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Thule Chasm (2014)

£110.00

Perhaps best known for roof racks, Swedish brand Thule now makes outdoor storage bags, and the result is this tough-looking, great-quality duffel – which comes with a 25 year warranty. The design is simple enough, with a big ‘wide mouth’ opening, sturdy grab handles and compression straps; while the stormflaps and waterproof zip (on the outer pocket) promise great weather ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Patagonia Cragmaster (2014)

£90.00

The Patagonia Cragmaster is designed for approaching crags, bouldering and moderate climbs. To that end it weighs in at a respectable 954g (pair, size 11), so it feels quite nimble on the foot. The upper is made of leather with two nice large rubber rands for durability. But there is no waterproof lining, and water would easily enter this shoe ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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The North Face Terra 65 (2014)

£125.00

The The North Face Terra 65 is a 65 litre sack that’s made from tough materials and has a good, stiff back to allow weight transfer to the hips via the supportive hipbelt. The back length can be adjusted by raising or lowering the shoulder straps along a rubber strap, while the hipbelt fins can each rotate independently to allow ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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The North Face Base Camp Duffel 90l (2014)

£145.00

TNF’s Base Camp is a long-proven contender for the duffel bag crown, and to many it’s the epitome of what a big-capacity outdoor bag should be: double-stitched, easily compressible and with a tough nylon build. This recent update is a special edition, with a few extra touches (and a heftier price tag). These tweaks consist of an updated colour palette, ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Osprey Exos 58 (2014)

£140.00

I’ve been a fan of the Osprey Exos 46 for many years, and this is its bigger (58 litre) brother. For 2014 Exos packs have all had a facelift, which includes some rather comfortable cushioned mesh-covered shoulder straps. These have no hard edges so they sit beautifully on the shoulders. The hipbelt uses the same material. You get an updated ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Vango Dry Holdall 90 (2014)

£75.00

If you’re expecting serious weather, and know your bag’s going to be exposed to it, the Vango Dry Holdall 90 could be just what you need. Thanks to welded joins, a roll-top design and a coated waterproof nylon build, this lies somewhere between a duffel and a dry bag, and is actually aimed at sailing and rafting activities as much ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Berghaus Fastrack (2014)

£120.00

The Fastrack jacket is designed for ‘high-octane trail sports’, according to Berghaus, although at 547g (size L) it’s quite heavy for moving fast. The fabric is Berghaus’s own AQ2, a material with good waterproof and breathability lab results, although higher-priced jackets do offer better performance in this respect. There’s a mesh lining and pit zips to help manage condensation. The ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mountain Hardwear Plasmic (2014)

£100.00

The Mountain Hardwear Plasmic is one of many jackets costing around £100 that weigh about 296g (size men’s L). The big difference though is that the Plasmic has a ‘normal’ fit on the body, so you can wear a fleece or other insulation underneath without all the air being squashed out. Also the pockets on the Plasmic are sealed, so ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Berghaus Verden 65+10 (2014)

£120.00

The Berghaus Verden 65+10 is very much a traditional backpacking rucksack, with twin main compartments, bellows side pockets and lid; but it also features Berghaus’s Biofit back system, which allows the back length to be adjusted by the user, meaning you can get the sack to fit accurately while wearing it. It can be argued, of course, that if a ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Target Dry Element/Odyssey (2014)

£110.00

It’s so hard to find a jacket that has a decent length on the body, so when you finally discover one it really is an uplifting experience. The Target Dry Element (women’s version is the Odyssey) jacket is long enough to nicely protect my groin from getting wet in the rain when I’m not wearing overtrousers, which is really useful. ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Lowe Alpine Cholatse II 55:65 (2014)

£100.00

Lowe Alpine has always made great packs, and the Cholatse II 55:65 is no exception. But what is a surprise is the cost, as at £100 this sack is offering all the features and performance of packs much higher up the price scale. The back system has an air vent channel set between two vertical padded areas. The back also ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Montane Grand Tour 55 (2014)

£125.00

I first used the Montane Grand Tour 55 back in May 2013, and it has become a regular hiking partner. It is intended specifically for lighter-weight backpacking and is credited with having been designed for use on the Pacific Crest Trail in the USA. At 55 litres it is good for lightweight overnight trips and also winter trips when you ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Montane Atomic (2014)

£110.00

If you want low weight and minimal cost then the £110 Montane Atomic, which tips the scales at just 328g (size L), is a winner. The fabric is Pertex Shield, which – while it can’t boast the lab test results for breathability of jackets twice its price – does offer more than most around the £100 mark. It’s a 2.5-layer ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Lifeventure Ceduna 90 (2014)

