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GEAR GUIDE

FROM THE MAKERS OF THE UK’S BEST-SELLING HILLWALKING MAGAZINE

2022

222

TRAIL-TESTED

PRODUCTS

INCLUDING

Hiking boots

Waterproofs

Camping stoves

Rucksacks

Trekking poles

Tents & bivvies

Sleeping bags

Mountain tech

& MUCH MORE!

Your definitive

100-page guide

to the very

best hiking kit

money can buy

MAGAZINE

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

1

Hottest new

releases for

spring and

summer 2022

Long-term

tests & expert

reviews you

can trust

+

GEAR OF

THE YEAR

2022


HIKER BEYOND

THE ORDINARY.

isthenewbenchmarkforalldayhikes.Abootmadeinthe

name of comfort and technologies, with IKS system on the sole that helps

to reduce foot fatigue during hiking.

SCARPA.CO.UK


GEAR GUIDE 2022

222

TRAIL-TESTED

PRODUCTS

06 Waterproof jackets

12 Waterproof trousers

15 Insulated jackets

18 Soft shells

19 F leece s

20 Base layers

22 Mountain boots

32 Trail shoes

37 G aiter s

39 S ock s

41 Trousers & shorts

44 Gloves

46 Rucksacks

55 H ydr ation

58 Trekking poles

60 Headtorches

64 Tech

66 Hiking accessories

68 Tent s

74 Bivvies & tarps

76 Sleeping bags

83 Sleeping mats

85 Stoves

88 Camping accessories

93 Gear for dogs

96 Kit for kids

98 Competition

TRAIL GEAR GUIDE 2022

EDITOR Oli Reed

DEPUTY EDITOR Jenna Maryniak

TRAIL GEAR TESTERS

Matt Jones, James Forrest, Ben Weeks,

Jenna Maryniak, Oli Reed, Sarah Ryan, Tom Bailey

PHOTOGRAPHER Tom Bailey

ART EDITORS Louise Parker, Caroline Glynne-Jones

PRODUCTION EDITORS Shane Collins, Marie Marsh

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Caroline Barrett

COMMERCIAL MANAGER Anna Skuse

KEY ACCOUNT MANAGER Joe Sheehan

PROJECT MANAGERS Katie Kerry, Angele Karsan

Look for this logo

throughout the guide

to see TRAIL’s pick of

the very best kit for 2022.

WIN

£1991

OF OUTDOOR KIT

PAGE 98

GEAR OF

THE YEAR

2022

TOM BAILEY

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

3


TESTING TEAM

TRAIL

AWARDS

MAGAZINE

BEST

IN TEST

Top-scoring product

in comparative

Trail tests

MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

Best overall

package of price

and performance

in Trail tests

Celebrating

sustainable and

ethical gear

releases

OPINIONS YOU CAN TRUST

There’s a lot of very useful info about buying outdoor gear on the internet,

but for every reliable article you’ll find about 1000 rubbish ones. Which is

why we’re so proud to keep bashing out the Trail Gear Guide every year –

100 pages crammed with advice on the very best kit for hillwalkers of all ages

and ability. If you read this magazine regularly you’ll probably recognise a

few of the faces on this page, and we’d like to think you’ll trust their opinions

too. We’ve been publishing Trail for over 30 years and many of us have been

working here for a large chunk of those three decades, walking all over the

UK hills and mountains in everything the weather can throw at us. We’re

all very particular and shamelessly geeky about the kit we like to use (what

walker isn’t it?), which means the products we choose to showcase in our

annual gear bible are often the subject of fierce debate. Some of the kit in here

is brand new, some of it we’ve been using for years, and all of it is excellent.

Matt Jones

One of our

regular gear

testers and a selfconfessed

outdoor

kit geek,

Matt is based in

Snowdonia.

Sarah Ryan

Mountain Leader,

outdoor writer and

founder of The Wild

Walk Home, Sarah’s

turned her passion

for wild places into

a career.

Tom Bailey

Trail’s photographer

of more than

20 years has tested

more mountain

kit to destruction

than he can

remember.

Ben Weeks

Mountain Leader

and Trail’s

long-serving senior

writer Ben is

a huge fan of gnarly,

rocky mountain

routes.

James Forrest

Trail gear tester

and peak-bagger

who spends more

time sleeping in

the mountains than

he does in his own

house!

Oli Reed

Trail’s editor is a

lifelong walker and

scrambler, who these

days is often spotted

on the hills with

two noisy young

boys in tow.

Jenna Maryniak

Trail’s deputy

editor is happiest

when walking

and camping

in the Lake

District with

her dog.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

4


Head for

the hills

SHOP OUR FULL CAMPING RANGE AT REGATTA.COM

AND IN STORES NATIONWIDE

@regattaoutdoors


WATERPROOFS

BUYING GUIDE

Good old British weather means that even in the height of summer you

could well get cold and wet in the mountains if you’re not prepared with

a good set of waterproofs. Here’s what to look for when investing

in one of the most important pieces of hillwalking kit.

1

WHAT WILL L YOU USE

YOUR JACKET FOR?

If you’ve stared at the endless

options for waterproof jackets in gear

shops, you’ll know there are loads of

different styles depending on the

kind of mountain adventure

you’re planning. You get

specific hillwalking

options, lightweight

summer shells,

heavy-duty winter

jackets, and high-

spec designs built for

high mountains and

alpine terrain. The key

is to find one or two that

will work across all of

your mountain trips.

2

KNOW YOUR

GEAR JARGON

Water-resistant or

water-repellent isn’t the same

thing as waterproof. The vast

majority of waterproof jackets

are based on the ‘hard shell’

concept, using a face fabric

bonded to a waterproofbreathable

membrane or

laminate. The most famous

example is Gore-Tex, but it’s

far from the only technology

out there – many brands use

their own membranes, which

can bring the price of the jacket

down quite a lot.

3

EASY ACCESS

C S

TO POCKETS

When you try on a

waterproof jacket in the shop you

probably won’t have your rucksack with

you, so grab one off the shelf and buckle

it up. What you’ll often realise is that the

pockets can get obstructed by rucksack

FEATURED

PRODUCT

MONTANE SPINE

£250

Lightweight and breathable waterproof

protection for fast and light activities,

the Spine Jacket uses Gore-Tex

Active shell to provide reliable

weather protection, however

hard you are working.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

6


WATERPROOFS

MONTANE’S SELECTION

straps, meaning you have to take off your

whole pack to access what’s in them.

Look for jackets with chest pockets or

hand pockets placed higher up, as these

allow you to easily get to your gloves,

snacks and maps as you walk.

4

TWEAKING THE FIT

The most common places for

a waterproof jacket to leak are

at the hood, hem and cuffs. You want a

good range of adjustment to ensure a

good weatherproof seal and stop water

getting in. This is usually achieved

through a variety of drawstrings,

cordlocks and Velcro tabs.

5

STAYING DRY FROM

THE INSIDE OUT

It’s common for people to feel

damp inside their waterproof jacket and

assume it must be leaking, when often

that moisture build-up is a result of you

getting too hot and sweaty. Waterproof

fabrics are breathable, but only to a

limited extent, so its useful to be able

to dump excess heat and moisture by

venting the jacket. See if you can push

up the sleeves and check for vents,

like mesh pockets and pit zips.

6

FIND THE RIGHT FIT

Waterproof jackets come in

all shapes and sizes – long

ones, short ones, loose ones, tight

ones. Some like the full coverage of a

longer hemline, others like the added

mobility of a hip-length cut. A looser

fit allows more layers underneath,

while a trimmer fit eliminates excess

fabric that might otherwise flap around,

bunch up or billow in the wind. Try a few

jackets on and go for the one that feels

the most comfortable – but also check

you can move your arms easily, and that

your wrists and lower back are covered

even when you bend over or stretch

upwards, with no tightness across

the chest or shoulders.

7

ZIP UP, HOOD UP

Zips often leak, so look for

water-resistant types. They’ll

either be laminated with a waterproof

coating, or a reverse coil design (with

the teeth on the inside). The best jackets

also have a storm flap placed behind the

zip or over the top for extra protection.

Ensure the main zip comes right up to

the chin or even the nose. When it comes

to hoods, ensure it adjusts for a close fit

around the head and face, ideally with

a stiffened brim or peak to deflect wind

and rain. Check you can move your head

easily and that you have a good range

of visibility so you can still see where

you’re going.

8

DON’T FORGET THE

BOTTOM HALF!

As well as a good waterproof

jacket, for full waterproof protection

you’ll also need a pair of waterproof

overtrousers (see page 12). Look for a

pair with long side zips, so you can put

them on without taking your boots off.

ADVERTISEMENT PROMOTION

LITE-SPEED E E TRAIL

PULL-ON (MALE ONLY) £80

Using a supremely lightweight

PERTEX QUANTUM ECO, which

is 100% recycled, the Lite-Speed

Trail Pull-On is one of the lightest

wind shirts in its class.

METEOR E JACKET £130

Designed with PERTEX SHIELD fabric

with improved breathability, and all

the essential features required to

make it the go-to shell for mountain

walking and everyday general use.

MINIMUS I M STRETCH

T ULTRA WATERPROOF

JACKET £175

Using a super breathable

20-denier PERTEX SHIELD 2.5

layer waterproof fabric with taped

seams, combined with a minimalist

features, the Minimus Stretch Ultra

Jacket is lightweight and packable

with added stretch for a close fit.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

7


GEAR OF

THE YEAR

2022

NEW

FOR

2022

MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

MONTANE

PAC PLUS XT £250

Boasting the latest Gore-Tex

Paclite Plus fabric, which now

has a dry-touch backer for

improved comfort, this is a great

technical 3-season shell for

hillwalking, scrambling and

full-on mountaineering use.

It’s got a cracking helmet-friendly

hood, pit zips for easy venting,

well-placed pockets and a trimfitting

yet full-coverage cut that

offers excellent mobility. 100%

recycled too!

VERDICT A mountain-ready shell

with a great fit. Still lightweight

and packable yet robust and well

equipped, this is a worthwhile

upgrade for those in search of a

technical 3-season waterproof.

TOM BAILEY

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

8


WATERPROOF JACKETS

MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

NEW

FOR

2022

BERGHAUS PACLITE DYNAK £160

Employing the latest generation Gore-Tex

Paclite fabric in a 2-layer construction

that dispenses with clingy drop liners

or clammy printed backers, this shell

offers not just reliable waterproofbreathable

performance but also a good

level of wearable, on-the-hill comfort.

It’s surprisingly light and packable for

such a sturdy jacket too.

VERDICT A no-nonsense, reasonably

priced and eminently practical hillwalking

waterproof from one of the best-loved

British outdoor brands. The perfect

packable shell for your rucksack.

HAGLOFS L.I.M. £230

Ultra-light, supremely packable, protective and supercomfortable,

the L.I.M (Less Is More) jacket features the

Gore-Tex Paclite Plus fabric, with an impressive 28,000mm

hydrostatic head and RET breathability rating of


NEW

FOR

2022

BLACK DIAMOND HIGHLINE STRETCH SHELL £270

If your waterproof jacket always seems to wet out despite regular

reproofing – or if you’re just not great at giving your outdoor gear

regular TLC – this could be just the shell for you. It’s treated with

a super long-lasting durable water repellent finish, ensuring that

rain will just roll right off, from one adventure to the next.

VERDICT A premium 3-layer shell with a stretchy and

comfortable waterproof fabric, mega pit zips and an innovative

‘super DWR’ for superior long-term breathable performance.

PATAGONIA GRANITE CREST £235

With a Fairtrade certified, 3-layer fabric made from discarded

fishing nets that is also completely PFC-free, this jacket is

commendably eco-friendly. But it’s also a good performer on

the hill, with plenty of practical features allied with dependable

real-world waterproofing. It’s light and packable enough to stow

away when not required too, stuffing into its own pocket.

VERDICT Solid wet weather performance, a good range of

features and impeccable sustainability credentials make

this an attractive option as a versatile 3-season shell.

LONG-TERM TESTS

MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR

EXPOSURE 2 £300

When it comes to spending £300 on a

waterproof jacket, you really want one jacket that

does it all, and for me this jacket really stands out.

The fit from hood to tail is superb, with a flattering

and protective cut, which is still roomy for layers

underneath to make it useable year-round. Made

from GoreTex Paclite, there are more robust

options, but waterproofing is excellent in a

lightweight package. Long pit zips and big

mesh-lined pockets aid ventilation

for warmer conditions.

VERDICT Lovable, lightweight

all-rounder.

USED BY Jenna Maryniak,

Trail deputy editor

USED FOR 8 months

HELLY HANSEN ODIN 9

WORLDS 2.0 £360

This jacket has the best pockets of any

shell I’ve ever used. They’ll easily swallow OS maps

or bulky gloves and have two-way zips, so you can

access them from the bottom or the top. Inside,

stretch inserts stop essentials (like my phone or car

keys) from getting lost in their depths. The rest of

the jacket is just as good too, with a robust fabric,

a cracking hood and top-notch build quality.

VERDICT The latest version of

this shell is just as robust and

practical as the previous model,

which did four years of sterling

service before I passed

it on to a mate – and as

far as I know, it’s still

going strong.

USED BY

Matt Jones,

Trail

contributor

USED FOR 4 months

(but also owned the

previous version

for 4 years)

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

10


WATERPROOF JACKETS

MONTANE ALPINE RESOLVE £360

Montane’s latest flagship waterproof jacket is a rugged

Gore-Tex Pro shell primarily designed for alpine adventures

and winter mountaineering – but that also makes it a solid

option for committed outdoorsy types who are particularly

hard on their kit. In terms of fit, features and functionality,

this jacket is up there with the best, including many top-end

shells in the £400-£500 price range.

VERDICT A premium-quality jacket that feels rugged and

protective, while also managing to save a few grams over

most comparable 4-season rivals.

KLATTERMUSEN ASYNJA £330

This classy shell from the cult Swedish climbing specialists

combines distinctive looks with impressive eco-credentials.

It does have a couple of eccentric details that

you’ll probably either love or hate, but

it is extremely well-built, whilst

also being lighter and more

packable than most 3-layer

jackets. As a result,

you get great comfort

plus reliable springthru-summer

rain

protection.

VERDICT A stylish

and sustainable

shell from the

Swedish brand

that is lightweight,

packable, very

comfortable and

commendably

eco-friendly too.

MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

ADIDAS TERREX

TECHROCK GTX PRO £450

Bold, brash and burly, this premium

all-season mountain waterproof

boasts plenty of technical features,

plus class-leading Gore-Tex Pro

fabric, suitable for adventures

in the worst weather and the

toughest terrain. The cut

is roomy, and our tester

ended up sizing down,

which transformed the

Techrock from a somewhat

loose and baggy outer

layer to a streamlined,

stylish shell.

VERDICT

Get the fit

right and this is a superb

technical mountain jacket

with all the features you

need and nothing you

don’t, which also makes it

one of the lightest Gore-

Tex Pro shells around.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

11

JÖTTNAR HODR £535

A technical tour de force, the Hodr is one of the most robust, wellbuilt

and fully-featured mountain shells we’ve ever tested. From

its ergonomically patterned, helmet-friendly hood to its split tether

embedded hem drawcords, every component has been meticulously

considered. It’s a truly impressive jacket for those who want

guaranteed protection in the most formidable conditions.

VERDICT A true workhorse, this ultra-rugged jacket will

stand up to punishment that would shred lighter shells.

If you can afford to splurge, you won’t regret it.


BERGHAUS DELUGE 2.0 PANT £60

A well-priced pair of waterproofs that use Berghaus’

proprietary 2-layer Hydroshell fabric. They have a

comfortable elasticated waist with draw cord adjustment

and ¾ length zips to help get them on and snap closures

for venting. Available in three trouser lengths for men

and two for women, and a range of waist sizes, you can

be sure to get a pair that fit you properly.

VERDICT A solid and protective pair of hard shell

trousers at an affordable price.

KEELA MUNRO SALOPETTES £145

Created for the toughest conditions in the UK hills

– and around the world – these salopettes offer

two-way full-length leg zippers, reinforcement

in high-wear areas, and an adjustable fit. Their

solid construction and dependable stormproof

weather repellence makes them a popular choice

for those who make the toughest demands from

their gear, including Mountain Rescue Teams and

Tactical Forces.

VERDICT When the going – and conditions – get

tough, these are waterproofs you can rely on.

ROHAN DRY FRONTIER

WATERPROOF TROUSERS £130

Rather than overtrousers, the Dry Frontier

(and women’s Dry Roamers II £120)

trousers are regular walking trousers that

have Rohan’s waterproof, windproof and

breathable Barricade lining and a durable

water repellent coating. Their Dynamic

Moisture Control means they can be worn

year-round in any conditions, and their

styling means they’re more flattering than

the average pair of baggy waterproofs.

VERDICT A do-it-all pair of trousers that

offer both comfort and reliable weather

protection.

LONG-TERM TESTS

MONTANE MINIMUS PANTS £100

I don’t think this is the first time

I’ve written about the Minimus

Pants in a Trail Gear Guide, but

their light weight (around 150g for

men’s medium) and tiny pack size (about the

size of an apple) means they remain my first

choice on trips when the weather looks warm

and likely to be dry (although if it does rain

the pants are reliably waterproof). My only

niggle is that the short ¼ length zip makes

pulling them on over boots a struggle,

but other than that they’re superb.

VERDICT Still my go-to summer

waterproofs, and I see no reason for

that to change any time soon.

USED BY Ben Weeks,

Trail senior writer

USED FOR Several (I forget

exactly how many) years

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

12


WATERPROOF TROUSERS

NEW

FOR

2022

PÁRAMO CASCADA II

TROUSERS £155

Designed to be worn in place of

regular walking trousers, the

Cascadas offer superb breathability,

great venting, and a different take

on waterproofing. Rather than using

a waterproof membrane, Páramo’s

proprietary Analogy fabric actively

moves water away from the skin,

offering a softer, more comfortable,

and more easily repairable alternative

to typical hardshell trousers.

VERDICT Páramo’s unique

waterproofing system makes these

one of the most comfortable pairs of

waterproof trousers available.

ADIDAS TERREX TECHROCK GORE-TEX

PRO TRACKSUIT BOTTOMS £350

Described as “rugged with a functional and

stylish fit”, these waterproof trousers feature an

integrated gaiter, waterproof zippers, reinforced

kicker patches at the cuffs, side zip ventilation,

adjustable waist with belt, and a zippered pocket at

the thigh. The fabric is the premium 3-layer Gore-

Tex Pro shell.

VERDICT A waterproof, windproof and fullyfeatured

pair of overtrousers, with some added

style (but a hefty price tag).

LONG-TERM TESTS

ARC’TERYX BETA PANT £270

There’s a lot to love about

these waterproof trousers.

First, they’re made from

premium Gore-Tex with

Gore C-Knit backer technology

(Blue Sign approved), making them

light, very waterproof and

breathable, with sustainability

credentials. The full-length

zip extends right to the top,

although this does mean that

you can’t unzip from the top for

venting. The cut is articulated

for good freedom of movement

and tapered at the ankle. They come in

three different lengths, which is good

news, as the regular was too long for

me (5ft 4in).

VERDICT Built to last and keep you

dependably dry – check sizing though.

USED BY Jenna Maryniak,

Trail deputy editor

USED FOR 2 months

NEW

FOR

2022

RAB FIRE WALL

TROUSERS £140

I’ve had these

overtrousers since 2017.

They get chucked in my

pack for everything except

full-on winter stuff, when I switch to

salopettes. They have extended threeway

side zips for great ventilation,

which also makes them easy to get

on and off. They also have a grippy

waistband lining, which stops them

from slipping down. I just wish they

came in a long leg, which would

make them pretty much perfect.

VERDICT Nobody likes wearing

waterproof overtrousers, but if

you really have to put a pair on,

these have proved to be more

practical and durable than

most others I’ve tried.

USED BY Matt Jones,

Trail contributor

USED FOR 5 years

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

13


MID LAYERS

BUYING GUIDE

A mid layer sits between a skin-hugging base layer and a waterproof outer layer.

Here’s our guide to the best options you can buy for going out on the trails.

1 2

F L E E C E S

For versatile all-round

performance, fleece is still

the most popular mid layer. Warm,

comfortable and breathable, polyester

fleece comes in multiple variations;

from lightweight, breathable gridded

microfleece tops to uber-cosy, high-loft

fleece hoodies. Its main drawback is

environmental: polyester is a synthetic

fabric made from petrochemicals, which

is not great for the planet. Many fleeces

are now made from recycled polyester,

which partly addresses this issue. But

disturbing research has also shown that

fleece’s fluffy fibres can also release

tiny strands and particles – called

microplastics – into the environment,

especially during the washing process.

The outdoor industry is trying to find

solutions to this serious issue.

INSULATED JACKETS

If you’re looking for optimum

warmth for weight, a synthetic

or down insulated ‘puffer’ jacket is

the obvious choice. They’re often too

warm for active use, though hybrid

insulated mid layers, incorporating

more breathable fleece panels, help

to overcome this limitation. Choosing

between down or synthetic fill can be

tricky. Down jackets are lightweight,

packable and very warm, while synthetic

jackets are usually cheaper and more

resistant to moisture. If you plan to use

your insulated jacket as an extra throwon

layer for rest stops and chilly wild

camps, go for one with a hood. If you’ll

primarily be using it as a mid layer,

then a hood might not be so essential.

3

SOFT SHELLS

Soft shell jackets are versatile

layers that are more windproof

and protective than a fleece and more

comfortable and breathable than a

waterproof hard shell. They can be used

as mid layers or outer layers, though

they aren’t a substitute for a waterproof

jacket in heavy rain. Soft shells come

in many different variants – some are

light, stretchy and breathable, others are

heavier, warmer and more protective.

