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Vango Nanga 60+10 (2015)

£120.00

Features The Nanga 60+10 is top of the Vango range. It has a very useful capacity of 60-70 litres, which is provided by a main compartment with top and front access (but if you fitted a rucksack liner inside you could still in effect have a base compartment with external access). You get bellows zipped side pockets and a floating ...

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Vaude Asymmetric 52+8 (2015)

£120.00

Features The Asymmetric range from Vaude replaces the popular Astra range of packs. This model has a capacity of 52 to 60 litres in one main compartment with top and front opening as a well as a base compartment with external zipped opening. The lid is a floating design with an external pocket, and you get a useful front zipped ...

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Montane Grand Tour 55 (2015)

£125.00

Features A lightweight pack for lightweight, long distance backpacking, the Montane Grand Tour 55 has a 55 litre capacity with one main compartment and a relatively clutter-free design. The main opening is at the top with a fixed lid that has a large pocket on the outside, while a pair of huge stretch pockets sit on the front of the ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
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Lowe Alpine Zephyr 55:65 (2015)

£140.00

Features With a capacity of 55 to 65 litres the Lowe Alpine Zephyr 55:65 is suitable for a wide range of expeditions. There is just one main compartment, rather than a base and main compartment, and there is a side opening as well as the more usual top opening. The lid is a floating design with a huge lid pocket. ...

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Berghaus Wilderness 65+15 (2015)

£140.00

Features The men’s sack has a 65 to 80 litre capacity while the women’s has a 60 to 75 litre capacity, and this is provided by a main compartment and base compartment, both with front zipped access as well as the usual top opening. There are two zipped side pockets here, which are ideal for easy access to small items, ...

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First test: Meindl X-SO 30 GTX (2015)

£145.00

Keeping your feet dry in the hills can be a challenge. Repelling rain is one requirement, but so is allowing sweat to escape. Gore-Tex Surround Outdoor – built into Meindl’s X-SO 30 GTX shoe – has been designed to achieve that goal. The technology behind Gore-Tex Surround first appeared three years ago in urban footwear, where warm air was allowed ...

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Mountain Equipment Shroud (2015)

£80.00

FeaturesThe Mountain Equipment Shroud has been a favourite of mine thanks to its combination of a hood and two large chest pockets that can be easily accessed while wearing a pack with a wide hipbelt. It has thumb loops and a hem drawcord, and the front zip has a baffle inside to keep draughts out as well as a chin ...

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Columbia Fast Trek II Full Zip (2015)

£50.00

FeaturesWith the Columbia Fast Trek II Full Zip three pockets. You can fit OS maps in the hip pockets and a small guidebook in the chest pocket. The two lower ones are easily obscured by a rucksack belt, but at least you have a more accessible chest pocket. You also get a drawcord at the hem to block out the ...

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Mountain Equipment Scorpion (2015)

£135.00

FeaturesI would always choose a fleece with a hood, but if you don’t want one then the Mountain Equipment Scorpion is the best option around. It has two large main pockets that can be accessed while wearing a rucksack, plus a third smaller chest pocket for GPS receiver, guidebook or compass. There is also added abrasion resistance in key areas ...

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Montane Medusa (2015)

£80.00

FeaturesA previous ‘Best in Test’ winner, the Montane Medusa has a 32 litre capacity in a narrow single compartment with one external lid pocket and a useful pocket on the underside of the lid. The lid has a single buckle to make it easy to open or close, while a pair of compression straps on the side benefit from quick-release ...

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Rab Shadow Hoodie (2015)

£140.00

FeaturesThe Rab Shadow Hoodie has almost everything you could dream of with its hood, two huge chest pockets and highly abrasion-resistant material. There is no external third smaller chest pocket, but you do get an inside chest pocket which is very large and could be used for compass, GPS receiver or phone. The drawback is all that extra weight if ...

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Osprey Stratos (2015)

£85.00

FeaturesThe men’s Stratos 34 and women’s Sirrus 36 have a ziparound opening, which some people like, while others (including myself) are less impressed by them as you can’t ‘overstuff’ the bag when needed. This sack also has a lower compartment for storing wet gear, but you can unclip the divider if preferred to create one large main compartment. You get ...

