There are many basic fears or phobias a lot of us have, and I’m not ashamed to admit that snakes are a big one for me. Venomous pit vipers, big constrictors, or just a tiny harmless non-venomous snake – it doesn’t matter. The anti-snake fear/instinct is extremely strong in this one.
Spiders? No problem, but when it comes to snakes this is a major fear for me, and although I love exploring truly wild areas in some places it just isn’t going to happen unless I feel confident about being protected from an absolute worst case scenario (like this one).
While venomous snake bites are relatively rare, and almost never fatal in the United States, the huge medical bills, excruciating pain, and serious injuries that come with recovery (even if there isn’t any permanent damage – which is never a given) are all things I am more than happy to skip. No thank you.
While some people might consider certain overkill, I definitely understand individuals who not only want a decent pair of snake boots, but also want that additional bit of protection to go up the leg that snake proof gaiters can help to provide. Read on to learn more about all your venomous snake protection clothing options.
What Are Snake Gaiters?
What are snake proof gaiters? Which ones should you look at? These are the same functional types of clothing as regular gaiters, being garments that are commonly worn over both your boots/shoes, as well as your lower pant legs.
These are protective in nature and although the traditional ones were originally made of leather, these modern ones are mostly made from synthetic cloth or mixes designed to be strong enough to resist even the largest fangs of pit vipers found in America like copperheads, rattlesnakes, or cottonmouths.
So what are some of the most highly rated choices available? Take a look at this table for a general glimpse at the market and then read on to find our reviews of the best gaiters protecting from snake bite out there.
Snake Guardz Snake Protection Leggings
|9.0||Current market standard for reliability & affordability.|
Foreverlast Snake Guard Shields
|8.8||Inexpensive quality choice for more complete snake bite protection.|
SnakeArmor Snake Gaiters for Hunting and Hiking
|8.6||Soft, comfortable, half the weight with the full protection.|
Rattler Scaletech Snake Protection Gaiters
|8.3||Effective comfortable protection for those on a budget.|
TurtleSkin SnakeArmor Snake Gaiters
|7.8||Solid option heavy on protection, maybe a bit stiff on movement.|
Snake Guardz Snake Protection Leggings
The Snake Guardz snake gaiters are one of the most popular models out there, and are actually currently the highest rated on Amazon out of all the common choices with a very impressive 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. These protective leggings are made out of a combination of nylon and polycarbonate inserts.
This allows for clothing that is strong enough to prevent even a large snake fang from piercing while remaining comfortable and flexible for wear.
These anti snake leg covers come in at only 11 ounces of total weight and can proudly brag that they are helping the home economy by being made in the United States. They cover up to 17 inches of leg, which offers plenty of protection for the majority of individuals. The listing on Amazon even includes very specific details on how to measure your calves to make sure you get the right size for a comfortable fit.
This model of anti snake bite gaiters even includes a shield that goes over the laces to help prevent any chance of a venomous snake’s fangs getting tangled up in the shoelaces of your boots, which can lead to a really uncomfortable and frightening situation. Not to mention dangerous – you don’t want to get your hands near that.
These gaiters are also very reasonably priced, falling into the low middle to middle area as far as pricing goes, making it an exceptional combination of quality and value. There’s a reason that these Snake Guardz gaiters are among the most popular on the market today.
Foreverlast Snake Guard Shields
Specifically designed with hunters in mind, Foreverlast designs some extremely high quality snake guards that have high quality camouflage. In addition to offering strong defense from even the largest and most vicious of venomous snakes you are likely to run into in the states, these are thickly built and also give additional protection from brambles and thorns. This is a double bonus, although obviously preventing snake bites is the much more important side of things.
These are extremely inexpensive and are in fact the best budget level of snake proof gaiters by far, providing solid protection at a low price. These are extremely popular with users and boast a 4.4 out of 5.0 star rating.
These are especially useful for hunters who find themselves in heavily forested or marshy areas. The camo is a good thing for hunters while the stiff and solid materials mean that even areas known for a lot of thorns, underbrush that provides hiding places, and aggressive local snakes, you will still be protected when hitting those areas where there are likely to be more of your favorite prey during hunting season.
Whether it’s deer in the thick timber or wild turkeys out in the marsh, there are many different places where having high quality gaiters make all the difference in keeping you safe from snake bites and out enjoying your day instead of being laid up in the emergency room.
