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Outdoor Research Overdrive Wrap Review

A lightweight, durable, great-fitting gaiter meant for trail running.
Outdoor Research Overdrive Wrap
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $35 List | $34.96 at Amazon
Pros:  Lightweight, great fit, sturdy instep strap
Cons:  Not very versatile, not water resistant
Manufacturer:   Outdoor Research
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 30, 2019
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 9
  • Comfort and Breathability - 25% 8
  • Debris Protection - 25% 9
  • Durability - 15% 6
  • Ease of Attachment - 15% 8
  • Water Resistance - 10% 3
  • Weight - 10% 9

Our Verdict

The Outdoor Research Overdrive Wrap keeps out all of the dirt and debris from footwear on trail runs and distance hikes. We love how well they fit and how easy they are to slip on and off. Whether we were pounding out the miles in the southern California desert or hoofing it through the duff of New England backcountry trails, these gaiters kept us moving, and we often times forgot we were even wearing them. Thru-hikers wearing low-cut, low-volume trail shoes or sneakers will also benefit significantly from this pair. They are never going to be the gaiter that does the heavy lifting; that's just not what they were designed to do. Precipitation will have them beat any day, but for keeping the crud out of your shoes while moving fast and light, these are the ones we would turn to in a flash.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $34.96 at Amazon$84.95 at Amazon$69.95 at Amazon
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$34.95 at Amazon$40.61 at Amazon
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Pros Lightweight, great fit, sturdy instep strapBreathable, waterproof, lightHeavy-duty and durable, waterproof, warmEasy on and off, instep cord is replaceableBreathable, light, good debris protection
Cons Not very versatile, not water resistantNot as durable as other full-length gaitersExpensive, not breathable, heavyNot versatile, instep cord wears quicklyNot waterproof, no ankle adjustment (may not fit larger ankles), Instep strap wears out
Bottom Line A lightweight, durable, great-fitting gaiter meant for trail running.An easy-to-use, lightweight full-length gaiter.For the big mountain grind, this gaiter is hard to beat.A simple, old school gaiter that is easy to put on and take off.A lightweight, low-ankle gaiter that will keep gravel and leaf litter out of your footwear.
Rating Categories Overdrive Wrap Rab Latok Alpine Outdoor Research Crocodile Black Diamond Talus Rab Scree
Comfort And Breathability (25%)
10
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8
10
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8
10
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4
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6
10
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7
Debris Protection (25%)
10
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9
10
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9
10
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8
10
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7
10
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6
Durability (15%)
10
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6
10
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6
10
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10
10
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6
10
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5
Ease Of Attachment (15%)
10
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8
10
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9
10
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7
10
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8
10
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7
Water Resistance (10%)
10
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3
10
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8
10
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10
10
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6
10
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5
Weight (10%)
10
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9
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8
Specs Overdrive Wrap Rab Latok Alpine Outdoor Research... Black Diamond Talus Rab Scree
Weight for one (oz) 0.8 oz 4.0 oz 5.0 oz 1.8 oz 1.5 oz
Length (in) 4.5 in 15.5 in 17.5 in 7 in 6.5 in
Material 86% Cordrura 14% Lycra Stretch eVent outer fabric, Stretch Watergate fabric rear panel, Robic Nylon ankle panel Gore-Tex leg panel, Cordura Nylon foot panel Soft Shell/Hard Shell Matrix DWS
Water resistant? No Yes Yes No No
Attachment Lace hook, instep strap, velcro closure Rubberized instep strap, boot lace hook BioThane webbing instep with metal buckle, boot lace hook Nylon cord instep strap, lace hook, velcro, snap Bungee cord with quick release toggle (spares included), boot lace hook, elastic ankle

Our Analysis and Test Results

This gaiter was by far our favorite in trail run field testing. A lot of the time, we forgot they were even on our feet. Our lanky testers often have difficulty finding gaiters that fit; elastic bands are either too loose and slide down over the course of an adventure, or the elastic is so restrictive that range of motion is limited in some way. The nylon/elastane blend and adjustable dual velcro pads are great for skinny ankles and this is just one of the many reasons that we are so glad the Overdrive Wrap wrapped its way around our footwear. We took them out with both low and high socks as well as a variety of types of footwear. They are definitely meant to be a fast and light-style gaiter, but they perform that job exceptionally well.

Performance Comparison


A secure  snug fit around skinny ankles.
A secure, snug fit around skinny ankles.