£130.00

Wheeled outdoor luggage doesn’t come much neater than the Lifeventure Ceduna 90. To start with, the entire bag is made from durable Cordura fabric, which (even if you don’t know anything about its qualities) feels rugged and resilient from the off. Complemented by the extremely sturdy grab handles at the top and bottom, and the grippy – and lockable – ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Trekker Regular (2014)

£125.00

There really isn’t a lot to dislike about the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Trekker Regular. It’s lightweight (512g), fits into a barely noticeable 20x10cm stuffsack, and is so comfortable it almost feels like a portable bed. Light sleepers may be put off by the crinkling sound it generates if you move around in the night, but most people would never notice it. ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Klymit Inertia X Frame (2014)

£85.00

The Klymit Inertia X Frame squeezes into a stuffsack no bigger than a can of Coca-Cola, weighs roughly the same as a standard pair of mountain gloves and takes less than 10 seconds to inflate. The 12 carefully positioned holes dotted across the mat are obvious weight savers and also create warm pockets between your body and the floor to ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Sprayway Walking Rainpant (2014)

£60.00

Sprayway Walking Rainpants are slightly better than some lower-priced options as they have a mesh lining to improve comfort. The fabric is Sprayway’s HydroDry, which can’t boast the same lab test results for breathability as higher-priced trousers, but thanks to that mesh lining it’s a good, comfortable option if you’re on a budget. In terms of design you get an ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rab Xiom Pant (2014)

£100.00

Rab Xiom Pants are very lightweight overtrousers at just 267g (size L), making them ideal for those who want to travel light. They’re made from 3-layer Pertex Shield – an excellent fabric for trousers as it has no mesh ling to snag, yet it controls condensation better than a 2-layer or 2.5-layer fabric. The fabric boasts top-end waterproofness and breathability ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Vaude Birch Rain Pants (2014)

£55.00

Like many Vaude products the Birch Rain Pants are made from Bluesign-approved fabric, so they’re guaranteed to be made from sustainable materials and use resource-friendly production methods. The fabric is a 2.5-layer Ceplex Active, which is a PU-coated nylon. Like all 2.5-layer fabrics this can feel clammier than 3-layer fabrics or trousers with mesh linings, but with modern synthetic trousers ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Marmot Precip Pant (2014)

£75.00

As with the new Precip Jacket, Marmot is using its new NanoPro waterproof and breathable fabric in these trousers. Although this fabric is a 2.5-layer design, I’ve been really impressed with its performance and feel it’s the best 2.5-layer fabric I’ve used. These trousers are pretty light at 383g (size L), although not quite the lightest option. In terms of ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Berghaus Helvellyn Pant (2014)

£100.00

The Berghaus Helvellyn Pant is made from Gore-Tex with a mesh lining. This fabric is generally more comfortable in the long term than some lower-priced materials, due to Gore-Tex having higher waterproofness and breathability performance. As there’s a mesh lining, any condensation that does appear is held away from your clothing, so overall they’re more comfortable than most lower-priced options. ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Lowe Alpine Triplepoint Pant (2014)

£80.00

Using Lowe Alpine’s well-established Triplepoint Ceramic fabric, these trousers offer top-level waterproofness and breathability at a good price. They have a mesh lining as well to mask any condensation and improve comfort. That lining does mean you need more care when putting them on, though, as it tends to snag more than unlined alternatives. In terms of design you get ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Adidas Terrex Swift Light 2.5-layer Climaproof Storm (2014)

£105.00

Adidas may not be the first brand that springs to mind when thinking about waterproof jackets for walkers, but there is no denying that this product is well-designed for the hills. It weighs in at just 325g (size 38) so it’s great for stashing in a rucksack. The fabric is a 2.5-layer material, so there is no lining and it ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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First test: Kelty TraiLogic Collection - PDSI sleeping mat (2014)

£70.00

The TraiLogic Collection consists of four individual products: a rucksack, tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat. What sets Kelty’s new range apart from other manufacturers, though, is that while the products can be purchased and used separately, each has been specially designed to work with the others as part of an integrated system. It’s not an entirely original concept. When ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mountain Equipment Shroud (2014)

£90.00

The Mountain Equipment Shroud is a jacket that I’ve been wearing regularly for four years and amazingly its price hasn’t changed in that time. It’s built around Polartec 100 fleece fabric, which for me provides just the right degree of insulation to wear year-round in the UK over a base layer or under a waterproof jacket. The fabric also offers ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0

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