They’ll typically have more technical

features than most fleeces or puffers,

with multiple pockets, adjustable cuffs

and hem, and a fully adjustable hood.

4

ACTIVE INSULATION

The latest breed of insulated

mid layers are ‘active insulation’

pieces, designed to provide superior

warmth to weight compared to fleece,

while still being breathable enough to

wear all day, unlike conventional down or

synthetic puffers. These usually consist

of a tightly-woven nylon or polyester

face fabric combined with a fluffy, openweave

insulation as an inner lining.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

14


INSULATED JACKETS

RAB INFINITY

MICROLIGHT £240

NEW

FOR

2022

If there is such a thing as a modern

classic in outdoor kit, Rab’s Microlight

jackets have a good claim to the title.

We reckon the new Infinity Microlight

is probably the best one yet, featuring

a Gore-Tex Infinium face fabric and 700

fill power recycled hydrophobic down

insulation. It’s a consummate all-rounder

for the hills and mountains, being warm,

packable and more weatherproof than

most down puffers.

VERDICT The newest version of a

longstanding Trail favourite, this is a

warm, cosy and well-cut puffer that won’t

collapse into a soggy mess even if you

need to stick it on in clag or light drizzle.

GEAR OF

THE YEAR

2022

TOM BAILEY

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

15


MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

JACK WOLFSKIN JWP DOWN £135

If you’re looking for good warmth at a low weight and an

affordable price, this jacket ticks all of the boxes. Wide baffles

are filled with 110g of 700 fill power duck down, providing a

plump, lofty feel to the jacket, but the overall weigh is just 266g

with a super-comfy fit and minimalist design. You also get a

PFC-free DWR coating and a Stormlock windproof shell.

VERDICT A fluffy, cosy down jacket

with a good warmth-to-weight ratio.

MONTANE PRISM £130

The Primaloft-insulated Montane Prism strikes a lovely

balance between weight, warmth, features and performance.

The adjustable, peaked hood is excellent, the dropped hem

adds warmth and coverage, and the relaxed fit (neither loose

nor athletic) is just right. The 30-denier, windproof Pertex

Quantum shell feels tougher than many others too.

VERDICT An excellent and fairly-priced synthetic jacket.

LONG-TERM TESTS

BAM 73 ZERO INSULATED JACKET £165

For me this jacket feels more ‘lifestyle-y’ than

technical, but it’s still comfy, warm and well-made.

Yet it is the eco story that shines through. The jacket

is not only made from 100% recycled materials,

but it’s also 100% recyclable – at the end of its

life, simply return it for free to BAM, who

(in partnership with specialist textile

recycler Project Plan B) will return

it into fibre grade polyester and

knit it into a new garment.

VERDICT An insulated jacket

made from 100% recycled

materials, with an innovative

process for recycling it at

the end of its life.

USED BY James Forrest,

Trail contributor

USED FOR 6 months

FJÄLLRÄVEN KEB TOURING DOWN JACKET £415

So far this jacket hasn’t failed me. In winter you need

quality, and this is it. Every part of the design, from

the hood adjustments, through to the

press-studs behind the zip, to the

two-way zip itself, mean this item is going to

do its job. It’s warm, yet the down seems to

squash easily when packing it away.

It’s recycled and ethically

sourced too. Great, but

at a price.

VERDICT It’s a jacket

for life if you look

after it.

USED BY

Tom Bailey,

Trail

photographer

& writer

USED FOR

3 years

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

16


INSULATED JACKETS

MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

ALPKIT 0HIRO £160

Though it might not compete with the chunkiest belay

parkas or puffiest down jackets in the warmth stakes,

this is still a practical and cosy synthetic layer that will

outperform plenty of pricier rivals on a cold and wet

mountainside. It’s also well-equipped, with numerous

pockets, stretchy cuffs, a two-way main zip and a fully

adjustable, helmet-friendly hood with a protective wired peak.

VERDICT A solid addition to any hillwalker’s cold weather

kit, this versatile synthetic jacket is weatherproof, warm

and well-priced. A great extra layer to stash in your pack.

RAB GENERATOR ALPINE £250

If you’re looking for all-weather warmth without too much

bulk, this technically advanced belay parka is where it’s at.

The space-age synthetic PrimaLoft Gold with Crosscore fill

delivers near-instant cosiness, and the oversized fit means

you can chuck it on over all your other layers for excellent

all-round protection and coverage.

VERDICT A protective but impressively packable belay

parka that is perfectly equipped to deal with exposed

summits and windswept mountainsides.

MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

LONG-TERM TESTS

MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT

ALPAMAYO £330

Despite carrying a hefty

price tag for a synthetic

jacket, it was hard not

to be won over after

I ended up spending most of a

Snowdonia winter in the Alpamayo.

It’s so warm and protective that it

soon became the first thing I pulled

out of my pack, time and time again.

Admittedly, the Gore-Tex shell is a bit

crinkly, but it’s a minor drawback for

such impressive weatherproofing.

VERDICT A high-performance insulating overlayer

that shrugged off wind, rain and snow, the Alpamayo [or

men’s Fitzroy] earned my respect after a North Wales winter.

USED BY Ellie Clewlow, Trail contributor

USED FOR 4 months

NEW

FOR

2022

GEAR GUIDE 2022

TRAIL

17

BLACK DIAMOND VISION

DOWN PARKA £380

There are two types

of insulated jacket:

the lightweight,

wear-all-day kind

and those which are like

a sleeping bag. This is the

second, stuffed with 800-fill,

RDS-certified, HyperDRY goose

down and silky soft inside with

massive pockets for storing

headtorch, phone, map and all

sorts. You’ll never want to take it off.

VERDICT One of the warmest, softest

things I’ve ever worn, it will come with me

on every single wild camping expedition.

USED BY Sarah Ryan, Trail contributor

USED FOR 1 month


SOFT SHELLS

MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

MONTANE DYNO LT £120

One of the stretchiest and most comfortable soft shells we tested last

year, this jacket is great for ridge and gully scrambles, or high-tempo hill

days in changeable weather, when you still need a windproof layer to take

the chill off, or if there’s a good chance of drizzle. It’ll happily shrug off

either, allowing you to leave the waterproof in your pack – or even at

home on mostly dry days.

VERDICT A fully featured soft shell that offers superb all-day comfort.

Its only real drawback is that it is a little heavier than comparable

midweight rivals, despite not boasting the toughest fabric.

ARC’TERYX GAMMA

SL HOODY £140

At 290g, this soft shell

is ultralight and packs

down compactly to the

size of a Coke can. The

Fortius 1.0 double weave

materials ensure excellent

breathability and block

wind impressively, while

the DWR-coating sheds

water effectively in light

showers. It feels more like

a lightweight waterproof

jacket than a traditional

soft shell, albeit with

more stretch for bendy

activities.

VERDICT An ultralight,

breathable, windproof

and stretchy jacket for

fast adventures – but

it’s not that warm.

MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT FRONTIER £140

Soft shells are all about comfort and versatility, and thanks to a

great cut and a weatherproof four-way stretch fabric, the Frontier

delivers on both counts. But while

the inner lining feels soft even

against bare skin, the outer face is

pretty tough. The double-weave

nylon fends off breezes and

light precipitation, but

wicks well too, so you

rarely get too clammy.

VERDICT Pretty

much the ideal allround

mountain

soft shell, this

midweight jacket

is well-cut and

comfortable

yet protective,

durable and

fully equipped

for long hill

days.

MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

RAB VAPOUR-RISE

ALPINE LIGHT £145

The Alpine Light is a super

lightweight soft shell (just 312g

in a men’s medium) which has

good airflow and breathability to

keep you cool, dry and comfortable

across a broad temperature

range, but also staves off

windchill effectively with

its wind and waterresistant

Pertex outer

combined with a fastwicking

liner. The fit

is relatively roomy,

and there are two

mesh-lined chest

pockets, but no

handwarmer pockets.

VERDICT A proven

‘put it on, leave it

on’ layer that fends

off the wind and

provides a little

insulation.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

18


CRAGHOPPERS WHITLAW £70

FLEECES

Less a technical mountain layer and more a lifestyle-y fashion

statement, this well-priced fleece from Craghoppers features

bold colour-block styling, vintage vibes and a touch of style

flair. It has good eco credentials (24 recycled plastic bottles

are used in each fleece) and provides a good warmth boost,

courtesy of the cosy micro-fleece panels.

VERDICT A good-looking fleece with

retro styling and eye-catching colours.

PÁRAMO BENTU PLUS

£125

The Bentu Plus has been designed with

careful tailoring, a contoured fit and a

light stretch for ease of movement.

You get plenty of easy-to-access

pockets, including a map-sized

chest pocket, while the curved hem

at the back of the fleece keeps the

lower back protected. The fleece is

water-repellent, warm, breathable

and pairs with a Páramo Duology

Windproof to create a

fully waterproof system.

VERDICT A well-designed, warm

fleece designed to be used as part

of a Páramo layering system.

NEW

FOR

2022

DYNAFIT FREE ALPHA DIRECT

£190

Featuring Polartec’s Alpha Direct

Active fabric, a complex mesh of

zig-zagging fibres and fluffy tufts of

synthetic insulation, this fleece jacket

is super-comfy and lightly insulating

with superb breathability. The fit is

athletic, the weight is ultralight at

just 308g (men’s small), and you also

get three pockets and a good hood.

VERDICT A new type of fleece

which is ideal for dynamic,

high-intensity activities.

BERGHAUS

CARNOT HOODED JACKET

£120

Billed as a “high performance

and versatile mid layer”, the

Carnot Hooded Jacket is made

of Polartec Power Stretch –

a fabric with four-way stretch

for “outstanding freedom

of movement”, as well as

providing effective insulation

and good wicking. The Carnot

also includes a snug hood with

chinguard, an adjustable waist

and three pockets.

VERDICT A warm fleece

for colder days, with a

comfy fit and excellent

four-way stretch.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

19

NEW

FOR

2022


NEW

FOR

2022

BERGHAUS 24/7 LS ZIP & LS CREW £25-£35

A longstanding classic from Berghaus, the 24/7 tee now

comes in long-sleeve versions with and without a zip

collar. It’s still made from its Argentium fabric, which is

breathable, odour resistant and wicks away sweat with

four-way stretch for freedom of movement on the most

gymnastic scrambles. The longer sleeves now make it

warmer with a zip for easy venting.

VERDICT A classic base layer tee now with longer

sleeves giving it year-round capability.

SAXX HOT SHOT TECH TEE £40

Men’s underwear brand Saxx was founded with the intention to

reduce sweat and clamminess down south, and now it is moving

that expertise north, to a base layer tee. Made from its proprietary

DropTemp quick-drying fabric the tee is designed for hot weather

activity with exceptional wicking and evaporative cooling,

and mesh inserts at the sides to vent heat fast.

VERDICT This tee is designed to keep you cool on hot days – there’s

no women’s specific version so the fit may not work for everyone.

NEW

FOR

2022

LONG-TERM TESTS

ZEROFIT HEATRUB ULTIMATE £60

A disclaimer: wear this for normal hiking

and you’ll bake. But when the mercury

plummets, the Heatrub Ultimate has a

trick up its thermal sleeves. The ‘doubleloop’

barrel fabric provides both heat insulation

and ‘friction heating’. Extra-long bristles ensure

a layer of warm air is retained around the

body, while even a little movement of these

bristles causes friction which generates

heat and warms the wearer. I’ve worn the

Heatrub Ultimate for winter camping, winter

mountaineering and skiing, and in those

coldest of conditions it takes some beating.

VERDICT If the temperature is low enough

to warrant it, the Heatrub Ultimate is the

warmest base layer you can get.

USED BY Ben Weeks, Trail senior writer

USED FOR 3 years

CROSSFLY MEN’S BOXERS PRO 7” £25

These technical boxers are comfy, supportive,

sporty and fast-wicking – everything you need

from your underwear when exercising. Made

from 85% polyester and 15% spandex, you

get a lot of stretch, meaning they “work with your every

movement”, while the Coccoon

holds men’s anatomy neatly in

place for less chafing. The clever

X-Fly tab also enables quick and

easy access if you get caught

short along the trail.

VERDICT With a sporty fit

and excellent features, these

boxers are well-suited to

outdoors adventures.

USED BY James Forrest,

Trail contributor

USED FOR 3 months

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

20


BASE LAYERS

WOOLPOWER 200 CREW £80

This is the lightest layer from Swedish brand Woolpower,

made with its longstanding Ullfrotté 200 merino blend

fabric which features terry loops on the inside and a

circular knit eliminating seams at the torso. This, plus

a bit of stretch, makes it uniquely soft and comfortable

while still being naturally breathable, wicking and

temperature regulating.

VERDICT This unique design has remained all but

unchanged for years and for good reason: it’s supremely

soft and comfortable, simple and functional.

ICEBREAKER MERINO TECH LITE II TEE £65

Knitted from 100% pure merino wool, this base layer has several

benefits. It’s naturally temperature regulating for all conditions,

while being comfortable, stretchy and breathable for summer. The

wool is naturally antimicrobial, and because it’s the bacteria on

your skin that causes sweat to smell this keeps you fresh for days.

VERDICT Made from naturally temperature regulating

and anti-stink merino wool, this is a base layer you

can wear for days – perfect for multi-day treks.

LONG-TERM TESTS

THRUDARK SIEGE HOODED BASE LAYER £125

Warm yet cool, this garment looks great and feels

even better. I started using it at the tail end of last

summer and through into this winter. The long zip at

the front makes temperature regulation easy, thumb

loops make the sleeves snug and that hood is slim enough to

go under that of a shell. It has gone bobbly quite quickly, which

isn’t great. Other than that, I’ll

be using it for a long time.

VERDICT Start

saving now if you

want to buy one…

USED BY Tom Bailey,

Trail photographer

and writer

USED FOR

8 months

FINDRA IONA

MERINO-LITE ZIP

NECK £84

With 150g

lightweight

technical

merino, this is

a top that can be worn in

the mountains in all but the

warmest weather, either alone

or as a base layer. The material is

lovely, with no itch, and it washes well.

The wrists are stretchy enough to be rolled up

and a concealed pocket is great for valuables.

Best of all, you can wear it day after day with no smell!

VERDICT

So versatile and lightweight,it’s one for on and off the hill.

USED BY

Jenna Maryniak, Trail deputy editor

USED FOR

10 months

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

21


MOUNTAIN BOOTS

BUYING GUIDE

Buying the right walking boot is all about finding one that suits your

feet and choice of activities best. Here’s our guide to finding your ideal

match for many years of happy hillwalking adventures together.

1

WHEN ARE YOU

WALKING?

The prime hillwalking seasons

run from spring through to autumn, hence

the popularity of so-called ‘3-season’

boots. These boots are generally ideal for

variable conditions and mixed terrain with

the exception of full-on winter hillwalking

and mountaineering in snow and ice. For

such frozen adventures you’ll need a

4-season boot which will be warmer, more

robust and stiffer underfoot, enabling use

with a pair of crampons.

2

WHERE ARE YOU

WALKING?

Well-trodden mountain tracks

require different footwear from pathless

heather moorland or rocky scree chutes,

gullies and ridge scrambles. Different

boots are built for different terrain. Some

prioritise lightweight flexibility, while

others focus on stability and protection. The

level of ankle support, traction provided

underfoot, and upper construction vary

wildly depending on the intended use.

3

LEATHER OR

SYNTHETIC?

Traditional leather hillwalking

boots are still very popular, since they

generally offer superior durability and

protection for the foot. On the other hand,

they tend to be heavier and less forgiving,

requiring more time to break in. Those

seeking instant out-of-the-box comfort,

trainer-like flexibility and low weight might

prefer synthetic boots.

4

FIND I N D THE RIGHT FIT

Everybody’s feet are different,

which is why it’s vital to try on

walking boots or shoes before

you buy a pair. If you can,

visit a good outdoor

shop for advice, a

proper fitting and the

chance to try multiple

pairs from different

brands. Take a

pair of

FEATURED

PRODUCT

MEINDL BHUTAN MFS

£250

3-season trekking boot, made with

Nubuck hydrophobic leather combined

with a Gore-Tex lining, and a full

protective rubber rand. Meindl’s

Memory Foam System offers

supreme fit and comfort.

Sizes 6-12 (inc half sizes)

plus 13 & 14.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

22


BOOTS

BHUTAN LADY MFS

£250

The women’s fit comes

in sizes 3.5-9 (inc half sizes).

MEINDL SELECTION

walking socks with you too. If you have to

buy online, wear your new boots indoors

for a week or so to check the sizing and fit

before you head for the hills.

5

ONE SIZE DOESN’T

FIT ALL

Don’t necessarily assume that

your size in walking boots will match

your street shoe size. Sizes vary between

brands, which is why it’s worth getting

properly measured and trying on multiple

pairs. Don’t forget that your feet will swell

over the course of a long hill day, especially

in warmer conditions. Many walkers opt

to go a half size or even a full size up from

their street shoe size.

6

HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?

If you’re looking for maximum

protection and support, a high

boot with an extended ankle cuff is likely

to be the best option. If you want optimum

freedom of movement, try a low-cut trail

shoe. Mid boots are somewhere between

the two, offering a good compromise. In all

cases, ensure the ankle cuff feels padded

and comfortable, with no rubbing around

the ankle bone or Achilles tendon.

7

STAYING COOL VS

STAYING DRY

If you’re walking in the UK, it

might seem obvious to go for a boot with a

waterproof-breathable membrane such as

Gore-Tex. This will certainly enable you to

splash through puddles, but remember that

lined boots will never keep your feet as cool

as a non-waterproof fabric boot. Consider

your intended use – will you be crossing

boggy ground or sticking to dry trails?

8

WIDTH AND VOLUME

Walkers with wide feet or high

arches need more space inside

their boots than those with narrow or low

volume feet. Too little room will cause

pinching, although too much allows the

boot to roll around your foot on uneven

ground. Remember that volume can be

reduced by adding a thicker insole. Many

boot brands now offer specific models in

both standard and wide fits too. Some even

offer multiple widths for narrower feet

as well as broad feet, while others do a

specialist bunion fit.

9

GET A GRIP

The outsole provides traction

via a tread pattern made up

of rubber lugs. Some bootmakers use

branded outsoles such as Vibram, others

use their own patterns. Different rubber

compounds are employed too. Softer

compounds offer better grip, but harder

compounds tend to wear better. In general,

deep and widely spaced lugs offer greater

traction and are less likely to clog. Also

look for a pronounced heel breast or heel

brake – the cutaway section between the

heel and midfoot – which will offer more

control on descents.

10

LACE ’EM PROPERLY

Lacing your boots or shoes

correctly will obviously make a

huge difference to the fit. The best boots

feature locking lace hooks that allow you

to adjust the tension across different parts

of the foot.

ADVERTISEMENT PROMOTION

WWW.MEINDL.CO.UK

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

23

RESPOND MID II GTX

£167.50

A suede and mesh upper is complemented

by a recycled rubber sole, with excellent

grip and stability.

JOURNEY MID GTX £197.50

Made with nubuck and Air Stream mesh

and a Gore-Tex lining. Available in both

men’s and women’s fit.

PERU GTX £200

A leather boot with Anatomic design with

Air Active ventilation and a Gore-Tex liner.

Available in both men’s and women’s fit.


AIRZONE ACTIVE

Feel the breeze

www.rab.equipment

Looking for cool mountain comfort on fast, agile day

hikes? With capacities from 18 to 22 litres, the new

AirZone Active range is our lightest ever collection of fully

ventilated backpacks.


MOUNTAIN BOOTS

GEAR OF

THE YEAR

2022

LA SPORTIVA TRANGO TECH LEATHER GTX £255

This boot is one of the best we’ve tested in many years. The Trango Tech is protective

and supportive, yet surprisingly comfortable. It features a single-piece nubuck

leather upper with minimal stitching, high-ankled cut, soft tongue, and rubber

protection at the heel and toe. Waterproofing is via a Gore-Tex lining and a rubber

Vibram outsole provides slip-free traction with a front climbing zone for edging.

VERDICT A fully-featured, durable, leather boot that’s ideal for big mountain days.

As far as an all-round hiking boot goes, you’ll struggle to find anything better.

TOM BAILEY

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

25


ZAMBERLAN 996 VIOZ GTX £220

With their traditional looks and Gore-Tex lined, full-grain leather uppers, these boots

are built for the long haul, just like all boots used to be. They’re reliably waterproof,

extremely durable and reassuringly stable, inspiring confidence over the rockiest

terrain. Downsides? They take a little while to break in and aren’t the lightest.

VERDICT So-called ‘fast and light’ hikers might find these boots too

heavy and stiff, but others will appreciate their superb build quality –

which also means they’ll undoubtedly outlast flimsier rivals.

ALTBERG DALESWAY VEGAN BOOT £195

The ethical and environmental benefits of a plant-based

lifestyle have meant that veganism has gained huge traction

in recent years – but the outdoor industry seems to be lagging

behind. There is Altberg’s Dalesway though: a vegan-friendly

hillwalking boot with uppers made from lorica, a man-made

microporous alternative to leather. Sturdy and waterproof,

they’re also available in five widths.

VERDICT Choices are fairly limited if you’re looking

for high-quality, vegan-friendly hillwalking boots, but

Altberg’s Dalesway is one of the most well-made and

robust options out there.

