REVIEW: Lomo Zipped Full Sleeve Changing Robe

REVIEW: Lomo Zipped Full Sleeve Changing Robe

As far as watersports go, I have only ever been able to say that I am an Open Water Swimmer. However, for the review of the Lomo Changing Robe, I think that is actually spot-on. Swimming is an activity which can, and does, happen in pretty much any body of water… Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Keela Merino Long Sleeve Top

REVIEW: Keela Merino Long Sleeve Top

I only discovered Merino baselayers a few years ago when I picked up a long sleeved tee in the sales. I wore it so much that Christmas resulted in a second slightly heavier weight long sleeved tee ended up in my wardrobe. These two have served me well and given me a real love for merino wool which has stretched to my feet also. When the opportunity arose to invest in a Keela Merino long sleeve top, nothing could stand in my way. Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Helikon EDC Side Bag

REVIEW: Helikon EDC Side Bag

Shoulder bags are often the unloved stepchild of tactical and utilitarian outdoor gear. They have to function well in that narrow range between “just put it in your pocket” and “you’ll need a rucksack”. I do use them, but they have to work hard to earn their place in my kit loadout. Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Polymath Products OmniTorch

REVIEW: Polymath Products OmniTorch

A few weeks ago I was asked a very pertinent question:

“Do you really need another sodding torch?”

Open on my browser was the page on the TRC Outdoors website for the Polymath Products OmniTorch – a cube-shaped LED cliplight with multiple attachment options. I have enough LED lighting scattered around the office and my truck to light up the Western Hemisphere. Do I need to spend £12.99 on another lighting source? Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: TRC Outdoors Cierzo Shirt and Timmy Hat

REVIEW: TRC Outdoors Cierzo Shirt and Timmy Hat

I’ve been aware of UK veteran-owned brand TRC Outdoors for a while, so when Brian from surveillance and fieldcraft specialists Kamouflage Ltd offered to send me the TRC Outdoors Cierzo shirt and Timmy hat to try out over the summer I was happy to help out. Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Mountain Equipment Firefly Down Sleeping Bag

REVIEW: Mountain Equipment Firefly Down Sleeping Bag

I reviewed the 2019 Mountain Equipment Firefly down sleeping bag for UK outdoor news and discussion site UKHillwalking.com. It’s small, light and cleverly designed – but is it warm enough for a Welsh spring? Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Country Innovation Woodlark Waterproof Smock

REVIEW: Country Innovation Woodlark Waterproof Smock

After reviewing their Raptor waistcoat I was contacted by UK brand Country Innovation to take an early look at their brand new waterproof smock design – the Woodlark. It’s listed on the Country Innovation website as being “made from a tough cotton outer fabric, which, when combined with the waterproof/breathable lining, offers great protection from wind and rain“. Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Grayl Ultralight Water Filter

REVIEW: Grayl Ultralight Water Filter

Water filters are becoming increasingly popular in the Uk hiking and outdoors market, and what was once seen as a niche item for overseas travel and expeditions are now starting to be habitually carried in the UK by adventurers of all types. Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Helikon-Tex Bushcraft Satchel

REVIEW: Helikon-Tex Bushcraft Satchel

It won’t take long to run through the features of this bag – but that is, I suppose, a feature in itself; the Helikon-Tex Bushcraft Satchel is pretty simple.

There’s an unpadded adjustable shoulder strap running between two clips, and slightly curved ‘ends’ where these clips attach. There is no padding anywhere on the bag, and it hangs symettrically – it isn’t contoured or ‘handed’ to fit on one side of the body or other. Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Country Innovation Raptor Waistcoat

REVIEW: Country Innovation Raptor Waistcoat

Photography waistcoats like this are basically load-carrying vests and systems for a very civilian market, and the Raptor waistcoat from Country Innovation seems to be pitched straight at that market of photographers, birdwatchers and anybody who regularly points optics at wildlife. Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: GP Xplor PHR15 Head Torch

REVIEW: GP Xplor PHR15 Head Torch

Head torch technology has come on a long way since I started working in the outdoors. My first ‘proper’ head torch was a Petzl Zoom. It had a massive alkaline battery and came with a spare bulb – it was also like a candle in a jam jar.

Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Wunderbird Gyrfalcon Hoodie and Kestrel Tee Shirt

REVIEW: Wunderbird Gyrfalcon Hoodie and Kestrel Tee Shirt

The two Wunderbird items I have been trialling are the Gyrfalcon Hoodie and the Kestrel Short-Sleeve Tee. Both garments have some interesting design features, including slightly padded shoulder areas and zipped pouches on the chest and similar pouches on the front of the stomach area. The Kestrel is a technical base layer and the Gyrfalcon is more of a thermal mid-layer shirt. Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Sea to Summit Alpha Pot Set 2.2

REVIEW: Sea to Summit Alpha Pot Set 2.2

The Sea to Summit Alpha Pot Set 2.2 is an integrated lightweight camping cookset that nests together. Richard Prideaux reviewed it for UKHillwalking.com Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Wisport Raccoon 45L Rucksack

REVIEW: Wisport Raccoon 45L Rucksack

Wisport is one of those brands I had heard of or seen in product catalogues and on websites, but had no direct experience of. Military 1st offered the Wisport Raccoon 45L rucksack to me to try out on some of our courses and I gladly took the opportunity. It’s not like I NEED another rucksack, but it’s a different style to what I am used to and I was curious to see how it performed. Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Firepot Dehydrated Meals

