Insulating material for hunting boots has come a long way since the days of various insulation materials such as wool, down (Perhaps still the insulation champion for garments and sleeping bags - in dry weather.) and even cotton, which proved inefficient and, when wet, dangerous.
Insulation is not just about adding a layer of material between you and the cold, it's about adding an efficient layer of material between you and the cold. And the key to efficient insulation is trapping a layer of air warmed by your body heat.
Nature has perfected this insulation technique in protecting animals from cold, wet environments. Using polar bears and waterfowl as inspiration, modern insulation technology has learned to imitate these insulating properties.
Gore-Tex's® Air Fiber Comfort Laminate uses the same principle as the fur of polar bears thriving in extremely cold and wet environments. AirFiber is a high-bulk volume fleece made with lightweight, synthetic hollow fiber, similar to hollow polar bear hair and for the same reason, it traps more warmth-holding air.
On the other hand, PrimaLoft Gold® mimics all the great insulating properties of goose down but with synthetic fibers that won't retain moisture so they provide the warm properties of down, creating millions of air pockets to trap and preserve body heat, even in wet weather.
Both of these great insualtions provide superior protection from cold, even in wet weather, which is why Meindl incorporates both into our hunting boots. Let's take a closer look at each of them.
PrimaLoft® began 40 years ago when the U.S. Army was looking for a synthetic alternative to goose down for clothing and sleeping bags. Down, when wet, clumps together losing its lofty, air-trapping insulation capabilities, plus it retains moisture and is difficult to dry. PrimaLoft®, which mimics goose down’s air-trapping loft, was the result of this military project, and soon it was being used in commercially available clothing, sleeping bags and footwear. Currently, it can be found worldwide.
PrimaLoft Gold® is specifically designed for active lifestyles, the sort of activities that require warmth even in wet environments. Because of its unique synthetic structure, PrimaLoft® is incredibly lightweight, water-resistant (so you won’t get cold if you get wet) and very breathable allowing moisture vapor to escape so as you perspire, PrimaLoft® protects you from getting cold.
Because of PrimaLoft’s® water-resistant properties, Meindl builds the insulation layer on the outside of the waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex® membrane in boots designed for active, on-the-move hunting, as opposed to more sedentary hunting methods, like hunting in a treestand or blind.
On the other hand, Meindl puts Gore-Tex AirFiber® insulation inside of and protected from outside moisture by the waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex® membrane, meaning it is next to your foot, allowing you to retain more body warmth when you are not as active.
Gore-Tex AirFiber® laminate, with its hollow fibers and air-trapping three-dimensional structure (allowing it to trap more air while using fewer fibers), is also 15 percent lighter than conventional insulation fibers. The memory factor of the fiber structure returns the individual fibers to their original light and air-trapping shape for essentially weightless warmth, even after the pressure of walking has ceased, therefore you stay warmer when you remain stationary, for instance, in a stand or blind. Being soft and comfortable in its own right and durably waterproof and breathable, AirFiber is an ideal insulation for hunting boots.
It depends on where, when and how you’ll be hunting when wearing them. It’s not confusing. Shop our full assortment of insulated hunting boots.
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