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Cold Feet Sleepers - Solution Debate
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Kenneth Jacobs
(f8less) - F

Locale: Midwest
Cold Feet Sleepers - Solution Debate on 11/30/2012 14:17:21 MST Print View

Hello fellow cold feet sleepers!

I'm here to question you on what you have found to be the best solution for the weight and price to resolve your cold sleeping feet. I'm currently debating between two solutions and one idea. So lets get to them!:

Solution 1: PossumDown Socks Wool Hi-loft - Size Large - 2.2oz - $29.95
Solution 2a: GooseFeet Down Socks - Size Large - 2.4oz (1.1oz fill) - $65
Solution 2b: GooseFeet Down Socks w/ 25% Overfill - Size Large - 2.675 oz (1.375oz fill) - $69
Solution 3: ZPacks 20deg Sleeping Bag w/ 10deg Footbox - Added Weight Unknown - $20-30?

Based on your experience, what do you feel is/would be the best solution?...for the weight?...for the price?...lets hear it! I have zero experience with any of these products so I'm just a whole bunch of ???'s on where to best invest my $$. I'm leaning toward the versatility of something separate from a customized bag...but for all I know the weight difference probably could be about 1/2 that of the socks or down sock. I don't presume that another 0.5" of cuben fiber baffle height and a bit more down would amount to 2.4oz..



Edited by f8less on 11/30/2012 14:18:38 MST.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Down booties!!! on 11/30/2012 19:30:00 MST Print View

I posted a similar question here previously and mentioned my reluctance to go the down bootie route. I finally had one too many painful toes experiences and took the plunge...goose feet with 25% overfill, with the overshoes for nighttime potty breaks. My 4-day trip last weekend found us in temps that dipped to the mid-20s...nothing horrific but most certainly low enough for me to get some painfully cold toes.

I had no trouble. I had wonderfully comfortable feet! For a while on the last morning I thought, well, it's not really that cold out...that must be why my feet are so warm. But when I changed into my trail runners and smartwool socks...within minutes my toes were freezing and painful.

So...despite the horrific fashion statement they make around camp in the am, they are my dream come true!!

thanks Ben at Goose Feet!!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Cold Feet Sleepers - Solution Debate on 11/30/2012 19:34:12 MST Print View

> resolve your cold sleeping feet
For me, a warm hat.


Kenneth Jacobs
(f8less) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Down booties!!! on 11/30/2012 20:05:31 MST Print View


What deg. rating bag did you use on your last trip?


Kenneth Jacobs
(f8less) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Cold Feet Sleepers - Solution Debate on 11/30/2012 20:06:58 MST Print View


Are you saying on your head, or wrapped around your feet? I already sleep in my ZPacks beanie.


Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Warm toes on 11/30/2012 20:17:00 MST Print View

20 deg EE quilt with 30% overstuff. It was my first below freezing attempt in a quilt and I was just fine. My pad could have been warmer tho...

I used to use a 15 deg bag when the temps dropped but still my feet would freeze. Love love love the down socks. And I mean that with all my heart.....

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Hats are great...don't keep my toes warm on 11/30/2012 20:21:32 MST Print View

Roger your internal furnace must be awfully haywire if wearing a hat keeps your feet warm ;)

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Cold Feet Sleepers - Solution Debate on 11/30/2012 20:21:41 MST Print View

For me it was VBLs in the form of plastic bags...the kind you put bulk food in at the grocery store. Not trendy (perfect!) but cost nothing, and weighs 1/4 ounce (2 bags and 2 rubber bands to keep them on).

Chad "Stick" Poindexter
(Stick) - F

Locale: Wet & Humid Southeast....
GooseFeet Gear Down Socks & Overbooties... on 11/30/2012 20:24:42 MST Print View

I too have recently went with Ben's down socks and then with the overbooties, and so far I am glad that I have! I have used them 4 nights now and they have been great each night! I got the size large (in both socks & overbooties) and had an extra 25% overfill in the socks. My socks are also M50 rather than the stock. The total weight on my large down socks with overfill is 2.1 oz, and another 2.2 oz for the overbooties with Dyneema X soles.

I recently did a write up on my blog with a video. If you would like to check them out, here is the link:

Mike Bozman
(myarmisonfire) - M

Locale: BC
Total sleeping system on 11/30/2012 21:33:54 MST Print View

Would you mind posting your entire sleep setup? Although there is a very good chance that there is nothing wrong with your setup and your feet are simply just cold I think that it might be something worth looking at. An example would be if you were using a 3/4 length pad. A full length pad may be a viable solution.
But for a more direct answer to your question, I don't think that you could go wrong with any of your footwear solutions. I would be hesitant to get a sleeping bag with a warmer foot box because it may cause your feet to sweat in warmer weather.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Cold Feet Sleepers - Solution Debate on 12/01/2012 00:38:27 MST Print View

I already sleep in my ZPacks beanie.

Is this with a quilt or with a bag? For me a light fleece beanie wouldn't be enough hat at 30F let alone 20F when using a quilt. A warmer hat will help your feet.

