Osprey – Aura AG65 Backpack

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The wide waist-belt/load lifter bar sits very comfortably and something magical happens with the weight distribution. The ‘anti-gravity’ technology does indeed work. Initially, I struggled with hoisting on and off but once I’d nailed my technique, had no difficulty. The harness is super comfy and adjusts quickly and easily. And the mesh also does its job – no sweaty back for me. Thankfully I didn’t need the rain-cover, neatly stowed in the top or an ice-pick (loops on side) during this trip.
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Regatta – 3-in-1 Carrington Jacket

When I was on my way back, it really started throwing it down and the wind picked up even further – and I stayed toasty warm and dry. It really is totally waterproof. If I’d worn waterproof trousers, or at least not jeans, I’d have been fully toasty. I was really impressed. Read more…


Zootility – Pocket Monkey

I liked the idea of the Pocket Monkey, having all these tools and functions on something thin, lightweight and credit card sized sounds ideal, but unfortunately there are as many pros as there are cons with this gadget. Read more…


Dickies – Abbot 3-in-1 Jacket

he hood-hiding collar alone is a sight to behold when the jacket is open. It stretches out like the wings of an albatross and gives your silhouette a vampiric look as you yomp around the great outdoors. When zipped and buttoned-up it offers a toasty face-hugging love cuddle that’s the best feature of this jacket. Read more…

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Smartwool – Women’s PhD Run Ultra Light Low Cut Sock

They were very comfortable the other day when I went for a run on a lovely warm spring evening, too. My feet didn’t overheat and they didn’t get unpleasantly sweaty. In fact, they were less sweaty than when I wear my other running socks.
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Wild Stripes Thermal T-shirt 

I spent a whole day standing around in 3 degrees in just the t-shirt and a jacket, and I stayed warm. I then went to the pub, and the top transitioned neatly into a random striped t-shirt that I didn’t feel out of place wearing, and the short sleeves meant that I didn’t overheat. Win. Read more…


Fjallraven – Ovik Trousers

They’re made from Fjallraven’s G1000 fabric which is a very dense weave of polyester with 35% cotton thrown in. The result is a textile which feels lighter than a denim but which is windproof, UV-resistant and very abrasion resistant. In fact, the weave is so dense that they’re actually drizzle-proof. You’ll get damp eventually, but the low cotton content means that they’ll dry much, much quicker than jeans or other work trousers.
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Boom – Swimmer Bluetooth Speaker

Heh, I see what they did there with the name for this cool little wireless speaker. Swimmer; I suppose it could be a play on the fact that it’s totally waterproof, but come on… Read more…

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Kozi Kidz – Stockholm Jacket

To sum up, I think this jacket is exceptionally good value for money. It’s really well made too, which is refreshing when it comes to kids’ stuff. Too many manufacturers think that they don’t need to put much effort into children’s clothing because they will grow out of it at about the same time it falls apart.
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DexShell – Peaked Beanie

So onto the ‘magic’ of the waterproofness! Like all good magic tricks, the execution is pretty simple – the construction consists of that aforementioned water repellent acrylic outer, the soft and snuggly fleece inner and sandwiched between the two is the magic – a Porelle membrane which has, in the 4 months or so I’ve had it on test, protected me from rain, hail and snow and done so admirably. Read more…

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Osprey Kids Koby 20 Daypack

There are lots of useful pockets, some with zips, some with elastic and all of them in just right place and the right dimensions for the size of the bag. Jasmine certainly manages to pack plenty into it and it’s all accessible. As I said, she uses it for school every day but it’s also ideal for weekends away, having enough space to fit a couple of changes of clothes, the usual bits and pieces that 9 year old girls take with them, and of course her teddy!
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ComplEAT – Foodskin

The concept behind this lunchbox is that once you’ve eaten your sandwiches, it goes flat and then doesn’t take up lots of space in your bag. And it does that – it does go flat. You are also okay to put the Foodskin in the dishwasher and microwave if you so desire. The coloured textile cover on the front comes off for when you do want to wash it or want to change the colour to better co-ordinate with your food perhaps? Read more…

Darn Tough micro crew

Darn Tough – Micro Crew Cushioned Sock

Well the outcome of that judging was that these colourful offerings from Darn Tough were given a GWA award. The reason being that alongside being a rather good looking foot recepticle, turn them inside out and you get a glimpse of the neatest-made sock we here at GWA HQ have seen in quite a while. No loose threads, no straggly bits and no lumps.
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Keela – Cumulus Pro Jacket

Features-wise, Keela have gone heavy on the pockets, which is a godsend for people like me who like things to be in the correct place. My favourite is the pocket on the left forearm, where I keep vinyl gloves, a CPR shield and other 1st aid stuff. It never gets in the way and is easy to pop out in an emergency.
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Aldi – Technical Softshell Jacket

The finish. Well, it’s not bad actually! At under £20 you might expect to see some wiggly stitching and sharp bits of zip, but none are evident. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that it’s a very well made garment, and if it had a North Face badge on it, you’d not complain. Read more…


NiteIze – Inova STS Headlamp

At it’s brightest the torch is 142 lumens, which according to Google is a bit dimmer than a 25 watt incandescent light bulb. It has a distance of about 84 meters, but I’ve not found an easy way of verifying that so we’ll just have to take Nite Ize’s word for it. It runs off 3 AAA batteries, which are really easy to replace and will last for about 4 hours 40 minutes on the brightest setting.
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Regatta – Ultra Max-Mid X LT Walking Boot

I can also verify that they’re waterproof, thanks to the Isotex internals, because I did a little puddle sploshing. In fact I enjoyed puddle sploshing so much that Mrs Muz ran out of excuses to tell wary passers-by and ended up just walking off. She’s no fun, that woman.
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