Follow us on:

All The FACTS You Want In One Place!

May 23, 2024
min read

Proven: The Most Overlooked Leg Gaiters You Need

After several days of wearing these through the snow and deadfall of Montana elk country, it's safe to say that we are ready to bring you a thorough review of the Nighthawk Lighted Leg Gaiters. I can without a doubt say, I've never appreciated leg gaiters as much as I did after that hunting trip.


When we were getting ready for our Montana elk hunting trip last year, we knew that a pair of leg gaiters could likely come in handy. But little did we know, just how much they would be required.

We had seen the Nighthawk Lighted Gaiters last year at the National Wild Turkey Federation convention in Nashville, TN and thought they would be pretty awesome to try out.

After having three days of nice sunshine and clear skies in which we didn't really need the gaiters, we knew a snowstorm was coming. That turned out to be the best trial period we could have for our new Cohutta gaiters.

We awoke the next day to a blanket of 6-8" of snow covering the ground and it wouldn't stop adding to that blanket for the next four days.

Nighthawk Cohutta Gaiters really made a difference on this trip

Thankfully, one of the main features Nighthawk made sure to incorporate is waterproofedness. We would surely have ended up with wet feet and wet pants while trekking around in the snow for the next several days without these gaiters.

Hopefully by now you're intrigued and wanting to know more detail.


  • Briar proof surface fabric
  • Waterproof shell
  • Made from 600 Denier polyester Oxford fabric
  • Hands free, near ground level lighting
  • White and Red LED lights available
  • Detachable, freeze proof stirrup strap
  • Five sizing options available
  • Sizes based on shoe size and calf circumference
  • Three different styles
Three styles, multiple size options, and two different LED light options

With five different sizes to choose from, finding the right fit should be easy with the sizing chart. We tried out the medium and large sizes for Adrian and myself, respectively. Our choices were based on that sizing chart and they fit us perfectly.

Keep in mind, there are three different style of gaiters to choose from, but we only tried the Cohutta gaiters.

They are snug enough to protect our boots and pant legs from debris all while staying in place, but not so tight they felt uncomfortable. The stirrup strap seemed to have plenty of adjustment allowing them to fit at just the right height.

Do you really need lights on them?

Obviously, one of the main draws to these gaiters compared to others is their hands free lighting ability. They are indeed, just as advertised, the only lighted gaiters on the market that we could find.

Brightest white light setting

The light compartment is sewn into the top, front area of the gaiter and is easy to control with and without gloves. Both the white and red LED light options are available and come with three varying levels of brightness. But don't forget to check the lights every now and then while hiking around because we found that turning the lights on can be as easy as falling down or bumping your shin on deadfall (not that we ever fell while walking up and down steep hills on slick, snow covered terrain).

Of course, the LED lights are rechargeable and come complete with a USB charging port built in. We charged the lights overnight, but not each night, and never fully ran the battery down. The advertised run times are as follows for low, medium, and high settings at 8 hours, 4 hours, and 2 hours respectively.

Easily charge LED lights with built in charging port

We’ve all been there, your hunting or hiking partner keeps shining their headlamp in your eyes while trying to carry on a simple conversation. Maybe you're both excited about a harvest and trying to relive the action story, but either way, a bright LED light shining so deep into your eyes it feels like it can see your soul is never a good time.

These gaiters solve that problem.

You get to have your pathway or immediate area illuminated without a headlamp in your eyes. The light position can also help with general safety as you're climbing a ladder or tree into your deer stand. And don't forget, they make a great addition to other outdoor activities such as shoveling snow or carrying another load of firewood.

The only limitation we found, as far as the lighted part goes, was while climbing steep terrain. It was difficult to see our path at times because the hill was so steep and our lights were directed forward, but not upward. So there could still be times that you need a headlamp, but it took really steep terrain for us to notice. Of course you could just keep picking you leg up higher and higher to see the pathway; I wish we had some video of Adrian doing that!

The Cohutta gaiters are made from 600 Denier polyester Oxford fabric with a polyurethane coating making them briar proof and waterproof.

Briar proof 600 Denier polyester Oxford fabric

Both of us can very much attest to these stated attributes. For over half of our hunting trip, we were hiking in anywhere from 6-10” snow that was at times obviously over our boots. The boots, socks, and pants we wore never got wet - except with some sweat from the inside out.

It was impressive just how dry our legs and feet stayed while climbing over and through some of the absolute thickest mess of fallen trees and debris we've ever traversed. While we haven't used these on multiple trips throughout multiple years, we were able to give them a thorough testing and the material still looks almost new.

One of our favorite parts of the Cohutta gaiters is something that we didn't even know was a thing until our first day in the snow. The friend we hunted with wore a pair of gaiters that had a different style of stirrup strap. Little did we know how much snow he would have caked up on his stirrup as it froze to itself. He spent quite a bit of time that day cleaning them off and our stirrups never saw any buildup.

Freeze proof stirrup with metal buckle on one side and quick release on the other

The only slight negative that we could say about the Nighthawk gaiters is actually one of the positives as well. They are outfitted with some really strong velcro that significantly decreases the option for debris getting inside the gaiters. However, this same velcro, when combined with a small amount of user error actually allowed one of the seams to be pulled apart.

The gaiters still worked fine afterwards, but that seam was torn.

Nighthawk customer service responded quickly.

They acknowledged our problem and already had similar complaints from other customers. So, as of the writing of this article, that problem has been fixed and reinforced. And, they very quickly shipped us another pair for replacement.

Pros & Cons

  • Hands free lighting, decreasing the need for a headlamp or having to carry a flashlight
  • Easily recharged
  • Many sizing options should allow your perfect size
  • Freeze proof stirrup buckle eliminates snow/ice buildup
  • Strong velcro closures
  • Briar proof and Waterproof
  • Excellent customer service
  • Velcro is so strong one of the seams came loose due to operator error
  • Lights are easily turned on which could run the battery down if you don't notice
  • May still need a headlamp on steep terrain



A: Yes! The lights can be detached from the gaiters for battery recharging or when the gaiters need to be cleaned.


A: Yes, the lights are rechargeable.  Each light is powered by a 3.7 V / 200 MAH lithium battery.  Simply plug the light into an adapter with a USB port and charge it via a wall electrical outlet.  


A: There are three modes for three different light intensities: high, medium, and low.  When the battery is fully charged, the continuous run times of the battery for high, medium, and low modes are 2 hours, 4 hours, 8 hours, respectively.


A: Each light is made with four surface-mount light emitted diodes (LEDs) illuminating at a maximum of 150 lumens in brightness.  


A: The lights are water resistant and NOT waterproof.  Do NOT submerge the lights in water or other liquid contents. Detach lights from gaiters before hand washing your gaiters to keep water from getting into the light housing.


A: All NightHawk Trailblazer gaiters come with a limited warranty. For more information, please visit the Nighhawk Warranty page.

These FAQ's and a few others can be found on the Nighthawk Gaiter website. Please check them out for more info.

Should I Buy This Thing?

Although the Nighthawk Cohutta Lighted Gaiters helped save our trip and most specifically helped keep our feet and legs dry while hiking in the snow, the answer to should you buy them is still the same, "it depends."

The Nighthawk Cohutta Gaiters were a vital piece of equipment on this trip

Beyond the lighting function, these gaiters are excellent and served us very well. They protected our legs from deadfall, didn't allow rocks or debris into our boots, and kept our legs and feet dry through constant snow. Plus, seeing how they didn’t build up snow on the strap compared to our friend’s was impressive.

Add in the functionality of hands-free lighting, and these things are fantastic.

Now, if you don't really hunt or hike in situations in which any pair of gaiters would be used, then you still don't need these. Just because they have lights on them may not warrant purchasing a pair. If you aren't going to wear gaiters in any situation, it would probably be just as easy to keep using a headlamp.

MSRP on the Cohutta gaiters is $65 and for $10 more you can also get the red lights.

And, I would say they’re well worth it. If you're going to wear gaiters, you might as well have the option of lighted gaiters. And as far as the fabric and function, these Nighthawk Cohutta's are top notch.

So, if you’re looking for a new pair of gaiters - I think you’ll be well pleased with the Nighthawk Cohutta Lighted Leg Gaiters. We give them a 5/5 on the Should I Buy This Thing scale.

Written by

Robbie has enjoyed the outdoors since he can remember. His earliest memories include hours upon hours of squirrel hunting and learning how to enjoy all aspects of hunting season in God's wonderful outdoors. Now he is always working hard and testing gear in the field to give you the best review and most thorough information he possibly can.