Fjällräven’s Keb Jacket is something else altogether. It’s been my first choice as my woodland ranger jacket, partly because it kinda looks the part but also because it’s perfect for the task. But it’s a complex bit of kit and it’s given me dilemma’s when using it. I shall explain.
Looking at the basics the Keb jacket is cut from the same fabric as the Keb Trousers reviewed immediately below this post. The lighter coloured fabric is the G-1000 polycotton and the darker panels are the softshell.
The same attention to user detail and function apply here too along with a slightly fitted but not too neat cut with perfect articulation around the arms. Over a baselayer the size large (794G) is a joy to wear with a good length on the body and nicely long arms
The paneling of the fabrics is done the right way with the G-1000 where you need it’s wind resistance on the chest and it’s abrasion resistance on the shoulders, forearms and hem. The big softshell back section is positioned to keep you drier and a pack cuts out most of the wind so it works well in most situations.
There’s zipped side vents which can be zipped open from top or bottom and these are great hand warmer as well which is usefull as the chest pockets are napoleon style. These pockets are a big with stretchy softshell external bags sewn onto the G-1000 which mean you can stuff kit into them without any effect of the fit of the jacket. Both popckets have wee internal stretchy extra pockets for your phone or things of a similar size and shape to your phone, like someone else’s phone or two Nestle Animal bars perhaps.
There’s another small zipped pocket on the left upper arm and like at the zips it’s got a magic wee leather pull tag with an arctic fox on it. Love that wee touch.
The main zip is chunky and has stiff internal and external stormflaps with additional poppers top and bottom to seal you in. The lower hem is adjustable, a bungee cord with caoptured cordlocks and the cuffs have old-school self-fabric wide velcro tabs. The cuffs pull around half way up my forearm which has been fine, there’s enough venting here for me not to need them up to my elbow in the cool weather the Keb works best in.
Then there’s the hood. The hood is all G-1000 and based on a polar design which gives you a tunnel in front of your face for complete protection. The stiff peak can be folded back to give you better vision and even when folded down the hood protects with a high collar, I can get my nose in it when the jacket’s zipped right up.
There’s velcro tabbed volume adjustment and cordlocked bungees to draw it in around your head and face.
The hood is a work of art.
But, it doesn’t fit on the this jacket for me, it’s too heavy and bulky and offers more protection than the rest of the jacket, so you you’ll have to throw on another layer in bad weather and this hood will not layer under anything I have, even the biggest helmet compatible hood.
I’d keep the G-1000 up to collar height and then make a more basic hood from the softshell so it can be layered more easily. The fabrics used are very breathable and quick drying, they layer under Gore-Tex and eVent perfectly, but the hood thing had me keeping the Keb at home and taking out other kit although I knew that the rest of the jacket would work perfectly.
I love the Keb Jacket and I use it all the time around the Kilpatricks, but the hood limits it for me. It’s been incredibly frustrating as it’s a jacket that’s been built for the mountains.
I reviewed the Fjällräven Abisko Trousers last year and they’re now all-time favourites and still in regular use, in fact they got to go on some extra trips the past wee while because I forgot to repair a barbed wire induced tear on the Keb TrousersI’m reviewing here. However, the Keb’s were sewn up in time to go to the recent Mournes trip and after all their hard work through they year I think they deserve a few words.
Fjällräven make the Keb Trousers in five colours and nine sizes for the men and four colours and eight sizes for the girls. There’s some delightful wacky colours in there which were out of stock in my size when my samples were ordered up, but to be honest I think it worked out well as the green and grey combo is wearing well, looks fine when dirty and contrasts well with all the other bright stuff I wear. I’ve been quite happy.
Size wise I’m a 52 in the Keb’s and the Abisko’s which fits in fine with my regular large or 34/36 jeans waist size. The legs on the Keb’s are perfect on me as they’re around 33/34″, but aren’t adjustable as the hems have a few features and there’s no leg options to buy.
The Kebs are very well engineered and are very well featured. They’re cut from G-1000 polycotton which is a fantastic fabric, it keeps out the wind, dries quickly and wears well. It’s tough, I wasn’t upset that the arse tore on a fence, it was my fault. In normal use it takes the knocks and abrasion very well and polycotton feels better in warmer temperatures than synthetics I think. Plus, longjohns winterise it just fine giving you a do it all pant if that’s what you’re after. Application of Greenland Wax at home or at your local stockist who has a machine will waterproof your G-1000 and it’s something that will wash out too, so there’s no gamble in trying it out. Good for the lower legs if you don’t wear gaiters.
The grey sections are a stretchy softshell fabric which has a high nylon content to give it strength but the best thing it brings is total freedom of movement. It has a matching quick drying time and the stretch panels are well placed and shaped to make the Keb’s fit and forget.
The crotch is designed for leg lift rather than relying just on the stretch fabric and the knees are articulated and doubled layered which again adds to the movement and durability. The inside ankles are doubled up too.