NEW

FOR

2022

LONG-TERM TESTS

ADIDAS TERREX

EASTRAIL MID GTX £100

Budget boots usually come

with a few compromises, but

I can honestly say that these

lightweight hikers aren’t

just great value: these are great boots,

full-stop. You get reliable Gore-Tex

waterproofing, running shoe cushioning

and solid build quality. I’ve worn them

regularly over the past 6 months, yomping

all over Snowdonia. They’ve performed

brilliantly and still look like new.

VERDICT A stylish, comfortable,

lightweight and waterproof mid-cut hiker

at a great price. Why pay more?

USED BY Matt Jones, Trail contributor

USED FOR 6 months

MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

DANNER MOUNTAIN 600 £200

The Mountain 600’s hybrid style, combining a traditional full-grain leather upper with a

cushioned trainer-like midsole, looks striking. The springy-feeling midsole is the pièce de

résistance, delivering top-notch rebound, cushioning and support in a really responsive,

agile unit. You also get a leather upper, Danner Dry membrane and a Vibram Fuga outsole.

VERDICT A full-grain leather boot with a plush, springy midsole.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

26


MOUNTAIN BOOTS

NEW

FOR

2022

ALTBERG TETHERA

£245

Built from one piece of 2.6mm thick

Anfibio leather with minimal stitching,

the Altberg Tethera is extremely

durable and weather-resistant.

You get a Sympatex waterproof lining,

360˚ rubber rand, deeply-lugged

Vibram outsole and lots of stiffness.

The bellows tongue is excellent, with

a very high flood level, and the ankle

cuff provides good cushioning.

VERDICT Our pick for dry feet.

A top quality leather boot that’s

extremely durable and waterproof

– but it’s very heavy and stiff.

NEW

FOR

2022

HANWAG BLUERIDGE £170

The Blueridge’s upper is a mix of Perwanger leather

and polyamide fabric, the Terragrip outsole features

15% recycled rubber and a 4mm-deep tread, and

waterproofing is via Hanwag’s PFC-free Eco-shell.

But the real star of the show is the humongous,

stretchy, padded tongue, which hugs the

shape of the foot wonderfully for a

close-knit, bespoke fit to

your shape.

VERDICT

A lightweight

and flexible, yet

protective, boot

with a comfy fit.

LONG-TERM TESTS

KEEN NXIS EVO MID £145

KEEN boots have a great reputation for comfort, but

they’re perhaps not the nimblest of footwear. The NXIS

Evo is different though. New for 2022, this lightweight

hiker offers stability and cushioning with added

flexibility. Visually, the most striking feature is a

split toe design that provides enhanced splay and

flex without sacrificing the brand’s signature

protective toe bumper.

VERDICT Though it shares many of

the distinctive traits of a KEEN boot,

this is something of a new departure

for the brand that will undoubtedly

appeal to ‘fast and light’ hikers.

INOV8 ROCFLY G390 £175

For hiking on trails and long distances, I’m a big fan of

comfort. The G390s are super lightweight, have trainerlevel

comfort and bounce, paired with a low ankle, and are

perfect for summer adventures on non-technical

terrain. They aren’t waterproof, which some

may prefer for breathability in summer.

The sole is grippy, with graphene

technology to avoid the age-old

issue of a compromise in

durability for comfort.

VERDICT Trainer-level comfort

built for the hills.

USED BY Jenna Maryniak,

Trail deputy editor

USED FOR 3 months

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

27


MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

SALEWA RAPACE GTX £240

This all-rounder is stiff enough to take a C2 crampon yet on-foot

doesn’t feel a million miles away from a standard 3-season

boot, with good cushioning (courtesy of a Bilight TPU midsole),

flexible ankle cuff and comfy fit. You also get a waterproofbreathable

Gore-Tex Performance Comfort lining, a full

rubber rand for protection against rock and scree,

and a hard-wearing nubuck and fabric upper.

VERDICT A lightweight B2-rated boot with a technical design,

lightweight construction and comfy design. Some key features

are weighted towards winter, but it can be worn all year.

MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

AKU TENGU LITE GTX £215

This is a boot that imbues you with confidence over scrambly

ground thanks to just enough lateral and heel-to-toe stiffness,

but still feels comfy and cushioned enough for big mileage days.

It’s a great balance. You also get a Gore-Tex liner, practical

Vibram Curcuma outsole, and an upper made from suede

and AKU’s air8000 fabric.

VERDICT A well-made, technical, waterproof

hiking boot with a comfy sock-like ankle cuff.

BERGHAUS SUPALITE II GTX £155

A one-piece leather construction with minimal stitching and

a Gore-Tex liner ensure the Supalite II is very waterproof, but

without the rigidity of a heavy leather boot. Instead it’s light and

comfortable, thanks to the soft, supple leather and the ankle

cuff’s memory foam padding. Underfoot you get a Vibram

sole unit with deep, well-spaced lugs for excellent grip.

VERDICT A lightweight full-leather boot that hits

the sweet spot between weight and reliability –

and all at a competitive price.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

28


MOUNTAIN N BOOTS

O MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

LA SPORTIVA ULTRA RAPTOR II MID GTX £155

Based on the legendary Ultra Raptor mountain running shoe,

this is a lightweight but structured and supportive mid-cut boot,

perfect for moving fast on technical terrain. The soft, tacky

outsole also provides outstanding grip on wet and greasy rock.

Just bear in mind that the precision fit might not suit those who

are broader of hoof (but do try the wide version for size).

VERDICT A lightweight boot that still provides enough

protection and support to be reassuringly stable on

technical terrain. As ever, try before you buy, since

the fit won’t suit everyone.

BERGHAUS HILLWALKER II GTX £130

While other leather boots are stiff and clunky, requiring

significant breaking-in, this pair is comfy from the get-go.

These boots are lighter, softer and more forgiving, with comfy

memory foam at the heel and tongue and a cushioned EVA

midsole underfoot. You also get an Opti-Stud outsole and a

Gore-Tex liner, all at an affordable price.

VERDICT A well-priced, lightweight leather

boot that delivers excellent comfort.

MEINDL TONALE LADY GTX £225

These boots feel sturdy and robust, with technical features

and confidence-giving all-round support, yet light and comfy

enough for regular use without pinch-points or rubbing – it’s

the best of both worlds. You get a full wraparound rubber rand,

Gore-Tex membrane, gusseted tongue, EVA foam midsole,

Vibram outsole, and uppers made from

suede leather and mesh.

VERDICT Best buy

for big mountain days.

A fully-featured boot that

strikes a good balance

between weight and

sturdiness.

LONG-TERM TESTS

SALEWA ALP TRAINER 2 MID GTX £190

This isn’t the first pair of Salewa scrambling boots I’ve

owned and once again I’ve made an excellent choice.

They’re flexible enough to be very comfortable when

scrambling or walking (although ‘Trainer’ might be

pushing it) and both reassuringly grippy and precise due to the

Vibram Alpine Hiking outsole which is unique to Salewa. In an

ideal world I’d like a full rand, but these feel pretty tough as it is.

VERDICT Superb

scrambling

boots for

everything bar

the absolute

toughest,

most technical

mountain

routes.

USED BY Ben

Weeks, Trail

senior writer

USED FOR 1 year

SCARPA

R-EVO GTX

£210

For 3-

season

use in

gnarly

weather or on technical

rocky terrain, the Scarpa

R-Evo GTX is a dependable choice.

It has a reassuringly solid and sturdy feel,

with a strong toe cap, rigid heel counter,

moderately stiff midsole and rugged Vibram

Biometric Trek outsole featuring deep, mud-

shedding lugs and an undercut heel for great grip.

VERDICT

Reassuringly sturdy yet delightfully

comfortable, the R-Evo strikes a great balance.

USED BY

James Forrest, Trail contributor

USED FOR

1 year

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

29


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ADVERTISING FEATURE

50 YEARS

of innovation

Therm-a-Rest have been the leaders in outdoor sleep comfort since their founders

created the world’s first self-inflating sleeping pad in 1972. To celebrate a very special

50 th anniversary, they’re looking back over half a century of iconic releases and

endless innovation that changed the way people approach overnight adventure.

One of the earliest slogans used on

Therm-a-Rest print adverts was

“for the rest of your life.” And

while the slogan primarily called out the

superior sleep one could achieve with a

newly invented self-inflating mat, there are

adventurers out there who have spent their

entire outdoor-pursuing lives sleeping on

Therm-a-Rest products.

A lot has happened in the past 50 years,

but Therm-a-Rest’s core mission has

remained the same: to help customers get

a better sleep outdoors. “We got started

because I wanted a better mattress,”

says John Burroughs,

co-founder of

Therm-a-Rest. As

an experienced

mountaineer, John knew the thin

foam mats of the early ’70s left a giant

opportunity for greater sleep comfort.

And when friend and fellow Boeing

employee Jim Lea discovered a way

of enhancing them with air-tight

fabric and a regulated airway, the

self-inflating mattress was born.

In 1972, the friends filed for a patent for

the ‘Therm-a-Rest’, and a year later the

very first mattress was produced in Seattle.

From the outset, John and the small team

in Seattle knew their invention would

revolutionise the way people enjoyed

the outdoors. And as manufacturing

capabilities grew in the ’70s and ’80s, so

did their ability to expand the mattress

range, which included favourites such as

the UltraLite® and RidgeRest®.

The latter would reach near-iconic

status and has been a staple for novices

and experts in the outdoors ever since.

In 1985, due to increasing demand

in Europe, a second factory was opened

in County Cork, Ireland. To this day it

delivers 95% of Therm-a-Rest mattresses

for European customers, and is the hub

of Cascade Designs in Europe.

Looking back over 50 years of

innovations, the brand continues

its unwavering commitment to

customers. And with more people

enjoying the outdoors than ever before,

the Therm-a-Rest team across the

world look forward to the next 50!

■ www.thermarest.com

One of the biggest Therm-a-Rest launches

was NeoAir® – a range of air-filled and

super-compact mattresses which raised

the bar yet again. It continues to set the

standard for innovative, lightweight design,

as seen in today’s NeoAir UberLite (right).

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

31


HIKING SHOES

BUYING GUIDE

One of the most important bits of kit to get right, your shoes can make or break

a day in the hills. Here’s what to consider when you make your choice.

1

THINK ABOUT END USE

Do you want a technical

scrambling shoe that is precise,

stiff and grippy for small footholds, or is allday

comfort more important to you? There

is a shoe designed for every type of activity!

2

PRIORITISE

PROTECTION

For rough ground or scrambling

routes, a rubber toe or heel cap (or

‘rand’) will be extremely valuable for both

protection and durability.

3

CHOOSE YOUR

MATERIAL CAREFULLY

Shoes made from suede and

mesh materials will often be light, flexible

and breathable; whereas leather tends

to be more durable and protective. The

choice is yours!

FEATURED

PRODUCT

SCARPA RUSH

TRAIL GTX

£165

The Rush Trail GTX is a walking shoe

made in the name of comfort,

designed to reduce foot

fatigue, providing agility

and protection.

4

DO YOU NEED THEM TO

BE WATERPROOF?

Many trail shoes come with their

own waterproof linings, although water

can still come over the top of a shoe more

easily than with a boot. Shoes without

a waterproof lining are generally more

breathable.

5

GET SOME GRIP

As a general rule the more

aggressive and deeper the

tread (or ‘lugs’), the better the resulting

grip will be. And while grippy rubber

soles can have superb traction, they may

be less durable for heavy use.

6

ALWAYS CHECK THE

W E I G H T

Just because a trail shoe looks

lighter than a walking boot, that doesn’t

mean it will be. Always do your research

– and try them on before you buy.

ADVERTISEMENT PROMOTION

SCARPA SELECTION

RUSH GTX

£150

MOJITO

O

TRAIL GTX

£165

MESCALITO

£170

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

32


SHOP THE NEW SEASON COLLECTION

THE UK’S NO 1 ONLINE RETAILER FOR RUN.GYM.HIKE.


HIKING SHOES

GEAR OF

THE YEAR

2022

NEW

FOR

2022

DANNER TRAIL

2650 CAMPO GTX £190

We loved the sock-like fit of these trail

shoes, which makes for good comfort

while also reducing the chance of

grit and debris finding its way in. You

have the choice of the new waterproof

Gore-Tex lined version (pictured), or

the original (£160), which is cooler and

more breathable for summer than the

GTX version and most of its rivals. The

lightweight uppers help you pick up

the pace, while a grippy Vibram sole

delivers solid performance underfoot.

VERDICT Extremely light and

breathable trail hiking shoes with

stylish looks, superb comfort and

good traction underfoot.

TOM BAILEY

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

34


HIKING I SHOES

S

MERRELL MOAB SPEED GTX £125

For a decade Merrell’s Moab range has

been the boot of choice for 20 million walkers

– and the US firm has now created a

modern reincarnation of its iconic boot.

The Moab Speed is a lighter, lower-cut,

trainer-style version, with a mesh and

TPU upper, FloatPro Foam midsole for a

“lightweight ride”, Gore-Tex membrane

and Vibram Ecodura rubber outsole.

VERDICT A lightweight, trainer-like

shoe with out-of-the-box comfort.

SALEWA WILDFIRE 2 £140

One of the most innovative approach shoes

we’ve tested in recent years, the Wildfire

has a Switchfit adjustable lacing system that

enables you to get a close, precision fit for

trickier scrambling sections, or a more relaxed

fit for added comfort on gentler terrain. A stiffer

‘edging plate’ under the toes, a grippy outsole

and lacing that extends all the way to the toes

further boost technical performance.

VERDICT A close and precise-feeling approach

shoe with an adaptable fit that provides good

walking comfort on mountain tracks, as well as

the capability to perform on graded scrambles.

MAMMUT DUCAN LOW GTX £150

This low-cut hiker from Mammut has striking

looks, with an unusual mono tongue and offset

lacing. It gets more than just style points though,

since this design makes for a close fit with little

slippage and nowhere for debris to find its way in.

The broad forefoot is very comfortable and the

toe box is slightly asymmetric for more precise

footwork, with a grippy Vibram outsole.

VERDICT A comfortable low-cut hiker with some

clever features that make it pretty capable over

varied terrain. A good choice for long day hikes or

summit-bagging missions with a light pack.

LONG-TERM TESTS

INOV-8 ROCLITE G 315 GTX £145

Each shoe is ultralight (315g, men’s size 8) yet features

a protective toe cap, sturdy heel counter and meta-plate

shank for surprisingly good support, as well as a Gore-Tex

waterproof membrane. But the star of the show has to be

the hard-as-nails outsole with 6mm claw-shaped cleats.

It’s infused with graphene – the world’s

strongest material apparently – thus

delivering super-grippy traction.

VERDICT A technical hiking or

trail running shoe with graphene

grip and a Gore-Tex membrane.

USED BY

James Forrest, Trail contributor

USED FOR 2 years

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

35


NEW

FOR

2022

SCARPA RUSH TRAIL GTX £165

The Rush Trail GTX is a shoe version of

the Rush TRK lightweight boot introduced

last year. The upper features scratchresistant

leather for waterproofing,

breathability and durability, and is

matched with a PFC Free Gore-Tex lining.

The Presa Supergum sole – created by

Scarpa’s in-house development team –

has trekking-oriented lugs with different

thicknesses to aid downhill braking

and provide grip on slopes.

VERDICT Like its boot big brother, the

Rush Trail offers durability, stability

and grip for maximum comfort over

long distances and varied terrain.

DYNAFIT TRANSALPER GTX £170

Alpine brand Dynafit are best known for their ski

touring boots and trail running shoes, but the new

Transalper GTX is a step in a different direction.

It’s a fast-and-light approach shoe equipped

with a waterproof Gore-Tex membrane,

a precision lacing system and a Vibram

Megagrip outsole, which incorporates

a smooth ‘climbing zone’ at the toe

for edging on steeper ground.

VERDICT Unlike many approach shoes that

feel heavy and unforgiving underfoot, this

is a lightweight and streamlined mountain

shoe that combines agility with durability.

NEW

FOR

2022

LONG-TERM TESTS

HOKA ANACAPA ACAPA LOW GTX £135

For comfort levels and

bounce, it’s hard to beat

this range. The deep sole

seems to divide opinion,

but for me it moulds around uneven

ground providing superb traction and

cushioning. The latest addition is the

Anacapa with a Vibram Megagrip

sole of 5mm lugs, a Gore-Tex liner

and a combination of leather

and recycled polyester.

VERDICT Supreme cushioning

and comfort, it’s the

armchair of trail shoes.

USED BY Jenna

Maryniak, Trail

deputy editor

USED FOR

2 months

AKU ROCK DFS GTX £165

The Aku Rock’s DFS (Dual Fit System) lacing offers

both the easy-going fit of a walking shoe and the snug

foot-hugging ability of more climbing focused

footwear. How? Well, traditional laces

provide a standard fit for general walking,

while a second fast lacing system can be

used to pull the shoe in snug around the

sides and top of the foot to “increase

sensitivity and security” for climbing

or scrambling. The system works

well. It’s simple and effective.

VERDICT Although the mixture

of lacing makes the upper

a little busy, the DFS

system works a treat.

USED BY

Ben Weeks,

Trail

senior writer

USED FOR

1 year

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

36


GAITERS

When walking on wet or boggy terrain, this simple but very effective

bit of hillwalking kit will help keep your feet and lower legs dry.

TREKMATES CAIRNGORM

GTX GAITER £35

If you’re looking for a reliably waterproof

and breathable pair of gaiters at a decent

price, the Trekmates Cairngorms are

a good choice. The Gore-Tex fabric

keeps feet dry without getting too

hot and sweaty, and though they

perhaps aren’t quite as tough

as premium rivals, they’ll still

fend off any of the debris

you’re likely to encounter

on mountain tracks and

upland terrain.

VERDICT Lightweight

and reasonably priced

Gore-Tex gaiters that are

great for day hikes

and longer treks.

OUTDOOR RESEARCH CROCODILE GTX £65

Gaiters were the first product that US brand Outdoor Research ever

made, and it is still turning out tough, top-quality models today.

The Crocodiles are a case in point – another candidate for the

‘ultimate gaiter’ award, these offer robust, heavy-duty

protection in mud, snow and almost anything else.

VERDICT Reliably rugged, well-built gaiters made from

heavy-duty Gore-Tex fabric. Available in a wide range

of colours and sizes to ensure a great fit and style.

RAB MUZTAG GORE-TEX PRO

GAITER £60

Described as Rab’s “most technical

protective gaiter”, the Muztag is

made from 40-denier Gore-Tex Pro

for maximum waterproofing. It also

features super-tough 300-denier nylon

ankle reinforcements, an elasticated

ankle, zipless hook-and-loop front

closure, rubberised underfoot strap,

and single-handed drawcord upper

hem adjustment. Or, in other words,

it’s an all-singing, all-dancing,

protective gaiter.

VERDICT A hard-as-nails

waterproof gaiter with

premium features.

BERGHAUS

YETI ATTAK £95

The Yetis first established their

reputation during the 1982 Falklands

War, when they were used by Royal

Marines yomping across the islands’

rugged terrain. Although it requires

a fair bit of muscle to actually fit

them to footwear, once they’re on,

they stay on, offering uber-tough

protection for the boggiest walks

and fully encasing your lower

legs almost up to the knee.

VERDICT A tried and tested,

old school Gore-Tex gaiter best

used with traditional stiff-soled

leather boots, but ideal for

keeping feet dry in the deepest

bogs and stickiest mud.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

37


“The best socks I have ever

hiked in. Bridgedales are

totally awesome.”

Mark Shore

LITTLE THINGS MATTER

Design, knit and quality control in UK

Nylon structure gives durability

Tested around the world

LYCRA® structure allows stretch and recovery

Recommended Sock for The Duke of

Edinburgh’s Expedition

Perfect fit everytime

www.lycra.com

LYCRA® DRY TECHNOLOGY

www.bridgedale.com


WALKING SOCKS

BUYING GUIDE

Not items that usually warrant much attention – unless they’re the cause of sore

feet – but there are some key considerations when choosing walking socks.

1

WHICH WEIGHT?

Socks are normally classed

as lightweight, midweight or

heavyweight, offering different levels

of warmth and cushioning for different

seasons, conditions and activities. Wear

lightweight socks for summer walks,

midweight socks for outings from spring

through to autumn, and heavyweight

socks for winter – though if you suffer

from cold feet, wear thicker socks.

2

PAIR YOUR SOCKS

WITH YOUR BOOTS

Your footwear and socks

should work together to deliver walking

comfort. Heavy-duty mountain boots are

usually built to accommodate walking

socks, whereas lightweight trail shoes

may not be. It’s good practice to try

on your socks with your mountain

footwear before you buy them.

3

CHOOSE THE

RIGHT LENGTH

The most popular style of

hillwalking sock is mid-length, which

usually sits just below the calf. This is

sometimes called a crew length sock.

Mountaineering socks often extend

up to knee-length for extra warmth,

while ankle socks are ideal for walking

in hotter conditions.

4

MATERIALS MATTER

Most hiking socks are made

from a fabric blend, harnessing

the qualities of different fibres. Polyester

is soft, comfortable and provides wicking

performance; nylon or polypropylene

ensures good durability; and wool –

especially merino wool – is temperatureregulating,

moisture-wicking and

very good at managing odour. You’ll

also typically find some elastane (also

called Lycra or spandex) in the blend to

ensure a foot-hugging fit and keep your

socks securely in place, which helps to

prevent blisters.

5

STITCHING & SEAMS

The best hiking socks have

a seamless construction or

low-profile seams, especially at the heel

and toe, to minimise hot spots, irritation

and rubbing – the first signs of blisters.

Turn the sock inside out and inspect the

stitching. Loose threads, untidy finishing

or bulky seams are a warning sign.

