Haglöfs Travel Pouch

, September 24, 2014

What distinguishes the Haglöfs design of such a travel bag from its competitors, is that despite its simplicity, it packs an almost limitless variety of possible uses. This means that as your required demands of a primary storage gear change with the time of day, the environment or climate, or even just your location, you will always be able to rely on the adaptable Travel Pouch for safe preservation of your most valuable possessions and documents.

Patagonia Nano Puff Vest

, September 22, 2014

Patagonia’s Nano Puff Vest is striking. Indeed, as I was somewhat taken aback about just how brilliant the blue was on this range, selecting it ahead of the only marginally sombre alternative colours, jet-black and mango.

Haglöfs Roc Hard 30L

, September 12, 2014

Haglöfs started in a shed in Torsång, Sweden in the spring of 1914. The very first product Victor Haglöf made was a backpack which sold for a mere SEK 0.9 … Read more

Rab Neutrino SL

, November 5, 2012

Rab actually make two topbags, the first is called the Module and does without the hood. The second is the Neutrino SL, made slightly warmer by extra filling and a trapezoidal construction

Parc Natural dels Ports

, April 16, 2012

Adventurers in western France and northern Spain naturally look to the Pyrenees for a multitude of summer and winter explorations. Given that I would be in north-eastern Spain in mid-March, and hankering after a bit of sun, I decided to venture south to the lesser known Parc Natural dels Ports. A former hunting reserve, the region became a protected national park in 2001, marking this dramatically mountainous coastal region of Southern Catalonia on my adventure map. Ten years later, Parc Natural dels Ports remains little known outside Spain, offering me a visitor-free three days to kick-start my summer hiking season.

Old Favourite & Vintage Classic: Lowe Alpine Powerstretch Balaclava

, December 2, 2011

The Lowe Alpine Powerstretch Balaclava is a garment that, like the baselayer I reviewed in the last blog, is a humble but mighty tool. Now that Lowe Alpine have discontinued their line of accessories to focus on backpacks, this little number could be a lasting relic from the brand’s tactical armoury. I however am unconcerned by how it looks as I’m a fully signed up member of the balaclava fan club. In my opinion balaclavas are one the most under-rated and overlooked pieces of outdoor equipment that everyone should own.

TORQ Gels

, November 29, 2011

TORQ are a UK-based fitness consultancy that specialise in training and nutrition. Owing to the success of their performance coaching which started in 1999, TORQ moved into performance products to complement their existing services.

Petzl MYO RXP Headlamp

, November 24, 2011

Most of us do our sports during the day, spending evenings to resting or relaxing with friends – usually anything other than getting our heart rates up with some exercise. Word is out that there are countless new nightclubs that few are aware of. It might not be the typical dance scene that you expect it to be. Ladies, gentlemen, and especially those adrenaline-seeking freaks, I bring you the Petzl Myo RXP; a headlamp that will bring light to your darkness, show these new “nightclubs” and unlock these long-hidden nocturnal instincts inside of us all.

Marmot Hyper Jacket

, October 22, 2011

A quick word one of Marmot’s patented technologies here, the MemBrain Strata. This is Marmot’s very own waterproof material, similar to Mountain Hardwear’s Conduit DT (dry touch) comparison. Marmot’s fabric has come up with some impressive figures: at 20,000mm in waterproof performance and 20,000 gr it is comparable to the more widely known Gore-Tex fabrics. Another note-worthy feature of MemBrain Strata is the fabric has “micro inorganic particles” impregnated on the inside of the laminate. Putting
technical jargon to one side this basically means the inside of the jacket has a dry feeling when wet on the outside, so avoiding that clammy feeling of waterproofs of old. This allows for greater comfort when wearing just a T-shirt or less under the jacket.

Ortik Jetstream

, October 20, 2011

Svalbard is an archipelago in the Arctic, located in between northern Norway and the North Pole at 90 degrees north. The island plays host to a wealth of breeding sea birds, marine mammals and of course the infamous polar bear. Spending time in the area is inherently dangerous, but as mere visitors to the area we have to take every precaution against the native dangers.

Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket

, September 5, 2011

The Arc’teryx Pro Shell range includes some of the best waterproof tops on the market including the Alpha SV which received the Backpacker Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. The main distinctiveness of the Canada made jackets is their well thought out, simple and brilliantly effective designs. The question is: does the newly redesigned Beta AR offer anything special to this range?

Haglöfs P2 Velum Jacket

, August 28, 2011

Now an established household name in outdoor equipment, Haglöfs is characterised by high usability, advanced construction and functional design. The P2 Velum Jacket certainly lives up to these lofty standards when providing me with an essential part of my pack on a trip through Central Asia and to the 4000m Molda-Too Range in Kyrgyzstan.

Introducing Movescount: Training Software from Suunto

, August 26, 2011

As technology takes a greater hold on the way we run our lives, it’s no surprise that adventure brands are jumping on the digital band wagon to enhance user experience. To bring their adventure software in line with established platforms from other watch manufacturers, Suunto released Movescount, their version of performance tracking. As well as updating training data features, Suunto introduced a neat social networking element to enhance the Movescount product. Here I’ll outline some of the key features, and guide you through the process of setting up an account.

Arc’teryx R320a Harness

, July 21, 2011

Renowned for its high performance outdoor collections, Arc’teryx provides a good place to start the search for climbing equipment and apparel. Arc’teryx brought out their first collection of ‘warp strength’ harnesses in 2008 and have been working on improving these already lightweight harnesses for the past three years. The results are impressive to say the least at compare with the degree of specificity usually offered by climbing specific brands.

Beet It

, July 7, 2011

Following research into the therapeutic benefits of beetroot juice in reducing high blood pressure, scientists then looked at the advantages of nitrates as a sports supplement. The William Harvey Institute has conducted research in the area to find out the effects of vascular contraction and dilation, while Exeter University Sports Science have been testing athletes changes to their their oxygen efficiency and stamina levels when taking the shot itself. Find out more about this research on the Beet It Research Page.

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.