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Thread: Down booties?

  1. #51
    TxAggie's Avatar
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    Split personality here.

    Once I have camp set up and I’m lowering my activity level, I change out of my hiking socks and into a pair of this wool socks with a down walking bootie around camp. While sleeping, I ditch the booties and just wear the wool socks.

    Personally, I feel the issue with cold feet is due to circulation. First is blood circulation: wearing tight socks or pants with a tight cuff reduces blood flow to your feet. Second is over layering of clothes vs using the correct quilts for conditions. I’m a firm believer in using very thin clothing layer and more suitable quilts than using heavy clothing.

    It’s a long winded topic, but basically your core develops the most heat, and sequestering your core from the rest of your body with heavy layers is counter productive, while thin layers allow your the heat from your core to circulate through the space between the quilts and keep your entire body warm.

    In short, it’s less about what’s on your feet, and more about how you manage heat retention in your entire sleep system.

    My $0.02.

  2. #52

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    Down booties for sleeping are a game-changer. I have a pair of Feathered Friends with waterproof overboots and can wear them around camp regardless of the weather (rain, snow, mud, rocks, brush, etc.). Once I go to bed I take the overboots off and have clean/warm down socks to sleep in. There are some items that are worth the cost and down booties with overboots are one of those investments.

    https://featheredfriends.com/product...s-down-booties

    Before I purchased the Feathered Friends, I ordered a custom pair of down booties with overboots from Goose Feet Gear, but they ended up being too big (look like a size 11). Ben is a small operation and I did not want to burden him with a return so I just set them in my down bin in case I went hammock camping with a friend.
    Last edited by dkurfiss; 12-03-2022 at 20:45.
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  3. #53
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    I don't like to wear socks when sleeping. I'm generally OK barefoot down into the 30°'s F range. I use Wiggy's booties when it is colder. The Wiggy's booties have a drawstring to help keep them on your feet. I also have a pair of Wiggy's insulated socks. They do not have a drawstring so they tend not to stay on your feet while sleeping.

  4. #54
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    ***************
    But, in the meantime, we always have Shug. Who, though I have never known him to use VBs, has used another of my favs- i.e. pods- with huge success at as much as minus 40F. Previously, I mentioned in favor of a layering tech the fact that several posts here about bye bye cold feet after adding booties, and that having added/layered these booties did not seem to keep the footbox of anyone's TQ from doing it's job.

    But now I recommend going to watch Shug's video of his latest minus 31F outing. Please take notice of when he pops out of his quilts and starts making his Medaglia D'oro from the hammock. Notice that he is wearing some fairly significant layers, a down jacket and I don't know what but obviously something under it. Along with a separate, thick down hood covering the down jacket hood and who knows what else, and of course a face mask. Can't say what would happen if he added a big, thick parka, if other than probably making it less comfy due to less room. I don't know if that would make him colder, assuming he avoided sweat. But, the layers he is wearing are not insignificant, and no sign of them preventing his quilts from doing their job.

    Same for me. More layers more likely to make me too hot, rather than too cold. Although, if I allowed that to progress to sweating(assuming no VBs in use), THEN I might well end up too cold. From the sweat being wicked into my insulation.
    I have to agree with The Great BillyBob58 and, by example, The Great Shug that adding layers does not make one colder by somehow reducing the effectiveness of the outer insulation... *assuming* the additional layers are not overly compressed or do not cause overheating which leads to sweat that dampens clothing or those intermediate insulating layers.

    The often-overlooked basic principle is that when we get cold the problem isn't the cold getting in but rather the heat getting out. Adding the down booties reduces the 'gradient of heat loss' (a term I made up — might be real, I dunno) but there's still heat being lost, although that lost heat is subsequently captured by the quilt itself. If your feet, like mine, produce a lot of heat, the feet might then overheat and sweat as you mentioned earlier.

    Which leads us back to VB and the types of cooling (heat transfer... in the 'wrong' direction) that are occurring, mainly evaporative and convective, a bit of radiant, and then the worst kind, conductive, if the feet are wet.

    Using VB socks definitely makes the feet damp but in my experience only to a point, after which the feet just stop sweating and remain damp. This holds true (for me!) whether using VB socks for sleeping or when wearing them all day long with plastic mountaineering boots at -20°F. (As you noted, people are different...) BUT, they absolutely stop evaporative cooling, which is the main culprit, as Jack Stephenson preached for so many years.

