Stone Glacier uses stronger-than-steel Dyneema bootstraps and rugged ripstop for a gaiter that should last for years.
The way I use gaiters, they need to be tough. Thankfully, there are several models on the market that withstand the rigors of upland bird hunting and the off-trail thrash that is mountain elk hunting.
Released this year, the Stone Glacier SQ2 Alpine Gaiter might be the top of the heap.
In short: Designed for hunting, the Stone Glacier SQ2 Alpine Gaiter ($129) is an extremely durable, knee-high gaiter that will serve anyone who needs dependable protection from brush, mud, and snow.
While expensive, they should last a long time and have replaceable Dyneema bootstraps.
Stone Glacier SQ2 Alpine Gaiter Review
If you want to thrash a pair of gaiters, take them through a full hunting season. Take them alpine elk hunting covering several miles a day.
Then, drag them to South Dakota for 4 days of pheasant hunting, followed by a dozen days of upland bird hunting in Eastern Colorado.
Conservatively, that means 100-plus miles of off-trail hiking through some of the thickest bushes, deepest mud, and snowiest hillsides you can find, with rarely a trail to follow. The Stone Glacier SQ2 Alpine Gaiter faced all that in our testing.
After all that, they’re still holding up — well, like a dirty version of new.
For most people shopping for gaiters, you could just stop right here and buy a pair. You won’t be disappointed.
If you want more details, here’s the scoop.
SQ2 Alpine Gaiter Details
The SQ2 Alpine Gaiter uses Stone Glacier’s Contrail Bootstrap. It’s fully replaceable, which I love given the high price of the gaiter. But it’s also made of Dyneema, which is stronger than steel and will likely outlive the gaiter and possibly the wearer. So I’m not sure this point is critical. Ask me in 5 years.
To put on the gaiters, simply open them by pulling apart the Velcro and stepping into the strap. Then, secure the heavy-duty Velcro snugly around your calves and buckle the pin-less buckle. A V-shaped webbing attachment on the instep of the gaiter connects to your boot laces.
The three-layer ripstop Hydrashield upper and a durable X-Pac lower will block all manner of debris and moisture from entering your boots or wetting your pant legs.
The only thing I don’t love about these is that the webbing that adjusts the tension of the bootstrap has a tendency to fall out of the slots meant to hold it up to the side of your leg. Thus, you have to rethread it from time to time, or you might step on it with your other foot.
That’s a pretty minor issue and one that I’ve only had to deal with a couple of times over 100-plus miles.
Another issue to look out for is that if you have wider, muscular calves, the large size may or may not fit. And there’s no size option above large.
Stone Glacier SQ2 Alpine Gaiter: Verdict
Beyond that, I’d say these gaiters are darned near perfect. They’re easy to put on, durable, and should last for many years. If you need heavy-duty gaiters, don’t hesitate to snap these up at $129.