SnakeArmor Snake Gaiters for Hunting & Hiking
If you’re not as constrained by budget and are looking for really high quality, we recommend taking a look at another 5 star quality choice with the SnakeArmor snake gaiters. Specifically advertised as being for both hunting and hiking, while also aiming to be as comfortable as possible. Right off the bat it’s easy to see that the gaiters by SnakeArmor are designed very differently, relying on
The shipping weight is a mere .68 pounds which is great because that is solid reassurance that having the gaiters won’t put a lot of extra weight (and thus stress) on your legs. Currently rated as a 4.3 out of 5.0 stars, these patented gaiters are soft, easy to move in, and most reassuring of all: they’re actually tested with real life rattlesnakes.
The gaiters are tested in multiple ways, getting struck not once or twice, but dozens to hundreds of times by rattlesnakes to really make sure that these hold up to the standards that the SnakeArmor brand holds itself to. They are then tested with actual individuals wearing these and walking through contained testing areas full of rattlesnakes. They figure out very quick if those gaiters don’t work or not.
So to summarize: these reversible and rugged snake proof gaiters are soft, light, and are guaranteed to get the job done. They do tend to be a touch on the higher side of pricing when it comes to gaiters but even a single look at these tells you where that extra cost is going.
They are comfortable, strong, and easy to move with. Much cooler than most other gaiter setups, which is especially great if you are finding yourself hunting in unseasonably warm weather and (understandably) unwilling to give up your extra protection.
Rattler Scaletech Snake Protection Gaiters
The Rattler Scaletech snake protection gaiters come in at a solid 4.1 rating out of 5.0 stars on Amazon and are more than good enough to make our list of some of the best outdoor gaiter options out there. Most complaints from individuals who didn’t like these ones as much had to do with them being overly warm or a touch stiff, and while those can be legitimate gripes to an extent any hunter or hiker seriously doing their research would be able to see if these were a good fit or not.
However for cool or cold weather, and when the main focus is on immediate protection and that reassuring thickness that is where the Scaletech anti snake bite gaiters from Rattler really shine. Adjustable straps do allow for some movement as to the fit around the calves, and in addition to being able to block out the fangs of any angry or startled snake, the thick padding will also help push aside thorns and brambles that would only be too happy to stick onto your jeans and stab into your skin.
These protective gaiters are also extremely affordable for outdoor hunters and snake country laborers who need to shop on a budget and provide a solid gaiter that is more than enough for most people and works as a good base for others to learn what extras they need when shopping for a new pair down the line.
TurtleSkin SnakeArmor Snake Gaiters
Finally, we come to the TurtleSkin SnakeArmor anti snake bite gaiters. These round out our list of the top five, and as of this writing have a 3.9 out of 5.0 star rating, falling just a sliver short of 4 stars. The materials used are very high end with strong padding and a reversible setup that is camo on one side and khaki on the other.
The strong weave of material (a customized blend that is patented) means even the largest rattlesnakes will not be able to puncture this material.
Even more impressive is the fact that these are lighter than most of the other similar gaiters out there offering snake protection of some type. This is due to the high quality material that makes these so comfortable and reliable.
The biggest potential drawback that many people mention is the fact that this is on the pricier side, although I think it’s a big unfair to judge on price alone: just because you’re not willing to spend more than a pre-conceived amount in your head doesn’t mean they should get knocked off. The only legitimate complaint that does appear to pop up from time to time is that all the materials are great except for a cheap plastic zipper that has been known to break or not work properly on some models.
That is an issue that should be fixed.
This is an updated addition to the list, but the ScentBlocker buckskin snake gaiters from Whitewater are a worthy add as they provide tough protection against snake bites and are easy to put on and wear. They are designed with the idea of being easy to use and as comfortable as possible, although all gaiter designs are going to have some issue with heat during the summer and fitting.
The material is a poly-cotton blend that is very durable, and includes an extra outer layer of laminate. They’re thin enough that you don’t feel like your legs are surrounded by thick foam cushions, but thick enough and tough enough to keep out the longest of rattlesnake fangs. They are also very quiet, making them ideal for hunters wanting to stay quiet while going through the bush.
These have received high marks from several buyers. There are some complaints that they don’t breathe well, though that is a really good trade-off for protection against venomous snake bites even during the hottest of summers. The big one is that the stretchy cord that goes under the bottom of your boot to secure the gaiter in place is a bit flimsy and can wear easily especially if you cover a lot of miles over rocky or tough ground.
