Styling-wise, they’re definitely on the contemporary end of the scale, with Keen’s trademark big rubber toe rand, and that chunky sole with red flash down the side. The uppers are fairly complex affairs with a lot of stitching that may put some people off. I have to say that I’ve never had a pair of Keen shoes where the stitching has started to rot or break though, and I’ve worn them in a pretty unforgiving manner over the years.Read more
I think that one of our Judges summed up the Axion almost perfectly when he said “It’s just a nice place to be”. It is. It envelopes you in comfortable warmth, and you feel protected and almost invincible against the elements. It’s a ‘bring it on’ jacket.Read more
Like a moggy drooling over catnip, there are four smells that I just can’t get enough of: freshly-struck matches, petrol (not at the same time, m’lud), new cars and brand new trainers. Knowing this already, it still came as something of a surprise when Mrs Muz came home from work one day to find me with my overly-generous nose firmly embedded inside one of these Merrells. I was also wearing one of her flowery bras and wellies, but that was easily explained away. I think.Read more
The trousers are nicely put together with well thought out design touches such as 3 zipped pockets – although I could probably live without the one on the butt. The hems have been finished with heel tape meaning they won’t get rubbed and tatty quite so quickly. They wash and dry really rather quickly and still look smart after several outings in the mud and showers.Read more
Sometimes a piece of gear boasts a claim that is so definitive, that the only way to test it is to call them out on that claim. So we stuck some batteries – an honourable mention must go to Varta’s High Energy Alkaline AAs – in UST’s 10-day lantern and turned it on.
24 days later, it finally went out.
The device itself converts little cartridges of Hydrogen in to electricity, which in turn powers your USB-compatible device. There are no batteries. No wall chargers. No solar panels and no winding anything up. It’s really bloody clever stuff.Read more
There’s a hood (as the name probably gives away), but it converts from completely folded away, leaving you with a round-neck, to neck gaiter, to full balaclava when the weather is absolutely bracing.Read more
I let him have a splash in some puddles, then he decided a sit on the path to contemplate some stones was in order – all the better to see if any water would seep through. On getting back indoors, the only water seepage was wet socks and this was through the suit being a little too big and him not yet able to wear wellies, so a big thumbs up there.Read more
So as I mentioned the Questa 27 is a female specific commuter pack, what does that mean though? Well the first and most visible feature is that the shoulder straps are close together, which for me made a huge difference – especially on the days I really loaded the pack.Read more
The Annex-es are pretty solid with good support, the ‘Remember Me’ foam footbed started out with some short term amnesia, but they are settling in, the nylon arch shank certainly makes it’s presence felt, which I got used to, and the Vibram sole is hefty and solid enough to provide a good walking platform and also are fine for drivingRead more
Haglofs was started in a little cottage in Torsang, Sweden by Wiktor Haglof, who stitched up a load of backpacks,Read more
A recent survey of 2,831 campers by Go Outdoors found that 38% had been camping in the last month, butRead more
According to Outdoor i magazine, Patagonia is to open a new Central London showroom this month. The move is partRead more
What struck me the most when I put the shoe on was the stiffness of the sole as I am used to a more flexible walking shoe. The ‘Gripex Iron Grip’ concept is designed for the via ferrata (iron road in Italian) style of hiking that involves trails that have steel cables and iron stemples (rungs) fitted. A hard and firm sole is an advantage as it provides support and protects the foot from sharp rocks with its ‘stone shield’ whilst having a good adhesion to prevent you slipping off those metal rungs. Flexibility is limited but the bottom of the shoe is contoured so that you can rock and pivot on the ball of your foot and use the (again helpfully labelled) climbing zone at the toe if the going gets steep.Read more
Not only does the Happy Going glow in your general direction while you meditate, if you press the power button again the lights… well, obviously, they flash. They even flash at two different rates of urgency. Perfect for those speed poo scenarios when you just want to launch and go. Get these babies strobing in a dank, dark, spider-infested cubicle in the wee small hours and you’ll want to get the whole ungodly experience over with as quickly as humanly possible before your epilepsy kicks in.Read more