Jottnar – Alfar Mid Layer

jottnar alfar

I simply love it. It’s warm, waterproof, shower-resistant and is super lightweight and not once has it let me down, and you know what that tagline it’s not just spurious marketing shizzniz, you really do feel like you can tackle a bigger challenge when wearing the right kit, I even found myself planning a Scottish hill walking trip with this on my back! Read more…



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Mindshift Gear – r180 Trail Backpack

The design has been influenced by people who like to take their photography outside. I know that I have missed images because I have needed to take off my pack and get something out. This bag won’t help me take better photographs, but it will certainly help me make the most of opportunities. Read more…

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Ohyo – 1000 Collapsible Drinking Bottle

The main benefit, though, and the reason for the inclusion in my ZASP is the tiny size that the bottles will pack down to. The 500ml collapses down to the size of a badly crushed drinks can, and the new 1000ml Sport version is not much larger. Read more…

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Christmas Gift Guide

Gifts for under £20, which is 4 pints of lager at one of those Gastropub places. Make someone’s Christmas with a funny shaped bulge in their stocking this year. Read more…

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Sigg – Outdoor Cutlery

The SIGGs fold down into a fairly compact size, similar to a Swiss Army Knife, and come with a neat nylon carrying pouch. They look pleasingly well engineered, and the three parts – knife, fork and spoon – fold out and then pull apart for use, and slot together solidly to stow away. At 195g they aren’t lightweight -they’re made from chunky stainless steel, so they feel reassuringly strong when in use. Read more…

Spotty Otter - splashing in puddles

Spotty Otter – Breeze Suit

While walking we noticed the cagoule and trousers made quite a loud rustling sound but that wouldn’t deter us from recommending these garments. After all, the giggling we did while splashing in the puddles drowned out any other noise. Read more…

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Varta – Indestructible Torch

This is a simple torch and unashamedly uncomplicated. It’s a manly man’s torch. It should sport a neckbeard and smell of old beer. At 25cm it’s a mid-range unit in terms of length but it weighs almost as much as SausageTheCat. He’s our cat. If he was also constructed out of hardened aircraft-grade aluminium this would be understandable, but no, he’s a proper fatty. Read more…

Nite Ize shoelit

Nite Ize – ShoeLit

Initially I was sceptical that lights on shoes would catch anyone’s attention when running. However, on the first trip out with them I was stopped three times by people either quizzing me on the lights or moving into my path to stare at them goggle-eyed. I even earned the ire of one youngster who told her mum in my earshot that my lights beat the ones on her shoes.
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LifeEdge – Waterproof case for iPhone 5/5s

…After this I did what any man would do and jump to the next logical test. Strapping it to the winch of a Landrover Defender and going off roading in deep muddy puddles! At this point I wimped out a little and decided to keep the phone with me in the cabin, thinking that I’d find out if it worked afterwards by seeing if any moisture had got inside. Read more…

treo chair

Therm-A-Rest – Treo Chair

If my experience on this test is anything to go by, once you’ve pulled the chair fabric over the frame and secured it using the tough corner pockets you’ll instantly find it occupied by someone who is not you, telling you what they think of it. This is inconvenient.
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leatherman micra

Leatherman – Micra

It’s a neat set, designed to attach to a keyring. These aren’t the tools you’d want to grab if you needed to fix something technical, but they are the kind of tools you might use on a daily basis, making this a neat and practical additional to any pocket. I’ve actually surprised myself by using this more often than my more ‘tool-heavy’ multi-tool, as these are things you tend to want to have to hand.
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Elliot Brown – Canford Impact Resistant Watch

These watches; they look smart enough to go with a Saville Row suit, but they’re built tough enough to go with a suit of armour. They’re rugged action timepieces for the kind of person who doesn’t want to be wear a plastic sports watch. Read more…

sub zero

Sub Zero – Womens Factor+1 Base Layers

Having wriggled into the top and bottoms, I was particularly impressed at the leg length – these are not going to give you that horrible chilly strip around the top of your ankles, there’s plenty of material to keep you snug.
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Berghaus – Rannoch Insulated Hydroloft Jacket

What I’d use the Rannoch for is as a ready-packed warm layer in my bag. Something that doesn’t suffer from being crushed in to a compression sack, and which will be ready when you get to the summit and sit down for a sarnie, or if the sun dips behind one too many clouds. And for that, it’s a really neat, simple solution. Read more…

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Ecco – Ladies Biom Terrain

I popped them on my feet and I’m pretty sure that my feet breathed an audible sigh of relief. After a summer of knocking about in flip flops and Converse, my feet actually ached -in a good, ‘oh lordy I’m super supported, this is amazing’ small way when I first popped these boots on. It was a bit weird, but a lovely weird. Read more…

Craghopper jacket review.

Craghoppers – Madigan Long Jacket

A fully waterproof coat for dog-walkers, about-towners and school-runs… Something to batten down those hatches for the less technically inclined amongst us. Read more…

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Sherpa – Nangpala Down Jacket

Today’s gales were also no match for the Nangpala, which proved to be windproof even in gusts strong enough to hold me up as I leant in to them. I was impressed by that because it’s also not sold as a “Windproof”. In fact, the outer fabric is much tougher than it looks, having resisted me getting stuck in a thorny hedge very well. It does release the odd feather from where it’s been sewn in to baffles, but nothing too serious. Read more…

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