You're looking for snake proof chaps because you understand the importance of staying protected while outdoors. We've put together a complete guide to help you pick out the best pair of snake chaps based on your needs.
But first, it's important to understand what the term snake-proof really means.
While many brands will use the term snake-proof, it is rare that you'll find a company that will provide an absolute guarantee that their chaps or other "snake-proof" products will protect you from a potential snakebite. That's because no one can honestly make any guarantee that you'll be safe when you're in a potentially dangerous environment, especially one involving snakes.
So snake-proof really means that brands design snake chaps to potentially reduce the risk of injury from a snake bite. Some even field-test them, which we'll talk about later in this blog. But there is still no way to guarantee you'll be safe when you're in an unpredictable and dangerous situation.
Snake chaps are the first line of defense against potential snake bites, but snake chaps should not be your only line of defense. This complete guide goes more in-depth about the most critical elements you should look for in a pair of snake chaps, as well as some other tips to follow that will help keep you safe from potential snakebites.
The 7 Keys to Finding the Best Snake Proof Chaps
If you spend a considerable amount of time outdoors and have the potential to come across venomous snakes, wearing snake proof chaps can be a practical first line of defense. Here are the top 7 keys to consider when shopping around for snake chaps.
1. Snake Proof Chaps Sizing for the Best Fit
The first key to finding the best snake chaps is finding a pair in the correct size. Not only is it essential that snake chaps provide you with adequate coverage, but you are also comfortable.
When selecting the right pair, you want to grab a tape measure and accurately measure your pant inseam and the thickness of your thigh.
For the best inseam measurement, place the tape measure from your crotch to the ball of the ankle. Like many people, you may end up with an odd number. If that's the case, you'll want to drop down to the smallest even number.
For example, if you measure an inseam of 31 inches, you’ll drop down to 30 inches.
It’s important to make sure your snake chaps are a few inches shorter than your regular pants because you don’t want them dragging the ground.
Last but not least for measuring for a pair of snake chaps is thigh thickness. Grab your tape measure and measure the largest part of your thigh while you’re wearing a pair of jeans. After measuring, you’ll then add 2-3 inches. This is important so you’ll have the best mobility.
For example, if your thigh thickness while wearing jeans is 27 inches, you’ll want to order a pair of snake chaps with a thigh thickness of 29-30 inches.
Video: How to measure for snake proof chaps
2. Snake Proof Chaps: Layers of Cloth
The next important element of finding the best snake proof chaps is checking the layers of cloth. What makes snake chaps a good first line of defense is that they come with layers of tough fabric that make it harder for snake fangs to penetrate.
But not all layers of cloth are equal. So it's essential to look at how many layers snake chaps have and the kind of material. The most effective materials include Codura nylon, 1000 denier nylon, and 420 denier nylon.
Layer 1: Outside Layer
The best pair of snake chaps will have a thick and firm outside layer because this serves as your first line of defense against a possible snakebite.
Layers 2-3: Inside Layers
Snake chaps should have at least 2-3 inside layers that serve as additional protection against snake fangs and venom if the fangs penetrate the first outside layer.
Layer 4: Layer for Comfort
The last layer is the inside layer against your jeans or pants. This layer makes it easy for you to slip the snake chaps on and off.
3. Areas of Protection
The next key to finding the best pair of snake chaps is making sure the most vulnerable areas of your body are covered while wearing them. That is why getting the right size is so important.
The most vulnerable places for a possible snake bit include your ankles and calves. Snakes love tall grass and hiding under rocks, so you may not be able to see a snake before it’s too late.
Snake chaps should completely cover your legs, ankles, and the top of your shoes. While you don’t want snake chaps too long where they drag the ground, you do want to make sure they are long enough to provide your ankles protection.
4. Comfort and Flexibility
While layers for protection are critical when looking for the best pair of snake chaps, you also want to consider comfort and flexibility. The more layers you have, the more likely it will limit your range of motion or hinder your ability to bend easily.
That's why it's essential to also look for snake chaps that are strong, flexible, and lightweight. One of the best materials that check the most boxes is 420 denier nylon because not only is it durable, but it is also lightweight, so wearing chaps doesn't feel like a chore.
5. Field-Tested Snake Chaps
One factor that outdoor adventurers like to look for is if the snake chaps have been independently tested with snakes or tested using another method that would mimic the same force as a snakebite.
A pair of non-tested snake chaps may be just as effective, but this may bring you added comfort knowing the brand of snake chaps you plan to buy have been tested. If a brand claims to have field-tested its snake chaps, you should read more about the testing so you can judge for yourself. If information about the kind of testing is readily available on the website, you should reach out and request more information.
However, please keep in mind that you will rarely find any brand that will claim their chaps are 100% snake-proof, even if they are field-tested. So while snake chaps help add protection, there is no way a company can guarantee complete safety when you're in a dangerous environment.
6. Waterproof Snake Chaps
When you're looking for the best snake chaps, waterproof chaps provide coverage and help keep you warm. Waterproof chaps wick away water, so if it's raining or you brush up against dew-covered foliage, you can stay dry.
You can also check if the snake chaps are resistant to other kinds of weather, such as heat and wind. Lightweight snake chaps not only provide comfort and flexibility, but they tend to help keep you cooler in hot conditions. And if they help protect you from the wind, this will also help keep you warmer in colder conditions.
7. Price for Snake Chaps
Last but not least, a factor to consider when purchasing snake chaps is the price. The price for snake chaps can range from under $100 up to a few hundred dollars.
The most expensive snake chaps don't necessarily mean they are the best pair for you. But you should consider all the factors we discussed and find a pair that checks the most boxes and is within your budget.
The company should tell you the kind of material they use, how many layers are included, if the chaps are field-tested and the details around the testing, if they are waterproof, and specific sizing information, so you're able to achieve the best fit possible.
Additional Snake Bite Safety Tips
Snake chaps can be a significant first step in protecting yourself against potential snakebites. But for even more protection, there are more tips you can follow.
Consider Other Snake-Proof Clothing
As snake chaps can potentially protect your ankles and legs, thick socks and heavy boots can help provide additional coverage for your feet. Heavy-duty boots made from leather or construction rubber that go a few inches above your ankles can add even more protection.
A heavy-duty pair of nylon gloves can also be an excellent addition to your outdoor gear, especially if you plan to be reaching into dark areas.
When considering other types of clothing, think about the activities you plan to be doing outside and if other parts of your body would need added protection.
Avoid Stepping Into Holes or Dark, Rocky Crevices
Snakes prefer to hide in tall grass, holes, piles of logs, thick shrubs, and rocky areas. It’s best to stay on hiking trails because there are fewer places for snakes to hide, but this may not always be feasible.
If you must venture off trails, it’s best to grab a stick and probe areas first before walking forward or stepping around rocks. It may take you a few extra minutes, but it’s still much better than suffering from a snakebite.
Don’t Touch a Snake
This probably seems straightforward when you see a live snake, but this is also true when a snake appears dead. Even if a snake isn’t moving, don’t be tempted to touch it. Some snakes use this method to execute a surprise attack on prey, so don’t be lured into a false sense of security.
Stone Creek Snake Proof Chaps
Stone Creek is proud to carry lightweight, comfortable, and durable snake chaps, as well as an entire line of outdoor clothing. We manufacture our snake chaps right in our Pennsylvania warehouse from 420 denier nylon made in the USA.
You can purchase from our online store or contact us if you have any questions about our products or sizing.