Do you fat bike, hike in the snow, maybe snowshoe? The Baffin Borealis boots are the boots you have been looking for. These boots have ended years of numb feet on the bike for me.
I had been looking for a light boot for fat biking and hiking that would still keep my feet warm while also be able to use a pair of gaiters. I just assumed I would not find anything that fit that criteria. Oh was I wrong… The Baffin Borealis is an amazing boot. What makes the Baffin’s so great is a double boot design with a twist. Normally a double boot is a stiff clunky affair that tears your feet up and traps them in a wet mess. But these use a softer Polar Rubber shell with an Ultralite removable insole.


The liner is a cocoon of warm insulation that keeps out water and keeps in warmth, they are rated to -22°F! I have had them out on days below zero hiking without my toes going numb. Which is was never a possibility before. The sole is aggressive, really aggressive. Most snow boots  for some reason have a low profile sole, which makes no sense to me, these do not have that problem. I have hiked on crusty icy snow and hard pack and not had a problem. I have gone on fat bike rides in single digit temps with howling wind and dumping snow for hours and not had cold toes. That is nothing short of a miracle to me.The insoles are removable so if you are backpacking you could sleep in them to dry them out and keep your feet warm in the tent.I knew the Baffin Borealis would be a great boot since I had picked up a pair of Baffin Shackleton boots a few years ago. The Shackleton’s have been great and still show no signs of wear. One day this winter I wore them while snow blowing and shoveling for 8 hours after a huge storm.  I never had cold feet that day! But the Shackleton is a big boot and a bit heavy for all day riding or hiking. That is where the Borealis shine, they are super warm and comfortable while not being too big.

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Finding warm winter boots that are lightweight enough to pack along when you are traveling to cold climes isn’t easy – if you treasure the mantra of traveling light and multifunctional, as HI Travel Tales does. So I was pretty excited to find the Baffin Escalate warm winter boots.

These warm winter travel boots ($139.99) are so cuddly cozy as well as being ultra-packable for when you are not wearing them. It is in fact insane how Baffin has combined packable, ultralight and warm all together in these winter travel boots.

The women’s version (what I tried) comes to about mid-calf, while the men’s are cut a bit lower –to lower calf above the ankle. Other than that they are basically identical. Waterproof, breathable, high-loft down insulation, hex-design EVA “AirGrip” outsole, and front lacing from mid-foot to the top with a drawstring toggle closure for easy on, easy off, and a drawstring toggle collar to keep out insistent snowflakes. Despite being calf-high, these warm winter travel boots squish down to pack to a size not much larger than a normal street shoe. This is what makes them such ideal winter travel boots.



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A Packing List of Must-Have Items

1. Cabin Slippers. Do NOT forget this one. Not all cabin floors are super clean and snow will be tracked in. I highly recommend the Baffin Cush slippers (starting for kids about ages 5 – adults). They are warm, have a nice thick sole (because I guarantee you someone will walk outside in their slippers) and pack very well. Some of our family has the bootie style and some have the lower style. Both are great.


2. Headlamps. Even if the cabin has electricity, they come in super handy for after-dark potty breaks. Make sure you have one for every person.

3. 2 Pair of Base Layers (one can be used for sleeping – Wee Woollies are great sleepers for the kids).

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Developed & Tested in the Harshest Possible Conditions

Winter sea fishing trips call for having a reliable pair of waterproof boots. I am talking about many hours of sitting still in very cold conditions with potentially a lot of time with your feet in very cold water. OK so describing it like that doesnt make it sound like very much fun, but thats the reality of it, and as always, having the right gear makes all the difference.

Many of my regular readers will know that I have a thing about finding wellington boots that stand out from the crowd. Following a number of recommendations about boots made by Canadian brand Baffin, I got my hands on a pair of their Trapper boots to try out for my winter fishing season.

The Baffin Brand was born from a genuine love for the country in which it resides. With Canada’s uncompromising landscapes and rugged extremities, there is a need for footwear that can provide the utmost protection from those elements.

With this brand story in mind, I was pretty confident that Baffin boots, having been developed and field tested in Canada could handle the very worst conditions that I would ever face and much much more….More Below…


Baffin Trapper Boots

The Baffin Trapper insulated boots are definately a high end boot. At this point I think its important to highlight that there are actually two important components that make up the Trapper boots. Firstly the rubber boots themselves (the outer boot), but also the inner boot lining which is equally as significant in the overall design and functionality of the Trappers.

The Outer Boots

One of the things that caught my eye about the Baffin Trapper boots was the waterproof snow collar (shown in the picture in “Forest Brown”). This will likely see very little of its intended use down here in Cornwall, but can be cinched down with the drawstrings and could be useful for preventing splash-over while casting in the surf. You gotta admit that the camo pattern looks very cool though, I really like it.

The outer boot is made by Baffins own blend of “Polar Rubber” – a synthetic blend which provides ultimate protection from the elements; the Polar rubber strikes a balance between lightweight flexibility, cold-resistance, and resilience. The outer boot is very well put together and moulded with thicker reinforcements around the ankle, heel and toes for added stability. There is also a small rubber knuckle on the back of the heel which helps when taking the boots off.

The grips on the Baffin Trapper boots are really well moulded and the pattern looks quite neat, but when you start walking around in them, tackling slopes, ice or weed covered rocks you really begin to realise how awesome they really are. The rounded stud like pattern really bites into stuff – clearly these being developed in Canada and often being recommended for ice fishing, the grip pattern has been developed for snowy/icy terrain. I did a bit of research a while ago looking at whether those strap on “ice grips” that you can buy would work well on seaweed covered rocks, I didnt buy any, or come to a solid conclusion on the matter and left it alone – but the studded ice grip pattern of the Trapper boots did an excellent job for me while rock fishing…. I recommend any fisherman looking at those type of grips take a look at the Trapper boots.

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