Outdoor activities like hunting, hiking, or taking a stroll in the woods have a way of making you feel present and grounded. But, unfortunately, you may encounter snakes while living your best life in the great outdoors, so maybe you're thinking about a pair of snake chaps. But, what material is best for snake chaps?
Snake-proof chaps are a must-have to offer more protection against snake bites. Snake chaps cover the leg area vulnerable to bites, helping ensure that snake fangs do not penetrate your skin. For this reason, the best snake chaps need to be made from high-quality materials, which we will discuss later in the article.
What Are Snake Chaps?
Snake chaps are a type of clothing worn over your pants to protect against snake bites. They're made from snake-resistant fabric, like nylon and Cordura, that helps prevent the fangs from penetrating and biting you.
Snake chaps protect your legs and calves while being flexible enough to allow movement. In addition, while snake chaps can never completely guarantee 100% safety in an area with snakes, they can help reduce your risk of succumbing to a snake bite while out in the wild.
Why Do You Need A Pair of Snake Chaps?
Protection from snake bites - Hunting or hiking outdoors exposes you to dangers like an encounter with live rattlesnakes, among other vicious snake species. Snake chaps can be one of your layers of defense against poisonous creatures.
Confidence when traversing the backcountry - Wearing snake chaps can help give you additional peace of mind since you have an additional layer of protection against snake attacks. While still following best practices for avoiding snakes, wearing these chaps can help you focus fully on your adventure.
Comfort - Wearing snake chaps was very cumbersome in the past. This is because the materials used were heavy, making it hard to walk for long. Fortunately, modern snake chaps are comfortable, lightweight, and flexible to allow for natural movement.
What's the Best Fabric for Snake Proof Chaps?
Snake chaps, leggings, and snake gaiters are necessary for protection against snake bites. According to Center for Disease Control(CDC) research, thousands of people in the United States are bitten by snakes annually. Fortunately, the number of deaths resulting from snake bites has greatly reduced, thanks to improved medical care.
Snake protection is important if you're going to be traversing the outdoors. This is because snake bites are very painful and could result in permanent disabilities in some cases. For this reason, you must consider the material used in the best snake chaps.
Common Snake Chaps Materials
Snake-proof chaps are made from a range of natural and synthetic materials to ensure they're strong and resistant to snake bites. These materials include:
Most manufacturers use nylon, Cordura, or canvas to make snake chaps. When compared against each other, nylon is stronger than Cordura and polyester, so they are more preferable. Similarly, canvas is more prone to tearing compared to nylon.
Although kevlar makes high-quality snake-proof pants, it's expensive to source and difficult to sew by hand. Materials like fleece, wool, and cotton are used in the inner layers of snake chaps to enhance comfort and flexibility.
3 Key Qualities of Snake Chaps Fabrics
The thickness of snake chaps can help determine how hard or easy it is for snake fangs to penetrate. Material like thin denim is super easy to sew, yet also easily penetrable. On the other hand, Cordura nylon and kevlar are stronger materials that are hard to penetrate. However, they're hard to sew by hand and are quite expensive.
Ideally, you want to opt for thick and snake-resistant material. You can test the material beforehand by using a hook or a fat needle on the fabric and applying force. The harder it is to pierce could indicate the quality of snake bite-proof chaps.
2. Tightness of Weave
Snake-proof chaps need to have a tight weave that's hard to pierce by fangs. You will also find multi-fabrics like wool and cotton used to enhance the chaps' resistance to snake bites. In addition, materials like wool and cotton enhance breathability and comfort in snake-proof clothing.
Layers help add barriers for the snake teeth to penetrate through. You can use materials like rawhide in between less dense fabrics to offer extra protection.
In addition, lining the inner parts of your chaps and snake gaiters with soft materials will enhance warmth and comfort.
Layers in snake-proof chaps are also designed to catch a snake's fangs and venom in case of penetration. There's also a need for a waterproof membrane, especially for hikers and hunters in a snake country.
Finally, the best snake-proof chaps should have a thin but comfortable layer that allows your pants to slide in seamlessly.
How Do You Pick the Best Snake Chaps?
Coverage is key when choosing snake-proof clothing. Snakes bite areas of your leg from the knee down. For this reason, snake chaps are always better since they cover your entire leg.
You may also be considering snake gaiters, which cover the top of your feet and calves. While most snake bites occur around the feet and calves due to the nature of snakes commonly attacking from the ground, when you're out in the wild you can never predict what will happen.
Plus, if you plan to be on the ground, opting for additional protection is a good investment.
The fit of your snake chaps is important for overall leg protection. Loose-fitting chaps create loopholes for the snakes to bite, while tight-fitting chaps are overly restricting. Ideally, for adequate protection, go for snake chaps that fit properly, especially in the pant inseam and thigh thickness.
For the pant inseam, use a tape measure to get the length between your crotch and the ball of your ankle. You want your snake chaps to be inches shorter than your regular pants to prevent them from dragging the ground.
You'll want to measure the largest part of your thigh when wearing pants for the thigh thickness. Then, add about 2-3 inches to that measurement. This will ensure mobility when wearing chaps.
3. Comfort and Flexibility
Snake chaps are designed for use in wild terrains, often in hot weather.
Therefore, it's important that you get a decent pair that's comfortable and flexible, considering that you might be wearing them all day. While stiff and thick options are great for protection against snakes' fangs, they can hinder movement or require regular readjustments.
Fortunately, technology has made it easy for manufacturers to design thin and flexible fabrics, like the 420 denier nylon, to make comfortable, flexible, and lightweight snake chaps. In addition, these flexible chaps are resistant to bites.
The best snake-proof chaps should be breathable since they're meant for all-day wear.
Lightweight materials like coated nylon and soft-shell fabrics are perfect when you want a casual but breathable chap. In addition, windproof and waterproof chaps provide adequate protection against bites.
Waterproof snake chaps help keep you dry and warm. By repelling water, the chaps prevent rainwater or dew-covered foliage from wetting your clothes, which can be annoying.
In addition to the waterproof material, you can check if the material is resistant to heat and wind.
6. Temperature Resistance
Besides being comfortable and flexible, lightweight chaps help keep you cool in hot weather conditions. Additionally, a wind-resistant chap will keep you warm in cold weather.