6

WATERPROOF?

Though most socks aren’t

waterproof, they do exist if

that’s what you’re looking for. These

typically have a waterproof membrane

sandwiched between a hard-wearing

outer and a soft, warm liner.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

39


SOCKS

BRIDGEDALE MIDWEIGHT

MERINO PERFORMANCE BOOT

£19.50

Once dubbed the iconic ‘Trekker’,

this classic walking sock is made

with a blend of wool for comfort

and odour-resistance, nylon for

durability and Endurofil yarn which

– with low thermal conductivity –

helps keep the warmth in your feet.

Meanwhile, zonal padding and flat

toe seams reduce the chance of

chafing and blisters. A classic,

go-anywhere, mountain sock.

VERDICT One to note for those

with cold toes: this classic,

year-round walking sock wicks

moisture but retains warmth.

NEW

FOR

2022

1000 MILE APPROACH

CREW SOCK £14

Fresh to the market in April

2022, this sock is part of

1000 Mile’s recycled range,

featuring 71% recycled

content. Described as “the

perfect warmer weather

outdoor activity sock to

wear with lightweight

boots or trail shoes”,

this crew-length

sock features

an inner layer

for effective

moisture

wicking

and an

outer

layer for

reducing

friction

and preventing

blisters.

VERDICT A technical

walking sock featuring

71% recycled fabrics.

NEW

FOR

2022

DARN TOUGH RANGER

MICRO CREW £26

Darn Tough got its mileage in

designing socks for thru-hikes in

the US, many of which are over

3000km. The new midweight

walking sock uses a blend of

merino for softness and odourresistance,

nylon for durability,

and a bit of stretch for comfort,

with terry loop cushioning

underfoot to give a soft landing.

Perfect for big weekends.

VERDICT Soft, comfortable,

durable and naturally odourresistant,

perfectly suited for

your next big multi-day trip.

LORPEN T3 WOMEN’S LIGHT HIKER £19

With a medium-to-light thickness and cushioning

on the sole, the Light Hiker is designed for

thermoregulation in the warmer months.

T3 technology uses three layers that combine

hydrophobic wicking properties next to the skin

and a fast-drying middle layer for moisture

management without overheating the foot,

while the nylon outer is friction resistant.

VERDICT A sock that uses unique technology

to keep your feet cool in the heat of the summer.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

40


TROUSERS

BUYING GUIDE

If your only requirement for mountain trousers is that they cover your legs, you’ll be

amazed at the difference finding the right pair could make to your comfort levels.

1

FINDING THE

RIGHT FABRIC

Unlike denim jeans or cotton

joggers, hillwalking trousers are made

from quick-drying performance fabrics to

provide durability, breathability, weatherresistance

and comfort. Most are made

from tightly-woven nylon or polyester soft

shell, often with elastane for stretch. They

usually have a durable water repellent

(DWR) treatment for added waterresistance.

Other outdoor trousers are

made from polycotton, which can often be

waxed for additional weather protection.

2

CUT, COMFORT

& FIT

You’ll spend a lot of

time and cover a lot of miles in

your trousers, so comfort is key.

You need a pair that feel good when

you first put them on, and also

while you’re moving around on

steep and rocky terrain. Cut is down

to personal preference, but your

trousers should offer good freedom of

movement. Features such as knee darts

and a gusseted crotch improve overall

mobility and articulation. A closer fit is

generally preferable to anything that

is too baggy or flappy.

3

STAYING COOL & DRY

Most walking trousers are

water-resistant but not fully

waterproof, which ensures they remain

cool and breathable. However, this does

mean pulling on waterproof overtrousers

when it rains (see page 12).

Fortunately, the DWR finish applied

to the fabric of most walking

trousers means they can generally

withstand light showers and

contact with wet grass or rock.

4

TOUGH ENOUGH FOR

THE ROUGH STUFF

Walking trousers are vulnerable

to wear and tear. Look for thicker fabrics

or reinforced panels in high-stress areas

like the knees, seat and instep. Double

or even triple stitched main seams also

add durability.

5

DON’T SWEAT IT

Many walking trousers are

equipped with thigh vents, which

can help to dump heat and can also be

unzipped for better temperature regulation

if you’re forced to put on overtrousers.

6

THE PERFECT POCKETS

As with a lot of outdoor clothing,

the type, size and placement

of pockets on walking trousers is very

important. Zipped pockets keep items safe.

Large pockets that will accommodate a

map are particularly practical, but make

sure they are sensibly placed so as not to

affect leg movement.

7

F E AT U R E S &

FUNCTIONALITY

There are lots of smaller

features to look for in trousers,

including belt loops, ankle

adjustment, zip-off legs to

convert them into shorts,

lace or boot hooks and more.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

41


MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

NEW

FOR

2022

ALPKIT ARDENT £95

The Ardent trousers deliver great practical performance at a pleasantly affordable

price. Made from a double-weave soft shell material (92% nylon, 8% spandex) with

a water-repellent coating, they are protective and tough, with a tight weave that

withstands wind and a light shower very well. Reinforcements at the knee,

instep and rear add further sturdiness.

VERDICT Warm, weatherproof and comfortable soft shell trousers

at a superb price, but they may be too toasty for spring and summer.

SALOMON WAYFARER TROUSERS £80

Comfortable, stretchy, nicely cut and quick

drying too, these practical outdoor trousers

are ideal for 3-season hiking and hillwalking,

whether you’re a recent mountain convert or a

seasoned summit-bagger. The nylon-elastane

soft shell fabric offers decent durability, while

the durable water-repellent finish will fend off

light drizzle.

VERDICT With practical features and

a technical fabric but understated looks,

these are versatile walking trousers that

don’t scream ‘hardcore mountaineer’ –

ideal for use from peak to pub.

LONG-TERM TESTS

MAIER SPORTS KLUANE

3/4 PANTS £80

It turns out German

brand Maier Sports is

rather good at making

walking trousers. In

fact it’s Maier's speciality. I have

to say that I don't own better

fitting leg-wear than these

Kluane shorts. It’s not just the

fit that’s great either – they're

lightweight and quick-drying,

plus they're super flexible and

comfy with their four-way stretch

material. There are two main

zipped pockets, although these

could be a little larger, and

a small zipped inner pocket.

VERDICT So comfy, I’ve been

living in these, on and off the hill!

USED BY Jenna Maryniak,

Trail deputy editor

MONTANE

NE

TERR A

STRETCH

TCH

PANTS £100

I’ve

used

these

every

week for 4 years,

all year round, and

they’re still going

strong. Leg vents mean

they're nice and cool in the

summer. The stretchy material

makes them super flexible when

you're scrambling. I find them a

slightly strange cut at the top of the legs,

but other than that they’re money well spent.

VERDICT Even comfy enough to sleep in.

USED BY Tom Bailey, Trail photographer & writer

USED FOR 4 years

GEAR GUIDE 2022

TRAIL

42


TROUSERS & SHORTS

MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

NEW

FOR

2022

BERGHAUS SENKE STRETCH SHORT £50

Described by Berghaus as “go anywhere, do anything shorts”,

the Senke Stretch are lightweight, comfortable, fast-drying and

feature a DWR water-resistant coating. As the name suggests,

you get plenty of stretch for good freedom of movement, while

features include two handwarmer pockets, a rear zippered pocket

and an elasticated waist with drawcord adjustment.

VERDICT A lightweight, comfortable and fast-wicking pair of

shorts for summer hiking adventures.

SALEWA PUEZ HEMP

CARGO PANT £125

Hemp isn’t really a fabric

that has been embraced

by the outdoor industry

until now, but it has many

advantages. As well as

being one of the most

sustainable natural fibres,

it’s also lightweight,

durable and breathable.

These practical cargo

trousers use a hempcotton

blend with stretch

panels to deliver flexibility

and comfort while keeping

you cool – ideal for warm

weather hikes.

NEW

FOR

2022

VERDICT It’s good to

see more brands moving

away from petrochemical-

based synthetics to natural

fibres, especially when

the end results are as

functional and comfortable

as these lightweight pants.

FJÄLLRÄVEN KEB TROUSERS CURVED W £205

Undeniably Scandinavian in their toughness, materials and styling,

these technical trekking pants employ a hybrid construction of

weatherproof G-1000 Eco and four-way stretch fabric panels.

This offers good durability yet top-notch freedom. Features

include large thigh and ankle vents, belt loops, distinctive

front leg pockets, lace hooks, and ankle cuff adjustment.

A lighter 3-season version – the Keb Agile – is new for 2022.

VERDICT Fully-featured and superbly-engineered,

these rugged Scandinavian trousers are good for

year-round use including winter.

LONG-TERM TESTS

FJÄLLRÄVEN ABISKO

TREKKING TIGHTS £155

Like everything Fjällräven

does, the updated Abisko

tights look great and

are made to last. The

update includes a new doubleknitted,

moisture-wicking stretch

fabric with recycled polyester,

which feels durable and supportive.

Reinforcements on the knees are

a stretchy Cordura material that

offers extra protection from

moisture and rough terrain. You

get two phone-sized thigh pockets

too. Also available in a cheaper

(£100) non-reinforced version.

VERDICT Comfy, practical

and ready for adventure.

USED BY Jenna Maryniak,

Trail deputy editor

USED FOR 2 months

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

43


MOUNTAIN GLOVES

In all but the warmest weather it’s sensible to have a good pair of gloves in

your pack to be prepared for whatever the mountain weather throws at you!

MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

MONTANE

SUPERCELL

TOUGH WP £65

These warm, tough

and waterproof

mountaineering

gloves have a

nylon outer shell

with goatskin

reinforcements

on palms, fingers

and thumbs. Inside,

a thick pile lining wicks

superbly, keeping hands

dry and comfortable.

Extended cuffs with a

drawcord closure ensure

a good seal, while wrist

leashes help to prevent

losing one in the hills.

VERDICT Warm,

well-built gloves that

are cracking value too.

More than worthy of a

place in your hillwalking

or mountaineering kit.

HESTRA CZONE CONTACT GAUNTLET £60

These gloves are made of stretch nylon soft shell fabric,

with a tacky patterned grip and conductive tips on the index

fingers and thumbs so you can use them

with touchscreen devices. The fit is

close and precise, offering excellent

dexterity. Lightweight, waterproof and

breathable, they’re a versatile option.

VERDICT

Lightweight

and close-

fitting gloves

with useful

touchscreen

compatibility

and excellent

grip. Combine

them with a

liner glove for

extra warmth.

LONG-TERM TESTS

INOV-8 TRAIN ELITE GLOVE £15

You don’t always need thick

gloves. Sometimes you just need

something to take the edge off.

For this purpose, the superthin

Inov-8 Train Elite gloves hit the mark

perfectly – they are ultra-light (34g), comfy,

stretchy, retain finger dexterity and keep

your hands warm. Everything I want from a

lightweight glove.

VERDICT Very thin gloves for when you

need just a touch of warmth – and all at a

good price.

USED BY James Forrest,

Trail contributor

USED FOR 2 years

EXTREMITIES TORRES PEAK £70

Slide your hands into the Extremities

Torres Peak gloves and the

warmth is instantaneous.

This comes from a

luxuriously high-loft

fleece lining and an

opulently generous

helping of Primaloft

insulation. A long

cuff extends this

cosiness over

the wrist, while

Extremities’ in-house

X Dry technology ensures

the gloves are waterproof,

windproof and breathable.

MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

VERDICT A warm, cosy and thickly-

padded glove at a decent price.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

44


GLOVES

MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

BLACK DIAMOND PURSUIT £100

The cosy, fleece-lined interior is suitable down to -12˚C,

while the outer shell is a light, stretchy and abrasion

resistant Pertex Shield material with a waterproof and

breathable BD.dry insert. The palm is made from strong,

premium-feeling goat leather that also stretches over the

roll-top fingers. You also get wrist and hem cinching straps,

thumb nose wipe and excellent wrist coverage.

VERDICT A warm, weatherproof and sturdily-built

mountain glove with good features.

MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT COULOIR £100

This is a waterproof and breathable glove with a Gore-Tex insert

that offers reasonable dexterity, toasty warmth and impressive

toughness. The palms, thumbs, knuckles and all the fingers are

made from goatskin, which gives great protection and excellent

grip, ideal for technical mountaineering. The pre-curved shape

and rollover fingertips further enhance overall

durability and tactility.

VERDICT Our current favourite glove for technical

mountaineering, offering outstanding toughness and good

warmth without sacrificing too much dexterity.

MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

LONG-TERM TESTS

PATAGONIA BETTER SWEATER GLOVES £40

I get about 70% success with gloves that claim to

work with touchscreens, frequently having to take

them off to use my phone. Fingerless gloves solve

that problem and allow you to do fiddly tasks without

removing (and possibly losing) the glove. These aren’t

waterproof but, made from 100% recycled polyester

fleece, they stay warm when wet so I don’t mind.

VERDICT Warm,

practical and much

less likely to get

lost, this fingerless

glove/mitten

combo suits me

for anything other

than truly gnarly

conditions.

USED BY

Sarah Ryan,

Trail contributor

USED FOR

1 month

SEALSKINZ

ALL WEATHER

MULTI-ACTIVITY GLOVE

WITH FUSION CONTROL

£65

Forget the lengthy

and overly

complex title – this

is the key thing: you

know that really annoying thing

that gloves do when you have

slightly damp hands, when the lining

begins to turn inside-out so that

when you go to put the gloves back on

it’s a real battle and your pinky finger gets

stuck? Thanks to the liner being fused to the

outer, these don’t do that. They’re also waterproof,

windproof, warm, and highly dexterous.

VERDICT The best-behaved gloves I’ve ever owned and my current

favourites.

USED BY Ben Weeks, Trail senior writer USED FOR 1 year

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

45


RUCKSACKS

BUYING GUIDE

There’s more to buying hillwalking packs then picking the right size and weight,

so here’s all the key considerations to make sure you spend your money wisely.

1

CHOOSE O BY ACTIVITY

I T Walking rucksack categories are

often split into trekking, backpacking

and mountaineering. Trekking daypacks

vary in size from around 15-45 litres and are

designed for everything from summer hikes to

scrambling routes and winter mountain days.

Backpacking and expedition bags have a large

capacity, plus lots of features to help you

carry and access everything you need

for multi-day trips. Mountaineering

packs tend to be more stripped

back in terms of features to

keep them light and simple.

2

M E A S U R E

YOURSELF

As well as different

capacity sizes, some packs also

come in different fit sizes or back

lengths. We’re all different, and

although many packs come with

adjustable back lengths, start by

measuring yourself and make sure you try

it on when you buy.

3

BACK SYSTEMS

S S

You’ve got a few options with back

systems. Either go for a padded

foam-type design that fits snugly against

your back, a channelled back system

that ventilates hot air away from your

back, or a suspended mesh system that

lifts the whole bag clean away from your

back. This is purely personal choice, so

try a few and see what works best for you.

FEATURED

PRODUCT

DEUTER GUIDE 34+

£145

The Guide is a mountaineering

pack which is slim and lightweight.

Its Alpine back system provides a

snug fit, giving you maximum

control at all times. Made

using 100% PFC

materials.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

46


RUCKSACKS

PICK THE RIGHT SIZE

DEUTER SELECTION

What capacity do you really need?

Buy too big and you’ll fill it with

unnecessary junk. Go too small and

you’ll end up leaving stuff behind.

Here’s a rough guide to the size you

need for specific types of walk…

15-25 LITRES

Fast or superlight hillwalk.

25-35 LITRES

Shorter hikes in spring,

summer or autumn.

35-45 5 LITRES

Longer mountain walks,

scrambling and mountaineering.

45-55 5 5 LITRES

Winter mountains, lightweight

wild camps, hut-to-hut trips.

55-75 5 5 LITRES

Camping expeditions,

long-distance trails.

75+ LITRES

Epic expeditions!

4

GET ORGANISED

The choices are almost endless

when it comes to different types

of pack openings, compartments and

pockets. If you just want to chuck all

your gear inside and forget about it while

you walk, go for a single compartment

with a drawstring and buckled closure.

But if you like dividing your kit up and

accessing it on the go, look for a pack

with multiple compartments, pockets

and zipped entry points. You can get

them on the front or side of the pack,

and sometimes even at the rear.

5

WEATHERPROOFING

Very few hiking rucksacks are

fully waterproof, which means

they’ll withstand a bit of rain but

when it’s really chucking down the

water will get through. Some packs

come with a detachable raincover

(often stashed in a small pocket

at the base of the pack), but to

keep kit completely dry, use good

waterproof dry-bags inside.

6

S T O W I N G &

STASHING

Big side pockets,

compression straps, trekking

pole loops and ice axe attachments

are great if you like stowing gear

on the outside of your pack to

access in transit. Hipbelt pockets

are also useful for stashing things

so you can grab them without taking

the rucksack off, but check you can

actually reach them.

7

COMFORT IS KEY

You’ll be carrying your pack

a long way and filling it with

a lot of weight, so it needs to be comfy.

Look for padded shoulder straps that

fit snugly, and a hipbelt that sits on

your hips (not waist) to take most of

the weight. Before you buy, load it up

with weight in the shop and walk around

with it to make sure you’re happy.

ADVERTISEMENT PROMOTION

FUTURA PRO 34 SL £145

TRAIL PRO 36 £135

SPEEDLITE 24 SL £100

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

47


DEUTER

IS FOR

LEADING LIGHTS

#deuterforever

FUTURA 25 SL

deutergb.co.uk


RUCKSACKS

GEAR OF

THE YEAR

2022

RAB AEON 35 £120

The Aeon 35 is our top all-round

large daypack. Roomy and capable,

it’s versatile enough to cope with

all sorts of outdoor adventures,

from long hillwalking days to

more technical scrambling routes.

It’s even big enough to pack for

a cheeky overnighter in a hut or

bothy. Formerly branded as Lowe

Alpine, it’s now part of sister

company Rab’s range for 2022

so it’ll match your jacket too.

VERDICT Whether it says Lowe

Alpine or Rab on the lid, this large

daypack delivers impressive

versatility and practicality,

along with a tough build and

a comfortable carry.

NEW

FOR

2022

TOM BAILEY

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

49


DEUTER

SPEED LITE 24 £85

This is an unashamed

summer pack, even offering a

dedicated sunglasses holder

on the left shoulder strap! Its

V-shaped athletic design with

a mesh back panel sits close

to the body while allowing air

circulation. Two stretchy side

pockets, a zipped pocket on

each hip fin, an expandable

stretch pouch and webbing

loops and bungee cords offer

further exterior kit carrying

options, along with a zipped

pocket for valuables and an

internal hydration pouch.

VERDICT A great pack

for summer scrambles

and lightweight walking,

offering a good balance

between capacity, weight

and toughness.

MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

DECATHLON MH100 20L £25

This 20-litre backpack is ridiculously good

value for money. The padded back system

isn’t the most technically advanced, but you

do get amazing bang for your buck with the

MH100. It features a padded hipbelt, stretchy

wand pockets for your water bottles, comfy

shoulder straps, zippered lid, webbing loops,

and several clips and compartments.

VERDICT A basic but superbly-priced

daypack with good features.

NEW

FOR

2022

BERGHAUS

REMOTE HIKE 35 £95

This large daypack has a

roomy main compartment

with an unusual lid that

unbuckles from the rear,

plus a side zip for quick

access if required. Other

trail-friendly features

include a vented back panel,

front stretch pocket and two

zipped hipbelt pockets. You

should get a great fit too,

since it comes in men’s and

women’s versions, both with

adjustable harnesses to fit

different torso lengths.

VERDICT New for 2022, this

roomy daypack looks ideal

for the biggest hill days, with

a gender-specific fit and a

range of features to ensure a

comfortable carry and ample

storage space for all your kit.

GOSSAMER GEAR KUMO 36 $180 (+ SHIPPING & CUSTOMS CHARGES)

Ultralight gurus Gossamer Gear make world-class frameless backpacks

at the lowest weight possible. The Kumo 36 is no exception, offering a 36-litre

capacity at just 580g (medium). It features huge mesh pockets, padded shoulder

straps, durable robic nylon fabrics, water bottle pockets, lashing loops and

everything else you could need. It’s a great carry and a gram-saving revelation.

VERDICT An ultralight frameless backpack for long-distance

walkers looking to reduce their pack weight.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

50


OSPREY SPORTLITE 30 £100

New for 2022, the Sportlite comes in four sizes from 15 (£60)

to 30 litres, with recycled and Bluesign approved fabrics.

The 30-litre option is great balance between a light weight,

stripped back design, and all the features a hillwalker could

want. A neat, slimline design allows full range of movement,

and there is a good range of spacious pockets, but no raincover.

VERDICT Lightweight affordable pack well suited to

mountainous summer adventures.

NEW

FOR

2022

NEW

FOR

2022

DAYPACKS

SALEWA

ORTLES GUIDE 35 £160

A good mountain pack

should be close-fitting

and stable, even when

fully loaded. This

usually requires a

back-hugging design

that can be a little

sweaty. But Salewa’s

nifty Contact Flow

back system and split

shoulder straps manage

to keep everything

dialled in while giving

good airflow. The

rest of the pack is

as considered, with

innovative features,

tough fabrics and a

strippable design to

keep weight down.

VERDICT

An innovative

pack that is light,

tough and stable,

yet fully featured

and well ventilated too.

MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

BLACK DIAMOND

SPEED 40 £140

Technical, versatile

and high-performing,

this pack is a

superb all-rounder.

It has a classic

mountaineering pack

shape – tall, thin and

streamlined – and

a no-nonsense

yet elegant design.

