Gear Reviews

Rab Cirrus Flex Hoody Review: Lightweight, Synthetically-insulated Jacket

The last few times I’ve bought insulated jackets I’ve tended to go for real down. It’s warm, compressible, and it just felt like the ‘superior’ option versus artificial insulation. Fleeces aside, my only synthetically insulated jacket prior to buying the Rab Cirrus Flex was the very lightweight Arc’teryx Atom LT. However, on a trip to the Cairngorms a couple of …

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Garmin Fenix 6 Review

Introduction The Garmin Fenix 6 is, essentially, Garmin’s top-of-the-range activity watch (with the debatable exception of the almost-identical Garmin Tactix Delta). It has ended up at the top of the food chain in almost every category: not only is it their most fully-featured hiking and navigation wearable but also one of their only watches with true multisport functionality for triathletes, …

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PreTents Ridgeline Review: a serious 2-person expedition tent

Introduction PreTents is a new arrival on the tent scene, but with some serious pedigree behind it. Though information is currently fairly sparse online, the brand is a new venture between Hong Kong-based cottage outdoor gear designed Tara Poky and well-established Chinese tent manufacturer The Free Spirits. In the UK, PreTents can be purchased from Valley and Peak, who kindly …

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Garmin InReach Explorer+ Review: A Deep Dive

garmin inreach explorer+ review

I’ve already carried out some side by side comparisons of satellite communicators and navigator devices, but finally decided to get a Garmin InReach Explorer+ review out there for our readers. Jake, the co-author of TrekSumo, and I have a huge amount of experience using GPS and navigation devices. I’m ex-military, with 10 years service in the British Army, and Jake …

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Osprey Atmos 65 Review

Introducing the Osprey Atmos 65 My Atmos 65 was both a very last-minute and, as it turned out, a very fortunate purchase.  Back in 2018 when I went to Seattle to spend a few days hiking Section J of the Pacific Crest Trail, the rucksack I had taken with me was a Vango Contour 60+10; a decent but by no …

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Garmin Instinct Review: The Ultimate GPS Watch?

Introduction: A Huge Garmin Instinct Review I’ve now had the Garmin Instinct for over six months, so I finally feel in a position to write a reasonably thorough review of it. I’m going to start off with quickly explaining why I bought it, on the basis that since almost all Garmin products are essentially pretty good, the question here isn’t …

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Hiking Boots vs Trail Runners: Which are Best for You?

Your plans are set, gear packed and all that’s left is to choose the right footwear for you hike. The age old battle of hiking boots vs trail runners keeps on coming round. What I’d like to do today is make a few suggestions for you to consider. First though, trail runners have come a long way since I first …

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Garmin Vivosmart HR+ Review: An 8/10 Hiking Watch

General: a small, but very capable sports watch. Rugged and reliable, the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is a great option for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a relatively low cost GPS-enabled fitness tracker that’s ideal for more than just hiking or running. The Vivosmart HR+: General Information One of a long line of capable devices, the Vivosmart HR+ has been around for …

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Garmin Vivoactive 3 Review: Initial Thoughts

Although I’ve had it a while, I’ve finally decided to write this Garmin Vivoactive 3 review. Okay, let’s see how this sports and fitness watch stacks up. Before we move on, take a look at what we think are the best hiking watches of 2020. I realised (after buying the Vivoactive…) that it’s only been two years since I last …

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History of Down Jackets: From Innuit to Catwalk

The Innuit beat Berghaus to the punch by about 1,000 years Continuing our ‘what is a down jacket‘ series, it’s time to explore the history of down clothing. The 1922 summit of Mount Everest by an Australian team is the first acknowledged use of a down jacket. But the evolution of down jackets, and their predecessors, is rooted deep in …

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