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LifeStraw (2014)

£30.00

An extraordinary product that is finding considerable kudos with lightweight enthusiasts, the LifeStraw was born for use in developing countries where uncontaminated water is rare. It’s essentially a filter with a mouthpiece that strains out viruses and turbidity (murk) to turn just about any water source – even puddles – drinkable. This means that as long as you are travelling ...

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Katadyn MyBottle (2014)

£50.00

Emblazoned with the Swiss flag  – which in the case of knives and chocolate is good news, so why not this too – the Katadyn MyBottle is a nifty combined water bottle and filter system. The idea is you can fill it with water from almost any source (lake, river, dodgy foreign tap) and the internal microfilter strains out viruses, ...

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Source WidePac 2L (2014)

£27.00

Winner of Trail’s recent hydration system test (September 2013), the Source WidePac 2L represents superb value and performance for the price. Its USP is that opening, which allows easy cleaning and filling without spilling, and Source’s well-proven track record for untainted taste (though modern hydration systems have generally licked this). You also get a dirt cap for the twist-lock mouthpiece, ...

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Sigg Viva (2014)

£15.49

A colourful departure for the iconic Swiss bottle maker, these new models from Sigg have a 750ml capacity and fill a welcome hole for those for whom the famous aluminium bottles are a bit industrial-feeling. BPA-free, recycled and recyclable, yet forged with the quality you’d expect from Sigg that makes the latter highly unlikely, the Viva also features a double ...

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RaidLight Dual Chamber (2014)

£34.00

Somewhat specialist but certainly unique, the RaidLight Dual Chamber allows you to fill your hydration system with two different fluids stored in back-to-back 1.5 litre reservoirs, then regulate which – or how much of each – makes it to the mouthpiece. The idea clearly has energy drinks in mind, and for runners and endurance walkers no doubt has appeal. Easy ...

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Platypus SoftBottle (2014)

£10.50

Many associate Platypus with kicking off the hydration system movement, and now its innovations are coming full circle with a range of lightweight, crushable ‘conventional’ bottles that can either be hooked to a pipe or used on their own with the push-pull mouthpiece. The Platypus SoftBottle’s advantage is its featherlight weight (35g) price (just over a tenner for the 1 ...

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PowerTraveller SolarGorilla (2014)

£145.00

PowerTraveller really started the portable power game with the revolutionary PowerMonkey, so they know their stuff. If you just need a massive, rugged, freakishly efficient solar panel the SolarGorilla is exactly this. This PU-coated, glass-panelled device can directly charge phones and tablets – and even some laptops. It’s designed primarily to work with powerbanks (PowerTraveller’s offering is the PowerGorilla, though ...

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Kit Premium Portable Power Bank (2014)

£50.00

This genuinely handy high-capacity power bank features two outputs – one for smaller devices such as smartphones, and another for more power-hungry gadgets such as tablets. The Kit Premium Portable Power Bank is pleasingly solid-feeling, well-made and rather swish, featuring a button-activated display that gives you an indication of how much charge is left inside. However, it’s a bit of ...

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Ventura PowerBank PB50 (2014)

£40.00

Striking the perfect balance between compact size and useful capacity, the Ventura PowerBank PB50 is a certified waterproof, very rugged device the size of a Yorkie (chocolate bar, not dog) with an impressive storage capability of 5600mAh and a weight of only 146g. It also comes with a built-in torch and the peculiar addition of a red laser pointer with ...

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Brunton Pulse 1500 (2014)

£30.00

Thin and feather-light, the Brunton Pulse 1500 is the ideal emergency bump-charger to carry in your pack for those times when you need a bit of extra power. The integrated Micro USB output is a handy feature for charging certain phones and tablets, and the built-in USB input device makes it easy to plug in for charging. There’s also a ...

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MSC Traveler Solar Charger (2014)

£35.00

A sturdy product the size of a hand-held GPS, the MSC Traveler Solar Charger combines an integrated solar panel with a pre-chargeable battery bank. You get two USB outputs – and therefore the ability to charge two devices simultaneously: a charge indicator and an on/off switch. MSC stands for Mobile Solar Chargers, and its website shows a formidable range of ...

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Brunton Hydrogen Reactor (2014)

£135.00

The Brunton Hydrogen Reactor won several industry awards on release in 2013. It relies on small canisters of hydrogen, which it mixes with oxygen from the air to produce ‘clean’ energy. The product’s innovative nature cannot be knocked. What’s less impressive is the practicality aspect: the two supplied ‘Hydrocore’ canisters weigh will last for six iPhone charges before either needing ...

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Eagle Creek Flashpoint Rolling Duffel XL (2014)

£130.00

It’s all very well having a vast 128 litre capacity, but how do you lug around all that resulting weight? The Eagle Creek Flashpoint Rolling Duffel XL – a hybrid design – has found a way: it takes the lightweight simplicity of a bare duffel and fits a sturdy pair of wheels around a reinforced bottom. The result is a ...

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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 ...

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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, ...

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Arc’teryx 100l Carrier Duffel 90 (2014)

£120.00

Always a stylish choice, Arc’teryx’s 100l Carrier Duffel is a masterclass in simplicity. Weighing a feathery 680g, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s simply too insubstantial to be of use. But you’d be bang wrong. The waterproof ripstop fabric delivers a great weight-to-toughness ratio, while the taped seams and subtly weather-resistant flaps and zips offer protection from the elements. Four ...

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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 – ...

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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 ...

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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. ...

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Quechua A200 (2014)

£20.00

Quechua is currently creating some pretty big waves in the UK thanks to its expanding range of decent-quality outdoor kit at affordable prices. This self-inflating mat, although the bulkiest featured in our review, falls right into both categories. Serious wild campers will be put off by the size and weight (1234g) because it’s really too big to carry in your ...

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Vango Ultralite Mat Full (2014)

£40.00

If you want to take the next step up from the bargains on offer from Multimat (Discovery) and Quechua (A200), this Duke of Edinburgh’s Award-recommended mat offers fantastic value for money. It fully self-inflates so won’t leave you gasping for breath before bed, and it packs down almost as small as the Exped Downmat. The compromise is the depth of ...

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Exped Downmat UL 7 M (2014)

£150.00

The Exped Downmat is by some distance the most expensive option we looked at, but this really is a case of getting what you pay for. It’s slightly heavier than the NeoAir Trekker, but makes up for those extra 150 grams with some impressive extra features. Firstly, it contains 170g of goose down that provides extra insulation from the cold, ...

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Multimat Discovery (2014)

£20.00

If you’re really into saving weight and money, and can handle the sneers from technology-obsessed walking buddies, you really can’t beat a classic closed-cell foam mat. No need to worry about spare pumps, self-inflating devices or repair kits; you simply unroll it, chuck it on the ground and go to sleep. The Multimat Discovery is made from high-quality polyolefin foam ...

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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 ...

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