Winter-ready

attributes include

crampon straps,

ice axe attachments,

and a tuck-away rope

strap, but this pack

works excellently for

hillwalking as well as

gnarly alpine exploits.

VERDICT A versatile,

technical and premium

quality all-rounder

at an excellent price,

possibly best suited

to winter adventures.

OSPREY TALON 22 £130

There’s pretty much everything a walker could want on this pack. It’s

available in two adjustable sizes, so you’re guaranteed the perfect fit.

There’s a stretch panel with a buckle closure, two stretch side pockets,

internal and external zipped pockets, two waistbelt pockets and a pocket

on one shoulder strap for sunglasses or a compass. There’s a typical loop

and bungee pole attachment, plus Osprey’s Stow on the Go system which

allows you to tuck your poles away without having to take the pack off.

VERDICT A well featured pack that offers the perfect

fit and almost every function a walker could want.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

51


LONG-TERM TESTS

EXPED CORE 25 £95

For summer in

the mountains on

the days I’m not

carrying camera

kit, this is my perfect bag.

Hard-wearing and stripped

down to the basics (a bit like

its owner!). For light loads,

I detach the waistbelt. You

couldn’t begin to imagine

how much I love the large

haul loop. Even the zip

on the top compartment

seems to be holding up.

VERDICT Bag perfection.

USED BY Tom Bailey, Trail

photographer & writer

USED FOR 3 years

ZPACKS NERO 38L $249 (+ SHIPPING & CUSTOMS CHARGES)

I used this frameless backpack from niche US brand

Zpacks for a 500-mile walk between Ben Nevis and

Snowdon last summer. The cons? It was sweaty on my

back and required careful packing. But the pros were

incredible... It weighs an insane 375g (including hipbelt), meaning

I was as light and fast as possible on the trail, while the pack itself

proved durable, weatherproof, comfy, spacious and fully-featured.

VERDICT Amazing pack for super light walking.

USED BY James Forrest, Trail contributor

USED FOR 1 year

FJÄLLRÄVEN ÄV KAIPAK K 28 £140

Let’s cut straight to the important bit –

this is a great looking pack. Made from

Fjällräven’s tough G1000 fabric (the

modern incarnation uses HeavyDuty

Eco material), this is a simple but very impressive

bag with a roomy main chamber, plus a big zipped

pocket right down the front that’s

handy for stashing waterproofs

and maps. The shoulder

straps are nicely padded but

the hipbelt isn’t much more

than a removable thin strap,

so consider how much you

value good hip support

from your packs.

VERDICT Superb

option for day

hikes with a

light load, and

looks as good

off the hill as

it does on it.

USED BY

Oli Reed,

Trail editor

USED FOR

4 years

GREGORY SALVO 24 £90

Despite its relatively small 24-litre capacity, the Salvo still feels

roomy with easy access thanks to the large entry zip around the top.

It isn’t particularly light, but makes up for that with an excellently

designed VaporSpan ventilated back system that lifts the pack well

clear of your body. It also has a nice lower-back cushion, making this

one of the most comfortable daypacks I’ve tested. The Salvo has been

updated to the Citro 24 (£115) in the Gregory range for 2022, with the

addition of a big stretchy mesh pocket on the front for stashing things

like waterproofs.

VERDICT Superb back panel and very comfy, with all

the features and pockets you’d want in a hiking pack.

And the new Citro version looks even better.

USED BY Oli Reed, Trail editor

USED FOR 3 years

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

52


BACKPACKING PACKS

LOWE ALPINE

CHOLATSE ND50:55 £155

This women’s-specific trekking pack is

extremely comfortable to carry, balancing

good back ventilation with excellent load

stability. It doesn’t skimp on storage, yet it

is tough and weatherproof too, with burly

fabrics and a stowaway raincover. In fact,

you get an impressive amount of pack for

your money here, making it cracking value.

VERDICT A versatile beast at a competitive

price, this is the ideal all-purpose women’s

pack for mixed multi-day backpacking

adventures. The men’s Cholatse 52:57 is

just as good too.

MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

SIERRA DESIGNS FLEX

CAPACITOR 60-75 £185

Extendable packs usually gain

space vertically, but this isn’t ideal.

Not only can the pack become

unwieldingly tall, but any gear

stowed at the base is then even

more difficult to access. The Flex

Capacitor rucksack solves both

these problems. Rather than

extending upwards, it uses a double

fold of material on the front and a

series of cinch cords to expand or

contract the circumference of the

pack, making it possible to increase

the volume without the height.

VERDICT With its light weight,

multiple pockets and a clever

design that solves an old problem,

this is a great load hauler.

GREGORY KATMAI 55 £215

This capacious pack handles

heavy loads with ease, offering

plenty of support and stability

with plush padding to eliminate

pressure points. The trampolinestyle

back panel feels airy and

well-ventilated too. It’s also more

eco-friendly than most packs,

since it uses a PFC-free DWR and

recycled fabrics. If your

top priorities are plenty of

storage and optimum carrying

comfort, you’ll love it.

VERDICT A great choice for

extended trekking trips, this

deluxe gear-hauler is welladapted

to warm climates,

big days and heavy loads.

MAGAZINE

BEST

IN TEST

NEW

FOR

2022

LONG-TERM TESTS

OSPREY STRATOS 44 £185

Although only released this

Spring, I’ve had the Stratos

44 on test for 6 months, and I

like what I’m finding. The size

is perfect for summer wild camping trips

(although it works well as a winter daypack

too) which require more volume than a

daypack but less than a full backpacking

rucksack. The back system manages to keep

the Stratos reasonably close to my body for

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

53

stability on trickier ground, but also provides

a good amount of ventilation. And there are so

many storage options that my biggest problem

is remembering which pocket I’ve put what in!

VERDICT A great summer wild

camping pack that perfectly balances

performance, comfort and capacity.

USED BY Ben Weeks, Trail senior writer

USED FOR 6 months


OSPREY ATMOS AG 65 £220

The definition of the deluxe gearhauler,

the Atmos – or women’s

Aura – employs Osprey’s suspended

mesh AG (‘anti-gravity’) back system

to deliver an extremely comfortable

carry with superior ventilation.

The wraparound hipbelt transfers

load extremely well, yet doesn’t

chafe or feel too sticky even

after long miles on the trail.

VERDICT A top choice for any

long-distance route that entails

carrying a lot of kit, this proven

pack is an exceptional load-lugger,

engineered with airflow and

carrying comfort in mind.

ATOM PACKS MO EP50 £265

The Mo is an ultralight, built-to-order pack made in the Lake District

that allows you to select your preferred back length, hipbelt size,

materials, pocket configuration and even colours. It’s rugged and roomy,

with a handy stretch shoulder pocket and a top Y-strap for stowing a

sleeping mat or tent. The simple but effective harness and back panel

balance low weight with comfort and load stability.

VERDICT Pound-for-pound, this has to be the toughest pack around.

A great choice for fast and light backpackers, offering far more than

most ultralight rivals in terms of practicality and durability.

LONG-TERM TESTS

FJÄLLRÄVEN ABISKO 75 £260

You would not believe how

much stuff this sack can

take. The solid base

gives great protection

considering how much weight

it can carry, while the big, comfy

shoulder straps and waistbelt

cope well with big loads. The

front zip pocket is very useful

for wet waterproofs. Big and

brilliant. The Abisko 75 has

now been discontinued, but the

Keb 72 (£300) is very similar,

with great eco credentials.

VERDICT A big bag

for big adventures!

USED BY Tom Bailey, Trail

photographer & writer

USED FOR 7 years

GREGORY 55L MAVEN BACKPACK £190

Gregory isn’t a brand I’d heard of until recently, although

is well established in the States. The Maven takes 55 litres

of gear, and very unusually for my 5ft 4in frame there is

no restriction in the

movement of my head. It comes

in two adjustable back lengths, in

three sizes – 45, 55 and 65 litres.

It has a moulded hipbelt, a sturdy

construction made for carrying

heavy weight and a full-length

side zip for easy access. A fullyfeatured

pack that’s made to last.

VERDICT

A quality backpacking

rucksack with full-length side

access, that doesn’t restrict

head movement.

USED BY

Jenna Maryniak,

Trail

deputy editor

USED FOR

5 months

GEAR GUIDE 2022

TRAIL

54


HYDRATION

BUYING GUIDE

Whether you want to pack a flask, carry

a hydration system, or filter your water

on-the-go, there are thirst-quenching

options available for all tastes.

1

HOW TO BUY

Needless to say, staying

adequately hydrated in the

mountains is very important and you’ll

want to carry at least a litre or two of

water at all times, depending on the

length of your hike. Your bottle or bottles

should be strong and durable (to cope

with rocky terrain), fit securely in your

backpack’s pockets, and have a good

capacity. A 1L Nalgene bottle with a wide

mouth is a good choice, for example.

2 RESERVOIRS

If you don’t want to carry around

multiple bottles, a reservoir

– also commonly known as a hydration

pack or bladder – is an excellent

alternative. This flexible water container

will commonly hold 2L or 3L of water,

and is housed inside your backpack while

a hose enables you to drink from the

reservoir on-the-go. Some backpacks

are hydration-compatible, with a special

sleeve to house the reservoir and a hole

for threading the hose through. Better

quality reservoirs will have clip closure

or a magnetic system for securing the

hose to your backpack’s shoulder straps.

3 FILTERS

To avoid carrying too much

heavy water, you can filter water

as you go. There are a myriad of water

filter products available on the market.

Perhaps the most popular are water

bottles with in-built filters. They are the

simplest to use: fill up in a stream and

start drinking, that’s it. The only flaw

is that the flow-rate from the bottle

can be quite slow, meaning you can’t

guzzle water properly and it takes ages

to drink even just 500ml. Other more

complicated and heavy filters – often

featuring hoses and a handheld pump

– enable you to pre-filter as much

water as you want. This clean

water can then be stored

in your reservoir or

bottles, and consumed

at your leisure.

4 FLASKS

A high-quality flask will have

good hot and cold performance,

with the ability to keep your drink nicely

chilled or adequately hot, depending on

whether you’ve packed lemonade or hot

chocolate. The other critical feature is a

secure cap, so that even if your flask gets

knocked around or accidentally

up-ended in a rucksack

it won’t leak.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

55


LIFESAVER WAYFARER £90

New for 2022, hydration expert LifeSaver

is releasing a new water filter – the

Wayfarer. It is operated using a handheld

pump, which draws ‘dirty’ water from

a scavenger in-hose (placed in a water

source), runs it through a replaceable

filtration cartridge, and then transforms

it into clean water outputted through the

out-hose. This enables you to filter water

quickly and safely, cutting out 99.99%

of viruses, bacteria and cysts.

VERDICT A handheld pump filtration

system with good features.

NEW

FOR

2022

LIFESTRAW GO £50

With a water bottle and filter in one, keeping a

steady supply of clean, fresh water is rarely more

straightforward. The filter removes 99.999999%

of bacteria, 99.999% of parasites, and 99.999% of

microplastics and sediment. Just fill the bottle and

away you go. Plus, for every bottle you buy, Lifestraw

provides filters to developing nations.

VERDICT One of the simplest filters out there and

perfect for day walks – potentially negating the

need to carry anything more.

LONG-TERM TESTS

SIGG HERITAGE BOTTLE 1LTR £18

I’ve used Sigg bottles for 25+ years, as I’ve found they

last for ages. The stoppers tend to need replacing fairly

regularly (once every 5 years for me), as the plastic

thread wears out on the metal thread of the bottle, but

these are available to buy separately, and you can tie the lid to the

bottle so you don’t lose it. I think Sigg has stopped making this exact

model, so buy it while you can. I love them.

VERDICT A classic bottle that’s almost as old

as hillwalking itself.

USED BY Tom Bailey, Trail

photographer

& writer

USED FOR 5

years+

VAPUR

ANTI-

BOTTLE TLE £14

I used

this

bottle on

several long-

distance walks in 2021, including

the Pembrokeshire Coast Path,

Wainwright’s Coast to Coast, Hadrian’s Wall Path and Dales High

Way, and it never let me down. I chose it because of its ultra-light

and minimalist design (only 41g per 1L bottle) and for the useful

carabiner clip – handy to ensure you never accidentally dropped

it on the trail.

VERDICT

A lightweight, foldable bottle

for minimalist backpackers.

USED BY

James Forrest, Trail contributor

USED FOR

1 year

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

56


HYDRATION

NEW

FOR

2022

HYDRAPAK ULTRAFLASK

SPEED 500ML BOTTLE £26

The thing about water bottles is they take

up a fair amount of space. Not so the

Ultraflask, which is made from a soft,

flexible material and can simply be rolled

away when empty. It’s also incredibly

light, weighing just 41g. You can even

freeze it, so on really hot days you’ve

got a supply of slowly thawing icy water.

VERDICT Designed for trail runners,

excellent for hillwalkers, this ultralight,

flexible bottle saves space and weight.

SAWYER MINI WATER

FILTRATION SYSTEM £35

The Sawyer Mini water filter is versatile,

weighs just 65g and is guaranteed to filter 100,000

litres of water. Screw it to the top of the 16oz (455ml)

pouch included or onto any standard water bottle to drink

directly, use the removable straw to drink straight from the

source, or connect it to your hydration bladder.

VERDICT Small, light and incredibly versatile, this stalwart

removes 99.99999% of all bacteria, 99.9999% of all protozoa and

100% of microplastics.

LONG-TERM TESTS

PLATYPUS QUICKDRAW £35

Water sanitation comes in all

shapes and sizes these days,

but I love the simplicity and

portability of this superlightweight

filter. It weighs just 95g and

the reservoir just wraps around the

filter, taking no space in your rucksack.

It works quickly and effortlessly, to

decant clean water, free from particles,

bacteria and protozoa into whatever

container you want (including straight

into your mouth).

VERDICT Great value bit of kit

for back country explorations.

USED BY Jenna Maryniak,

Trail deputy editor

USED FOR 7 months

NEW

FOR

2022

MSR TRAILSHOT

MICRO FILTER

£60

I’ve used this

for multiple wild

camping and hiking

trips, and although the

effort of hand pumping the numerous

litres of water over the years has given me

a forearm like Popeye, it’s proved to be a reliable trail

friend. It removes bacteria and protozoa from wild water (to be

sure its virus free you need to treat it with sterilising tablets or

boil it), enabling all but the most untrustworthy water to be drunk

directly from source or used to top up a bottle.

VERDICT A great little device that’s easy and convenient

to use, offering handy hydration and a lighter pack.

USED BY

Ben Weeks, Trail senior writer

USED FOR

3 years

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

57


TREKKING POLES

BUYING GUIDE

Poles will power you through the hills, taking the strain off tired limbs and

providing security on steep and uneven ground. Here’s how to find the perfect pair.

1

WHY USE

POLES?

Poles are

useful when carrying

loads or on steep slopes,

reducing wear and fatigue

on your knees and hips. Stand

on some scales and watch

the dial when you rest a pair

either side, and you’ll see how

drastic this effect can be! They can

also offer stability in bad weather, on

unstable ground or when crossing water.

2 HANDLE

The handle should fit

snug in your hand and feel

comfortable. On higher-priced poles

these are well-padded and may have a

forward angle for a more natural grip.

3

WRIST LOOP

When used properly, the wrist

loop takes most of the load,

so you don’t have to grip the handle as

tightly. It’s also useful to ensure you don’t

drop the pole down the mountainside.

Higher-priced poles offer adjustable

straps for a perfect fit.

4

GET THE

LENGTH RIGHT

Buying the correct pole length is

important, because it ensures you’re able

to use the right technique, avoid falls,

FEATURED

PRODUCT

LEKI MAKALU A CARBON

FX £190

Lightweight trekking poles with

LEKI’s Aergon Air grip for ergonomic

comfort and control, and Speed

Lock 2 Plus for quick

adjustment and setting.

and provides optimal power transfer.

Your elbow should be bent at 90°, with the

forearm parallel to the ground. You may

want to adjust the pole’s height slightly –

making it shorter or longer – depending

on the length of your stride.

5 PACKABILITY

When not in use, you will

need to collapse your poles

to strap them to your rucksack. If the

packed size is too long it will project

from your rucksack and can get caught

on branches or rocks, or poke your mate

in the eye!

6 SHAFTS

S

Walking poles are usually

made from alloy tubing. To

save weight, some tubing is thinner but

this may make them bendier and less

secure on uneven ground. Some poles

are made with carbon or carbon

composite to make them lighter.

Care is needed with these though,

as if over-stressed they can

shatter rather than bend.

7

T I P S &

BASKETS

Poles have a

metal tip to provide grip. If you

need to use the poles on hard surfaces

you can buy rubber tips to stop clicking

noises, while a basket stops the tip

sinking too deeply into soft terrain.

8

LOCKING SYSTEM

Length is usually adjusted by

an external lever that operates

a clamping mechanism, or by a twistlock

system. The latter doesn’t catch on

rocks/undergrowth. Both need drying

after use to prevent corrosion. The lever

mechanism is quick and easy to use,

but it can snag on undergrowth.

ADVERTISEMENT PROMOTION

LEKI SELECTION

CROSS S TRAIL

FX.ONE SUPERLITE

E

£180

CRESSIDA £110

KHUMBU LITE £80

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

58


TREKKING POLES

TREKOLOGY TREK-Z 2.0 CORK £33

These aluminium poles from ‘challenger’

brand Trekology are remarkably wellpriced,

but the materials and construction are

also high-quality, while the design is perfectly

functional. Like most other compact Z-folding

poles on the market, they use a four-piece

construction with a top lever lock that

enables a good range of adjustment. They’re

comfortable to hold and sturdy to use.

VERDICT Compact, robust and functional,

these are excellent all-round trekking poles

for the price. Their only real drawback is

a little extra weight and complexity.

MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

NEW

FOR

2022

CIMALP DISTANCE CARBON £140

These Z-folding carbon fibre trekking poles

from French brand CimAlp tick all the boxes

for trail use: they’re stiff, lightweight and

easy to assemble or collapse, with a compact

folded length. They also have a wide range

of adjustment (from 110 to 130cm) thanks to

a robust lever lock, which sits just below an

extended and very comfortable foam grip.

VERDICT If you’re planning a long-distance walk

this summer, it’s worth thinking about taking a pair

of poles – your knees will thank you for it – and these

light and compact carbon poles are a great option.

MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

NEW

FOR

2022

LEKI CROSS TRAIL

LITE CARBON £160

Designed for speed hiking, these

high-end, carbon poles are tailormade

for big summit rounds,

whether you’re aiming to bag

multiple Munros, Wainwrights

or other peaks. Equipped with a

unique Cross Shark grip system,

they offer security and comfort

during fast-paced mountain

hikes. Leki’s latest Speed Lock 2

Plus levers also offer rapid, onthe-fly

pole adjustment.

VERDICT Premium, ultralight

carbon fibre trekking poles

that are ideal for tackling

long-distance challenge

walks and demanding

summit-bagging missions.

KOMPERDELL CARBON FXP.4

APPROACH VARIO COMPACT £137

These four-piece carbon fibre folding

poles weigh only 251g per pole and have

a folded length of just 38cm. They also

have a rapid self-deployment system

that is effective and easy to use. It’s

an exceptionally well-engineered and

durable design, with an ergonomic,

extended handle and a large, flexible

basket to stop the pole from plugging in

soft ground.

VERDICT Superbly engineered carbon fibre

trekking poles, with a compact folded length,

extended ergonomic grips, practical baskets

and a brilliant self-deployment system.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

59


HEADTORCHES

BUYING GUIDE

Even on summer hikes, it’s much better to carry a headtorch and not need it

than suffer the consequences if you get caught out. Here’s what to look for.

FEATURED

PRODUCT

BIOLITE

HEADLAMP 750

£100

Utilising SlimFit construction and weighing

only 150g, with a 750-lumen Burst Mode

this hands-free headtorch packs

serious lumens into a compact

profile with a no-bounce fit,

with rechargeable

power.

1 BATTERIES

Most modern headtorches

use rechargeable lithium-ion

batteries, while others use AA or AAA

batteries. Consider how easy it will be to

change the batteries, possibly in the dark

with cold/wet hands and away from an

electrical supply to recharge them.

2

TILT FUNCTION

This will allow you to direct the

beam of light – for example to

the ground ahead of you, a map, or to the

tent guy line you’re adjusting. This needs

to be easily adjustable, but not so loose

and floppy that it fails to stay in place.

3

LIGHT OUTPUT

Light output is measured in

lumens – up to 200 lumens is

ideal for camping and general walking,

200+ lumens for navigating open hillsides.

Higher powers are useful for terrain

with few features, and activities such

as mountain biking, running or skiing.

4

BURN TIME

The light output will dim

over time as the batteries

run down. The burn times provided by

manufacturers are not always based

on the same criteria, and they will vary

with temperature and function settings,

so can’t always be trusted. Packing a

spare headtorch or batteries is always

wise, and longer burn times are often

a worthwhile benefit.

5 OPERATION

Buttons or dials are used to

operate light output. The two

important points to consider are: can

the torch be operated with cold, wet and

gloved hands in the dark; and could it turn

on by itself in a rucksack pocket, leading

to flat batteries?

6

COLOUR OF LIGHT

Most headtorches have

standard white LEDs, which

are adequate for most purposes.

However red LEDs are handy when you

want to preserve your own night vision.

7 HEADSTRAPS

The headtorch is attached to

a headband that needs to be

adjustable for a secure, comfortable fit.

ADVERTISEMENT PROMOTION

BIOLITE SELECTION

HEADLAMP 200 £50 HEADTORCH 330 £60

ALPENGLOW L 250 £60

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

60


HEADTORCHES

MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

PETZL SWIFT RL £97

The Petzl Swift RL is one

headtorch for all your needs.

