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Banish those wet boots
It’s been a pretty wet winter over much of the country - and nothing reinforces that impression more than wet boots. Getting up the day after a big walk and having to put on wet boots is a discomfort I have endured a few too many times and the older I get the more I like being comfortable; modern accessories like boot dryers can make short work of wet boots and while they do need electricity to work, when this is available it’s a great option when the goal is dry boots for tomorrow’s hunt.
Rod&Rifle were supplied two MaxxDry boot dryers from NZ Agents Footwear & Apparel in Upper Hutt. The first dryer is the MaxxDry XL. This unit has four drying posts and uses an electric motor to blow warm air (40.5⁰C) through a set of tubes over which you place your wet boots, although the heat can also be switched off for an ambient-temperature-only dry if desired. The XL is able to dry your boots in two hours thanks to the fan assistance, and the heat is kept moderate so that it won’t overheat the leather; a timer makes doubly sure of this.
The MaxxDry SSD is a more conventional thermal convection unit that still uses heat to dry your boots; but as it doesn’t have a blower it cannot dry them as quickly as can the XL unit. The SSD is also able to dry only two boots at a time, while the XL can do four. Drying time for the SSD is 6 hours, and the unit has a nice drip tray to catch any water dripping off during this longer drying period.
To test the units I took my Gri Sport Aoraki SPX boots and filled them up with the hose to simulate a stream crossing. The boots were thoroughly soaked; even the dog decided to get in on the act when he lifted his leg on them just to make sure! Setup of both units was simple and in 5 minutes I was ready to go. On the XL, I set the timer for the suggested 2 hours and slipped a boot over the unit. I did the same for the SSD and made a mental note to come back in 6 hours. I removed both insoles so that the insides could dry completely.
I noticed that the fan on the XL was quiet and the volume of air through the tubes gentle at best. MaxxDry are true to their word though, and while I’d been sceptical of the claims made about the XL unit because of its gentle airflow, my boots were indeed dry; although if I were critical I would say that 2.5 hours would be a more realistic time as at 2 hours they still had a cool - though not damp - feeling.
The SSD performed like its big brother and the boots were dry as a bone after 6 hours. As a bonus the boot dryers help eliminate odours - and even after the dogs’ sterling contribution to the test, I have to say I couldn’t smell a thing.
In conclusion, I never really considered boot dryers before but now that I have used them I think I will have to get a set. While the XL costs a bit more I like its ability to dry a second pair of boots or gloves and would probably choose that model over the slower but equally effective SSD.
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