacking trip, BTW). The arm gaiters I used were for sun protection mostly, so I cut off the arms of an undersized water shirt I was not using (an SPF30 "rashie") and rolled them onto my arms as needed. No burn at all, some weather protection and often delayed the mosquitoes long enough to swat them before they stung through the material. On one hot day, the soaked and wrung-out gaiters were nicely cooling.

After a few days of use I was having to pull up on them a little as the elasticity was giving a bit, but a couple of tiny clips held them in place. I plan on sewing some elastic to avoid this in the future.

Edited by buckaroobanzai on 08/09/2006 17:47:05 MDT.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Sun protection! on 08/09/2006 22:28:22 MDT Print View

Yes they are awesome for covering up. Between arm and knee warmers I rarely have to apply sunscreen except on my face and even that is shaded by the brim of my cycling cap.