Trekking trousers with mountaineering levels of design and detailing? Aye, exactly.
The waist has belt loops with a zip fly and a two-button closure. This spreads the load and makes a nice flat panel which is addressing the possibility of a pressure point, it’s little niggles like the this you notice when it’s fixed like it is here.
There’s two big hip pockets which would probably take a loaf of bread and below them on the front thighs are big cargo pockets. On the right leg the closure has two poppers and an internal stretch phone (etc..) pocket and on the left leg the double poppered flap hides an additional zipped closure. Both pockets have bellows to give them good storage capacity without distorting your trousers or making you walk funny
There’s long zipped vents on the thighs and the lower legs with smooth zipper faces and zipper garages at both ends of all the zips. The vents are great, I had them all open on the whole Slioch trip earlier in the year and they don’t interfere with the drape of the trouser when they’re open. The lower vents stop sensibly short of the ankle cuffs so you can cool down and still seal the crap out of your shoes.
The ankles are made tough and retain their shape which helps when you seal them onto your boots with the wee concealed hook. Adjustment is old school with big poppers and webbing inside the hem. It works fine even with the metal parts being well scuffed now.
You can see the repair below, it’s neater than it looks in the photie! The Keb Trousers have a lot of thought put into them, they’re complex in design and to produce which shows how seriously Fjällräven regard the humble trekker and backpacker like you and me. It means the Keb’s are a pair of pants you can pull on, set off and live in.
Wearing these I’ve got kit and niknaks to hand all the time even if my pack’s lacking in accessible pockets. I’m comfy, unrestricted, I can cool down if I need to and I can layer under and over if the weather wants to play dirty. The cut is sensible too, straight, neither neat nor baggy. Nice to see some trends being ignored.
Bottom line, the Fjällräven Keb’s are a fantastic pair of outdoor trousers.
I got a late call from Gus to go and see Airbourne at the ABC in Glasgow last night. The other option was to go and see the new 90 minute Disney toy advert with the girls, but Holly was happy going with mum and Granny, so it was Frozen for them and rock for me.
Made it in to the sold out venue with minutes to spare having missed all the supports and I had no idea what I was going to see. I was vaguely aware of the band looking like Metallica and sounding like AC/DC and the wall of Marshalls on stage could have been from the 80′s tours of either band. The theme of Terminator 2 boomed out as red lights whirled and then the band came on, fell on? Burst on, that’s it. Bloody hell, the grin that lept onto my face didn’t leave for the next 90 minutes.
Aye, the comparisons above are valid to an extent, but they’re quickly irrelevant and anyway they make current AC/DC look slow and tired. Airbourne play hard, often fast and have an incredible intensity in every sound and movement they make. The crowd are pulled right into it and the band pay us back with something new in every song with one piece of madness after another from the singer/guitarist wandering past us on a roadie’s shoulders to bursting beer cans on his head to wacky singalongs and songs where I was shouting the second chorus despite never having heard any of them in my life.
It was what rock is supposed to be all about. The frontman’s banter was great too as was their fine rendition of Scotland the Brave. It was a fantastic gig and I was a 14 year old at the Apollo as much as I was a 44 year old at the ABC as I was watching the show.
Joycee saw these in Dunnes Stores in Clydebank. In someone’s imagination I suppose they were making cute carol singer dolls but somewhere on the way either by sloppy production or deliberate interference by some chortling deviant they’ve ended up with a fine collection of seasonal sex dolls. Ho Ho Ho Horrific indeed.
I’ve being using these tops for a long time, quite a while and a good bit respectively, all of which are standard imperial testing measurements, as you know I don’t do metric.
Having such long term use, coming back to them after big gaps has cemented my opinions, especially as I’m using synthetic base layers as much as merino now.
Merino versus synthetic isn’t as clean cut as it once was for me, lots of synthetics I’ve used have caught up in terms of smell control which was merino’s winningest feature, so merino for me has to better than ever for me to wear it. There’s more too it of course, and I’ve pointed out what in the reviews.
Clicking on the names above the photies takes you to the brands own product page.
Smartwool use some nice fabrics and 250 weight used in the Zip T has a close knit, very smooth merino that is soft against the skin and a joy to pull on. There’s good stretch to it and an excellent return to shape even after extended use.
The collar is tall which I like and stands up well with its double fabric construction, The collar has a neat wee zipper garage to keep my beard from getting tugged at and the zip itself is around 1/3 length with a smooth inner face which doesn’t need a baffle for me.
The cuffs and hem are plain, nice and wide with flat locked stitching, as is the whole shirt, and the cut is slightly tapered on the body with just enough length on the arms and body in a US medium which usually works fine for me in Smartwool.
The fabric weight here is the thing I had to adjust to, I like light faster wicking and drying baselayers but on cold days under softshell or 100 weight fleece the Zip T found its happy place. If I pushed myself too hard or overlayered it too much the thicker merino would just get saturated and take forever to dry, I noticed a big difference here to 200/190 weight. When it’s wet, it’s not too bad feeling, but steaming away in a tiny tent is something to be avoided.