REVIEW: Firepot Dehydrated Meals

Firepot are a relatively new supplier in the UK expedition food market but the information both on their website and what I had heard from other users was encouraging. I’ve been trying them out on wild camping and bivvying trips over the past few weeks – and so far I haven’t died. Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Olight I1R EOS Key Ring Torch

REVIEW: Olight I1R EOS Key Ring Torch

Cheap, stupidly-bright Chinese LED torches have been around for several years now and there are many to choose from. I’ve used several over the years with varying degrees of success – and to be perfectly honest my hopes weren’t THAT high for this tiny keyring torch from Olight when it was offered as a review item. But it turns out to not be that bad – in fact, to be quite good. With a few important caveats that I will come to later… Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: MSR WindBurner Group Stove System

REVIEW: MSR WindBurner Group Stove System

The MSR WindBurner range has been updated for 2018 with a wind-resistant remote canister stove, new pans and even a huge 4.5L stockpot. Richard Prideaux has been reviewing it in the mountains of Snowdonia and Scotland over the winter of 2017-2018 for UKHIllwalking.com Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Helikon-Tex Classic Army Fleece

REVIEW: Helikon-Tex Classic Army Fleece

Helikon-Tex have been on the radar of outdoor enthusiasts and professionals, hunters, military personnel and security contractors for a couple of decades now, and they produce good kit. I have been wearing the Helikon-Tex Classic Army fleece for nearly 5 months and I think I’ve got a good angle on it now – it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty damned good. Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: First Tactical Tactix 1-Day Plus Bag

REVIEW: First Tactical Tactix 1-Day Plus Bag

From a distance the First Tactical Tactix 1-Day Plus looks like pretty much any other MOLLE daypack – webbing systems along the vertical surfaces, zipped compartments and compression straps. I admit to having a bit of a prejudice towards MOLLE packs. The MOLLE/PALS system (Modular Light Load carrying Equipment) works well with small packs and pouches, and is great for quickly changing the gear carried on say, body armour or a tactical vest. It doesn’t work as well when it comes to… Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Therm-a-Rest Questar HD Sleeping Bag

REVIEW: Therm-a-Rest Questar HD Sleeping Bag

Richard reviewed the 2017 Therm-a-Rest Questar HD Sleeping Bag for UK outdoor news and discussion site UKHillwalking.com. Hydrophobic down – does it really work? Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Fjallraven Kaipak 58 Rucksack

REVIEW: Fjallraven Kaipak 58 Rucksack

There is enough padding on the waist and shoulders for them not to be noticed, but it doesn’t seem excessive. For one overnight trip with clients the overall ‘wet’ weight of the pack (including food, water and camera kit) was around 17kg and our reviewer was not left wanting more foam between the straps and my body. The adjustment for both the waist and shoulders stays in place once set, which is more than can be said for many packs on the market. Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Therm-a-Rest Trail King SV Mat

REVIEW: Therm-a-Rest Trail King SV Mat

Richard reviewed the 2017 Therm-a-Rest Trail King SV Mat for UKHillwalking.com. A self-inflating mat that promises comfort without sacrificing weight or pack space. Worth the cost? Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Mammut Ayako High GTX Boot

REVIEW: Mammut Ayako High GTX Boot

I have been using the Mammut Ayako High GTX boots for a few months and they are sticking equally well to rock and to mud. The full review is on the UKHillwalking.com website here, and the video review is below. Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: MSR TrailShot Microfilter

REVIEW: MSR TrailShot Microfilter

Compact pump microfilter for fast-and-light travel

It looks like a medical appliance and promises impressive performance – how does it hold up in the field?

I reviewed it for UKHillwalking.com, and you can read the full review here. Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Helko Werk Black Forest Pack Axe

REVIEW: Helko Werk Black Forest Pack Axe

My collection of axes needs to be carefully monitored. If I don’t keep it in check they will spread out of the workshop and take over the rest of the house. There are a number brands in there – Gransfors, Hultafors and even a few Elwell hatchets that I keep meaning to rehandle. Do I need another axe? No. Do I want another axe? Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Snugpak ML6 Softie Smock

REVIEW: Snugpak ML6 Softie Smock

I’m always a little wary over equipment marketed for ‘outdoor professionals’. It is normally shorthand for “here is something we already sell, but with patches on the knees and oh, it’s also now 20% more expensive”. Snugpak, best known for sleeping bags and the classic Softie jacket, offer the Mountain Leader range – with the ML3, ML6 and ML9 variants. Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Fortis SAS Waterproof Smock

REVIEW: Fortis SAS Waterproof Smock

Back in the middle of 2016 we visited the Fortis Clothing factory shop and this is the coat I walked away with. I wanted an all-round tough outdoor jacket, and the Fortis SAS Smock fitted my needs. I ended up with one of the last with the older ‘Country Covers’ branding, Fortis being the new name for the family business run by Oliver Massey-Birch, but as far as I can tell this is the same build and design as the current Fortis SAS Smock. It’s worth noting from the outset that I have sewn a patch onto the arm pocket, through the outer pocket layer only. Continue reading

Read more...

REVIEW: Exped Scout Hammock Combi

REVIEW: Exped Scout Hammock Combi

All in one hammock, tarp and bug net

Our friends at UKHillwalking.com sent us the Exped Scout Hammock Combi to review – to find out what we thought you can read the full review HERE. Continue reading

Read more...