A Review of the Sockdolager Equipment Ultralight Pogies & Fanny Pack. Taking Packrafting Gear to A New Level


Sockdolager Pogies & Bow Bag
Sockdolager Pogies & Bow Bag

By Alejandro Strong, owner of the guide service Packraft Maine.

I have never been a fan of gloves, mittens, and, least of all, pogies. I’m that person who takes of his gloves no matter how cold it is if I have to do anything with my hands. When I do begrudgingly bring my big neoprene pogies, I spend more time pushing them out of the way then I do with my hands in them. So when I saw that Dan Ransom now of Sockdolager Equipment was making light weight pogies, I thought well at least I could have a packable and super light thing that I barely use. 

First Impression of the Sockdolager Equipment Ultralight Pogies 👍🏼

Pulling the small packet with the Sockdolager Equipment Ultralight pogies neatly folded up out of the box, the small size impressed me (much smaller than my NRS behemoths!) I first took them on a short whitewater run during a brief January thaw here in Maine. Air temps hovered in the low 40s and the water in the mid 30s. Even I had to admit it was pogie, and maybe even glove weather.

I slipped them onto my 4-piece Aqua Bound Shred easily. The EPX fabric is stiff enough to hold its shape, which makes it easy to put your hand in the pogie without focusing on it, a nice improvement form my neoprene ones.

This winter I surprised myself with how often I used the pogies, on that first run and pretty much every other time I’ve been out. The truth is I forgot I was using them. I think their best qualities are what you don’t notice. 

Best Qualities

With no Velcro or seams near your hands, nothing scratches or bothers you as you paddle. The light weight, stiff fabric allows for plenty of room to easily move your hands around within the pogies. Most importantly my hands do not overheat in them.

On the first trip I wondered if they were doing anything, as my hands felt warm all day. I thought maybe it was nice enough out that I didn’t need them. But at the take out, I took them off And my hands quickly became cold and useless.

Dan’s design is simple and well thought out. The construction is top quality. And I expect these pogies to last a long time. My only concern is how tight the paddle holes are. It takes a bit of work to get the shaft piece into the hole. My worry is that this is added wear. But it definitely doesn’t outweigh all of the positives. 

The Sockdolager Equipment Ultralight Pogies have served me well in air temperatures of 35-50 and water temperatures from 30-45. 

Packraft Seat Bag

Sockdolager Seat bag in boat
Sockdolager Seat bag as seat post bag 1 copy

Let’s say you are on the Sockdolager website looking to buy a bag for your packraft. You have two options for the same price: the 15-liter bow bag, or the 6-liter seat bag. I use both, and both make for great add ons to your boat. But if you are only going to order one (and your boat has an adjustable back band) get the seat bag first. The seat bag will be a bigger improvement on your paddling set up. 

The Nitty-Gritty

The side buckles and d-ring make it easy to put attach the bag securely to the boat, and they’re tucked out of the way so don’t interfere with back band adusting. Furthermore, with the bag attached to the back band, I find it easier to get into the boat. The bag holds the back band up slightly, so it sits a bit higher. This puts it in the right place when you get into the boat. So I spent less time adjusting the placement of the back band.

The bag also gives me easy access to key gear easily. And surprisingly, I can fit a lot of it in the bag. I often carry some combination of throw bag, dry pants, dry top, socks, pin kit, Pack A Pump, repair kit, snacks water bottle and snacks.

On-Bike Uses

I haven’t used the bag as a hip pack or sling, so can’t speak to those uses (Editor’s Note: it is not much different than using an extra large-sized hip pack). However, I do tuck it into other packs and have stored within it my pin kit, straps and other bits and bobs I want to organize in my pack while backpacking or biking. 

On a recent bikerafting day trip, I experimented with using the Sockdolager bags on my bike as well as in the boat. The bow bag, easily strapped over the raft on my handlebars gave me space for snacks, clothes, bike tools and throw bag. And I easily strapped my seat bag, loaded with my drysuit and extra socks, onto my seat like aa seat post bag. I doubt this was an intended part of Dan’s design, but it is a sign at how adaptable his bags are. 

We’ll be reviewing Dan’s bow bag next week. Stay tuned!