Comfort and Breathability


Whether they are over a pair of socks or directly against bare skin, these gaiters almost feel like nothing. We did a couple of comparison runs with the Overdrive Wrap on one ankle with other trail runners on the other ankle at various points and the Overdrive Wrap did the best job of 'fading into the background'. Their adjustability allows them to fit over light hiking pants and their stretch allows the wearer to maintain a full range of motion without feeling like the gaiter is sliding down or pulling on skin or clothing.


They are not water-resistant, but the porousness of the 86%/14% nylon/elastane blend means that they are very breathable. Another subtle, but important feature is that while they are very dark, they are not quite pure black, so they don't heat up quite as much as some of the other contenders. They come in sizes S/M and L/XL, fit by shoe size.

These gaiters fit beautifully  staying snug against both footwear and ankle.
These gaiters fit beautifully, staying snug against both footwear and ankle.

Debris Protection


This is where the Overdrive Wrap really shines. We found that these gaiters fit like a glove, thus keeping out debris both from above and below. They are designed to be worn with low-cut, low volume sneakers or trail shoes. We wore them over hiking boots just to see how they did; we wouldn't recommend them for it, but they still managed to keep a decent seal.


The interior of this gaiter (and our footwear) stayed debris-free thanks to its snug fit.
The interior of this gaiter (and our footwear) stayed debris-free thanks to its snug fit.

Durability


We found the durability of this model to be decent for a low cut gaiter. They have a slightly thinner and narrower instep strap, but it didn't show any signs of wear during testing. The main body material itself is not meant to take an aggressive beating through scree fields, but these gaiters hug footwear so well that they almost never get caught on anything.


We would opt for a different model if we knew there was going to be a lot of scrambling involved, but the thing that ended up wearing them the most was their own velcro snagging the fabric when they were tucked in a pack. It's also worth noting that though the Hypalon instep strap is very durable, it is stitched directly into the gaiter so once it wears through, it can't be replaced.

Ease of Attachment


These gaiters are a snap to put on. They have an instep strap, lace hook, and two velcro pads. With all of these points of attachment, they stay secure on footwear for the duration. Another advantage of the velcro configuration is that the top and bottom of the gaiter can be adjusted independently, which accommodates a wider range of foot and ankle shapes; it can be tighter on top and looser on the bottom or vice versa. The lace hook conceals neatly underneath the gaiter; it's fairly small, but given the type of footwear that it is meant to attach to, it is more than adequate.


Water Resistance


Like other trail running and lightweight thru-hiking gaiters, the Overdrive Wrap is not designed for any serious protection from precipitation. Stomping through puddles or even just running on a saturated forest floor will get them wet. We found that they dried out quickly in the sun, but if you do most of your running under a forest canopy, once they are wet, they hold on to moisture.


On the other hand, we found that walking or hiking at a reasonable pace did not create enough splashback to be really problematic. This is to say, if water resistance is a primary consideration in your purchase, look elsewhere, perhaps to a heartier mid-length gaiter. However, if you're not planning to splash in the rain or go dashing through the snow, these are a distance hiker's dream.

The Overdrive Wrap on the left and the Surge on the right. They both kept the debris out  but the water seeped right in.
The Overdrive Wrap on the left and the Surge on the right. They both kept the debris out, but the water seeped right in.

Weight


Each of these gaiters weighs less than an ounce. They are compact enough to fit easily in a jacket pocket, but if you're going to be out on the trail, you may as well have them on to begin with.


Outdoor Research seems to be underselling how lightweight they are. The pair is advertised at 4.2 oz. total. Our multiple measurements on different scales put them at less than half that weight.

We were pleased by how snug these gaiters fit  even over high top trail shoes.
We were pleased by how snug these gaiters fit, even over high top trail shoes.

With this model, it is also the little things that count. For example, the OR logo is reflective; while we certainly wouldn't count on them as a primary safety signal on a nighttime jog, this feature is an example of the attention to detail in the design of a seemingly simple product.

The Outdoor Research Overdrive Wrap on the left  the Salomon Trail on the right.
The Outdoor Research Overdrive Wrap on the left, the Salomon Trail on the right.

Value


This pair is a value purchase for someone who makes a habit out of tromping through the duff. We think that trail gaiters, in general, tend to be a little overpriced, but this pair fit our testers so well that they would be happy to dish out the dollars for them.

Conclusion


The Overdrive Wrap is our Editors' Choice for moving fast and light. It has a simple but thoughtful design and the weight of the pair means there is no reason not to wear them! If you have had to stop your run to dump out pine needles from your shoes one too many times, this is the gaiter that will keep your feet happy while keeping you on the move.


Ben Applebaum-Bauch