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Reviews > Footwear > Winter Boots > Nunatak Kangri Down Mukluks > Owner Review by Ray Estrella

Nunatak Kangri Down Mukluks
By Raymond Estrella
OWNER REVIEW
March 07, 2006

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Raymond Estrella
EMAIL: rayestrellaAThotmailDOTcom
AGE: 48
LOCATION: Orange County, California, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
WEIGHT: 200 lb (90.70 kg)

I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and in many of the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I have made a move to lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I am usually with my wife Jenn or brother-in-law Dave.

The Product

Manufacturer: Nunatak Gear, LLC
Web site: nunatakusa.com
Product: Kangri Down Mukluks
Year manufactured: 2004
MSRP: $137.00 (US)
Weight listed: 10.5 oz (297 g) Verified accurate (one mukluk was 5.2 oz and the other 5.3 oz)
Fill weight: 4.5 oz (127 g)
Fill type: 800+ goose down
Color reviewed: Black
Colors available: Black, Blue, and Orange
Size reviewed: Large
Warranty: (Quoted by Tom, over the phone). “Our warranty is this. We guarantee the workmanship of our products forever”.

Product Description

The Kangri Down Mukluks (hereafter referred to as the mukluks) are light weight, down filled, and (in the style I opted for) waterproof breathable mukluks. They are hand made to order at the company’s home in Washington State.

The shell of my mukluks is constructed of EPIC, by Nextec. EPIC is an encapsulated-fiber nylon that is very water-resistant, and highly breathable.

The 800+ goose down is held in place with fully baffled construction. The baffles are offset to eliminate cold spots. They stand 17 in (42 cm) high. Here is a picture of the Kangris.

Mukluks


At the top of each is an elastic draw-string that runs through a cord lock. The cord lock is attached to the body of the mukluks to allow for one-handed operation.

Just below the cord lock is a tag with the Nunatak name. Inside the mukluks at the top are tags with the size (L), “made in America”, and materials, fill type and washing instructions.

The bottom of the mukluks have a “Toughtec” sole. Inside the sole is a replaceable foam mid-sole, which is covered by a nylon twill foot-bed liner. A reinforced nylon rand runs around the mukluks at the bottom to give some added protection from abrasion.

They did not come with a stuff sack, or storage bag, so I purchase a small sil-nylon bag to keep them in while backpacking. In my gear room I keep them stored in a netting sleeping bag sack. Here is a shot of them stuffed.

Stuffed

Field Conditions

These mukluks have been around a lot in the past two years. They have been on Mount Shasta, worn in camp there at Lake Helen at 13 F (-11 C). They went on numerous climbs of Mount San Jacinto in the winter, the coldest trip seeing lows of 10 F (-12 C) The highest point the mukluks were used was at the White Mountains, in the Bristlecone Pine Forest (California), for two trips. I was at 10600’ (3180 m) elevation, with temps down to 9 F (-13 C). I took them on a sled-packing trip in the Lundy Lake area, near Lee Vining California, and wore them while stranded by a blizzard at Tom’s Place, north of Bishop, CA. Here is a picture early in the morning near Lundy Lake.

Ray in snow

Observations

I bought these mukluks to replace my synthetic filled Sierra Designs Booties. I was looking for something higher, as I had some bad experiences with post-holing in the booties, and having them take on snow. Brrr.

As I was in the process of changing all of my sleeping bags and winter coats to high quality down, I figured this was the way to go for the mukluks too. I had heard about Nunatak from discussions on the web, and found their phone number. I called them and ordered two pairs. (One for my brother-in-law and regular hiking partner, Dave. His are XXL and red.) I ordered them in the EPIC fabric. Nunantak was very pleasant to deal with, and we got our mukluks in about 8 days. The mukluks are quite high-priced at first glance, but as they are hand made, and what we were looking for we gave it a try.

The craftsmanship is impeccable. I can not find anything even slightly mediocre about the construction. The stitching at the rand, joining two different materials, one over the other, is perfect. It looks like it was sewn by a computer. The front seam, while nice looking does lose down from it. Both mukluks have this happen a lot. I have never stepped into a creek with these, but it makes me wonder if it would leak at these seams if I did.

The weight was very surprising. They did not seem any heavier than the much shorter booties I had been using. The added warmth was immediately obvious. We both wore them in our office the day they were delivered to try them out. I could not keep them on very long before my feet and lower leg got too warm.

In the field they proved to be very warm on the tops, but not so much at the sole. Dave found them cold on the bottoms more so than me. In fact Dave and I both added another foam mid-sole last month (January 2006), Dave for warmth, myself just to help stiffen it up, and add a little warmth. (We both made our own, although Nunatak sells upgrade mid-soles. Dave used thick blue foam. I used thinner Ensolite).

In fact, the only negative I have to say about them is that they do not stay centered on my foot very well. Many times I find myself walking on the sides of them. Dave has the same complaint. Maybe if the rand was stiffer it would help keep it in place. Here is a pic of Dave wearing the Kangri Mukluks at Mount Shasta.

Dave at Shasta


The mukluks are very slippery on crusted snow, or ice. But anything without lugs or spikes is in those situations, so it does not take away from them. One of the funniest things I have ever seen was Dave wearing his MSR Denali snow shoes strapped to his Nunatak mukluks in camp, because the mukluks were warmer than his Koflach climbing boots.

The height of the mukluks is perfect for me. They come up high enough that when I pull the drawstring tight, they lock over the calf muscle. Even punching into snow past my knees did not result in the mukluks slipping, or letting snow in. And I have never had them wet-out.

I am very satisfied with the Kangri Mukluks. I see many more seasons of use in their future.

Pros: Light weight, very warm, high enough to be useful, waterproof.
Cons: Expensive, a bit loose in the foot area, front seam loses a lot of down.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

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Reviews > Footwear > Winter Boots > Nunatak Kangri Down Mukluks > Owner Review by Ray Estrella



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