CS300 Polar Heart Rate Monitor

, July 5, 2011

Convinced by Polar’s reputation as a leading manufacturer of sports instruments, I invested in a CS300 during the 2006 season to track my cycling training. Five years later, I now swear by the product, taking it out on rides on the mountain and on the road. It took three years and hundreds of hours of usage before my CS300 battery ran out, and Polar just three days to find and mail fresh replacement. As a example of how simple tech can enhance and simplify the training process, my experiences with the CS300 are almost entirely positive.

Old Favourite: Helly Hansen Lifa Stripe Crew

, July 3, 2011

I’m moving towards the core with this review, away from the shell garments discussed in the earlier ‘old favourites’ blogs. The Helly Hansen Lifa Stripe Crew is my favourite baselayer and in twenty years of running, mountaineering, climbing and cycling I’ve tried many alternatives, but none do everything a baselayer needs to do as well as the humble Lifa.

Soreen Malt Loaf

, June 28, 2011

Despite its wide availability in supermarkets across the country Soreen malt loaf benefits for sportsmen and women shouldn’t be overlooked. Each loaf is packed with carbohdyrate goodness and, with the newly released banana flavour, now offers something new for active lifestyles and performance athletes.

SealLine Urban Bag

, June 16, 2011

Cascade Designs rose to prominence with the now ubiquitous Therm-a-Rest in 1971.  Their initial success with Therm-a-Rest prompted the development of further brands including MSR, Platypus and SealLine – a growth … Read more

Old Favourite: Montane Slipstream GL Jacket

, May 25, 2011

The Montane Slipstream GL Jacket shares a common thread with the first ‘old favourite’ review in that this too is a pertex garment. As you may have gathered in the previous blog I’m quite a fan of this brilliant windproof material. Essentially the Slipstream jacket is an ultra-light, single-layer windshirt made with the very lightest pertex available: Pertex Quantum Gossamer-Light. Montane, like Rab, are a British company which designs in the UK but manufacturers abroad. They have an established reputation with outdoor professionals and their products are deservingly popular with mountain rescue teams, the emergency services and the military. Montane specialises in windshells, softshells, hard-shells and pertex and pile garments.

Endura Luminite Overshoes

, May 17, 2011

Having witnessed the painful thawing-out process first hand, my flatmate gave me some new overshoes for my Christmas. He chose Endura’s Luminite, made of a stretched waterproof fabric with taped seams. The design is simple and the shoes are attached by velcro fastenings behind the cleat, at the heel and up the back. The overshoe can be opened up fully, allowing an adjustable fit and ensuring that putting them on is hassle free, even when wearing gloves. However, the real beauty of the design lies in the fact that, although adjustable, the end result is still a tight (and aerodynamic) fit. The Luminite is compatible with almost all kinds shoe and cleats.

Endura Road Overshoe

, February 20, 2011

I have tried a few different pairs of overshoes but since getting my first pair of Endura Road Overshoes, I wouldn’t hesitate replacing them with a new pair when they are worn out. Now on my third pair of Endura Road Overshoes, I swear by them as one of my most trustworthy pieces of gear.

Columbia Mobex Backpack

, February 14, 2011

In 2010, Columbia released their first trail running line that included the Ravenous trail shoe, a range of technical apparel and the robust Mobex back. The Mobex soon won acclaim … Read more

Nikon D5000

, February 12, 2011

For those wanting to upgrade an ageing D-SLR, or even make the jump from a compact digital, the Nikon D5000 is an ideal choice for the aspiring amateur photographer. With … Read more

Terra Nova Duolite Tourer

, February 9, 2011

Aware of the amount of cyclo-tourists taking to the roads,Wild Country developed the Duolite Tourer specifically designed to match the demands of this pursuit. Even with a large porch space and roomy interior, the tent collapses into a bundle that can be fitted inside a pannier-sized package weighing 2.95kg. Although other bicycle touring tents are lighter and bigger, few come at the amazingly cheap price of £175.

Suunto Vector HR

, February 8, 2011

Now incredibly technical and developed, it’s hard to imagine Suunto products in 1936 when Tuomas Vohlonen began to engineer more accurate methods of constructing compass needles. 75 years later, Suunto have moulded a brand committed to the design and manufacture of leading precision instruments for sports, incorporating new technologies that are now standard features in the industry.

GoPro HD Hero

, February 2, 2011

GoPro are a San Diego based company whose big break came with the GoPro HD Hero in late 2009. It revolutionised the way people record their sporting endeavours and for many, the GoPro HD Hero is the default choice.

Garmin Edge 500 GPS

, December 29, 2010

First of all, the basics: the Edge 500 is the successor to the Edge 305, though could perhaps be best seen as a stripped-down, smaller, lighter version of the 705. It really is a remarkable package: light and compact, yet offering 41 options to choose from displayed on up to eight customisable fields per ‘page’, of which there are three available for full customisation.The main point of departure is the lack of GPS mapping; though for me this was of little importance and if this is something you consider essential then you are well-catered for by the new, touch-screen successor to the 705, the Edge 800.