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Reviews > Footwear > Winter Boots > Oboz Bridger Insulated BDry Boots > Test Report by Gail Staisil

 OBOZ Bridger 7"Insulated BDry Boots
Test Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan


Initial Report - November 28, 2016
Field Report - January 26, 2017
Long term Report - March 31, 2017
  
Initial Report:
November 28, 2016

Tester Information

Name: Gail Staisil
Age: 64
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 160 lb (73 kg)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com

For the last 20 years, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan. My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8 kg). I am primarily a tarp camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.

Product Information

Manufacturer
Oboz Footwear
Website http://obozfootwear.com
Model Style: # 82202, Bridger Insulated BDry, Color: Gray
Manufacturer  Weight  20.5 oz/581 g per boot (Size 7)
Tested Weight  24 oz/680 g per boot (Size 11)
MSRP

$185.00 US, Made in Vietnam

Initial Impressions and Product Description 
Bridger Insulated Boots

I received the Bridger Insulated Boots in the requested color of Gray and size Women's 11 US (42.5 EU). The boot also comes in the color Tan and is available in Women's sizes 6-11 US (36-42.5 EU) as well as Men's sizes. My first impression was that the color was slightly different than I expected. The leather is definitely gray but the suede portion with diamond-patterned stitching is more like a light baby blue. The boots appear very sturdy and are heavier than my other winter footwear. I tried them on with two different pair of socks, one pair being lightweight and the other midweight. Both worked but I assume I will mostly use the lightweight ones as I prefer those year round for most activities. The boots have a very roomy toebox.


Bridger 7" Insulated BDry Boots

The 7 in (18 cWool-topped inserts with reflective bottomsm) insulated boots are a new offering by the manufacturer (they also make a mid-height insulated version). There are a number of characteristics that differ from a normal hiking boot. The boots are lined with 200g 3M Thinsulate insulation for warmth. They have also added a wool-topped BFit Thermal Footbed. The outsole is cold-weather specific featuring winter rubber with 4 mm directional lugs. I thought the latter was especially interesting as it reminded me of why I have winter tires on my vehicle (they are softer rubber aka winter rubber) with more traction as well...a necessity in this environment where I live. Wonder if the winter rubber will make a difference and possibly prevent slipping on snow or ice....time will tell!

The uppers of the boots are fabricated with Nubuck leather. BDRY is a proprietary waterproof breathable membrane used to line the boot. There is also a molded rubber toe cap and heel kick. The latter will likely be useful for keeping snowshoe straps in place. The Insulated Bridgers feature a D-ring to hook gaiters onto the front end of the laces. The laces are round and are threaded through a leather loop on the toe end and then two sets of webbing loops followed by two sets of eyelets. The laces are then threaded through a leather loop on the middle of the tongue as well as another set of webbing loops. At the top of the boot are two sets of hooks. As I often do with new boots, I will first wear them laced only partway (not hooking the top loops). The back of the boots feature a grab loop for putting the boots on. The toebox area is covered by a heavy duty toe guard with the bottom portion of the sole slightly wrapping up the front of this.

The boots have a lightweight TPU chassis that helps with stability and reportedly prevents stone bruising. The interior of the boots also feature fleece around the top interior extending perhaps 2 in (5 cm) downward into the boot. The tongue also has a fleece lining near the top. This feels very comfortable as well as adding an aesthetic element to the appearance of the boots.
 
The BFit Thermal Footbed features a reflective coating on the bottom side to reportedly reflect heat back to my foot. The wool-topped footbed feels very cozy not unlike wool booty inserts that are used in some winter footwear. The OBOZ logo is noticeable in several places on each boot including the back of the heel, side of boot on upper as well as toe shield, tongue of boot and the sole. It would appear that it would be hard to forget what brand of boot it is!

The boots are meant to insulate for activity at cold temps and reportedly provide warmth for casual wear during moderate temps.


