Synthetic versus down: It’s a complicated choice. For a lot of bigger, more expensive, and arguably more important gear, like a sleeping bag or belay jacket, the temperature/warmth rating and the weight will dictate that choice. But how about for smaller gear, like camp booties or slippers? The benefits of down (better warmth-to-weight ratio) versus synthetic (better performance when wet, often better durability) are a toss-up.
I’ve tested (read: run into the ground) a long list of various booties, socks, and slippers over the years. So when Big Agnes came to me in 2022, announcing its first camp bootie and the newest option to market (as of spring 2023), I was stoked to try it.
In short: The Full Moon Camp Booties from Big Agnes are great synthetic booties, with great durability at a great value ($70). Plus, they worked amazingly in wet and snowy conditions. If you don’t need the highest level of warmth and plan to use both indoors and outdoors, consider these booties. The only thing you aren’t really getting in this bootie is down fill — all the other great features of a camp bootie are there.
- Fill type synthetic
- Materials 100% post-consumer recycled polyester ripstop; 100% post-consumer recycled polyester taffeta lining (also water repellent); polyester edge with PFAS-free water-resistant coating; TPE coated polyester sole
- Insulation Fireline Eco 100% recycled polyester (7 oz-fill weight)
- Claimed weight 5-7 oz
- Verified weight 6 oz (size M)
- Sizes available 2XS-2XL (US sizes 6-13)
- Best for mixed indoor/outdoor use
- Large range of sizes
- Not too pricey
- Not enough support underfoot
- Not the lightest
- Only one color choice
Big Agnes Full Moon Camp Booties Review
The Big Agnes Full Moon booties have a lot going for them. So I’ll start from the bottom and work my way up.
The sole is fantastic. It isn’t just a minimal slice of tread you’ll see on most booties. No, the sole is a good and burly TPE-coated anti-slip polyester, with a PFAS-free water-resistant coating.
The coated polyester edge also comes about a half-inch further up the booty for more durability outside. As a result, they show much less wear and tear. The wrap-around edge saves a lot of the ripstop upper from taking on scuffs or tears. I’m expecting these booties to last a lot longer than my current synthetic booties which don’t have as durable of an exterior.
Over many months, I tested these booties out by shuffling around cabins, my house, the backcountry, campsites, over rocks, and through the snow. They’ve held up with no rips or damage to the sole or bottom exterior.
All that being said, the footbed doesn’t offer a ton in the way of support for your foot. If you are wearing these around the house, especially with thicker socks on, you’ll be fine. But if you are wearing them outside, just know you’ll feel a bit of the terrain underfoot. Camp booties aren’t meant to be full shoes, but I do wish these had more of a cushy, midsole feel. If you want a true “shoe” and not a bootie, look elsewhere. And be ready to carry more weight.
They aren’t as light as some down booties, or as packable. However, even with the extra materials (the coated polyester ripstop and the toggle, for example), these booties can pack up really small into a 2L stuff sack.
Waterproof Testing in Winter
Because I had the chance to test in winter and spring, I took it. For most, you aren’t going to be tromping through snow in camp slippers. But if you’ve ever been on a hut trip, you know that sometimes you just want something besides your ski boots to shuffle around in, and you want those to be able to hold up on old wood floors, porches, and maybe even outside.
I’ve found myself doing this on several occasions this winter, just standing in a patch of snow (at a trailhead or hut), sipping my coffee, and enjoying the winter views.
On one particularly cold day, I took these booties outside, cinched up the cuffs, and stood in the snow. For this test, I stood for 5 minutes in 6-inch deep (fresh, not super wet) snow with the booties on. The air temp hovered between 12-18 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the wind; the ground temp was obviously freezing.
While the booties didn’t feel quite warm enough, I didn’t notice any cold spots around the sides or upper. The fill felt even. And, most importantly, the waterproofing held up, and the soles of my feet stayed warm.
On another occasion backpacking I was wearing these booties when a heavy rain blew in. They didn’t soak through, and the waterproofing held up better than the average camp bootie. Especially for synthetic options, the combo of high durability and good waterproofing is a win.
Cons of the Big Agnes Full Moon Booties
The only improvement I’d like to see from Big Agnes on its Full Moon Camp Booties has to do with the toggle. The booties are easy to slip on one-handed, which is great, and the toggle is in a good location. But it takes two hands to adjust. I appreciate booties that add a light cinch cord for adjustability like these do. More often than not, though, I don’t use it because I don’t want to bother taking the time (and two hands) to do so.
Of course, the Full Moon Camp Booties are not going to be as warm as down booties — but they are close. And they rank highly in my book compared to other synthetic options. My other synthetic booties (which are comfortable) haven’t held up nearly as well outdoors. Or, for that matter, in wet rain, as they soak through pretty quickly.
The Big Agnes Full Moons come up high enough above the ankle for protection from light snow. And the synthetic fill will keep my feet warm even if it gets wet.
For hanging out in a hut, cabin, or ski chalet, or backcountry camping during cool nights, the Big Agnes booties are perfect. Plus, they performed better in light exposure to rain and wet snow than some other down booties we’ve tested.
Conclusion: Big Agnes Full Moon Booties
I tested these new spring 2023 Big Agnes synthetic booties through late winter, spring, and summer in the backcountry. I truly do love them and plan to take them on most backpacking trips where I know the temps will drop.
Small cons include the slight bump in weight (heavier than down options), and the imperfect toggle/adjustability. It’d also be awesome if the booties came with a small stuff sack for packing.
Otherwise, the Full Moon Camp Booties are a winner — and worth a spot in your pack.