How many dirtbag climbers does it take to eat an armadillo? At least two: one to eat and one to watch for headlights. Zing! Which brings us to our first category, products named after roadkill. I'll take Hillsound Armadillo LT gaiters for everything I've got. Which, being a dirtbag climber myself, ain't much.
Hillsound makes a really nice line of traction devices and casual crampons for low-angle travel. Apparently their designs are to conquer the climbing gear world from the foot up, and their next stop is the lower leg via the Armadillo line of gaiters. The four gaiters run from the LT gaiter, reviewed here, to a Nano version constructed from one of our favorite materials ever, Schoeller NanoSphere.
Now, you don't need gaiters for everything, but when you need a gaiter nothing else will do. Such situations include scree, snow and thorny underbrush to begin with. In our own backyard, gaiters are terribly useful on Mt. Marathon for the recreational hiker. The long scree descent is about the most fun you have with your clothes on, at least until you fall and your clothing asplodes, but even then your gaiters will likely still be with you.
The LT model is the most affordable in the 'dillo line, but it doesn't skimp on features. The upper is waterproof and fairly breathable, with just a bit of stretch, and the lower is 1000D DWR nylon. Water beads up and rolls off under normal use, and you can always refresh the DWR treatment with Nikwax Tech Wash or similar products. Within the various sizes available, there is additional size flexibility from the buckle and strap, which also remove to use the full-length YKK zipper – with full-length flap, no less – for easy off and on. A rip-and-stick tab protects the bottom of the zipper, and the strap is both tough and replaceable, a winning combination since that's the part that's going to take the most abuse.
Hillsound doesn't skimp on product features or quality, and the Armadillo LT will protect your legs like greaves on a hoplite. Seriously, that's a thing, look it up. Best of all, even a dirtbag climber can afford them.