Summary

The Bridger Insulated Boots have a number of interesting characteristics that I hope to enjoy through the long winter here.

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Field Report:Tester wearing boots
January 26, 2017

USA Locations and Conditions

During the field test period I have spent five days/four nights in a rustic cabin that I snowshoed into while pulling a gear sled. Daily outings occurred including much snowshoeing. The trip was in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where I live. Trip location included lakeshore to boreal forest. Elevation ranged from above 600 ft (183 m) to almost 2,000 ft (610 m).
 
Location of Trip: Hiawatha National Forest
Length of Trip: 5 days, 4 nights (Dec 30 - Jan 3)
Sled Weight: Heavy (probably 45 lb/20.4 kg)
Distance: Backcountry skied and snowshoed an undetermined distance
Sky and Air Conditions: Snowing with some sunshine 
Temperature Range: 18 F to 34 F (-8 C to 1 C)  
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Trip Talk
   Snowshoeing with gaiters over the boots
Since receiving the OBOZ Bridger winter boots I have worn them almost daily. They are on my feet for snowshoe hikes and at other times with crampons over them (two-three times per week). They were worn while pulling a gear sled into and out from a rustic cabin. And to not be taken lightly, they are on my feet for almost every trip outside to do shoveling, errands or driving to my favorite ski trails at least five times a week. I don't bother wearing regular shoes in the winter so wearing boots are the norm. The weather this winter has been all over the place but has included snow from the time I received the boots. The snow can range from a half foot or more (15 cm) of deep powder to a couple inches (7.5 cm) of very wet snow to frozen snow/ice. There have been two long periods (4 days each) where the temps have been consistently at single digits down to 2 F/-7 C with double-digit windchill. The boots have handled all these conditions without any slippage involved. The traction has been amazing. However as a precautionary measure, I have sometimes worn traction devices on them for faster-paced hikes on super icy trails. Most of my hikes are between 3 and 5 mi (5-8 km).

My feet have never been cold in the Bridgers! I normally just wear a thin pair of wool socks. I love the wool-topped insoles...my feet have felt so cozy on top of them, not at all sticky/clammy. For snowshoeing I have worn gaiters on some outings to keep the snow from getting into the top of the boots. I have even worn the boots indoors when I volunteer at a rustic ski hut. My chores keep me going from indoors to outdoors so I just keep them on for the three-hour stints. They have been super comfortable even with indoor temps at around 60 F (16 C).Boots with crampons

As aforementioned, I have worn the boots sometimes with either snowshoes or crampons. The devices have stayed on layered over the boots and they surely fit well into standard snowshoe bindings. The heel ridge on the back of each boot is in the perfect spot for my snowshoe back strap to rest on so that they don't slip for the most part. When my family was here for the holidays I wore the boots for hikes to local peaks, sledding, and snowshoeing.

I have found that the boots are attractive enough to take me from outdoor activities to casual wear. I often wear them with a wool or other winter skirt and tights.

When I am not wearing gaiters over the boots the Sherpa fleece does collect snow/ice. It is not a problem while wearing them but when I take them off the fleece takes awhile to dry. I have normally tied the laces with a double knot because I found a single knot was not enough to keep them from coming open. The laces have stayed secure otherwise through the series of loops, eyelets and hooks when I used the double knot.

During the long term period I have several trips planned including rustic cabin trips and winter camping. Looking forward to wearing them for all those activities.







 

 

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Long Term Report:
March 31, 2017

USA Locations and Conditions

During the long term test period I have spent an additional eight days/six nights in a rustic cabin during two different trips that I snowshoed into while pulling a gear sled. I winter camped for two days and I also took a snowshoe/ski vacation of six days. Locally almost daily outings occurred including much snowshoeing. All trips were in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where I live. Trip locations included lakeshore to boreal forest. Elevation ranged from above 600 ft (183 m) to almost 2,000 ft (610 m).
 
