Gear Reviews

Six reasons I’m not convinced by the Apricoat

Some of you may, like me, have been identified on Facebook as the kind of adventurous go-getter who would be in the target market to see a million adverts for the Apricoat, a kick-starter project to design a new coat. But obviously because it’s a kickstarter project it’s not just any coat, it’s the world’s most innovative coat designed by …

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SOFREP Crate Club – July Crate Review

Yesterday I received the July SOFREP Crate. Yesterday, just to be clear, was the 8th of August. So, yes, to get this out of the way – the crate was ridiculously late. More annoyingly, I received absolutely no communications from SOFREP about the fact that it was late, or why, or when I would get it, until after the following …

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Rab Sleeping Bags: The Ultimate Guide

I absolutely love Rab kit and I’ve owned a couple of Rab sleeping bags. The issue I have is that, like most outdoors companies, all their gear comes in multiple ranges, and then usually a few different weights within the ranges. While their online shop is reasonably good at explaining each item, and giving you a ‘heavier’ and a ‘lighter’ …

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UK Knife law – a guide for campers and hikers

One of the great things about having an interest in hiking and camping is the ability to share views, read information by, and learn from people all over the world. To a certain extent the outdoors adventures ‘blogosphere’ is dominated by North Americans which is perhaps not surprising; there are more of them and, let’s face it, they have a …

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What OutdoorGearLab Doesn’t Understand About the Arc’teryx Atom SuperLight Down Jacket (and Many Other Things)

A Disclaimer I love OutdoorGearLab. They provide an incredibly valuable service for free – in fact, they are one of only about ten sites which I whitelist from my adblocker… the ultimate internet compliment. Their reviews, when read from a perspective of intermediate understanding and surrounding context, are typically insightful and detailed in a way that few others are. However, …

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Enlightened Equipment Revelation Review

Why not a sleeping bag? Sleeping bags are perhaps the most iconic pieces of backpacking gear – as long as I can remember (honestly, not that long) they have been not just the go-to sleeping system, but have dominated the area completely. As with many dominant ideas, sometimes a concept is so embedded that it seems unthinkable to go a …

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Salomon X Ultra 2 GTX shoes review

I’ve tended to hike in the past in some kind of reasonably heavy boot. The Presidential Traverse I did in a pair of Haix goretex boots with 8 inch high ankles and a fairly rigid construction. They are pretty bombproof and give great ankle support (or at least the impression of it) which was comforting when hopping over rocks. However, …

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Review: Rab Xiom Jacket

The Rab Xiom Jacket is a couple of years old now and it’s no longer featured on the Rab UK site (though it is on the US one). It looks to me as if it has been replaced by the Firewall jacket which, like the Xiom is a fully-featured, breathable, 3-layer Pertex Shield® jacket with helmet-compatible hood, chest pocket and underarm vents …

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Review: Arc’Teryx Squamish 

There’s a moment in a lot of hikes and trail runs I’ve been on where you’re moving at a reasonable pace, generating a fair amount of body heat, and your layering system is more or less keeping up warm… except for the nagging icy wind that penetrates to your shoulders and arms especially, chilling you unpleasantly. Just adding a more …

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An introduction to layering

If you’ve read my various blog posts about hiking, and reviews of kit, you’ll no doubt have heard me talk a lot about layering systems and so on. Likewise, whenever you read any advice about staying warm and having outdoor-appropriate kit, people talk about ‘make sure to wear layers’. At it’s simplest, that makes sense; layers keep you warm by …

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