I've got possum down socks and have been very impressed with them. I also have the Goosefeet socks which I have used once at 28F and they worked well. I have also used the bread bags inside possum down socks technique before in a cold mountain hut. I just couldn't get my feet warm but once I used the bags - toasty feet in a few minutes.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Hats are great...don't keep my toes warm on 12/01/2012 02:20:18 MST Print View

> Roger your internal furnace must be awfully haywire if wearing a hat keeps your feet warm
Nope. Very well-known and basic human physiology. Certainly not an original Roger saying either.

Your head is the most critical part of your body, and your entire metabolism will focus on keeping it warm. If this means shunting all the blood to your head, so be it. But doing so means cold feet. Worse, your head may still feel warm while your feet are freezing. A beanie may not be enough.

If you have adequate flow of warm blood down your legs, your feet will be warm enough. But if you are wearing shorts in cold weather, don't complain that your feet are cold. If you are wearing tight shoes which restrict the flow of blood, your feet will be cold. The same applies to those very stupid compression tights of course.


Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Being picky... on 12/01/2012 08:10:24 MST Print View

Because that's what we do here at BPL...

Yes, wearing a hat will, generally, reduce overall heat loss and to a degree lessen the vasoconstriction of the extremities. But distal thermoregulation is much more complicated than that, not even considering the effect of circadian rhythms as well (which, for many of us, can be thrown off in the wilderness when we go to bed at 7:30 in the winter). And for many folks, this system doesn't work very well at all, ever. That's why there are so many people with cold hands or feet even in the house, wearing tons of clothes.

When you sleep your heart slows (bradycardia), which is one reason why, even at home, you get chilly when you are sleeping. In colder temperatures, this bradycardia increases even more, and even without vasodilation/vasoconstriction at play, the blood flow to your extremities is reduced.

The face also plays a huge role, since exposure of the trigeminal nerve (one of the main nerves of the face) to cold activates a sympathetic pathway that induces vasoconstriction, as well as a parasympathetic pathway that induces bradycardia. And since you can't bury your face in your nice down sleeping bag without causing lots of other problems, sleeping outdoors with your face exposed can also cause a cooling of the hands and feet.

So yes, we should all be wearing hats and balaclavas and goggles to sleep when it's cold out...but for many people its not nearly enough to maintain adequate thermoregulation of the feet.

And no, please don't actually sleep in compression tights. They're great for walking...but not for sedentary stuff.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: cold feet on 12/01/2012 08:51:17 MST Print View

A hat and down booties are great. A hot water bottle is an even better addition to those. Boiling water, 16 oz wide mouth nalgene; fill it, stick it in a sock, chuck it in the bottom of your bag. When we're camping below freezing my wife, who has cold feet (cold everything, really) always gets a hot water bottle. Easier to stay warm when you're already warm.

Richard Fischel
+1 on a hot water bottle on 12/01/2012 10:40:06 MST Print View

they rock at keeping you warm when you're cold.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
cold feet on 12/01/2012 17:18:32 MST Print View

I often have this also: completely warm in the bag, but cold feet, even after changing into dry sox.
What works fast are thinsulate booties, about 2.9 oz. for the pair.
They go right over the sox, and fit into the camp booties when leaving the tent.
They are a surplus item, but the divers also use them:
Around $20 or less.
Sportsman's Guide used to carry them, but don't see them there now.
A large on line military surplus supplier should have them.
If using a shortie pad, it can also help to put something down under the foot of the bag or quilt, as the ground will quickly suck away heat through the bag compressed by the weight of the feet and lower legs. Have heard that climbers use their packs.

Down is very light and efficient, but I'm not for using it where it will get wet; as in havng to get up and go outside the tent for a bit in the rain.

Now don't forget to wear your hat, Roger!

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Cold Feet Sleepers - Solution Debate on 12/01/2012 18:20:50 MST Print View

"I have also used the bread bags inside possum down socks technique before in a cold mountain hut. I just couldn't get my feet warm but once I used the bags - toasty feet in a few minutes".

That's been my experience every single time I have used any sort of VBL. I feel warmth at the part of my body the VBL covers almost immediately. A cold part is comfortably warm in 5 minutes or so. Resistance to simplicity is one of those human oddities in this technological age though.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
warm feet on 12/05/2012 14:39:53 MST Print View

before I go to bed, I take off my socks and let my feet dry completely, then
I put on both an inner pair of fleece socks, not wool, fleece and then I put
on down booties. The inner fleece greatly boosts the warmth of the down booties.
Even at home I have ice feet so my wife jumps if she touches me and this works for me.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: Cold Feet Sleepers - Solution Debate on 12/05/2012 14:52:23 MST Print View

Huge fan of down booties! So nice to hang out at camp when it is dark and cold with cozy feet. In winter we are usually at camp a lot longer justifying the weight to me.

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
+1 goosefeet on 12/05/2012 15:54:10 MST Print View

UL down booties with over boots - dual use of insulation !