Pros: high quality materials, good internal space
Cons: useless lock cable, no shoulder carry strap
A few week ago I bought the Hot Gear Ajax Bag on Sierra Trading Post for about $75 shipped, including tax. They keeping offering 30/35% coupons at this time and this make a great deal, I was refusing to pay $200 for a boot bag, but for the price you can get at Sierra, this is a hard to pass deal.
I had a chance to use the bag twice and this is something I will never give up from now on. The comfort of having your boots warm at the lodge before jumping into the lifts is priceless.
If you are going to ski in the morning you have to leave the bag heating overnight, I left mine on the DRY position, then use the 12V car plug on my way to the ski area. The first time I used it, I went on a day trip and it took me 3hrs to be trying on my boots. The 12V car plug works pretty good and will keep your boots warm, you get home leave it again on the DRY position for a few hours and your boots are dry, but don`t forget to clean them up before.
It is not a fast heating boot bag, it will take a few hours, at least 3-4 hours to heat your boots and make it like running shoes to put your feet on.
The bag seems to be very well built, using high quality material. The only thing that seems a little cheap are the backpack straps and the lock cable, not sure how long those will last. Before using the lock cable I would get a new padlock for sure. Also I would like it to have a shoulder strap, but it doesn't have on the Ajax version.
The Hot Gear Ajax bag is the medium size of the single bags, the classic is the biggest one and the single model is the smallest. I believe it has enough room and also a good size for carry on if you happen to fly to a ski vacation
So it's not a huge bag, and you won't be doing things like "oh, I'm putting this thing in here, and also this other thing, and why not this one here" but it has enough space for boots, base layer (although no special pocket, but you can leave it inside the boot compartment), 2 pair of gloves, 2 pair of socks (again inside boot compartment seems to be the best place), 2 goggles, hat, car keys, wallet, some snack, glove liners and helmet. If you like to leave your car in normal clothes, you will have to find a way to carry your shell and ski pants, since they won't fit inside the bag, other than that you can carry everything else you might need on the slopes.
As you can see in the pictures the cables are long enough to put your bag behind your car seat and use the 12V plug in the console, my car has on in the trunk, but since my wife goes with me we have to use the console 12V plug and this is not an issue.
Once you are skiing there is enough room for winter boots, jacket, sweatpants and a bunch of other stuff to leave inside the bag in the lodge, also the bag is small enough to fit inside the locker if you wanna use one.
The heating system is unique to all bags except for the double bag, so it's a little too big for the Ajax, but I was able to fold the extra and it's not a big deal
1 - here is the bag fully packed
2 - side view, can see where the shoulder straps/lock cable are hidden when not in use
3 - shoulder straps, the lock cable is attached to one the the straps
4 - looks cheap, not sure how long it will last, I hope I`m wrong
5 - crappy lock cable and padlock
6 - car 12V cable is about 8' long
7 - 110V cable is half the size, around 4'
8 - 3 temperatures, warm, dry and hot. I didn`t use the hot, I think the DRY position overnight plus warm in the car is good. the car cable will work at warm position only, there is no way to set the temperature
9 - goggle pocket, fleece-lined can store 2 goggles as you can see
10 - this is an extra pocket, I use for hat, neck gaiter, wallet, or other things like that
11 - glove compartment is bellow the helmet, can be accessed from the outside
12 - pretty tight though
13 - boot compartment, I put base layer and socks in here as well
14 - boot compartment, you can see the meshed net that holds the gloves, you can actually access the gloves from the boot compartment and the boot compartment from the gloves top zipper
15 - Everything I had inside the bag
16 - you can kinda fold down the helmet compartment if not using to carry a helmet or even use it for shell, pants if you don`t use a helmet