Archive for the 'Gear Diary' Category

Gearing up again.

Outdoor gear has always been a big part of these pages and it’s been as absent as I have. Hey, if the hills are pissing me off I’m not even looking at what I’m using never mind typing an opinion on it. But, this has left me with many months of gear use and showroom […]

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

A spit of kit

There wasn’t much new on the Fisherfield trip, after my down time I think I needed familiar stuff so I didn’t really have to think or worry about anything at all given the miles I was covering. Mountain King sent up a new set of their brilliant Trail Blaze poles, now in a coppery-orange colour, and taking […]

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Gore-Tex Active Shell

I missed the press day at Peebles where various trade and media folk were getting the proper presentation about Gore-Tex’s coming-soon waterproof and breathable Active Shell fabric before being issued with their test jacket for a test on the trails on foot and mtb. So for better or worse, my test jacket came through the post […]

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Grivel Haute Route

In for test is a another take on the lightweight ice axe, the Haute Route from Grivel. It’s billed as ski-touring axe, and normally I’d take that labelling as manufacturer arse-covering, hoping folk won’t take their lightweight axe mountaineering. But the features on the Haute Route do make sense of the designation, the pick is […]

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Hoka Mafate

“Madness in a shoe box” has already been said, but I am very glad indeed that the swing towards barefoot running means nothing to some people who are still steering their own course in footwear design. So, it’s with a big grin that I took Hoka’s Mafate WP’s on test. The looks are somewhat striking, and […]

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Sole Exhale

I saw samples of the Exhales a while back and it’s the sort of thing that just makes you grin and want a pair regardess of any actual practical application. But, I got a pair in for test, and they aren’t a novelty item after all. I wear Sole insoles most days, they make rubbish steel […]

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

A smear of gear

Lightweight axes are all you need, they can happily take digging through frozen verges to save your mothers motor… Elsewhere, Berghaus insulation is really proving it’s worth, Phil packed the  synthetic Ignite Belay Parka (proper look imminent) and I took the Extrem Down Duvet. They’re both belay jackets and sized to go over other layers which they do perfectly, […]

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

The merest hint of kit.

Gear wasn’t on the agenda as such, but a couple of things are worthy of note. Joycee’s bimbling along with her Kimmlite (that’s pre-OMM) 22SSL (I think?), great wee pack make in mental pink Pertex fabric. It’s dead light but with all the spot-on features you’d expect like bottle & hipfin p0ckets, low-profile harness and one oddball, and MSC […]

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

Gear Diary

I haven’t got a hope in hell of getting any more test kit up this side of Christmas. Which is a shame as there’s a bunch of good stuff to come, including the Edelrid Opilio remote canister stove and Edelrid gas, Petzl’s Core and Ultra Belt, Grivel’s Haute Route lightweight axe, Outdoor Research’s sub-200g Helium […]

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Haglöfs Winter 2011/12 Preview

Lost in a wilderness of colour, it can only be the Haglöfs showroom. No longer a shed, but the same faces and huge array of kit as usual. There’s a bunch of new stuff as well as updates, some personal highlights are the new merino base layers, the new Paclite killing (I’m not supposed to […]

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

The North Face Point Five

Time was when TNF was seen as the absolute top-end, the kit was iconic, bold looking and as technical as you could get. The Point Five Jacket in for test takes me right back to those days. Now relax there at the back, the Point Five is part of the Summit Series, so I haven’t […]

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Inov8 X-Talon 240

I got the X-Talon 240’s in for test, what, a year ago? And it’s high time I spoke about them. The Gore-Tex lined Roclite 288’s earned the nickname of Suicide Socks, but the X-Talons are the rightful owner of that title. The upper is softer, and does feel more like a sock than a boot. […]

Thursday, December 16th, 2010


When the High5 package came in for test, it felt like I’d come home, I used to fire this stuff down my neck on a regular basis. But as I slowed a bit and carried a tent more I drifted away from it. Now that everyone is trying to be “real food” with their sports […]

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Garmont Tower GTX

It’s definitely getting a bit alpine on here, in for test Garmont’s Tower GTX. The model on the website is different to the one I’ve got here, don’t know why, but I will say that the version I’ve got feels and looks like a proper alpine boot, where the website one looks a little self-consciously […]

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

LaSportiva Stratos Ski-Mountaineering Boot

Just in for test… Nah, no way I can keep a straight face saying that. Normally press releases and the like get scanned and filed if something immediately appropriate doesn’t jump out, but I met up with Si from Lyon Equipment the other day and I spotted these monsters. The Stratos were the result of […]

Friday, November 26th, 2010

The North Face Half Dome Stretch ProShell

Yes, yes, I know about the colours, in for an exclusive test is next year’s Half Dome from TNF. “It’s all about the fabric” they said to me when I first saw this, and now having spent a good bit of time in it, I can see what they’re saying. The whole jacket is cut […]

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Go System Apollo Ti

Oh, I hope this good. In for test, the new Apollo Ti from Go System. The link above is the to regular Apollo, the Ti version is much lighter at 198g, helped by the titanium construction and the absence of a piezo ignition. A remote canister stove is the way to go in winter and […]

Friday, November 19th, 2010