A cold weather winner, excellent build and fabric quality and good longevity too, it still looks great after many washes and wears.
The Woolpower Zip is something a wee bit different both in style and fabrics and I’ve had a very on/off relationship with it. I’ve got a size medium which is fine on me, the body is long at the back where a huge scooped tail covers your whole arse and at the front it tuck into my trousers okay, but I’d have it an inch or two longer here. The arms ate a good length and have nice big cuffs which are low profile, layer well and don’t cause problems with gloves.
The collar is a medium height and there’s a short neck zip for venting.
The fabric is a merino, polyester, nylon and elastane mix which should be the combination of justice as all four offer something ideal and the fabric has two very different faces too, a smoothish outer and a terry loop style inner. It’s quite an open fabric, lots of light getting through, also something that says good things about moisture management and drying performance too.
The fabric does perform very well in use, it keeps my skin dry and it dries fast itself. The merino content keeps the stink down and it’s very pleasant to wear.
But, it stretches quickly in use and after a couple of days it goes from slim fit to big and baggy which is annoying and can be faffy to layer under anything slim fit. After washing it returns to shape pretty well, so it’s not permanent.
The zip collar construction is an old-school style with a big patch of double fabric at the front to keep the chill out of a vulnerable area: you can open your jacket to breath and your doubled base layer still keeps you warm. But the inner surface here is the outer face rather than the terry softness and it it irritates my skin, I find myself scratching around the zip area.
It’s a fantastic fabric, the 200 weight is perfect for almost everything but I’d like to see more lines of stitching to tighten the shirt up and give it better form over extended use. The irritation issue won’t affect everyone, and if I’d known how it was going to go I’d have got a crewneck to test, because there’s a lot right about the Woolpower kit.
Polo shirts are for logo-ed workwear and golfers yes? No, I’ve a few outdoor specific polo shirts and they’re a fine alternative to whatever else you might usually wear and EDZ have stepped in with some nice colourful models.
The polo is 200 weight merino with a slightly relaxed and tapered fit with some nice paneling to give it form and a nice drape. The sleeves have a bit of extra length to them and there’s a tall collar with a three button neck. The neck is reinforced bu a taled seam like the Smartwool Zip T.
The cuffs and hem are neat and like almost every seam in this whole review we’ve got flatlocked stitching. The fabric has a good bit of stretch to it, but it’s not the softest here and it always takes me a minute or two to tune into it but I’ve never had any irritation while on foot or on my bike, with or without a pack.
Fabric performance is fine, stink free with the trade off of relaxed pace drying that you make with pure merino. The slightly relaxed cut is great in warmer weather and it does actually layer up okay, the big collar doesn’t get in the way at all. This is aklso one of the faults, the collar is a bit too soft and doesn’t stand up well which is one of a polo shirt’s best features, the collar keeps the sun off your neck.
The buttons feel friendly and there’s plenty of venting, the looser cut helps waft heat out the opening too. The polo’s been washed and dried many times and it’s still looking good.
It’s a great top, decent fabric which has many miles on it and more to go. Polo shirts are stealth outdoor wear, you don’t look odd in them in the cafe or pub later on and buttons are nothing to be afraid of at all.
There is a perfect baselayer in here, but I’d have to get my scissors and sewing machine to make it. The fabric performance of Woolpower in either of the other two styles, the Smartwool collar on the EDZ, the Smartwool softness on the Woolpower zip panel, the EDZ orange on everything…
They’re too different to have a winner. The EDZ polo is an almost perfect summer hill shirt for me, if I want merinos smell destroying performance with quicker drying I’ll pull on Woolpower and if I want to be warm, cozy and go oooh when I pull it on I’ll reach for Smartwool.
So, you can have it all, just not all at the same time. Bummer.
I’ve often spoken about the joys of working in churches. Old buildings in general are more fun to work in, there’s always surprises and the workmanship isn’t always better than today’s more Lego base style of construction, but their bodges were done with much more style and I’ve found cut corners that have been holding fast for 400 hundred years.
While wandering around seeing what pipes were heating and which ones weren’t I had time to lean on a pew and enjoy my cuppa in the big empty building. Not even the kids groups were on today, Jimmy and the three electricians (it’s winter remember, in bad weather they band together and hunt in packs) were gone and I was glad of the peace.
Reading the posters and notices is always a gap filler but stained glass windows are better, especially if you can get up close. The work on old ones is so detailed, glass carefully cut, painted or scored and all stuck together with precarious web of lead.
I loved the wee section above, almost hidden a big heraldic crest in a big central panel, looks just like a tattoo. Below is a wee cross hidden in a corner made with a few brush strokes nearly two hundred years old.
