For the active trail rider wet weather is a part of the game. If we stopped riding in the rain, quite frankly, we wouldn’t get much riding in. That being said good foul weather gear is imperative. And Guardian Hawk delivers.
Traditional leather chaps are hot, heavy, and regardless of the treatment eventually soak through. Modern synthetics are lightweight, waterproof, and breathable, unfortunately many are also too delicate for riding anyplace where brush or branches might catch and tear them.
Oilskin is a traditional material that boasts the benefits of being waterproof as well as being lightweight and tough.
Prior to finding Guardian Hawk we advocated the Filson Company’s Tin Chaps and we still like them but have found that the Guardian Hawk product, being designed from an equestrian’s perspective, is much more appropriate for the active trail rider.
These chaps are also made to fit. An extensive set of measuring instructions will guide you through the process. If you’ve always had off the rack chaps in the past, you’ll be amazed at how much better custom made chaps fit and perform. Even better, the price of these chaps is quite reasonable and not nearly what you may expect. Overall the greater value in fit, construction, and design more than compensates for the slight increase in price over lesser quality gear.
Construction – All materials are substantial and quite durable. The Oilskin fabric is heavy enough to repel branches and thorns while being light enough to be comfortable. All zippers and buttons are heavy duty brass so no worries about breaking or rusting.
Features - The one piece design of the Guardian Hawk’s is superior to the two piece Filson product as there is no chance of losing a single leg (believe me, it’s happened!), also the standard bellows leg pocket is the perfect place to store a compass or other small gear. Another feature that is most appreciated is the long boot cut. When mounted the chaps do a very credible job to keeping the rider’s feet dry by extending past the tongue of the rider’s boots.
Areas of Note – We’d like to see the flaps covering the zippers on the upper legs have a bit more overlap, thereby covering the exposed zipper more. These chaps have been worn in extended downpours and no water has found its way through the zippers. Overall, we have quickly become quite fond of these chaps and fully expect them to see us through much rain and many years on the trail.
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