It’s light (102g), compact, comfy,

splash-proof, rechargeable, and

powerful (550 lumens for 2 hours).

But the real star is the reactive

lighting technology, a sensor which

analyses the ambient light and

automatically adjusts brightness to

your needs. This preserves battery

life and provides an excellent

experience out on the hill.

VERDICT A superb, premiumstandard,

all-rounder headtorch

that ticks all the boxes. Not the

cheapest, but money well spent.

GEAR OF

THE YEAR

2022

TOM BAILEY

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

61


MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

PRINCETON TEC

SNAP SOLO LED £30

This no-nonsense headtorch keeps

things simple, delivering an intuitive user

experience at an affordable price. You

get a maximum output of 300 lumens,

a whopping 155-hour burn time at 10

lumens and a 50m beam distance. Three

AAA batteries provide the power, a single

button toggles between modes, and the

magnetic head unit can be detached from

its base to use as a handheld flashlight.

VERDICT A simple, no-nonsense

headtorch at a great price –

but it’s also a bit basic.

BLACK DIAMOND ONSIGHT 375 £84 (INCLUDING BATTERY)

The design is simple yet robust, with a rear battery pack linked to a front

headlamp via a partly-coiled cable. Power is ‘dual fuel’ via either the BD1800

rechargeable lithium-ion battery or three AAAs. The lithium-ion gives the best

output: 400 lumens for 5 hours in max, 200 lumens for 13 hours in medium,

and 8 lumens for 110 hours in low. You also get a fully waterproof IP67 rating.

VERDICT A well-designed, waterproof headtorch

with some nifty features – but it’s a tad over-priced.

LONG-TERM TESTS

SILVA 4RC £60

It was the three colours that caught my eye, because as well as your

standard bright white light the 4RC offers red to preserve night vision

and orange for clear map reading. But there are other things I love

too: its chunky button, comfort on my head, and the fact that I can

also attach it to my bike helmet with the included clip.

VERDICT This is a comfortable, easy-to-use headtorch with useful bulb

colours and mounting options that seems far more pricey than it is.

USED BY Sarah Ryan, Trail contributor

USED FOR 1 month

BIOLITE

HEADLAMP A 750

£100

Lots of headtorches do ‘bright’ but few do

it with this level of comfort. Put simply, this

is the most comfortable headtorch I’ve ever

used. It weighs just 150g, and the 3D SlimFit

construction integrates the lamp and cable into the

headband for a low profile. It provides a maximum light

output of 750 lumens and run time can be conveniently

boosted by connecting an external power source.

VERDICT Bright, long-running, and impressively

comfortable. Plus it offers eight different modes

– most illuminating.

USED BY Ben Weeks, Trail senior writer

USED FOR 1 year

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

62


HEADTORCHES

ALPKIT GAMMA III £26

It’s far from the best designed or most

powerful, but for this price you can’t

complain. You get a maximum output

of 150 lumens for 7 hours, 70 lumens

for 18 hours in low, and then up to 45

hours of burn time in the white LED (10

lumens), green LED (7 lumens) and red

LED (5 lumens) modes. The rear battery

pack takes three AAAs and features a

red LED so you can be seen from behind.

VERDICT A decent headtorch for basic

tasks, at a very affordable price-point –

but it’s not very powerful.

PETZL IKO CORE £75

With its space age frame that looks a bit like

a crown or tiara, this is an unusual looking

headtorch. But the design means there’s

no bulky light unit at the front, no overhead

strap and no tight elastic headband. The

result is an ergonomic and comfortable

lamp that packs a capable 500-lumen light

output when powered with one of Petzl’s

rechargeable Core battery packs.

VERDICT Lightweight, compact, bright and

extremely comfortable to wear, this is an

innovative bit of kit that works well for night

hikes, alpine starts and wild camping trips.

LEDLENSER MH8 £90

This muscular headlamp delivers powerful illumination, up to 600 lumens and

200m in the boost mode. A single rubberised button toggles between the main

power levels (20, 170 and 400 lumens), and the quoted burn times range from

7 to 60 hours, while the beam distance varies from 40m to 180m. Power is via

a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, or two AA alkaline batteries.

VERDICT A powerful, fully-featured headtorch

at a decent price – but it’s quite bulky and heavy.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

63


MOUNTAIN TECH

While it’s best not to be totally reliant on electronics in the mountains,

they can be a very useful addition to your hillwalking kit. Here’s our

selection of the new, the handy and a few old favourites.

OS MAPS APP £29 PER YEAR

For less than the price of three paper maps,

the OS maps app gives you full and unlimited

GB coverage at 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 scale. You

can plot and record your own routes or access a

massive selection (including Trail’s monthly guides)

and download areas to your phone to use offline.

VERDICT Augmented reality which identifies key

features in the landscape makes this more than

just great mapping software – but it is that too.

OS LOCATE £FREE

The OS Locate app converts your phone’s location readings to grid

references and lat/long, to provide pinpoint location information,

including bearing and altitude. Open the app and you’ll see a digital

compass with clear data readings or use it in combination with OS

maps to see your precise location on the map – no signal required.

VERDICT A great free app that (when used with OS maps) turns your

phone to a fully-mapped GPS device – but be warned, it’s power hungry.

GOAL ZERO GUIDE 12 + NOMAD 5 KIT £90

Propping up on an integrated kickstand, the

Nomad 5 solar panel is about the size

of a large notebook but weighs

only 360g. It connects to the

Guide 12 battery pack via a

USB-A to C cable, providing

one full smartphone recharge

or 2.5 headtorch recharges.

It also comes with four

rechargeable AA batteries,

very handy for some headtorches.

VERDICT Portable power with

a combination of both powerbank

and battery sources to keep you

going for several days off grid.

GARMIN INREACH MINI 2 £350

The new iteration of Garmin’s long-standing

emergency satellite communicator provides masses

more functionality. As well as requesting emergency

assistance at the press of a button, it allows you to

exchange messages, post to social media, share your

location via map or coordinates, receive weather

updates and loads more. It’s also waterproof,

rugged, and tiny, weighing just 100g.

VERDICT Not just an emergency locator,

this satellite communication device is ideal

for remote treks and long-distance solo routes.

NEW

FOR

2022

BIOLITE CHARGE 20 PD £35

At about the same size as a small smartphone

and weighing only 165g, the Charge 20 PD is a

truly portable, handy little powerbank. It’ll give

your phone approximately 1.5 charges and

a headlamp about five. If that’s not enough,

it also comes in 40 and 80 sizes, with the

latter giving you enough to power a 13in laptop.

VERDICT A portable, durable powerbank that will

ensure you never run out of charge on the hill.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

64


TECHNOLOGY

G-SHOCK

MUDMASTER GG-B100 £325

More than a watch, this G-Shock is a

genuinely rugged and robust outdoor

tool. Equipped with an altimeter,

barometer, compass, thermometer,

timer, stopwatch, alarm, step

counter and more, it’s almost as

smart as a true smartwatch – but

with much longer battery life, thanks

to an ana-digi quartz movement

that doesn’t need recharging.

VERDICT An uber-tough

outdoor watch with lots of

useful on-the-hill functionality

and a shock-proof, mud- and

water- resistant design that

will take plenty of use and abuse.

GARMIN FĒNIX 7

SOLAR EDITION £780

New to the best-selling fēnix family of GPS

smartwatches, the 7 series gives users the choice

between touchscreen and buttons, and delivers

up to 263 hours of life in max battery mode and up

to 41 days in smartwatch mode (with solar). The

premium watch also features all of the navigation,

mapping and sports functionality you’d expect

from a first-rate Garmin product.

VERDICT A premium sports and GPS smartwatch

with all the functionality you could possibly need.

NEW

FOR

2022

GARMIN

INSTINCT 2 £300

The second iteration of Garmin’s long-standing lower cost

(still not cheap) GPS watch is jammed with features. For nav,

you get Tracbac routing, altimeter, barometer, electronic

compass and GPS, GLONASS and Galileo location seeking.

But you also get tools like heart rate, step counter, oxygen

levels and preloaded activity profiles. The battery lasts weeks.

VERDICT With more apps and functions than we can list here,

the updated Instinct 2 is feature-packed and durable.

NEW

FOR

2022

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

65


HIKING

ACCESSORIES

Don’t forget the little things that make trips to the

mountains much easier and more enjoyable.

SHAVEN RASPBERRY REFERENCE CARDS £1.99

Calculating precise route times isn’t always easy when you’re

out on the hills with the wind howling in your ears. Using a

reference card, though, can make the job quicker, easier

and more precise. Shaven Raspberry do several including

a Navigators’ Timing card with distances, timings and

adjustments for slope, pack weight and time of day.

VERDICT A simple, handy tool which saves time

and helps ensure precise route timings.

SMIDGE HEADNET £5.50

Midges can make even the most spectacular view

impossible to enjoy when they’re out in force – unless you

have a midge net. This one from Smidge is small enough to

keep crammed in your pocket, weighs about as much as a midge

and is pale green, so doesn’t obstruct the view as much as darker ones.

VERDICT Between June and September, a midge net is all but

essential for most hill areas. This one doesn’t ruin the view!

SMIDGE

QUICK UNTICK HOOKS £5.50

Slide this hook under the tick right

above your skin, twist, pull and you’ve

safely extracted an otherwise very

embedded little beastie. There are a

few ways to get rid of ticks – tweezers

and tick cards being some – and this

is one of the safest and most reliable.

A recommended addition to your first

aid kit in the summer months.

VERDICT It’s essential to remove

Lyme-disease carrying ticks as soon

as you find them, without killing

them – these little hooks make

that blessedly straightforward.

LONG-TERM TESTS

ROBENS ZIGZAG SEAT £5

I’d always mocked the users of sit-mats, regarding such things

as unnecessary and the reserve of soft-bummed wimps. But

after numerous occasions where my posterior had to suffer

jagged edged rocks or damp hummocks while my hiking

buddies’ remained comfortable and dry on their mats, I added this to

my pack. It’s light, folds pretty small, and has the power to transform an

on-the-hill lunch stop from something to be endured into a pleasurable al

fresco dining experience.

VERDICT Why shirk

comfort for the sake of it?

Grab yourself one of

these – your backside

will thank you for it.

USED BY Ben Weeks,

Trail senior writer

USED FOR 4 years

BUFF POLAR £27

I had the

reversible

version of

this buff

for years before this

one, and even though it’s

become irretrievably worn

out I still have it. This one is

similar, with a microfibre tube

sewn to a soft fleece tube.

This keeps your neck warm but is

easier to breathe through and more

comfortable when pulled up over the face.

VERDICT Might be called polar but our mountain tops can

be baltic at any time of year, making this an essential.

USED BY Sarah Ryan, Trail contributor

USED FOR 1 year

TOM BAILEY

TOM BAILEY

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

66


ACCESSORIES

NIKWAX TX.DIRECT/TECH

WASH DUO £12.25

The best waterproof jacket in the world

will eventually clog with sweat and

dirt, lose its DWR coating and start

to wet-out. That doesn’t mean it’s

knackered – it means it needs a wash.

This twinpack safely and effectively

sorts that out. Tech Wash cleans and

refreshes waterproof fabrics while

TX.Direct adds and renews water

repellency and revives breathability.

VERDICT The essential kit care

duo to keep your waterproof

clothing going for years.

ORTLIEB MAP-CASE £19.50

As well as keeping your map dry, this

waterproof case also keeps it secure, tying to your

pack or jacket via a long lanyard. Made of soft, UV

resistant plastic, it also allows you to roll or fold

your map so you can make it small enough to stuff

in your pocket.

VERDICT It’s the soft light plastic that marks this

map case out as being not only waterproof and

secure but also potentially pocket-sized.

OUTDOOR RESEARCH RADAR

POCKET CAP £23

Useful for keeping both sun and

rain out of your eyes, a cap is

a summer essential. This one

has UPF 50+ protection and

is breathable and moisture

wicking to reduce sweatinduced

discomfort; waterresistant

and quickdrying

for wearing in

the wet. It also has

a foldable brim so

it packs easily away

in your pocket.

VERDICT Breathable, packable, quick-drying and designed for outdoor living.

NEW

FOR

2022

HYDRO FLASK

20OZ INSULATED FOOD JAR £40

What’s better than a limp, soggy sandwich at lunch?

Almost anything but certainly something hot. The Hydro Flask

food jar has double-wall vacuum insulation to keep food hot

or cold for hours with a wide mouth and leakproof, rubberised

lid that’s easy to open even with cold fingers.

Just don’t forget your spork.

VERDICT A bombproof, leakproof

little food jar for hot meals on a hilltop.

SILVA EXPEDITION 4 COMPASS £36

This traditional baseplate compass is the industry standard for

mountaineering in this country. With a chunky, easy-to-use dial;

sticky rubber feet; 1:25,000, 1:40,000 and 1:50,000 romer scales;

luminous markings; magnifying glass and a clinometer for measuring

slope angle, it has all the tools you need for precise navigation.

VERDICT A professional level compass with all the tools

you need for accurate location finding and map reading.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

67


Marmot Tungsten UL 2P tent.

TENTS

BUYING GUIDE

You need your tent to be up to the task of providing expert, reassuring

shelter on the UK’s hills and mountains. Here’s what to look out for.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

68


TENTS

1

WHAT KIND OF

CAMPER ARE YOU?

If you go out in all seasons and

all weathers, choose an all-season tent.

If you only go out when you don’t expect

snow, a 3-season tent will be fine. Make

sure the tent will handle all conditions,

has enough space for you and your gear,

and offers the comfort you want.

2

MATERIALS MATTER

Tents with 100% silicone-coated

outer fabrics are typically

stronger than those with polyurethanecoated

ones. Check for the tear strength

of the fabrics: the higher the better.

For poles, most backpacking tents use

aluminium, which offers an excellent

balance of high strength and durability,

plus low weight. Cheaper tents might

use fibreglass poles, while some ultralight

tents employ carbon fibre poles,

both of which can be more delicate

than aluminium.

3

KNOW YOUR

TENT SHAPES

Different tent designs have

different advantages, so you need to

understand their differences to pick

the one that’s right for you.

■ TUNNEL – Offers the best space-toweight

ratio, and often has the maximum

useable space. Great for backpacking.

FEATURED

PRODUCT

MARMOT SUPERALLOY 2P

£550

The Superalloy 2P (left) is a superlight,

comfortable 2-person tent weighing just

1070g. With a small pack size, it’s ideal

for wilderness camping when every

gram counts. Whether you are racing,

training or just keeping the weight

down, you will barely notice

this tent in your pack.

■ DOME/GEODESIC – True domes have all

poles crossing at the centre peak, while

geodesic poles have multiple crossing

points. Both are good all-rounders with

excellent strength. They’re good choices

for mountains, but they can be heavier

and less spacious than tunnel models.

■ RIDGE – The classic pointed tent

design. Those pitching with trekking

poles are very light and a fine choice

for backpackers who prefer a more

minimalist, closer-to-nature feel.

4

DOUBLE OR SINGLE

WALL CONSTRUCTION?

Double wall tent constructions

give you an inner canopy to sleep inside,

plus a waterproof outer layer to keep the

weather out. They’re drier and generally

provide better ventilation. Single skin

designs have a single layer of waterproof

fabric, so can be very light, but can also

suffer more from condensation.

5

HOW MANY PEOPLE?

Tents range from one-person

designs to huge base camp tents

with multiple bedrooms. We’ve focused

on one- or two-person options, as they’re

best for mountain use. Note, smaller

two-person tents are also good for

single use as they offer more comfort

and more space for your gear.

6

MAKE SURE OF THE FIT

Check the floor space is at least

as long as your body, but don’t

forget you need to sit up too. Measure your

height when sitting, then compare this to

the maximum internal height of the tent.

Also, if you’re going to be carrying your

tent on your back, check that it packs down

small enough to fit in your rucksack.

7

PERSONAL

PREFERENCE

Comfort is an essential part

of choosing the right tent. Do you want

a space of your own, or do you prefer to

share your shelter? Do you want a porch

for storing gear or would you rather have

everything inside? Do you prefer one or

two doors (a big advantage of two doors

is that one is always out of the wind)?

ADVERTISEMENT PROMOTION

WWW.MARMOT.COM

MARMOT SELECTION

MARMOT TUNGSTEN UL 2P

£500

The Tungsten UL 2P is great for escaping to

the wilderness without additional weight,

weighing 1340 grams. Great for you and

a friend to camp out in the wilderness

in comfort.

MARMOT ALVAR UL 2P

£450

With external poles this tent is great

for a quick and easy pitch in bad weather.

Perfect for regular campers who need

a little more durability than some

of the Ultralight options.

MARMOT VAPOR 2P

£350

A long-standing Marmot tent, designed for

durability. With all the features you would

expect and available in a choice of 2 colours.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

69


TENTS

GEAR OF

THE YEAR

2022

SEA TO SUMMIT ALTO TR1 PLUS £425

With wild camping and backpacking going mainstream, cutting

through the noise to pick out the best tents is getting trickier.

But the Alto TR1 Plus (1228g) is amazingly roomy – with what must

be best-in-class headroom, liveability and all-round spaciousness.

This is achieved via a rather ingenious skeletal, all-in-one pole

structure featuring the ‘Tension Ridge’ – a cross pole that widens

the peak and creates near-perpendicular walls, angling upwards

like a wingspan to maximise head and shoulder room.

VERDICT A tent notable for its roomy interior and amazing

headroom, making it our pick of the bunch for 2022.

LACHLAN GARDINER

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

71


NEMO DAGGER 2P £450

With its generous headroom and floor space,

plus twin doors and two spacious porches,

the Dagger is great for weight-conscious

campers who appreciate plenty of room to

spread out. It pitches inner-first but is super

quick to set up. You also get great airflow that

minimises condensation, though this is a slight

disadvantage in colder and breezier conditions.

VERDICT Not quite the perfect tent, but

one that offers exceptional space-to-weight,

making it roomier and more liveable than most

rivals, while still weighing well under 2kg.

MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

NEW

FOR

2022

EXPED LYRA II £290

Well-made and easy to pitch with a straightforward design and

a hubbed pole set that maximises interior space, the Lyra II

is a no-nonsense 3-season backpacking tent. You also get

excellent headroom and ample ventilation throughout.

Two doors and twin porches offer plenty of gear

storage and easy entry/exit, without you having

to clamber over your partner to get out.

VERDICT The quality materials, practical

design and airy, spacious interior of this

two-person backpacking tent promise easy

and breezy camping for you and a partner.

LONG-TERM TESTS

GOSSAMER GEAR THE ONE £275

For just 505g, this single-skin trekking pole tent is really

spacious. The two-pole structure creates a high peak and

near vertical walls, while the sewn-in mesh keeps the

midges at bay. It is draughty and prone to condensation, but

all-round liveability is

amazing considering

the low weight.

I absolutely love it.

VERDICT An

incredibly

lightweight, singleskin

tent erected with

trekking poles.

USED BY

James Forrest,

Trail contributor

USED FOR 1 year

NORDISK

OPPERMAN

3 SI £595

The space you

get in this 3-man

tent for just 3.6kg is

quite incredible. With a

footprint of 430x210cm, you get a huge

porch for all your kit or sheltering from the rain,

and a spacious sleeping area which was ideal for three people

– or two people and a spaniel that likes to stretch out. We loved

it for multi-day backpacking when space and comfort becomes

more important. A LW version is also available (1446g / £880),

but when carried between two or three we’re not complaining.

VERDICT

Comfy camping in this spacious

tent for three with a huge porch.

USED BY

Jenna Maryniak, Trail deputy editor

USED FOR

7 months

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

72


TENTS

MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

MSR HUBBA NX SOLO £435

A cleverly-designed skeletal pole creates

near-vertical walls and maximum head room

in this palatial tent for one (1.29kg). A goodsized

side porch and a non-tapered floor

add to the sense of spaciousness. The inner,

which is pitched first, is freestanding with a

bathtub-style floor and mesh upper for good

ventilation, while the Durashield-coated

flysheet provides 3-season rated protection.

VERDICT A superb 3-season tent with

great features and excellent liveability.

ROBENS PIONEER 2EX £245

A 2-person tunnel tent with a generous and well-protected

porch area, the Pioneer 2EX is a very practical

campsite shelter. Big enough to sit, cook or relax

in, it’s a welcoming home from home to return

to after a day in the hills – especially if it’s

raining. Front and rear vents also create

good airflow, so it suffers less from

condensation compared to most

tunnel designs.

VERDICT If you’re going

camping in Snowdonia,

the Lake District or Scotland this summer

but don’t want to take a monster family tent, this

roomy 2-person shelter fits the bill perfectly.

NEW

FOR

2022

TENTBOX LITE £995

Just when you think you’ve seen it all in outdoor gear

design, along comes a big box that secures to the top of your

car, then folds open to reveal a quite lovely 2-person tent

complete with a memory foam mattress. This is the Tentbox

Lite, which has been designed to effectively turn your car

into a campervan. It attaches to any vehicle with roof bars,

comes with a telescopic ladder for quick access, and folds

out so easily that once you’ve found your camping spot

you’ll be set up in less than 5 minutes. There are also

doors at both ends, windows on both sides for ventilation,

and even a skylight on the roof for stargazing.