Of course, that just made me think of Black Sabbath, the gig is now less than two weeks away. I’m finding it hard to concentrate on other stuff now, so although I was about to review a bunch of awesome Fjallraven kit, I might be reviewing the decline in screen printing quality over the years which is glaringly obvious in my Sabbath Bloody Sabbath t-shirt collection instead.
The photies are cheesy catalogue shots aye, but Haglöfs Tundra LS Shirt is a serious bit of kit. Outdoor gear performance with stealth casual looks for street wear? Yes please.
The 635g the Tundra is listed as is spot on compared to my sample size large, and I have carried it in my a pack a few times as it compresses down very well, but this is something to wear on cool day from your front to door to, well, wherever you like really. I’ve had it to the shops, to work, to the park and on the hill and it was as happy as I was.
The cut is quite neat, certainly no grunge era baggyness just because it looks like a flannel shirt. Neat is good though, neat is warmer and the layer of light synthetic insulation in the body and the arms traps a good amount of body heat. The body is a good length and the arms are long with regular shirt style poppered cuffs which match the poppered front closure and there’s decent articulation in the arms too.
The whole shirt is made from recycled polyester with a smooth inner microfibre which layers very well over a merino long sleeve or a Gildan SoftStyle t-shirt which is worth about 99p but put a Black Sabbath logo on it and it’s £20 and folk like me buy it.
The outer looks and feels like flannel, albeit a tougher variety, it’s soft and comfy. It washes well and dries well, but don’t expect weather resistance, it greets moisture from above just like any other flannel fabric, it just dries fast. I think it’s going to age nicely with use, something that modern outdoor gear doesn’t do well at all.
There’s nice detailing, like the collar which stands up to cut out the chill and has a plain fabric back which matches the useful reinforcing patches on the elbows. There’s wee bits of reinforcing at the hips and bottom of the closure as well.
There’s three pockets, two big hand warmers a single zipped and flapped pocket on the left chest which is big enough for my phone. There’s hang loop at the back of the collar.
The Tundra is a joy to wear and it performs well too, being pretty wind resistant which includes the front when its buttoned tight. It’s more jacket than shirt, it is outerwear and on dry cold days it works great for me. I can boost it with a down vest if needs be and it all goes just fine with jeans.
I’ve had my smartphone for a year and I’ve had a few close calls with it getting it wet, dropping it, freezing it, cooking it, killing the battery on day one of my Slioch trip earlier in the year where the alarm feebly and constantly sounded for two days…
Just sitting in my pocket or in a stuffsack hasn’t been entirely successful, so it was very good timing when some samples from E-Case arrived for review a few weeks back. Below is an eSeries 9 with my Sony Xperia inside which fits nice and the screen is still totally usable. Also on test is one for Joycee’s iPhone and one with a waterproof earphone socket for iPod joy at camp, I’ll come back to them all in a wee while.
The case has a welded construction with lanyard attachments cut through the textured material. There’s very clear windows front and rear and the closure is a SealLock, a rubber zipper type which you close by squeezing the two halves together. The seal is beefy and it does make the case waterproof, indeed a closed case takes a good amount of pressure when closed and doesn’t pop which is great for sealing out the weather buy also makes for good protection for my overpriced phone.
It’s been nice pulling my phone out of my pocket and finding it not drenched in condensation the past couple of weeks, so the E-Cases will be getting some mileage on them. More later.
Having a week or so between a trip and really looking through the photies is something I might have to do again. It’s full of surprises and springback action memories.
If someone from another planet looked through my pages it must look like I live in a world of low light and splashes of colour. The poor buggers must be spinning their globe of the earth wondering where the hell it is I hang out while their mum shouts over her shoulder “He’s either always running late or it’s all ‘shopped”.
Here’s the last part of my Haglöfs Summer 2014 Preview and it’s a monster. I had fully intended to trim this down but what the hell, here it is with all 80 or so photies.
There are some things in here I’m genuinely excited about, some left-field genius and lots to smile at too. And remember, you can’t have it until spring next year.
Above is the Roc Hard Jacket with the Roc High in grey. The Roc High is the Spitz usurper and is still beefy but more of an all-rounder than the Spitz was, different cut, feels longer to me too. Gore-Tex Pro Shell, awesome hood, good pockest, venting and they canned the bright colour for 2014. Can’t have it all. Or can you…
This blue marvel is the Roc Lite Pull and lets not fanny about here, I love this.
375g in Pro Shell with a mountain hood, perfect articulation, good length and a pouch pocket. The pocket zip is slanted to make it easier to pull and the pocket has a 3D bellows-type bag so you can cram stuff in and not pull the front of the smock out of your belt or harness.
I’ve used a lot of shell smocks and it looks like this one has been built from similar experiences to mine as it’s correcting my personal niggles.
Below is the Roc High Q, the girls version. Clean lines and I think I like the monotone better than the blokes version.
Above is the Roca Lite Jacket in a soft stretchy Windstopper. Nice form to it, an all rounder in a fabric that doesn’t scare me anymore.