    So I don't even carry down booties. When my feet get cold — which is actually rare for me — I use some plastic grocery bags as VB socks and wear some wool socks over those. That is, if I'm not wearing my Rab VB socks during the day, in which case I'll use those. Plastic grocery bags or bread bags get shredded very quickly and will not suffice for all-day use, in my experience.

    And, of course, full body VBL works amazingly well in very/extreme cold to keep moisture out of the entire sleep system. If you spend more than a couple of nights in extreme cold, this moisture collects as ice and fairly quickly renders the quilt useless.

    To lighten their loads, the team jettisoned two sleeping bags, because ice accumulation had increased their weight from 15 to an estimated 50 pounds apiece. The four sleeping bags left were zipped together in two pairs, each shared by three people. ''It was very tight, but we saved a lot of weight,'' Mr. Steger said.
    Edit to add: I can't find a linked reference to it, but IIRC Steger afterwards consulted Jack Stephenson and employed VB in subsequent expeditions.
    Last edited by cmoulder; 12-04-2022 at 09:09.
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  5. #55
    Senior Member Chesapeake's Avatar
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    I'm a member of the Amazon Vine program, and about 2 weeks ago I was able to get a pair of Outdoor Vitals down booties. I decided to do a super scientific test by wearing one OV bootie and one Snugpak bootie while sitting out on my deck one night for about 30 mins to see which performed better. The temp was 28° with a 5 mph wind, gusts of 7-10 and 58% humidity. The OV is made of 10d nylon with their Loftek hybrid insulation which is 80% synthetic + 20% down (https://outdoorvitals.com/products/lt-hybrid-booties) and the Snugpak their Paratex Lite inner/outer ( https://help.snugpak.com/index.php/k...paratex-light/ ) with Softie Premiere insulation ( https://help.snugpak.com/index.php/k...er-insulation/) .

    The Snugpak did a better job of blocking wind gusts as well as keeping my foot warm in general. With both booties I could feel some slight cold soak after about 10 mins, but it was considerably less on the Snugpak foot. One advantage the Snugpak had is that it goes up the calf a good bit and at the top has shock cord with a cord lock to cinch it completely closed and to keep it in place. The OV has a sewn in elastic band around the top. The loose fill synthetic + down of the OV bootie is much loftier and feels very soft and " pillowy" , while the Snugpak feels more like a tall , insulated sock. Overall, the Snugpak bootie was warmer and secure, while the OV more comfortable lighter weight. Sleeping in them also produced the same result with the OV being much more comfortable feeling on the foot, and the Snugpak a good bit warmer. I also got an OV down hood from the Vine program and used it in the -20°f freezer at work with great results, but my OV Loftek jacket isn't very warm at all. ~ Chesapeake
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  6. #56
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    OK, I found it....

    Will Steger used a breathable sleeping bag for his dog sled trip to the north pole. Those 17 lb. bags (almost as thick as our 4 1/2 lb. Goose Down bags) were carried loose on top of sleds ‘for best drying’ yet weighed over 52 pounds in a few weeks from sweat condensing to ice. Luckily, they were flown out from the pole. Meanwhile, a Canadian/Soviet team cross-country skied across the pole using Warmlite® bags, which stayed dry and warm for the entire trip. Will Steger bought Fuzzy Stuff Vapor Barrier liners from Warmlite® for his bags for his much longer South Pole trip and, thus, kept his sleeping bags dry and warm his entire trip.
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  7. #57
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    Lost me when it claims that I lose, and my bag gains, 2-4lbs of water weight at night.

    Sent from my SM-S901U using Tapatalk

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  8. #58
    Senior Member mistone's Avatar
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    I found some down booties on Amazon that works pretty good I'll use them when it gets below freezing
    Its a good day to be out in the woods no matter the weather.Mist One..

  9. #59
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Countrybois View Post
    Lost me when it claims that I lose, and my bag gains, 2-4lbs of water weight at night.

    Sent from my SM-S901U using Tapatalk
    Maybe a bit of exaggeration. Jack was something of a salesman. But I did notice many years ago that my WM Puma (rated -25deg) weighed a *lot* more after only 2-3 nights at -20°F... wish I'd had a good digital luggage scale back then.

    More practical info here. (Skurka)

    Since Covid, most of us have a stash of VBL gloves, so for people with chronically cold hands it's very easy to do a quick test, or the grocery bags on feet. Years ago when I was doing a lot of winter cycling the grocery bags worked extremely well on my feet because they were not subjected to heavy movements like they were in backpacking footwear. The Rab socks take up a little more space so boots/shoes must be sized up 1/2 to 1 size to accommodate.
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  10. #60
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    I never use them. I cant even sleep with socks on my feet.

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