Location of Trip: Keweenaw Peninsula, Upper Michigan
Length of Trip: 6 days, 5 nights (January 29 - Feb 2)
Distance: Cross country skied and snowshoed an undetermined distance
Sky and Air Conditions: Snowed heavily every day with wild wind chills some days
Temperature Range: 8 F to 28 F (-14 C to -2 C)

Location of Trip: Hiawatha National Forest
Length of Trip: 5 days, 4 nights (February 3 - 8)
Sled Weight: Heavy (probably 60 lb/27 kg)
Distance: Backcountry skied and snowshoed an undetermined distance
Sky and Air Conditions: Snowing with some sunshine 
Temperature Range: 4 F to 26 F (-16 C to -3 C

Location of Trip: Hiawatha National Forest
Length of Trip: 3 days, 2 nights (February 20 - 22)
Sled Weight: Slightly heavy (probably 45 lb/20.4 kg)
Distance: Backcountry skied and snowshoed an undetermined distance
Sky and Air Conditions: Sunny and cloudy
Temperature Range: 52 F to 31 F (11 C to -1 C)

Location of Trip: Hiawatha National Forest
Length of Trip: 2 days, 1 night (March 29 - 30)
Sled Weight: Approx 40 lb (18 kg)
Distance: 6 mi (10 km) sled pull to camp wearing snowshoes and 13 mi (21 km) cross country ski with small pack 
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy
Temperature Range: 27 F to 34 F (-3 C to 1 C)
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Trip Talk
  
I have continued to wear the OBOZ Bridger boots almost daily. Although winter is winding down here with little snow in town, it is still possible to ski, snowshoe and hike on ice. The latter is especially pertinent lately as the regular hiking trails have turned to ice and the lakes are still frozen. Along the shore of Lake Superior there are great big ice shelves to walk on. The backcountry still is mostly covered in snow albeit different depths.Snowshoeing on old snow while pulling gear sled I become possessed at this time of year to enjoy every bit of snow that is left. I have a hard time letting go of winter, especially this year when it appears to be ending early! That said my boots have seen everything from very muddy trails to very transformed snow/ice.

This week I even decided to combineAreas that wetted out an overnight winter/spring camp trip with snowshoeing and cross country skiing. The boots were clad in snowshoe bindings to deal with the various levels of snow. The area that I traveled had heavy debris from trees so the snow was far from clean. The temps were slightly over freezing so the snow melted into the leather of the boots in various places. Unfortunately I forgot my gaiters so I had a little snow get into the top of the boots but otherwise my feet stayed dry. I did have a backup pair of socks (waterproof ones) but I never felt like I needed to change into them.

I have had various degrees of luck with the ridge on the back of the heels of the boots for retaining snowshoe straps. For instance on this trip I snowshoed over 6 mi (10 km) but I had one of the straps slip down three different times over the ridge. Other times this winter they have stayed in place so although they are helpful, I probably wouldn't count on them for a longer trip (I often do my own retainer method with a piece of cordage as shown on pictures in the field report.

The greatest thing about these boots is that I have never slipped all winter long on any form of snow or ice. I attribute that mostly to the winter rubber that the outsoles are made with but my own caution while walking on ice should also be noted. I did wear crampons on icy surfaces if I was doing a long outing but for just everyday encounters with snow and ice, I have stayed upright without them. The Bridgers have also remained very comfortable in all kinds of weather from 4 F to 52 F (-16 C to 11 C). All of these temperatures were experienced while being active with little rest.

The boots still look great after all the wear. There are a few discolored areas on the leather but that is normally what happens with exposure to snow, salt and dirt. I certainly will wear them again for the appropriate seasons.



Pros

Wool-topped inserts
Sherpa fleece padded collar
Molded heel ridge
Nice fit
Great grip


Cons

None


Tester Remarks 

Thanks to OBOZ and BackpackGearTest.org for this opportunity to test the Bridger 7" Insulated Boots. This concludes my Long Term Report and the test series.


 
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