The nice looking Scoria Pant below comes in Flexable fabric, a non membrane softshell which I know well and have nothing but good words to say about. The zip fly is mountain specific, or something. From experience this format does work, but the zip pull on these needs a garage, it’ll catch on stuff I think.
Lizard Pants and Shorts, his and hers except the orange pants above, they’re the ladies Skarn Pants which are bit fancier with kick patches and reinforced knees.
All good. Colours, yes please.
More Lizards and a close up of the mean’s Skarn Pants. Will anyone stock them?
The Lizard jacket above in the health and safety colourway. The weight of Flexable fabric used in the Lizard range is a genuine do it all, I wear it summer and winter and it wears very well too. My original pre-production Lizard top is still going strong and it gets worn and washed all the time.
I’m getting bored of increasingly baggy outdoor trousers and the Mylonite (sounds like an alien race from a 50′s movie) Pants brought much joy. Slim, fitted, stretchy in Flexable fabric with good pockets and a low profile adjustable waist.
I like these. Hopefully we’re seeing the death of bootcut outdoor pants.
Paclite! Above is the Telis II, an all rounder which is aiming to save the refutation of everyone’s punchbag fabric. Hey, wear less under it and you’ll be fine.
Below is the Astral II in 2-layer Gore-Tex. Comfy and dry to wear, 2-layer deserves better that relegation to dog walking jackets. These three look plenty mountain yes/no?
Aye, Haglöfs are taking on the country life, stalking, farmers’ market punters here with some remarkably tweedy looking Gore-Tex shells.
Left to right we have the Ridge Jacket and two Ares Jackets.
I tried them, the fit is good, the features are usable, will Haglöfs prise folks out of their Barbours?
The Fjell Jacket Corduroy with some of its his and hers siblings in cord and plain Climatic polyester.
Synthetic polyester cord, you got love that. The jacket has a casual fit and look, but technical capabilities. It weighs a ton, but so what. I’m bored of adverts telling me I should be an alpinist.
I hope shops are stocking this stuff.
More casuality with the 75% recycled polyester Zolo and Zolo Q’s above and the Swook and Swook Q’s below. Smooth above and knitted look below, again it’s a mix of street and outdoor. Value for money? I’ve got a couple of upcoming reviews on just that subject.
The above design won the Haglöfs competition to design a new t-shirt. Really. My skull and crossed ice axes never even got a mention.
And yes, the design is someone sticking their middle finger up at you if you squint your eyes.
I like the other designs below. Some levity in there to brighten any over serious outdoor kit box. The tees are are various fabrics, cotton, cotton/poly, recycled poly content etc.
Different to the usual, which is nice.
Just needs a skull that one.
The Ridhe SS Zip Tee is all-polyester so a bit more tech in its appeal. I like this format for summer trekking and it looks good too, not overly mountain man (or wummin).
Like a lot of these tees it has “Lava” in it, an anti-odour treatment developed from volcanic ash minerals. It’s a Bluesign approved product, so it’s environmental cred looks good.
Ridge Q Tees for the gurls and Zuma Q SS Shirts for other gurls. The tees are polyester for quite drying and the shirts have a 60% cotton content for summer cool. I like the colours. Hmmph.
Rugged Crest Shorts, for which if you’re thinking “Rugged Mountain Shorts” you’d be near as dammit.
It’s all there, the mighty pocketing, the arse of destruction and the fabric of doom. The only danger here is you’ll stride out with confidence and forget only half your legs have the legendary protection and act in a fool hardy manner near the jaggy bushes.
Maybe even better are the Mid Trail Shorts in techno corduroy. There’s a stretch yoke at the back to add good movement, excellent pockets, good leg length and looks that’ll match a softshell top or a Black Sabbath t-shirt.
Mif Fjell Pants and Mid II Flex’s in the pale grey. Glad to see they’re sorted the leg pockets on the Flex’s.
Below are the nicely detailed Fjell Shorts.
This is the corduroy version of the Mid Trail Pant which comes in regular flavours as well. This is the best one, by far. Outdoor cords, it’s like the old days, I can dress like Tom Weir. Yes!
Gus, give it man, you’ll never make it work. Rugged II Mountain Pants in cosmic pink with man colours below. Orange, oh mama.
There’s new side tensioners like you get on mountain bike shorts, I wonder how they’ll work out?
Just for the girls are the Mid Trail Q Skirts above and the Skorts below. These are rather popular I was surprised to learn. Why should I be surprised? Even at my advanced yearage, women still hold their mysteries for me.
I think these are MId Fjell Q’s below, I liked the detailing and the marled looking fabric.
The Intense collection races ahead (see what I did there) with Gram Jacket, Scramble Jacket and Gram Comp lined up above.
Below are some Scramble LS G Tees and a pair of Ardent mountain bike shorts. The shirts are recycled polyester, Lava treated and have nice thumbloop cuffs.