VERDICT It certainly isn’t cheap so you

really need to buy into the roof tent concept,

but if you do this is a very cool bit of kit.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

73


TENTS, BIVVIES & TARPS

WILD COUNTRY ZEPHYROS COMPACT 1 V3 £200

For this very affordable price, you get a 4000mm-rated flysheet

and 5000mm groundsheet, simple all-in-one pitching, a goodsized

inner, compact pack-away and a low-profile for ‘shedding’

wind. The inner’s door has a huge 180˚ opening for ease

of entry and exit, and its mesh upper section improves

ventilation alongside two further vents at each end.

The weight is 1570g.

VERDICT A great all-round tent at a great

price – but it’s heavier than ideal.

MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

NEW

FOR

2022

OUTDOOR RESEARCH

HELIUM BIVVY £225

Updated for 2022 with even lighter and Bluesign

approved material, the Helium is a great option

for lightweight backpacking. With a hooped

head, incorporating a fly mesh, or a fully

waterproof opening, it weighs less than 500g.

The groundsheet is made of more waterproof

material and a sleepmat fits inside, with room

still for kit inside if you’re not too tall.

VERDICT A great bivvy bag with

the comfort of headroom.

MSR FREELITE 2 £475

New for 2022, MSR has updated the FreeLite series of tents

to make them even lighter. At just 1.06kg, the 2-person

FreeLite is now 270g lighter than the previous model,

and includes added features for ease-of-use and

durability, including no-curve door zippers,

extra storage pockets and reinforced tension

points (for when the weather inevitably

turns). The 1-person version weighs just 890g.

VERDICT An ultralight, spacious tent for two with a

truly rectangular floor and near-vertical walls.

NEW

FOR

2022

LONG-TERM TESTS

TARPTENT SCARP 2 £395

This US-made tent has become my go-to for wild

camps and backpacking trips in all seasons. It

pitches all-in-one, is super roomy inside and

has excellent headroom (essential when you’re

6ft+). It can be purchased with an upgraded fabric inner

and additional crossing poles to turn it into a true 4-season

mountain tent too – both of which are well worth adding for

UK use.

VERDICT I’ve pitched this tent all over the place, in sun,

rain and snow, and it’s

never let me down.

Roomy for two, sturdy and

lightweight, it ticks all the

boxes as a dependable

adventure tent.

USED BY Matt Jones,

Trail contributor

USED FOR 3 years

RAB RIDGE RAIDER

BIVI I £350

I’ve always loved the

Ridge Raider, if only

for the name alone.

But this updated

version from Rab takes what

was already a great compromise

between a body-bag style bivvy and

an actual tent and makes it better.

The Pertex Shield Air (replacing eVent

in the old Raider) waterproof fabric offers

impressive condensation control, while the addition of a pole at

the foot end provides more space. And because it’s still just 890g

NEW

FOR

2022

it’s now an even better alternative to a tent for go-light backpackers.

VERDICT A great update that makes one of the best poled bivvies even better.

USED BY Ben Weeks, Trail senior writer

USED FOR 6 months

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

75


SLEEPING BAGS

BUYING GUIDE

Finding the right sleeping bag depends on lots of different factors, so

here’s our guide to help you make the best purchase for a restful night.

1

WHAT TIME OF YEAR

ARE YOU CAMPING?

Sleeping bags tend to be broken into

three categories: summer, 3-season and winter.

All three types are pretty self-explanatory,

with summer bags lighter and less insulated;

3-season bags slightly thicker to keep you warm

through spring, summer and autumn; and winter

bags bigger and bulkier to cope with serious

sub-zero mountain conditions.

2

TEMPERATURE RATINGS

EXPLAINED

Sleeping bags are commonly

graded by the EN/ISO standard, stating

temperature ratings as ‘comfort’ (warm

enough for the average female), ‘comfort

limit’ (warm enough for the average male),

and ‘extreme’ (you won’t die, but it’ll be very

uncomfortable). To confuse matters, some

brands publish their own in-house temperature

ratings (eg the ‘Rab Sleep Limit’).

3

WHAT

TYPE OF

INSULATION DO

YOU WANT?

This really comes down to a simple choice

between down or synthetic. Here are the

pros and cons of both...

■ DOWN INSULATION

Made from goose or duck plumage – the lofty,

fluffy stuff underneath the feathers – down

is the lightest and most efficient form of

insulation, and also the most compressible

(so is great for stuffing into your backpack).

The drawbacks are that down is more expensive

and loses its insulating qualities when wet.

■ SYNTHETIC INSULATION

Synthetic bags are typically bulkier and heavier,

but they’re also usually cheaper and don’t

absorb water, which makes them a good choice

for the wet conditions usually found in Britain.

4

DOWN FILL POWER

& FILL WEIGHT

Fill power is a rating system for

down that measures compressibility and loft

(fluffiness) – and gives an indication of its insulating

properties. A higher fill power indicates better

quality down and a greater warmth-to-weight ratio.

Fill weight is the amount of down in a bag, measured

in grams. The higher the fill weight, the warmer a

bag will be. This means that it’s important to check

both the fill weight and fill power. A sleeping bag

with only 650 fill power down can still be as warm as

a bag with 900 fill power down, for example, if it has

a higher fill weight (ie more down) inside the bag.

5

CONSTRUCTION IS KEY

The better the construction

method of your sleeping bag,

the less opportunity there will be for

the insulation to migrate and leave cold

spots. Down bags use internal fabric

baffles (dividing walls between the

insulation) of various shapes and

sizes to trap the down where it

is needed most. Larger baffles

give more space for insulation

to loft, smaller baffles help

stop the fill from spreading

out. Synthetic bags are

usually made from one

or two layers of insulation

attached to the inner and

outer materials.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

76


SLEEPING E BAGS

THERM-A-REST EST SELECTION

S A R O S

20F/-6C

£180

FEATURED

PRODUCT

T H E R M - A - R E S T

HYPERION 20F/-6C

£415

Built to provide featherlight pack weight

and high-performance warmth, the

Hyperion 20F/-6C sleeping bag is

among the lightest in its class.

ADVERTISEMENT PROMOTION

6

KEY FEATURES

TO CONSIDER

■ ZIPS

A full-length zip allows you to

vent heat and makes getting

in and out easier, though a

shorter zip saves weight.

■ FABRIC

Shells and linings are usually

made from nylon, though

cheaper bags use polyester.

■ CUT

Most sleeping bags are available

in different lengths or widths,

as well as women’s specific fit.

■ SHOULDER BAFFLE

An extra neck or shoulder baffle

helps to lock heat inside the bag.

■ HOOD

An insulated and close-fitting hood

makes a big difference in cold

conditions. Look for a sleeping

bag with hood drawcords

so you can adjust the fit.

VESPER

E 3 2 F / 0 C

£315

P A R S E C

20F/-6C

£380

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

77


SLEEPING BAGS

GEAR OF

THE YEAR

2022

THERM-A-REST

HYPERION 20˚F/-6˚C £415

If you’re serious about wild camping and

backpacking, you can’t beat this sleeping

bag. High quality, 900 fill power goose down

delivers an EN/ISO comfort rating of 0˚C,

despite weighing just 580g –so the overall

warmth-to-weight ratio is top-notch. This

is aided by the zoned design, with 70% of

insulation placed on the top and sides (where

you need it most) and 30% on the underside,

while the box baffled construction further

boosts loft and minimises cold spots.

VERDICT An excellent mummy-style sleeping

bag and delivered at a superb weight.

TOM BAILEY

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

78


ROBENS MORAINE III £115

This well-priced bag looks ideal for wild

camps and backpacking trips from late

spring through to early autumn. With a

comfort rating of 3°C and a lower limit

of -2°C, you should stay warm even if

temperatures drop to single digits. It’s

comfortable and versatile too, since

an L-shaped zip means it opens out

flat for use as a duvet. It also has an

impressively small pack size for a

synthetic bag.

VERDICT A well-made and great

value sleeping bag with hard-wearing

synthetic fill, a small pack size and

plenty of practical features.

MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

ROBENS ICEFALL PRO 900 £187

Rated 0˚C for comfort, the MicroThermo Ball synthetic

insulation in this bag mimics the performance of

down superbly, puffing out into a plump and supercosy

haven. The interior is luxurious, courtesy of a

whopping 900g fill of polyester clusters, and all-round

warmth is further enhanced by a good hood, wellpadded

neck baffle, two thick tube-like zipper baffles,

and the box-wall construction.

VERDICT A super-fluffy, cosily-insulated synthetic

sleeping bag at a great price.

LONG-TERM TESTS

SELK’BAG LITE 6G £100

Somewhere between a synthetic sleeping bag

and a high-altitude suit, the summer-focused

Selk’bag Lite offers a near-perfect combination of cosy comfort

and mobility. The feet are reinforced but can be zipped off to wear

the Selk’bag with regular shoes, and the sleeves have

built-in mitts to fully enclose your hands. Add in

the drawstring hood and I felt as snug as a bug

in a rug. People will stare. They may laugh.

But on the inside, they’re seething with

jealousy.

VERDICT It might look daft, but it’s

comfortable, convenient, and warm

enough for summer camps (thicker

Selk’bags are available for other

seasons).

USED BY Ben Weeks,

Trail senior writer

USED FOR 1 year

ALPKIT PIPEDREAM 400 £200

The Pipedream pops up in almost every Trail

sleeping bag test for good reason. Price, low

weight and decent packed size, mean it’s my

bag of choice for summer sleep-outs. The 750

fill power goose down offers good warmth for its 865g.

It’s also hydrophobic and housed in a moisture-resistant

shell, improving damp-weather performance.

VERDICT Superbly priced down bag

for lightweight 3-season backpacking.

USED BY Jenna Maryniak, Trail deputy editor

USED FOR 3 years

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

80


SLEEPING E BAGS

BIG AGNES

SIDEWINDER SL35

£250

If you’re a side sleeper

or tend to toss and turn

in your tent, you’ll love

this clever 650FP down

bag. The design moves

with you as you roll over,

with a specially shaped

footbox and hood, plus

zoned fill with synthetic

inserts to alleviate

pressure points at the hips.

Warm enough to take you

down to single digit temps

and with a competitive weight

and pack size,

it’s a great option for

2-season use.

VERDICT One of the most

innovative sleeping bags

we’ve tested in recent

years, this down bag

is the perfect camp

companion for side

sleepers who are sick

of getting twisted and

tangled up at night.

RAB ASCENT

700 £270

The down’s fill

power is only 650,

but there’s a lot

of it – 700g to be

precise, which

ensures a solid

comfort rating

of -2˚C. The

adjustable hood is

well-shaped with

good coverage,

there’s a thick and

close-fitting neck

baffle for sealing

out the cold, and

the Pertex Quantum

outer fabric is more

durable and tougher

than the shells of

many other bags. The

overall weight

is 1290g.

VERDICT A mid-

range, affordable

down sleeping bag

that’s reliably warm.

EXPED COMFORT -5° £285

This light and compact 3-season down sleeping bag has a comfort range

from 2°C to -4°C. It boasts an ergonomic mummy hood and trapezoidal

footbox, plus a side arm zipper so you can poke both arms out (ideal for

sipping morning coffee). It unzips fully into a duvet and has extra strong

double tuck-stitch seams that also prevent down loss and limit moisture

ingress in damp conditions.

VERDICT With its small packsize, competitive weight and lofty 700FP

down, this is a well-designed sleeping bag with plenty of practical features

that add both functionality and durability for tent life.

NEW

FOR

2022

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

81


SIERRA DESIGNS CLOUD 800 20° £335

This sleeping bag is a maverick. There’s no zip, but

it still opens wide thanks to a curved, wraparound

‘comforter’ – a duvet-like flap that pulls over your

upper body. This delivers a sensation far more

akin to your beloved bed at home than any other

sleeping bag. With 419g of 800 fill power down

and a -3˚C comfort rating, warmth is pretty

impressive for the price too.

VERDICT A versatile, warm and extremely

comfy sleeping bag with an innovative design –

but the quilt-like approach won’t suit everyone.

MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT FIRELITE £500

Securing an EN/ISO comfort rating of -2˚C but weighing

in at just 770g, the Firelite is warmer than many bags

over 1kg. This is achieved through a healthy 469g portion

of 800 fill power goose down, which feels reassuringly

thick and should perform to the quoted temperature

ratings. You also get an ultralight Plasma 10-denier

shell, a full-length zipper, and an adjustable hood.

VERDICT A reliable sleeping bag with premium

features and insulation – but it’s rather pricey.

THERM-A-REST PARSEC

20F/-6C £360

With premium 800FP moistureresistant

down, durable fabrics and

some innovative features, this is a

warm and well-built bag designed to

keep you warm down to 0°C. Unusual

design elements include zoned fill,

an unusual ‘foot warmer’ flap in the

toe-box, a thermal lining designed to

trap radiant body heat and nifty straps

that attach the bag securely to your

sleeping mat.

VERDICT A luxurious 3-season

sleeping bag made from robust

fabrics, with high-end down fill plus

a few unique and innovative features

that set it apart from most rivals.

LONG-TERM TESTS

RAB NEUTRINO 600 £440

A bag that’ll cope with most

British winters, plus very cold

spring and autumn wild camps. I

used it recently on a windy (-17°C

wind chill) summit camp in a tent that wasn’t

really up to it. This bag was though. With 800

fill power goose down, it’s rated to -12°C.

From warm feet to a snug head, this bag

does its job over your whole body, without

being too restrictive if you’re a lively

sleeper (which I am!). One I’m

going to cherish.

VERDICT Packable warmth for the

colder months and shoulder season

summits if you feel the cold.

USED BY Tom Bailey, Trail

photographer & writer

USED FOR 3 months

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

82


SLEEPING MATS

BUYING GUIDE

Essential for a good night’s rest, sleep mats come in three varieties.

Here’s Trail’s guide to finding the best one for you.

1

WHICH DESIGN?

Sleeping mats come in three

primary designs. The lowestpriced

type is the closed-cell foam

mat, which is durable and surprisingly

lightweight, but quite bulky to carry and the

least comfortable option. Next up the price

scale is the self-inflating mat, which has

a layer of foam sandwiched between two

layers of material; which provide air pockets

for more comfort. They’re more compact

than closed-cell foam mats, but heavier.

Finally, the air mat, which has baffles inside

to trap air once inflated. These are very

lightweight and compact but tend to be a

little bouncy and not generally very warm,

unless they have additional insulation inside,

which some do (but they cost more).

2

WATCH

YOUR WEIGHT

The lighter the mat, the lighter

your rucksack when backpacking.

If you’re camping near the car this weight is

likely to be of little concern. But the focus

for Trail readers is often low weight with

comfort – so we’ve focused on mats that

are good for wild camping when the mat

has to be carried for a few hours at least.

3

SIZE MATTERS

Most mats we test are around

180cm long and 50cm wide, which

is the standard size; but you can get shorter

and longer options either to save weight or

to fit your body size better. The thickness of

mats varies greatly, and this is important

to note as it will affect comfort, as well

as price, weight and packed size.

4

MATERIAL DURABILITY

Closed-cell foam mats can

be punctured with no loss of

performance, but this is not the case with

an air mat or a self-inflating mat. Some

lighter mats may need more care in use

than heavier mats that use harder-wearing

and more puncture-resistant materials.

Some mats come with a puncture repair kit.

5

HEAT RETENTION

A mat will insulate you from

the ground below. Its ability to

prevent heat loss is important, so some

manufacturers provide an R value, which is

a measure of the heat resistance. A rating

of 2 is good for summer and 6 for winter.

Thicker pads generally offer higher R values.

6

PACK IT DOWN

When backpacking you’ll need

to carry the mat in or on your

rucksack. The smaller it is when deflated

and rolled, the easier it is to carry. Closedcell

foam mats often need strapping to

the outside of a rucksack. Compact selfinflating

and air mats will fit in a pack.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

83


SLEEPING MATS

ROBENS TRAILGUARD 50 £85

One of the most comfortable self-inflating

sleeping mats we’ve tested, the hybrid design

of the TrailGuard combines a foam core

with inflatable edge tubes. With 5cm of

insulated cushioning and an insulation

R-value of 5.3 it provides enough

warmth for winter use too, yet

thanks to the lightweight but

durable fabrics used it weighs

just 925g.

VERDICT The unique

combination of foam and

air mat construction

provides an impressive

insulation at

a relatively low

weight.

THERM-A-REST

NEOAIR UBERLITE

£190

Weighing a featherlight

250g, this is one of the

lightest insulated air mats

on the market. It also

packs down to just 15x9cm,

meaning it occupies minimal

space in your pack. Pair it

with an ultralight down

bag/quilt and you’ll have an

efficient sleep system for long

distance hikes or minimalist

mountain missions.

VERDICT With its light weight

and small pack size this is the

ideal mat for fast and light

adventures.

EXPED ULTRA 3R £150-165

Exped’s new lightweight, compact sleeping

mat range gives you three choices of insulation:

air, synthetic or down depending on the ‘R’ rating,

from R1 (10˚C min) to R8 (-40˚C min). All come in

mummy or rectangle shapes and 1-4 also have a double

option. That’s a lot of choices but we reckon the -5˚C rated

3R is best for hillwalking.

VERDICT With so many options it’s practically customisable, this

light, compact sleeping mat also utilises the Schnozzel Pumpbag so

you don’t need to blow it up.

NEW

FOR

2022

NEW

FOR

2022

ROBENS POLARSHIELD 80 £177

More mattress than mat, the Polarshield

is 200cm (6ft 6in) long and puffs up to a

chunky 8cm thick. Weighing 1.6kg it’s not

the lightest but this is still a self-inflating

backpacking mat, not a car camper,

and it packs down to a very reasonable

34x20cm. A good night’s sleep may be

worth those extra grams.

VERDICT Thick, long and temperature

rated to -12°C, this is a sleeping mat

for people who like their comfort.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

84


STOVES

BUYING GUIDE

Whether it’s a warming brew at the start of the day or a hearty meal at the end,

you’ll need a compact and practical backpacking stove to serve you well.

1

WHAT TYPE OF STOVE

DO YOU NEED?

■ INTEGRATED, all-in-one,

tower-style cooking systems are simple

to use, compact, lightweight, fast, and

perfect for solo walkers and short trips.

The burner screws directly on top of the

gas canister, and the whole things packs

into its own pot. Many

feature a corrugated

heat exchanger

and a wind

shield, both of

which help

to increase

speed and

efficiency.

■ INDIVIDUAL CANISTER-TOP BURNERS

are the simplest and smallest iteration of

a camp stove, screwing directly on top of

a gas canister. You’ll need to buy your own

cookware, though, so the overall weight

depends on the choice you make here.

Some stoves also connect to the canister

remotely via an insulated hose.

2

FUEL CHOICES

Most camping/hiking stoves

run on canister gas, usually a

mix of isopropane and butane. Integrated

cooking systems and canister stoves are

designed to house a gas canister when

packed. Upsides to this include light

weight, low maintenance and simplicity

of transport. Liquid fuel stoves tend to

burn more readily at higher altitudes and

lower temperatures, but often require

priming and some maintenance.

3

BURNER AND

IGNITION

Standalone stoves tend to

be more powerful, but susceptible to

wind. Integrated burners tend to be

less powerful but have better wind

resistance. Piezo igniters are common

but can be fault-prone, so always bring

another source of ignition with you,

such as matches.

4

DOES IT COME WITH

A REGULATOR?

This compensates for the loss

of pressure in a gas canister caused at

altitude or as it empties. Stoves with

this feature give you a steadily similar

boil time throughout the lifetime of the

canister while the performance of those

without tends to drop as the canister

empties, or in high or cold conditions.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

85


HORNET BRS-3000T £18

Available on Amazon for £18, the Hornet BRS-3000T weighs

just 26g – a stone cold bargain and weight-saving revelation.

Performance isn’t exceptionally powerful or speedy, but who

cares at this price? Ultimately this toy-sized stove works

perfectly fine, screwing easily atop a canister and holding your

pot in place via serrated support arms.

VERDICT An incredibly light canister-top stove at

a bargain basement price – but it’s very basic.

NEW

FOR

2022

MAGAZINE

BEST

VALUE

MSR LOWDOWN REMOTE STOVE ADAPTER £45

Although not a stove in its own right, added to any one of MSR’s

canister-top mounted burners (including the PocketRocket

series, Reactor series, or the WindBurner Personal) the

LowDown makes these stoves even more useable and effective.

By taking the burner mount away from the gas canister and

giving it its own platform, the LowDown makes these stoves

lower and more balanced, as well as distancing the simmer

control from the flame.

VERDICT An essential add-on to any of MSR’s fantastic but

top-heavy canister mounted stoves.

SOTO WINDMASTER £55

A Trail ‘Best in Test’ winner for two years running, this small

but mighty Japanese-designed stove is just about the best lightweight

backpacking stove out there. Its impressively low weight, tiny pack

size and impressive performance, especially in gusty conditions, all

elevate it above the competition. Unlike inferior ultralight models, it

also packs in a built-in igniter and a micro regulator.

VERDICT For fast and light wild camping weekends or multi-day

backpacking trips when you want maximum performance and

minimum weight, this brilliant stove is our number one pick.

MAGAZINE

BEST IN

TEST

LONG-TERM TESTS

JETBOIL STASH £140

I took this integrated cooking system on a 5-day winter hike of

the Dales High Way. I loved the pot, which has excellent features

(fold-out insulated handle and plastic lid with pouring hole)

and works well as a bowl or mug. The boil times were decent

(but not spectacular), yet the all-round cohesive design, low-ish weight

(239g) and stable, squat shape were impressive.

VERDICT An excellent integrated cooking system

with clever features – but it’s a tad expensive.

