Gear Guy

The Ascent Stretch gaiters     Photo: courtesy, Mountain Hardwear

Q:

What pair of gloves and gaiters are suited for Mt. Everest Base Camp?

I'm heading to Nepal (November through December) for a one-month trek to Mt. Everest Base Camp. Can you recommend a glove and gaiter that would suffice for trekking, scrambling, cold temps, etc. Nathan Los Angeles, CA

A:Sure, I can do that. That sounds like it will be a great trip. For gaiters, I think you are going to want two pairs. For most of your hiking and scrambling, a basic gaiter such as Mountain Hardwear’s Ascent Stretch gaiters ($50) will be the ticket. Light, comfortable, breathable—they’ll keep snow, rocks, and various debris types out of your boots.

For colder stuff, I really think you’d be grateful for a pair of expedition gaiters. The Brooks Ranger Overboots from Outdoor Research ($160) are the ticket here. They completely cover your boots and have closed-cell insulation for warmth. They’re also handy for a warm, comfy booty in camp or tent. The only downside is they really are designed for use with crampons, so if you plan on some cramponing, these are ideal. Otherwise, OR’s more traditional Expedition Crocodiles ($90) offer a tough, functional design—a little fuller cut than other gaiters to accommodate plastic boots and heavier pants. Very nice.

Gloves? Well, take several pairs. For cool-not-cold temps, Manzella’s Silkweight Windstopper Gloves ($30) are just fantastic. Amazingly warm for what are essentially un-insulated gloves. For cold weather, I like Marmot’s Randonee gloves ($100). These have Gore-Tex inserts, tough leather palms, and Primaloft insulation. Very warm, yet also very soft, so you have a great deal of dexterity.

I also always suggest you throw in a pair of good old-fashioned woolen gloves. Fox River’s wool gripper gloves ($12) are great for backup gloves, to wear at night, whatever you need them for.

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