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Páramo Bora Hoodie (2015)

£100.00

FeaturesOver-the-head smock designs such as the Páramo Bora Hoodie do have real advantages, as they allow a large chest pocket to remain easily accessible while wearing a rucksack. Here you also get a hood and a third small chest pocket. There’s also a lot you don’t get though, including adjustment on the hood, a long zip for ventilation and no ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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The North Face Litus (2015)

£95.00

FeaturesThe men’s Litus 32 and women’s Aleia 32 have a ziparound opening, which isn’t my favourite design, as I much prefer a single-buckle lid. This The North Face sack also has a lower compartment for storing wet gear, but you can unclip the divider if preferred to create one large main compartment. You get a rain cover, compression straps and ...

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Vaude Brenta (2015)

£85.00

FeaturesThe men’s Brenta has a 30 litre capacity but the women’s Maremma is only 28 litres, and this is provided by a single main compartment with a snow-lock extension, a lid with twin buckles and a raincover. The lid gets a nice large pocket on the outside, plus an internal pocket. Stretch mesh pockets are provided on the front and ...

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Berghaus Trail Speed 30 (2015)

£70.00

FeaturesThe Berghaus Trail Speed 30 is a 30 litre rucksack that has a main compartment with a conventional lid which benefits from a huge external pocket and a smaller pocket underneath. The main compartment doesn’t have the deep snow-lock extension of some designs though. Also, you only get one side compression strap but you can use the lid straps and ...

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Lowe Alpine Airzone Trail (2015)

£75.00

FeaturesThe Lowe Alpine Airzone Trail’s 35 litre capacity is provided by a single main compartment with a fixed lid that has a single buckle. There is no snow-lock extension on the main compartment opening but you do get a raincover to help keep water out. You also get side compression straps without quick-release buckles and stretch side pockets. There is ...

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Deuter ACT Trail 32 (2015)

£95.00

FeaturesThe men’s (32 litre) version of the Deuter ACT Trail 32 features a main compartment with a single-buckle lid. There is a stretch pocket on one side, a zipped pocket on the other side and a compression pocket on the front, so lots of storage options. There is also a front opening to the main compartment. The lid pocket is ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Sprayway Cerberus (2015)

£75.00

FeaturesThe Sprayway Cerberus has instant hill appeal, thanks to a hood and two large pockets on the chest with easy access even when wearing a rucksack with a wide hipbelt. The front zip is full-length and gets a baffle on the inside to block draughts while the top of the zip is protected to prevent chin scrape. Thumb loops are ...

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Millet Trilogy (2015)

£100.00

FeaturesThe Millet Trilogy is used by Chamonix mountain guides and is typical of the stripped-down design mountaineers and more experienced hillwalkers often prefer. So you get a low weight of just 1030g with a main compartment, lid with two pockets and twin compression straps on each side. The main compartment opening also gets a good snow-lock extension, but there are no ...

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Sprayway W.N.W (2015)

£120.00

At one end of the fleecy scale there's the cuddly cloud-like top, perfect for the pub and light spring days. At the other end there’s the W.N.W, which takes its cues from soft shell and is a dedicated winter weather warrior. At its core is Gore Windstopper fabric, which vies with Polartec for top honours when it comes to fleece ...

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Berghaus Roseg Full-Zip (2015)

£100.00

The green, bobbly one I tested may have taken its design cues from a dollop of mushy peas, but the Roseg is a top performer on cold, blustery, active days out. The cut is neat and trim, long enough to cover the lower back, even when making agile hops from stream to rock. The hem and cuffs are elasticated so ...

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Patagonia R1 Pullover (2015)

£100.00

The R1 takes an unusual approach by having its fleece fabric on the inside and a smooth, stretchy microfibre face-fabric on the outside. The internal fleece material is called Regulator, and it is soft, extremely light and surprisingly warm. This is in part due to an insulating grid pattern which keeps heat close to your body while still retaining breathability ...

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Montane Volt (2015)

£100.00

The Volt is a joy to wear. It’s called a ‘zoned’ jacket, with the zones being separate panels of material stitched together to make a jacket that moves naturally with you, while keeping the heat where you want it. It uses the warmest version of Polartec, Thermal Pro, which has a honeycomb design that creates air pockets within the jacket ...

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Mammut Aconcagua (2015)

£130.00

If you’re a serious hillwalker and you plan on spending a lot of time in deep cold conditions, the Aconcagua (as you might expect from the name) is a perfect choice. There’s Polartec here again, but this time it’s the advanced Power Stretch version which prioritises stretchiness. So it’s incredibly athletic, adapting to your movements smoothly, although it’s not as ...

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