For the girls above is the Puls II SS Zip Tee and Ardents in pink.
Below is the Intense Zip Top in stretch polyester with Lava treatment. The simplicity of all this kit is like a breath of fresh air. The Intense Tights with them bring back the nice wee stretch thigh pocket that we’ve seen on Haglöfs leggings before. There’s mesh panels on there too, for tights there’s a lot going on.
Below are the Intense II Q Skort with a Puls II Q Tee in pink and a Puls II Zip Tee with Intense Knee Tights. Again, simple, functional and usable. Do we need more than that?
I don’t care if it is this season’s big pre order item Gus, I’m not putting it on for the photies.
Ah, the joy of the return of L.I.M – less Is More. The last round of L.I.M kit got it right, I’m still using it which firmly sticks to fingers up at the notion of light kit being weak.
This yellow fellow is the L.I.M Active Jacket. A 375g mountain shell in Gore-Tex Active. Seams are minimal and cleverly placed for form as you’ll see below, the hood is a real fully adjustable hood, there’s two mesh chest pockets, great articulation. good length in the body and the arms and it bears the new mark of L.I.M on the hangtag – the stripes or yellow, white and orange.
The black version has some subtle colour splashes.
The long running LIM Ultimate Jacket is now the L.I.M III Jacket. Same single pocket full zip format and now using a much improved Paclite fabric. It says here.
Gus doing the neat folding away trick below.
These are L.I.M Versa Jackets. Neat fitting, shaped for being active and made from Paclite at 295g. These feel great when worn and the look is going to mark them out in the crowd. I hope we see these make the shops.
Yes, I am the Irn Bru man.
I remember the days when jackets were long and they kept the rain off your arse. On steep ground you unpopped the bottom couple of buttons and carried on. With the L.I.M Parka, those days are back again.
295g of Paclite, pockets, hood, all as you’d expect, but it’s cut long for trekking. If I was going on the West Highland Way again, this is what I’d be taking.
A brave move making this, I hope it sells. I’ve got a similarly long jacket in for test from another brand and I’ve worn it almost every day for the past three weeks.
L.I.M III Pants, 230g shell pants in Paclite. Paclite is a great pant fabric, especially over softshell, these coild be a good call. The old versions were great.
It’s a bit shell, a bit softshell and the fit is close with great movement. The L.I.M Proof jacket is 230g in Haglöfs own Proof waterproof fabric, Simple, clean and functional design, this fabric has a good bit of stretch to it and is 2.5 layer, you can see the internal printing in the close up below.
Prices are good, I was told them and went “Oh!”, but don’t ask me for details. It’s going toe to toe with OMM’s Kamelieka, how will that go I wonder?
These are going to worth a look, I was enthused.
The L.I.M insulation is another grin inducer. The L.I.M Essens Jacket above is light and packable with 800 fill of ethically sourced down with a size large weight of 185g. I tried on the mens black version when the girls orange wouldn’t fit and the cut is neat giving instant warmth feedback. Match it to a down vest and you’re all-season ready.
The L.I.M Barrier Pro Hoods below have Quadfusion sythetic fill and come in at 205g. All the fabrics here are nylon, so tough for the weight.
Lighter than a 100 weight fleece and a windshirt, something to think about is that.
The grin is maintained by the L.I.M Flex Hood. A 315g Softshell which as you can see below isn’t trimmed to hit that weight, I’m uncompressed and unrestricted using the thumbloops, the hood fits and sits just nice and the own-brand fabric has good stretch to it.
Two mid height chest pockets add to the functionality and if the fabric performs well, it could be a winner.
L.I.M is more of a complete system than it was before and here the Powerdry Hodds and Tops. These will work as base layers or light midlayers and the light hood feels great on, unrestructive and well fitting.
The fabric has a gridded inner face for faster moisture movement and drying, but it also feels warm under a shell. Great fabric and great looking tops.
L.I.M Tee’s and LS Zip Tees in Lava treated recycled polyester. The fabric is silky feeling and the the colours bring me joy, even if the purple is only for the girls. Hey, purple had to come up at some point.
I saved the best for last, the Equator II Cap in Flexable softshell.
Well, I didn’t leave much out. But that’s because there’s a bunch of stuff that had me going Ooh and Aah. The Roc Light Pull looks awesome as do the Mylonite Pants. Seeing corduroy presented as genuine outdoor fabric brings me joy, plus it just looks and feels good on. The whole L.I.M range had me grinning as I tried every bit of it on.
How much will we see in the stores? Who knows, times are hard which makes us careful and store buyers scared, none of which makes for racks of inspiration in-store when the new season comes around.
At least looking above is window shopping at its safest, you can look as much but you just can’t buy even if you wanted to. And you can make up your own prices too, because I’ve no idea what they are.
If you’ve been watching the news over the past few days it’s hard not be stunned by the little chain of occurrences at home and overseas that have brought tragedy to many folks.