USED BY James Forrest, Trail contributor

USED FOR 3 months

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

86


MSR POCKETROCKET DELUXE £80

Lightweight and compact with a rapid boil time, there’s little to

dislike about the MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe canister-top stove

(3200W, 98g). It is feature-rich, with an in-built lighter, three

fold-away support prongs, valve controller, wide burner head,

excellent simmer control, and concave design with protective

lip, which significantly improves performance in wind.

VERDICT

A high-performing, lightweight

and fast-boiling canister-top stove.

STOVES

TOM BAILEY

PRIMUS LITE+ XL £135

The Lite+ stove is a tower-style,

all-in-one cooking system, including

aluminium pot with integrated heat

exchanger, stove with piezo ignition,

fuel stabiliser, and bio-plastic lid.

New for 2022, the Lite+ XL is a larger

version of the original Lite+, featuring a

1L pot and a more powerful 1700W output

– ideal for bigger meals or cooking for two.

The use of recycled plastics and cork also

enhance this stove’s eco credentials.

VERDICT A stylish and well-made all-inone

stove system with a big capacity.

NEW

FOR

2022

OPTIMUS GEMINI DOUBLE STOVE £165

The multi award-winning Gemini weighs just

788g, making it a proper backpacking stove, but

with twin burners allows you to cook two things

at once using just one gas canister. An absolute

game changer. At 30cm

long, 7cm wide and

10cm high, it’s also fairly

compact and, sitting low

to the ground, very

stable.

VERDICT

A unique stove that allows

you to cook for two people

at once or prepare

two things at once.

NEW

FOR

2022

MSR REACTOR 1 LITRE £250

These don’t hang around long in outdoor shops. Hardly surprising

– the Reactor is one of the fastest and most fuel-efficient stoves

ever made, its statistics beating most other stoves on paper

and on the hill. While not suited to cooking food, it’s capable

of boiling a full litre of water in just 3 minutes using only 10g of gas, making

it perfect for use with dehydrated or boil-in-the-bag meals,

as well as melting snow and brewing tea or coffee.

VERDICT The best stove I’ve ever owned. Increasingly

hard to find these days, and you’re not having mine.

USED BY Ben Weeks, Trail senior writer

USED FOR 2 years

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

87


CAMPING KIT

BUYING GUIDE

You’ve got the tent and sleeping bag sorted, but you’ll need far more than that to

really enjoy your wild camp. Here’s what to pack for that perfect overnight trip.

1

TAKE SOMETHING

TO SIT ON

British mountains aren’t

famed for being dry and comfortable,

so unless you want to get your backside

soaked you’ll need something to sit on

outside your tent. Your rucksack can do a

half-decent job as a makeshift seat, but a

dedicated sit-mat or lightweight air chair

would be perfect if you can squeeze it in.

2

WHAT ARE YOU

PLANNING TO EAT?

Cold sandwiches and chocolate

bars are great, but hot meals are even

better once you’ve pitched your tent and

finally kicked off those boots at the end

of a long day in the hills. From portable

stoves and cookware, to thermal mugs

and even collapsible kettles and pans,

there are options out there for every

type of meal, from boil-in-the-bag

curry to al fresco fine dining.

3

WATERPROOF THE

GEAR IN YOUR PACK

Just because your camping gear

is packed safely inside your rucksack,

that doesn’t mean it’ll be safe from

the elements. Most hillwalking packs

aren’t waterproof and not all of them

come with a dedicated raincover, so it’s

good practice to buy a set of dry-bags

of varying sizes to protect everything

stashed inside. There are loads of

options out there, from super-lightweight

bags you’ll hardly notice you’re carrying,

to more heavy-duty, submersible,

abrasion-resistant materials.

4

DON’T FORGET

YOUR TOOLS

Multi-tools, pen-knives,

repair kits, safety pins... it’s always

best to go fully prepared with a small

toolkit on an overnight camp. Whether

you snap a tent pole, break a rucksack

strap or tear a hole in your favourite

jacket, you’ve got nothing to worry

about if you have the right gadget.

FEATURED

PRODUCT

S E A T O S U M M I T

LIGHTWEIGHT DRY SACK

FROM £9

The Lightweight Dry Sack

offers durability and reliable

weather-proofing for the items

that you need to protect from

the elements.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

88


CAMPING KIT

SEATOSUMMIT

SELECTION

X SET 11 £50

5

6

7

LET THERE BE LIGHT

It gets pretty dark on top

of a mountain when the sun

goes down. You should already have a

headtorch in your pack, but that doesn’t

need to be the limit of your lighting. From

solar-powered fairy lights to rechargeable

lanterns, there are loads of great options

to illuminate your wild camp.

PACK SOME

CREATURE COMFORTS

Despite what the hardcore

fanatics tell you, camping doesn’t always

have to be a complete suffer-fest. We’re

not talking about taking a dressing gown

and slippers with you; but there’s nothing

wrong with sticking a few more luxurious

items like a packable travel towel, wash

kit, hipflask or even a portable cafetière

in your pack before setting off.

BE WARY OF

WILD WATER

Even fast-moving mountain water

can carry harmful pollutants, so it’s best

not to just scoop it up and start drinking

if you can avoid it. That leaves you with

the options of carrying water with you

in a large bottle or flask, zapping it with

something like a Steripen, filtering out

small debris using a portable filtration

system, treating it with chlorine- and

iodine-based products, or boiling it on

a stove. Choose the system that works

for you, then grab a product to make it

happen.

8

DON’T JUST PACK

A SLEEPING BAG

Your sleeping bag will (hopefully)

be what keeps you warm through the

night, but you’ll need more than that to

make a comfy makeshift bed. First of all

you’ll need a good sleeping mat, which

not only provides a cushioned surface

beneath you but also insulates you from

the cold ground. If you’re camping

in cold weather, consider a thin

sleeping bag liner to add a layer

of extra warmth. And don’t

forget, there are some great

options out there for packable

camping pillows!

FIRST AID DRY SACK £10

ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT PROMOTION PROMOTION

AIR SEAT INSULATED £26

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

89


IDAHOAN INSTANT MASH £1 PER 109G

If you don’t already know this,

instant mash can be a gamechanger

on backpacking trips. It’s

cheap, light to carry, easy to make

(even on a tiny stove) and is pretty

filling. Until recently we always

bought SMASH, probably because of

the famous slogan from the old TV

adverts. But actually, this stuff is so

much tastier, and it even comes in

buttery, cheddar cheese or cheese

and bacon flavours.

VERDICT If you’re backpacking on

a budget, this stuff is far cheaper

than dehydrated or freeze-dried

meals and makes a half-decent

supper when mixed with a bit of

chorizo or smoked sausage.

LAKELAND

LONG-LIFE

MILK 24

SACHETS £3.55

If you like a cuppa in

the morning, then

your backpacking

trips will be no

different. In fact,

there’s nothing

better than a hot beverage when sleeping wild. We

discovered these bulk-buy UHT milk sachets on

Amazon and they work perfectly. The Best Before

dates usually run into months, and there’s no need

to keep them refrigerated. They fit into your pack

easily – just remember to protect them from getting

squished so they don’t burst!

VERDICT Fancy a cuppa to start the day?

No problem.

THETENTLAB THE DEUCE #2 UL TROWEL £21

A latrine trowel for digging holes to do your business in isn’t exactly a

glamorous item of kit. But somehow The TentLab has brought some real

design flair and creativity to this superb product. At just 17g,

it’s incredibly light and slim (ideal for weight-conscious

backpackers), and the aerospace-grade aluminium delivers

superb digging power. Other options include The Deuce #1

UUL (12g) and #3 HD (27g).

VERDICT Probably the best latrine trowel money

can buy – amazingly light and slim, yet strong.

SEA TO SUMMIT AEROS PREMIUM PILLOW £32

A rival to the NEMO Fillo Elite camp pillow, the Sea to Summit

Aeros Premium has a similar weight and pack size, but is slightly

better for side sleepers, as it adds a curved design to help

cradle your head and nestle snugly in the crook of your shoulder.

If you’ve got a Sea to Summit sleeping mat, it can also be attached

via Velcro pads to stop it from sliding off in the night.

VERDICT Up there with the NEMO Fillo Elite as the most

practical wild camping or backpacking pillow we’ve tested

when it comes to balancing comfort, weight and packed size.

SEA TO SUMMIT

LIGHTWEIGHT DRY SACK SET £35

Versatile, light and durable, these little bags offer high quality

construction and performance at a great price. This set includes three

bags: a yellow 4L bag, green 8L one and a 13L blue dry-sack. Made from

a 70-denier nylon with fully taped seams, a 10,000mm hydrostatic head

waterproof rating, and Hypalon roll-top closure, these bags will keep all

of your kit and equipment dry, no matter how rainy it gets.

VERDICT Tough and waterproof dry-bags at an appropriate price.


CAMPING ACCESSORIES

NEMO FILLO ELITE PILLOW £45

Okay, a pillow is a wild camping luxury, not a necessity.

But what’s wrong with a little luxury? And when the luxury in

question weighs just 87g and packs down to the size of a lemon,

it’s not difficult to justify sticking it in your pack. NEMO’s Fillo

Elite is way more comfortable than a bundle of clothes, inflates

in seconds and has an impossible-to-lose integrated stuffsack.

VERDICT Lightweight and super packable, in our opinion

this little luxury is well worth investing in for your next

wild camping or backpacking adventure.

ROBENS MEADOW AL CHAIR £76

What’s better at the end of a long day on the hill than leaning back

in your chair, beer in hand, to watch the sunset? Not much. This

camping chair is brilliant for that with wide feet so it doesn’t sink into

the ground, light but durable aluminium frame, bottle holder and

handy carry bag.

VERDICT Robust,

light and easy

to carry, this

comfortable

camp chair is

ideal for keeping

in the back of

your car.

NEW

FOR

2022

NEW

FOR

2022

YETI CAMINO CARRYALL 35 £150

HELINOX CHAIR ZERO

HIGH BACK £160

The Helinox Chair Zero has been an

iconic ultralight camping chair for

several years, but what if you

need more shoulder support?

Cue front stage the High Back

model. New for 2022, this version

weighs only 690g and has a load

capacity of 120kg. Combining DAC

aluminium with a tough and lightweight

poly-ripstop seat, it’s extremely portable,

packing into a carry-bag sized 40x12x12cm.

VERDICT A minimalist,

beautifully-engineered camping

chair with extra shoulder

support.

It’s rather pricey for what is essentially just a big tote bag,

but the 35-litre YETI Camino is a super-charged tote bag.

Ultra-tough inside and out, it’s made from a waterproof,

super-durable, wipe-clean material that can cope with anything

you throw at it. Leave it in your car and you can happily throw

muddy boots, wet tents, soaking waterproof jackets or whatever

else you want into it. The internal compartments are handy too.

VERDICT Waterproof and durable, this is the ultimate adventure

utility bag – but it’s pricey.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

91


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CANINE KIT

Dogs make great companions in the hills but don’t forget that, just like you,

they need a bit of extra care in harsh mountain environments.

KURGO MASH

N’ STASH BOWL

(LARGE) £13

New kid on the block Kurgo

UK has some rugged mountainready

doggie kit that comes with

a lifetime warranty, including these

collapsible bowls for drinks and meals on the go.

They come in three different sizes, from

6.5-44fl oz, and are lightweight

and ready to clip onto your pack.

VERDICT The lightweight and

collapsible bowls are great

for days on the hill.

MOUNTAIN PAWS LARGE FOOD BOWL £9

We love this bowl for backpacking weekends away

with our furry pals. It’s made from robust fabric

with a rubber base and wipeable material inside.

The drawstring top closure means you can bag up

food portions and store securely inside the bowl,

ready for fuss-free mealtimes. There’s also a hanging

loop to attach it to the outside of your pack.

VERDICT Lightweight food bowl that

doubles as handy food storage too.

TOM BAILEY

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

93


ORTLIEB PD350 10L DRY-BAG £19

These come in all different sizes, but the

10-litre version is perfect for medium-large

size kibble caddy for a 2-week mountain holiday.

Being airtight, food will be kept fresh and aromas

will be trapped inside. And when not in use for food,

it can be washed out and will make a tough dry-bag

for keeping your hillwalking kit bone dry.

VERDICT Multi-use dry-bag that

makes a great kibble caddy.

KURGO

FIRST AID KIT £23

Be ready for any eventuality

with this 49-piece first aid kit,

which will have all you need for

first aid for you or for your dog.

It contains everything from an

emergency blanket, bandages,

wipes and tweezers to parachute

cord, and it’s designed to be

attached to the Kurgo Activity

Belt and Country Harness – but

can just as easily be attached to

your rucksack hipbelt.

VERDICT Useful 49-piece

first aid kit for man and dog.

LONG-TERM TESTS

KARCHER OC3 PORTABLE CLEANER £125

Muddy dogs and boots are no more with this

brilliant bit of kit. Just charge it up and fill the

4-litre reservoir with water before you go, and

you and the dog will be fit for the car/pub/tent

after the muddiest of days in the hills. A 5-bar pressure

spray nozzle works well to remove

dirt while conserving water.

VERDICT Easy to store in your car boot,

and ready to wash off basically anything that gets muddy.

USED BY Jerry the Springer, Trail watchdog

USED FOR 3 years

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

94


CANINE KIT

RUFFWEAR ROAMER

BUNGEE LEASH £48

This lead has an extending

section that is ideal for keeping

control of your dog, but with

a bit of leeway to allow them

to move over more technical

ground. The clip is a super

secure claw design, and the

hand loop is adjustable to be

worn around the waist – leaving

your hands free for maps or

walking poles. It comes in two

lengths – 5.5-7ft or 7.3-11ft.

VERDICT Durable bungee

lead that can be handheld

or waist-worn.

RUFFWEAR WEB MASTER HARNESS £77

Made for hiking and scrambling where your pup

might need a helping hand up the tricky bits,

this harness features a handle that allows you

to assist them. There is the added security of

knowing if your dog falls, the harness won’t

slip over their head like a collar. There are

five points of adjustment for a good fit and

padded straps prevent pressure points without

hindering range of movement.

VERDICT Multi-use harness for

added security and control.

RUFFWEAR SUN SHOWER £70

This jacket has all the features a

mountain dog needs in a raincoat.

It has a great fit and good body

coverage, and being a shell it can

be worn in summer showers or

in winter with an insulating layer.

Leg straps stop the wind blowing

the coat up – essential in the hills.

A lead portal allows a harness to be worn

underneath. It’s easy to fit with robust plastic

clips either side, and machine washable.

VERDICT An excellently fitting rain

shell that won’t flap up in the wind.

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

95


KIT FOR KIDS

Inspiring a passion for the outdoors can’t start too young.

Here’s our pick of gear to keep children warm, comfy and safe.

JACK WOLFSKIN KIDS COLLECTION £15-£85

Brand new for spring and summer 2022, Jack Wolfskin’s kids collection is an

affordable collection of outdoor clothing for children that’s designed to be every

bit as good as its adult equivalents. The standout product is the Active Hike (£85), a

waterproof and breathable jacket with a recycled Texapore Ecosphere membrane.

And if you want your kids kitted out head to toe in

quality summer hiking kit from a brand dedicated to

making a difference through sustainability, the full

range includes a stretchy fleece jacket, active hoody,

soft shell shorts, T-shirt, cap and shoes.

VERDICT Possibly the best example

we’ve seen yet of a full kids’

clothing range that’s

every bit as good as

adult equivalents.

KLEAN CANTEEN KID CLASSIC

£17

These stainless steel bottles have a spill-proof sport

cap with a removable spout for easy cleaning, a large

carry loop, and – best of all – a tough and chip-resistant

finish that can stand up to whatever your kids throw at it.

The 12oz version comes with the choice of either Sippy

cap (good for toddlers) or a pop-up sport cap (ideal for

bigger kids), with a larger size available for another £6.

VERDICT Easy to drink from, easy to clean,

and difficult to destroy.

NEW

FOR

2022

NEW

FOR

2022

KEEN KNOTCH HOLLOW

£50

Nobody makes comfortable, fun outdoor

footwear quite like Keen, and this sporty, lightweight

little trainer is one of many good examples of that in its junior

range. The Knotch Hollow comes loaded with Keen’s iconic comfort fit, a

contoured arch for mid foot support, plus a grippy and non-marking

sole. There are some bonus features for parents in there too,

because this shoe is machine washable, quick drying and mercifully

free of laces. A great option for bouncing around trails and up hills in spring and summer.

VERDICT One stop down from a proper hillwalking shoe,

which will be plenty good enough for most outdoorsy kids.

LONG-TERM TESTS

SNUGPAK EXPLORER SLEEPING BAG £35

Our 6-year-old graduated to his first ‘proper’ sleeping bag last summer and

the Snugpak Explorer was a great choice. At 170cm long (he’s about 125cm

tall) it’s nice and roomy with plenty of space to grow into, and the thing

we really like is it’s manufactured to the same standards as Snugpak’s

adult sleeping bags. It has the same technical insulation and fabrics, including a

Supersoft lining and technical Isofibre insulation. Like most sleeping bags you can

fully unzip it to use as a duvet, plus you can unzip just the area around your feet to

make it into one big airy tunnel. Available in a range of colours – Sonny loves the

camo one!

VERDICT Great price for a great bag that should fit for good few years.

USED BY Oli Reed, Trail editor

USED FOR 1 busy year of family camping

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

96


KIT FOR KIDS

SCARPA RUSH KIDS GTX £60

This low-cut trekking shoe is also available in a high-ankle version

(the Rush GTX Mid, £70) and both are lightweight and tough with plenty

of grip and flex. The internal toe cap offers good protection at the front,

but the key feature here is the Gore-Tex lining that means no water will

find its way through the mesh upper. Like adult footwear, kids’ walking

boots and shoes have come a long way in recent years, and the Rush

occupies a nice middle ground between traditional walking boots and

lightweight modern trail shoes.

VERDICT Ideal for kids who want to thump over rocks and splash

through puddles, without a clumpy boot slowing them down.

OSPREY POCO CHILD CARRIER £350

There are lots of good child carriers out

there, and if you just need something for

local walks it’s worth checking out the superb

LittleLife S2 for a bargain £100. But if

you‘re taking your toddler on some

proper hillwalks, the Osprey Poco is

the king of the mountains. There are

almost too many features to talk about

– adjustable back system, integrated

sunshade and raincover, cavernous

bottom pocket, washable drool pad – but

the first thing you’ll notice is how robust,

safe and comfortable the whole package

feels. You can adjust every strap to make

your child as secure as secure as possible,

and the sturdy kickstand allows you to prop it

up safely and confidently on the ground

when you need a breather.

VERDICT The price may be eyewatering,

but you get what you pay

for here. The Poco is pretty much

the ultimate hillwalking child carrier.

ISBJORN FROST

LIGHTWEIGHT JACKET £95

We’ve featured Swedish brand

Isbjorn in most round-ups of junior

kit for the past six or seven years,

because the quality of its clothing

really stands out from the crowd.

The warm and toasty Frost jacket is

perhaps the pick of its products, a

lightweight padded coat filled with

PrimaLoft Black Eco 80% recycled

insulation that is useful all year

round. The outer fabric can handle

a light rain shower, plenty of bumps

and scrapes and – crucially for

kids’ kit – comes out of washing

machines looking as good as new.

It also scrunches down small inside

its detachable hood, so can be kept

in a pack until needed.

VERDICT A piece of kids’ outdoor

clothing that’s so good, our only

criticism is they don’t do

adult sizes.

OSPREY TALON JR 11L BACKPACK £80

If (like mine) your kids are now too big to carry, Osprey has also taken its

award-winning adults’ Talon backpack and shrunk it down to create an excellent

little rucksack for 6 to 14-year-olds. This is an ideal first pack for young hillwalkers –

big enough to carry essentials like a few extra layers, maps, drinks and snacks

without being too bulky or heavy. It has some nice touches too, like a scratch-free

top pocket for sunglasses and electronics, an LED light attachment point and even

a bike helmet attachment to make it a multi-use piece of kit.

VERDICT If your kids are serious about getting into hiking and have

outgrown their Paw Patrol school bag, this will take them to the next level.

USED BY Oli Reed, Trail editor

USED FOR Hillwalks, bike rides, camping trips, the school run… basically everything!

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

97


COMPETITION

WIN £1991

GEAR OF

THE YEAR

2022

OF 2022’S 2 2 BEST OUTDOOR O O GEAR

Eight pieces of kit have been awarded Trail magazine’s Gear of the Year award for

outstanding performance in the mountain environment – and it could all be yours!

We’ve teamed up with all eight brands to give one lucky reader the chance to win

£1991 of the best kit a hillwalker could dream of. It’s free and easy to enter at

www.livefortheoutdoors.com/gearguidecomp22

Comp closes 12 May 2022. See website for full T&Cs.

B E S T

WATERPROOF

J A C K E T

M O N T A N E

PAC PLUS XT

£250

BEST HEADTORCH

PETZL SWIFT RL £96

BEST 3-SEASON

SLEEPING BAG

T H E R M - A - R E S T

HYPERION

20°F/-6°C £415

BEST 3-SEASON TENT

SEA TO SUMMIT

ALTO TR1 PLUS £425

BEST BOOTS

LA SPORTIVA

TRANGO TECH

£255

BEST MID LAYER

RAB INFINITY

MICROLIGHT £240

B E S T

BACKPACK

RAB AEON 35

£120

BEST TRAIL SHOE

DANNER TRAIL 2650

CAMPO GTX £190

GEAR GUIDE 2022 TRAIL

98


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your adventures with komoot.


Move, discover, connect and explore.

Scramble, climb and breathe.

Commit. Run. Push. Send.

Reach. Focus. Descend. Reflect.

You are made to go further, faster,

In whatever way you choose.

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