Scrubba Wash Bag

In practice, I was pleasantly surprised – after drying, my towel had lost its toothpaste stains, and no longer smelt like a recently deceased rodent. The water that rinsed away was suitably post-wash colour, as if to prove it had worked, and the bag itself didn’t leak. Portable washboard win! I started off thinking the Scrubba was a bit gimmicky, but I’m a convert – it’s now going into the permanent camping accoutrements collection.

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Osprey – Aura AG65 Backpack

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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Aquapac – TrailProof Duffel

At £45 for the duffel bag this presents great value for money, particularly when compared with some of the pricier similar bags available. And on reflection, as I write this, the lack of zip on the duffel means that there is less to go wrong with this bag and so I can imagine it lasting a long time. They do also come with a full 5 year warranty. Overall, we are very pleased with both of these bags and would recommend them – with a check on the capacity first.

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Nikwax – Polar Proof

What’s noticeable about running a garment treated with Polar Proof under a tap is the lack of small drops which grab on to the pile, and of course the way that the stream of water flows off like it is being repelled somehow. I compared this to an older fleece garment which I own and the main difference is those small dots of water which stay on the fabric and in some places cause a wetting-out (where they sink in)

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Peli – U100 Urban Elite Laptop Backpack

The potential problem with the Peli U100 Urban Elite – aside from the slightly strange name – is that it’s a bag which will appeal to a tiny number of people. It’s very heavy, so won’t be ideal for commuter cyclists, and it’s certainly no outdoor/backcountry product. The best niche we could come up with was for motorcyclists, where the weight matters less but the uncompromising waterproofing and crash protection would be a bonus.

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