After a wee bit of unavoidable admin this morning we decided to get out mid afternoon and made a dash for Aberfoyle. It was beautiful, clear and cool with golden light picking out the hills in amber.
Other families were out playing too, Mrs Santa was at the visitor centre and the hide for bird watching was a perfect place for Holly to draw a picture in the visitor book as the birds tweeted and flapped past her.
Joycee said on the way home that folk really should make the most of what time the can find together. She’s right too.
I put paperwork off until the last minute, I hate doing sums and explaining myself, or invoicing as many folks call it. Still, a whole day of it means I can pay bills again very soon as I hand delivered my invoices one by one. Aye, invoice by email, but always hand a paper copy to someone too. They can’t lie about not getting it in the future then.
In the midst of that we saw off Brian, seen many times on here over the years, off southwards today to work in Arc’Teryx World in Covent Garden. Good luck the wee man.
I was home five minutes, ready for a cuppa and a recorded episode of Kojak when the light shining through the window went pale to amber. It’s been a while since I pulled on hat and gloves and went down to the harbour to enjoy a winter evening, I was down there like a bullet.
Big changes down there too, they’re digging out the railway arches from years of neglect as phase one of a redevelopment of Bowling Basin and it’s looking a bit like I remember it in the 70′s.
Some locals are pissing and moaning about this, they’ve moved here in recent times thinking it’s some sort of retirement village and want to maintain a state of quiet decay. Screw you hippies, the village used to be a hive of industry and I want a future for both the village and the young people in it. Those railways arches will soon have glass frontages and business names above them. That’s better than graffiti and rusty oil rums for me.
Whatever, the view is as magical as ever. The harbour stretches out like a fossilized jawbone, the sky roars overhead as the river quietly reflects it at its own slower pace. Waiting brings a change of shape and colour, gold to orange to red to a cool blue that matches the drop in temperature.
That camera dial got turned to Film Grain setting in my pocket and I never noticed. Interesting. The LX5 was a worry on the Mournes trip, the wee dial that adjusts the exposure shat the bed and jammed itself on -3 meaning that everything was dark except photies done on Intelligent Auto, that is pale washed out and flat looking setting. Playing with it back at the hotel I managed to persuade it back to zero and a bit of research back home revealed this as a common problem. Solutions seem to be tentative in their application, but after my old LX3 picked up the slack in Northern Ireland after the screen seemed to start working again, I decided to spray some RS Computer Solvent Aerosol (Many years old, the font on it is countdown…) into the wheel and see what happened. Some intensive twiddling, some more spraying and it works again. Yay. Saves me buying a new thing which I’d have to learn how to work.
Picnic day in the Lang Craigs was fun. Holly raced up the hillside including all the wee scrambles like a natural and was much impressed by the clouds below us. This lasted whole seconds before the picnic took priority and the frantic search was on for the perfect spot.
We found this on some rocks sticking out of the heather and had a fine wee time to ourselves with turkey and cranberry wraps in surprisingly warm air. As we got ready to go a visitor arrived, my purple softshell was a giveaway he said, it was Fatwalker who has often commented on here and lives local. One thing was immediately apparent, he isn’t fat at all and also, I can’t believe we haven’t ran into each other sooner. Magic. I’ll be watching for him now I know what he looks like.
More wandering too us past the cup marked stone, or the Fairy Stone as it is now and even back at the car the day was far from done. We went across the river to cut a couple of hundred whips of willow for a project which we did today and as it got dark and then had another picnic by the river. McDonalds made this one for us though. For money, not as a favour, but I think they’re like that with everyone.
It was nice to see this shot which I took on a fine Easter’s day on Ben Nevis on the cover of Trail’s January 2014 issue which is just out. It fits just fine with Dan Aspel’s nice feature on the CMD/Nevis loop where he was gritting frozen teeth into the weather much more than we were on the same route not so long before him. It was a brilliant day, perfect weather and great company and it’s a day that’ll always stick with me.
It’s been a bit retro on here recently, so why not add a couple from the same trip before I get on with the new stuff. Sometimes repeats are the best thing to watch anyway.
It’s been a busy week. Me and Joycee spent most of it in County Down enjoying four seasons of weather on some of the finest hills I’ve walked. The Mountains of Mourne have made quite an impression on us, as have the fine folks we met there. The routes, the best photies and more from the Northern Ireland trip will be in the March issue of Trail.
As soon as we got of the plane I was pulling on steelies to go and wrestle pipework with a quick visit to the physio in the middle of it “Have you been lifting heavy weights?” she says as I look guilty. It’s a rotator cuff tear apparently. Sounds like something they’d pull you for on an MOT that would cost £300 to fix and they’d spot something else while they were under there. Bastards.
Anyway, if I behave it’ll get better. Don’t lift things, FFS.
We finished at 2100, I got home to watch Doctor Who on the V+ Box and belatedly shared the dewy eyed moment with all the other blokes my age when Tom Baker came on at the end.
