Gear Guide

We put the lat­est out­door cloth­ing and equip­ment to the test

The Scots Magazine - - Outdoor Scotland -

1. Grivel Stealth Hel­met, £75

MY reg­u­lar lid is a Grivel Salam­dar that I use for ev­ery­thing – rock, ice, sports crags. It’s fine, a bit scraped, but good for lots more years. I ex­pected the Stealth would be just as ad­e­quate – how dif­fer­ent could it be? First shock was it weighs zilch! Just 192g – sud­denly the Sala­man­der, at 388g, felt like a ton! The key is the faceted de­sign – it in­creases the rigid­ity of the shell, mean­ing less poly­car­bon­ate is needed but strength isn’t sac­ri­ficed. It comes in one-size and is ad­justed by pulling tog­gles at the back. It’s a lighter sys­tem than the Sala­man­der’s turn to tighten/loosen dial but not as con­ve­nient. With the vent­ing it has all-day com­fort. Looks pretty funky, too!

2. Sea To Sum­mit Al­pha Pot Set 2.2, £80

THIS is a pretty nifty wee set! It con­tains two sizes of pots with strain­ing lids, two pasta bowls, a dish­cloth and two mugs – com­plete with in­su­lat­ing mug hold­ers. I was im­pressed that all of this fits neatly to­gether into the big pot, with the whole set weigh­ing only 765g. The lack of weight doesn’t mean lack of dura­bil­ity, though – the bowls and mugs are Bpa-free, glass re­in­forced polypropy­lene; and the pots are hard-an­odised alu­minium. The pot han­dles are fixed on, but have a unique pivot-lock to se­cure lids in tran­sit. They also have a handy “lid keep” so you can hang the lid on the pot’s side. I never thought I’d be so im­pressed with pot lids!

3. Keela Hy­dron Soft­shell, £149.95

WE Scots have a great word for that mist-rain-driz­zle that turns a dry walk into a dre­ich one – smirr. In th­ese con­di­tions a soft­shell such as this Keela number will keep you dry with­out hav­ing to re­sort to heavy wa­ter­proofs. It is also quite warm so if the smirr is ac­com­pa­nied by a chilly wind, you’re kept snug. A T-shirt or base layer is all you need to wear un­der­neath. Other plus signs are good-sized pock­ets, Vel­cro-ad­justable cuffs and a hel­met-com­pat­i­ble hood. How­ever, its tai­lored fit means it’s quite close-fit­ting and, even with side vents – which I thought would be a great ad­van­tage – there’s a lack of proper air cir­cu­la­tion. Go­ing up a size might give you a bit more com­fort.

4. Sea To Sum­mit Ul­tra Sil Day­pack, £25.99

WEIGH­ING a scant 72g with a 20-litre ca­pac­ity, Sea To Sum­mit’s ruck­sack squashes down into its own carry case for easy trans­port. To be hon­est, I’ve not yet thought of a sit­u­a­tion when you’d need a pack­able ruck­sack (if you can carry a bag out, why can’t you carry one in?), but maybe that’s the fault of my imag­i­na­tion. In 2017 the Ul­tra-sil® Day­pack won the pres­ti­gious Back­packer Ed­i­tors’ Choice Gold Award, so it must be do­ing some­thing right! If you think you need this then it does the job very well. It’s well-made and can re­port­edly hold up to 250 times its own weight. How­ever, the ma­te­rial it’s made of causes you to sweat in a mat­ter of min­utes, so don’t wear it if you’re hop­ing to stay smart.

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Robert Wight

Ka­t­rina Pa­trick

Garry Fraser

Alex Corlett

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