No more wrestling with cold, stiff boots on a crowded ski lodge bench.

A few years ago, I indulged in my version of the middle-aged cliche: Instead of a red sports car, I snagged some very nice new skis and a serious pair of custom-fit boots. All was glorious but for one problem—the boots were 120’s, so stiff that by the time I forced my feet into

Plug your boot bag in for pre-ski warm-ups.  Ahhhh. Credit: HotGear
Plug your boot bag in for pre-ski warm-ups. Ahhhh.
Credit: HotGear

them in the ski lodge, I was exhausted, bathed in sweat and ready for a break. To the rescue came the Hot Gear Bag, a thoughtfully-designed, electrically-heated boot bag. Plug it into the condo wall or your car for the ride to the mountain, toast your booties, and you can ease into a deliciously warm and pliable pair of boots. If you have trouble with your back or hands, you will greatly appreciate how rigid ski boots become like slippers and easier to buckle, too. Depending on your boots and the weather, your feet stay warm and comfy for a few hours.

Pair the heated boot bag with  Boot Gloves ($29.95) from DryGuy to retain the heat, and you have a comprehensive warm-foot strategy. The Boot Glove is, well, a

Boot gloves can make a difference on cold, cold days. Credit: DryGuy
Boot gloves can make a difference on cold, cold days.
Credit: DryGuy

neoprene glove for your boot. For more on boot gloves, click here.

Heating feature aside, Hot Gear has a great bag, well-designed and sturdy. Zippered or mesh pockets are everywhere! Carry it with the grab handle or the removable, padded shoulder strap, stowable in a zip side pocket. The other side pocket opens to reveal fleece-lined sleeves for goggles and spare lenses. Another zipper on the back reveals backpack straps for a balanced carry and also an integral cable and lock for security. A bungeed helmet carrier on top zips flat when not needed, and a padded plastic foot pad can be deployed from the underside to provide a clean place to stand.  Now, that’s a clever addition. The connection cords for house or car outlets hide behind their own zippers in front. Sturdy rubber feet protect the bottom of the bag.

The large main compartment is surrounded with an electric heating pad. Select one of three settings, and your boots, gloves and anything else you can fit in are nicely warmed and softened, or, at the end of the day thoroughly dried out. Velcro-ed in place, the heating pad is easily removed for replacement, if necessary. Velcro-tabbed compartments hold extra socks, neck gaiters or base layers, and there’s a generous mesh pocket for all those small doodads. I keep an old hand towel at the bottom of my bag to soak up melting slush at the end of the day. When traveling, besides my boots, I can put my helmet, gloves, and several pairs of socks in the bag, and it fits nicely in the overhead bin on a plane.

There's a variety of heated boot bag models from Hot Gear. Credit: Hot Gear
There’s a variety of heated boot bag models from Hot Gear.
Credit: Hot Gear

I own the Classic 110-volt model ($179). Other models include the somewhat larger Pro ($199), a double-size for two pairs of boots ($249), the smaller Ajax ($149) and the Classic Trolley ($239) with wheels and a telescoping handle, variously available in 110- and 220-volt versions.

I’ve used mine for several years now and consider it an essential piece of equipment. I love the heating feature and am currently working on a recipe for Boot Bag Baked Brownies.

To find a retailers near you, click here.  Not near you?  Click here to buy direct.

3 Comments

  1. Hi! Any real testimonials to boot glove?? Tks.

    • Avatar Michael Maginn says:

      Contributor Mike Conley is a big fan. We’ll follow up with him.

    • I always use mine along with the heated boot bag so I can’t comment on how they work alone, but they DO make a noticeable difference. It helps to take them off when you go into the lodge for a break or lunch – being an insulator they’ll keep heat out as well as in – then put them back on when you head out. I always have them in my bag & use them on the coldest days.

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