The Columbia Bugaboot Plus III improves on its former Plus II by bringing in a few much needed improvements, but will this make it the best hunting and snowboot at the same time? Or should you just keep it as just plain snowshoes? No other way to find out other than put it though inspection. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Upper Section: Nylon, webbing, leather and metal hardware combination
This boot opts to use a combination of various materials for the upper section as some materials tend to work better when they are combined. Additionally, you have the potential to get the potential benefits of all the materials in one place, if done right that is.
Omni-Heat is a trademarked name for the lining that Columbia uses in a lot of their snow gear ranging from boots, jackets and snowpants. They haven’t released much information regarding how its made but judging from the fact that it’s so widely utilized in their products, it is safe to assume that it works well.
Omni-Grip is another trademarked name for Columbia (seeing a pattern here?) and it is supposed to have excellent grip on slippery surfaces, something that you are likely to encounter if you are walking in the cold areas.
Techlite is also another proprietary cushion that Columbia uses although I’m surprised it doesn’t have an “omni” stuck in there somewhere. It does its job pretty well as people don’t seem to complain about it much.
Insulation – If these boots excel at 1 thing, that’s the thermal insulation. They contain about 200 grams of insulation featuring their Omni-Heat technology which works pretty well. Additionally, they’re rated for up to -25F /-32C so this should cover you in all but the most brutal weather. It’s still recommended to have nice warm socks along with them as well as boots by themselves are not enough to do the job properly in most cases. They even feature an even more insulated line called titanium which has 600 grams of insulation which make it good for up till -65F /-54C. Not too shabby, I would say.
Light Weight – These are also some of the lightest insulated boots that I’ve worn, which I find to be pretty interesting seeing as they have 200 grams of base insulatory material. Other hunting boots, even those without insulation, usually weight anywhere 10-25% more. This difference isn’t as noticeable at first, but for multi hour or day excursions, the impact can be felt much more. For example, the Lowa Tibet, which is one of my all time favorite boots, comes in at 2.2 lb, which is around 22% heavier compared to the 1.8 lb Bugaboot. Some boots, like the Lacrosse Aerohead, are almost 40% heavier, which is much more noticeable. At the end of the day, lighter weight doesn’t play a big role if your excursions are short or you are used to and are fine with heavier boots, but for others, like myself, I prefer to not carry 2 anchors on my feet.
Size – For those of us who happen to have wider feet, you might want to watch out for these shoes. Even the wide version of them seems to fit a little too tight for some hunters, which is potentially a deal breaker as having sore feet that are squished for hours on hand is not a pleasant experience at all. However, for those who have normal sized feet, this shouldn’t cause much of an issue.
Weight (each boot): 1.8 lb
In conclusion, these boots do live up to their name as I’ve come to find out. The light weight doesn’t compensate for the build quality and insulation amount, 2 things I was worried about at first when I first read up on this boot. As such, if you’re in the market for a good snowshoe and hunting boot hybrid, this is a solid choice.