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Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Western Mountaineering Flash Down Booties

Goose down booties with a nylon shell that pack down super small.

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Tent booties are the 11th essential in my personal winter backpacking kit. I contend that there are few things more glorious at the end of the day than slipping your dogs into a luscious cocoon of high quality down, and the Flash booties are tough to beat. Consider this: They mash down to only a half an inch tall to fit easily into your pack, yet thanks to high quality goose down and an ultralight 12 denier nylon shell, they loft up like an over-inflated birthday balloon the second you pull them out.

There’s a 1/4″ piece of EVA foam in each sole to insulate and add protection underfoot, and there’s a drawcord around each ankle to seal in the heat. Best of all, the Flash accomplishes all this for only 3 ounces per pair. I brought the booties on a recent trip to Joshua Tree National Park, and although I never actually got to wear them because they were commandeered by other parties in the tent, I’m told they are incredibly warm for the weight. Bonus: they’re also great to wear around the house while opening gifts on a cold Christmas morning.