These cords are easy enough to replace, but it is an annoyance you need to be prepared for to make sure you don’t go too long without your snake bite protection.
Great Compliment To Snake Proof Boots!
Snake gaiters are a great option when it comes to adding some leg protection when you’re going to be doing a lot of walking in areas that might be infested with venomous snakes, especially when there is high grass or other environmental issues that make it hard to see what’s around the ground you’re walking through.
Obviously if you’ve read many of my early posts you know how important I think it is to find the best snake proof boots, but these gaiters work as an exceptional compliment to the footwear.
Combining the two is a great way to make sure your feet and your lower legs are fully protected, even against the largest of venomous snakes with a larger strike range. While most snake boots do a very good job of fully protecting the feet and part of the lower leg, having these types of gaiters on top of that can make a huge difference when it comes to helping you feel safer. The ability to have peace of mind moving through an area because you know you have an extra layer of protection.
Just keep in mind that not all of these gaiters are made with the same purpose. Some are designed to be quieter (hunters), others are designed to be comfortable for hiking over long distances, while others are built extra thick but not for stealth or really long amounts of traveling. Knowing what you want up front will help you to pick out the one that’s the best overall fit for you.
What to Look for in a New Pair of Snake Proof Gaiters
First and foremost, you want snake protection. Above all else you want to know that your gaiters are going to offer a heavy level of protection that even the toughest of blue jeans are not going to be able to give you. The thickness of material and quality of material (as well as quality of design & construction) makes a huge difference.
The reason we only show a small sample of the gaiters and chaps available is simple: for something this important we want to do our best to make sure you’re only looking at the absolute best options. You don’t want to rely on paper thin gaiters from China that haven’t even been tested on snakes. You want protection.
Look at the Layers
You will want to look at the design, and especially check for layers. Multiple layers offers more protection. Several layers of thin material is fine as long as the material and design is high quality. In fact there are many materials (think Kevlar) where and incredibly thin layer could stop even the largest of snake fangs from the strongest of strikes – but extra layers means insurance against envenomation.
Many of the best designs not only have those thin layers for protection against actual snake bites but also a thick outer layer with padding to protect against thorns, scratching, and potential punctures from nature, and there can even be waterproof membranes or plastic coating – although neither of these last two is necessarily important if the rest of the layers are made properly and from strong reliable materials.
Are the gaiters comfortable?
While comfort is definitely secondary to quality of construction, it’s still important. Whether your preference is snake proof gaiters or snake proof chaps, both are designed for use in the wilderness. Ideally they should be comfortable even after a long day of use. There are always going to be some issues like sweaty legs in the summer, but your movement should not be heavily restricted or overly cumbersome.
There are enough good strong and flexible materials that get the job done now that you should be able to find high quality gaiters that will get the job done.
How do the snake proof gaiters fit?
Fit matters. This isn’t just about comfort, but if you want these to offer the full amount of protection they promise then they need to fit. Open spaces means open spots that aren’t protected from a striking snake’s fangs…and that kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?
If you can find a contoured design and secure straps that can be tightened or loosened to customize fits, that is ideal. The looser the fit, the more potential for something going wrong. On the other hand if they fit well and contour to the lower legs, the snakes aren’t going to have any opening – you’ll be good to go.
While there’s always the chance of a freak accident, when you give yourself top notch protection that fits perfectly you’ll be in a much better position to go through your days safely even through the thick of snake country.
Are they tested against real snake bites?
This information can be hard to find out at times, as not everyone makes it easy by releasing a video like Chippewa of a company representative walking through a pit of rattlesnakes to test the boots out. However, if you can find information whether from the company or individuals you know who bought them and tested them in the field, that’s information you can take to the bank and that’s the most important information of all.
Take the time to see if you can find the answer to this. It’s a big one.
There’s a lot to like about the additional protection that these specialty outdoor gaiters have to offer. While the chances of being bit by a venomous snake tend to be relatively low, you never want to find yourself on the wrong side of that situation. Consider looking at all the anti snake bite clothing options that are available, and pair up a quality pair of snake gaiters to go with those high quality snake boots.
If you ever find yourself stepping right beside a surprised rattlesnake or water moccasin, you will be glad that you did!