Ultralight Outdoor Gear Awards 2023

Posted by Andy Neil on Dec 22, 2023

2023 was an excellent year for new ultralight equipment and clothing, and we wanted to highlight some of our favourite gear that hit the market this year. Some pieces, like the Montbell Plasma 1000, pushed the limits of what it means to be ultralight even further. Others, like the Nemo Tensor Extreme Conditions sleeping pad, showed real innovation by raising their R-value to an industry-leading 8. …
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Time-Saver Guide to Choosing a Synthetic Jacket

Posted by Mark Richardson on Dec 06, 2023

There are basically three types of synthetic insulation used in outdoor jackets: 1. Sheet Insulation – Fibres are woven into a ‘mat’ structure and this is used to fill the jacket, this is the ‘traditional’ way of doing this and provides excellent warmth to weight and is pretty durable. 2. Loose Fill Insulation – This is where synthetic fibres are ‘loose’, like dow …
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Alpine 850 Down Hoodie Review - “High-performance winter insulation piece, offering a blend of warmth and functionality”

Posted by Andy Neil on Nov 15, 2023

I have to admit that this review is a tad late. In my defense, I was waiting for some appropriately cold weather to test the jacket; thankfully, November has arrived and brought some wintry conditions. Montane has brought two new down jackets to the market this season: the  Alpine 850 Lite Down Hoodie, and the jacket I have been testing the Alpine 850 Down Hoodie. The l …
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Mastering Winter Hiking: A Layering Guide

Posted by Andy Neil on Nov 14, 2023

Hiking in the winter can be a magical experience, with pristine, snow-covered landscapes and crisp, invigorating air. However, it also comes with unique challenges, including fluctuating temperatures and unpredictable weather conditions. Mastering the art of layering your clothing is essential to ensure you stay warm, comfortable, and safe during your winter hikes. In this comprehensive guid …
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Fjallraven Abisko Lite Half Zip Fleece Review - “An extremely versatile mid-layer equally at home on a Munro summit or in the pub”

Posted by Danny Pearson on Nov 07, 2023

The popularity of fleeces seems to come and go. Sometimes they are everyone’s go to mid-layer and other times lightweight synthetic insulated jackets become the trend. Ultimately though, everyone has at least one fleece in their outdoor wardrobe because of their versatility. The Abisko Lite fleece uses Fjallraven’s own grid-backed fleece fabric. Being made from 100% recycled polye …
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Rab Vapour-Rise Technology Explained

Posted by Fran O'Donnell on Oct 02, 2023

The Vapour-Rise™ system excels across the mountain, offering you all-in-one temperature regulation, moisture management, and protection from the elements. Its ability to maintain comfort in a range of conditions allows you to put-on and press-on.

Rab Vapour Rise Summit Jacket Review - ''The lighter fabric still offers a high level of wind resistance and the breathability was excellent''

Posted by Jamie Mantle on Sep 27, 2023

The new Vapour Rise Summit Jacket is an update on the classic series that has been a constant fixture in the multisport jacket category for years. The reason for this is the high level of versatility it offers not just in the activities that you can use it for but also the conditions that you can use it in. Making it one of the first things you will want to pop into your bag whatever …
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Montane Fireball Nano Hooded Jacket Review - ''I love the fact there’s no insulation in the arms, I don’t like gilets so the fabric-only sleeves on the Fireball Nano are perfect''

Posted by Mark Richardson on Jul 31, 2023

Daytime insulation is tricky when you’re Backpacking, especially if you’re moving through a mountainous region where you could be slogging up a steep incline one minute then traversing a windy ridge the next. I find the ideal insulation is ‘not very much’, but you do need something to keep the wind chill at bay. As far as  Montane’s Fireball Nano is concerned it seems pretty muc …
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OMM Core Technology Explained

Posted by Fran O'Donnell on Apr 25, 2023

The OMM CORE Range is a new concept in active insulation made entirely from PRIMALOFT ACTIVE ultra-light insulating fabric. Built from a synthetic plume woven through a knitted mesh CORE offers the warmth of a fleece but with less than half the weight. Paired with a shell, the CORE is an incredibly effective insulator, but the lightest breeze can take away that heat thanks to near-total air perm …
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Rab Vapour Rise Summit Jacket Review - ''A very comfortable insulation piece ideally suited to hiking in cool windy conditions at altitude''

Posted by Mark Richardson on Sep 26, 2022

The Vapour Rise series of RAB garments are designed to provide comfortable insulation and protection from the wind without causing you to overheat if you start climbing up something, or the sun comes out. To achieve this Nirvana a garment needs to transfer moisture away from the skin or base layer so you remain dry and comfortable. I tested the Vapour Rise Summit Jacket on a recent h …
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Haglofs LIM Comp Hood Review - ''It’s my go-to insulating layer for all of my outdoor pursuits''

Posted by Andy Neil on Aug 16, 2022

The L.I.M (Less Is More) range from  Haglofs, it is all about saving weight without compromising performance. So when it came to choosing a mid-layer for my 2 week trip across Scotland I was set from the start on the new  L.I.M Mid Comp Hood. Wanting something close fitting to work with a layering system, and thinking I would be in my wet weather gear for long spells of t …
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Haglofs Mid Touring Jacket Review - Trek Scotland

Posted by Trek Scotland on Apr 14, 2022

The Haglofs Mid Touring jacket is a technical piece of clothing aimed for use in the colder months, working as either a mid-layer or a stand-alone outer layer for calmer days. In terms of stylings the Mid touring jacket certainly stands out, with us receiving a colour mix of blue and green, clearly highlighting the two separate forms of insulation used. There’s no denying this is a …
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