Kit that got worn briefly, used sparingly and deserves a mention before I forget, II

A 1500-odd feet peak isn’t really a test, I know that, but it’s worth mentioning a few things because it was bloody cold and the conditions were, well, wintry.

First up are Kahtoola Microspikes, I never used them when they came out because I had Icebugs, and the overlap to Aluminium KTS’s looked like too much, but on frozen woodland trails and the patchy ascent to Ben A’an they were magic. So okay, I’ll carry them more.

I had the Karrimor X-Lite 35, and like it’s bigger brother I’ve got on test, it both delights and confounds. The body, lid and stretch pocket are brilliant, the shoulder harness is very comfortable, the hip fins are overbuilt for the capacity and are annoying and there’s no bottle pockets. I fitted the cracking Inov8 bottle carrier to a shoulder strap, so water was to hand, but the hip belt needs to be softer. And have pockets. The chest strap doesn’t have a whistle buckle either. I don’t even know here my whistle is, all my other packs have one on the buckle. We’ll see how this unfolds.

The Haglöfs Lizard Top won the toss over my planned outing for the Montane Extreme Smock as I thought I’d be too warm (I’d have been fine as it turned out), and over a longsleeve merino top the Lizard is proving to be very good indeed.
When moving in the weather we’ve been having there’s enough wind resistance and insulation for me to feel “just nice”, even when running , but when stopped I do cool quite quickly, but not instantly as expected.
Breathability is outstanding, I stay dry in this, even when it’s not the top layer. I know there was some “What’s the point?” with this, but it really is a magic bit of kit.

The Montane Flux has been about a fair bit now, and I love it. It’s slimmer fit (for an insulating jacket) makes it great for instant warmth as there’s no air gap to heat, the mobility makes it great on the move and the features are outstanding. You could argue that it could have more fill and be warmer, but it wouldn’t be so wearable as a general piece, as it is, just add a down gilet and you’re laughing.

Also dug out the Haglöfs Iguana softshell pants for a wee change, and my phone fell out of the stud fastened pocket into the snow, so maybe they were right to can them after what, one season? Great pants otherwise though.
On the feet were Keen Oregon PCT’s, unsung heroes of sorts. A magic boot of which I’ll need to update properly at some point.

14 thoughts on “Kit that got worn briefly, used sparingly and deserves a mention before I forget, II

  1. I have the same issue with the Flux, too much for summer, not enough for winter (well not the winter we seem to be having this year!). It is great in the so-called ‘shoulder seasons’ and I guess if you didn’t want/need a full-on winter parka it could be boosted with a vest (I layer a Rab Generator vest under it sometimes). But there is a need for a Montane DAS-a-like!

  2. If I had a spare £100 and room on the coat rack, I could be tempted by the Lizard.

    It looks like it would would make a nice training/fast and lightish jacket.

    Not enough pockets for dog walking though ;o)

  3. I think the Climbers shop somehow smuggled those few Lizards out of Staveley a bit early. So no need to despair of the Q quite yet ;) (or indeed not black?!)

    Tempting here too (as is that alpine pull on) but suspect I may have too many quite similar things :)

  4. What is it with Haglofs and their current reptilian approach to clothes names? Lizards and Iguanas! What are we going to get next? Will their next hard shell be the Tortoise? Will we get the Alli Gaiters? The Viper glove with nose-wipe?
    :-)

  5. DMM tore the arse out of all that movie name stuff, with their Fly, Alien, Predator etc
    I want to see their Brokeback Mountain Snow Shovel and Dawn of the Dead Quickdraws for next season.

  6. OK after a sceptical view on the Lizard I’m going to try one for mountain biking, something different for the evening rides. Have you seen the Lizard shorts? They look like they might be a nice short for both biking with generic liner! Will they be as good as the other Intense shorts they do?

  7. I think it’ll be good for that, I’ll try it on an evening ride next week. If it can cope with the yo-yo temperatures of my unfit body it’ll be doing well.

    I loved the shorts when I saw the samples. I suppose a lot depends on fit on how they’ll do on the bike, but the fabric is tough and plenty stretchy.
    I think they’re pretty different to the Intense shorts, not so much an either/or there. There’s those generic looking runners shorts and those nice 3/4 stretchy affairs.

    Talking of which, it’s now live here http://www.haglofs.se/prd/prd.asp?nid=1543&lang=en&nid2=1596

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