At only 4-5 ounces per pair (depending on size), the ID Hot Socks are a highly versatile piece of gear for your kit. We used them winter camping in igloos we built, on a spring canoe trip, and on numerous backpacking trips and found them to be downright habit-forming. They hit a perfect balance of lightweight, warmth, and durability.
The Integral Designs Hot Socks. The right one is turned inside out.
The Hot Socks have a Pertex P565 shell, which is a 1.85 oz/yd2 calendared microfiber with high abrasion resistance and a DWR finish. Insulation is 4 oz/yd2 Primaloft Sport, which provides 0.5 inch of loft and a warmth to weight ratio (clo) of 0.65. Primaloft Sport insulation is a blend of micro and macro denier fibers to maximize softness, durability and compressibility. The backpanel is Powerstretch fleece to keep the socks snug around the ankles. The sole is 330 denier Cordura nylon.
It’s hard to find so much warmth in such a light package, especially in footwear. We found it handy to size them up a little (they’re available in four sizes) so we could wear heavy socks inside them when more warmth was needed.
We wore the Hot Socks in our sleeping bags on spring and fall backpacking trips in the mountains, and winter camping in the Southern Utah canyon country. After hiking in snow or slop all day, it was a pleasure to get the wet boots off and put the Hot Socks on. An effective combination for wearing them around camp is to wear Tyvek overboots over the Hot Socks to keep them clean and dry. The combination is very lightweight and worked especially well on wet ground or packed snow.
With their Cordura nylon soles, the Hot Socks should make ideal lightweight hut booties (not tested).
We wore the ID Hot Socks with wool socks inside them while winter camping in igloos we built. Since an igloo only cools down to about 30 °F at night (which is warm by winter camping standards), we had no problems with feet getting cold while lounging around in the igloo, or wearing them as nighttime footwear in our sleeping bags. They also worked fine for extra-igloo activities with insulated overboots over them, or Tyvek overboots over them for shorter durations on packed snow.
The ID Hot Socks worn over heavy wool socks (left) while winter camping in an igloo. The soles are coated 330 denier Cordura nylon, so they can be worn on packed snow (right) or in a hut.
However, the Hot Socks don’t provide enough insulation for serious mountaineering in sub-zero conditions. For that we recommend a thicker insulated bootie inside an insulated shell overboot such as those sold by Forty Below.
Specifications and Features
- Manufacturer: Integral Designs (www. integraldesigns.com)
- Sizes: Small 6-7, Medium 8-9, Large 10-11, X Large 12-13
- Features: Breathable Pertex shell, durable Primaloft insulation, durable Cordura sole
- Included: Socks, silnylon stuff sack
- Weight: Measured weight size Small 4.1 oz, size XL 5 oz; manufacturer specification size Small 4.2 oz, size XL 4.9 oz
- MSRP: $40