I loved the 50th anniversary special with all its little faults and it’ll take repeated watching to spot all the references, but I think they did the show proud and John Hurt was excellent. What a Doctor he would be.
This morning was grey and thick and I knew there was an inversion out there ready to be viewed from above. Breakfast and well earned lethargy took an easy win over an early exit, but it didn’t last forever. It was just a wee bit later that planned when we left.
It’s not that I’ve run out of things to say or new stuff to write, indeed I’m still hoping to get Haglöfs 2014 clothing up before we head off to The Mournes as well as a bunch of other gear stuff that truth be told can just wait. Nah, it’s just finding so many happy wee moments hidden in the countless pages of my online photiebucket.
There’s a real joy to this. The face I’m seeing doesn’t seem like me anymore, it’s like I’m looking at an old friend and it stirs emotions, smells, sensations and memories that no doubt I’ll have captured in confused and badly spellchecked text somewhere in the endless, indexless pages on this blog.
Maybe this is what blogging is all about, it’s like having a big pot of memory soup that you can stir and watch as the tasty bits bob up to the surface. In which case these photies are nice big bits of tattie. Or chicken chunks if it’s chicken soup. No carrots though, carrots should always play a minor part in blogging.
Edit: Just added some captions below each photie.
Looking towards Ciste Dubh from Sgurr an Fhuarail in Kintail. The bloke was a stranger and no overly chatty I recall. He viewed my lightweight stove setup with some disdain as well.
A lovely day on The Easains by Loch Trieg. Took a meandering route and had a glorious day. I remember the descent especially, it was late and very quite and I was surrounded by evening birdsong from nests on the ridge.
Pulling Wheelie up to Loch Etchachan before climbing Ben MacDui the next day. I have nothing but happy memories of this trip despite my grimacing face above, the hail and sleet were soon wiped away and a hot dinner made it all fine again. Then there was the visit by, well, no one really. I don’t believe in ghosts.
Sleeping under a rock on Ben Vorlich. I punctured my sleepmat within minutes and spend the night on jagged rocks while the rain feel just past my nose. Worth it?
Proving that wild camping isn’t informal in the view of Ben Lomond. A press trip that made an equal amount of friends and enemies for me.
Easter sunrise over Gleouriach. A fine trip in snow and sunshine with friends. Hillsound crampons UK debut as well one this one I think?
Gales over Beinn Fhada in Kintail. The next day was clear and calm and that tent was too bloody short.
Kilpatricks fannying about. Always liked this one.
Creag Meagaidh with Bobinson, who by the way is not estranged, just busy. Looking forward to finally getting on another camp with Phil, been way too long.
Got to love playing with cameras.
The Kilpatricks are never a second choice. That plume in the middle is rising right out of the Clyde.
Above and below are from the Grey Corries. A perfect trip in every way except I lost a purple Nalgene water bottle. Still a mighty Win.
Beinn Narnain is the hill that keeps on giving. You’d never know that I could see the lights of Glasgow and Stirling from where I took this.
The Kilpatricks again. And again. Waiting for the fog, it’ll come again soon enough.
About to ride down the Devil’s Staircase at Glen Coe. This trip is so long ago that I just remember the good stuff, riding through the wonderful scenery and eating a McDonald’s at Milngavie at the end. The premise of it and the disastrous execution of it are long forgotten. Really.
The Five Sisters of Kintail from the back. I’ll never forget this one, I went in with a twisted head and came out with a straight one. Straightish anyway. Wonderful trail down Glen Licht, it should be walked by all.
Sunset on Lurg Mhor. A perfect moment. I got cooked on the long trek out the next day under a blazing sun on an estate road.
When my phone signal came back I had two messages from a press agency asking why I hadn’t included their client in some lightweight thing I’d done. The can of Irn Bru in the cool bag in the boot of the motor was as upset as I was.
Wild camp with Phil above Bridge of Orchy. We belted down the hillside the next morning to try and get back for some work thing. Did we? Can’t remember. I just remember this bit.
Repeatedly not getting Sguff na Ceathreamhnan did throw up some nice alternatives like this night by a lochan on Sguff Gaorsaic. My hottest day ever in the hills in the way in, 34C in the glen where snowmelt running down a rock face saved our souls.
Oh, she’s so wee here. My girl.
Auch looking uncharacteristically pretty.
View from Ben Ime on the way to camp where I caught ecoli from sheep shit (we think). Two weeks on a toilet floor was worth the perfect sunset.
The Cobbler and Beinn Narnain from the back. Night time is the right time. For the Kilpatricks below too.
Two tents were maimed that night under Stob Ban. It pissed down the next day and we all ended up at the cafe in Glen Coe without getting to a summit. Happy with that.
Below is from somewhere on the Lawers range on the first trip I ever took my LX3 on. I took a bunch of sunset shots on sunset setting and said “Ooh, look at that…”. It all changed from there.