Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Integral Designs Hot Socks

For whatever the reason, I’ve focused a disproportionate amount of time on what socks to carry while backpacking. Whether it was to cut ounces, find something more durable or warmer, or to identify a sock that dealt better with moisture and stink, the reality is that socks and foot care are a terribly important topic while on the trail.

First I made the switch from SmartWool to DarnTough for my daily hiking sock. Then I switched from merely another dry pair for sleeping to PossumDown such as those sold by or . I find the PossumDown to be a quite impressive sock overall and the material works well for lightweight beanies and gloves too. It wicks well, retains excellent warmth, doesn’t hold stink like cotton, and it is extremely lightweight considering my intent is merely to use it for sleeping.

Last winter when trying out a hammock and not having the ideal gear for the job, I felt like I wanted something a little more substantial for my feet because my quilt wasn’t sewn with a footbox and I was losing a lot of heat through the bottom of the hammock. I also acknowledged some moisture was coming through the hammock which I wanted to avoid.

My solution was the Integral Designs Hot Sock ( which at between 4.2-4.9oz (small to x-large) was on par with most standard socks like those sold by REI, SmartWool, DarnTough, etc. The difference was that these hotsocks were insulated with Primaloft offering ½” of loft. The outside of the sock was made of Pertex microfiber which allowed it to repel moisture while ensuring it was highly breathable. The bottom of the sock was reinforced with abrasion resistant 500 denier Cordura which is helpful for late night bathroom runs when putting on a shoes is a hassle.

Basically, they are a very warm, functional, and sensible option for cooler temperatures and run around $45.

No comments: