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First test: Sherpa Nangpala Down Jacket (2014)

£250.00

The traditional and well-proven choice for top-quality insulation has been down, gathered from geese. However, as down loses some of its insulating performance when wet, synthetic fibres are often used instead, which perform better than down when wet, but are heavier and less compact. This is not ideal, say when carrying an insulated jacket in your rucksack. So over recent ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
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Vango Helix 100 (2014)

£100.00

Tents are getting lighter, but the lightest often carry a whopping price tag. However some brands are making lightweight tents that are far more affordable – and the Helix 100 is the lightest and lowest-priced model in Vango’s new range. At £100 for a one-person tent weighing just 1573g, the Helix 100 should strongly appeal to weekend backpackers. But if ...

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Stanley Adventure Vacuum Bottle 2014

£28.00

Stanley has been at the forefront of flask development since 1913, and the brand continues its iconic green hammertone design. The Adventure Vacuum Bottle’s screw-on cup lid is narrower and deeper than most, and easier to drink from. A screw-top seal lacks the press-button design of some bottles. But most impressive is the performance, with a 4 deg C drop ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Snugpak 2nd Skinz (2014)

£20.00

FeaturesFeatures-wise the Snugpak 2nd Skinz is a basic product, but it’s still a very functional crew-necked layer from a British brand that’s popular with the army. Weight is 184g (size M). You also get a nice mesh carry case with a plastic window on it; not sure what base layer application this has, but it’s got washbag written all over ...

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Suunto Ambit V2 (2014)

£325.00

The Suunto Ambit V2 is a watch with built-in GPS functionality that provides your location, a record of your route and speed of movement while also recording heart rate. The watch is water-resistant to 100 metres so it can be used to record your performance while swimming, as well as running, cycling, skiing or walking. There is a compass, barometric ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
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Aclima Warmwool Hoodie (2014)

£80.00

FeaturesThis oddball from Norwegian wool specialists Aclima can be worn as a crew, a polo neck or sporting a full hood, making it ideal for a range of cold conditions. You also get a tunnel pocket and thumb loops so – while it looks a bit Flash Gordon – you’re getting great value here. A women’s fit is available. 5/5 FabricThe ...

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Viewranger software plus Samsung Galaxy S5 (2014)

£26.50

If you own a smartphone such as the Apple iPhone, various Nokia models or the Galaxy S5 featured here (waterproof to 1m for 30 minutes) you can benefit from its built-in GPS receiver and just add mapping software. Viewranger software is free but you pay extra for OS mapping. Map pricing depends on coverage, but you can get OS 1:50,000 ...

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Satmap Active 12 (2014)

£325.00

The Satmap Active 12 with its orange buttons is the latest version of the popular Satmap Active 10. The Active 12 benefits from an improved high-resolution screen, meaning that OS mapping is clearer. You can now share routes with other devices via Bluetooth connectivity, and a barometric altimeter has also been added. But the big advantage is the large screen ...

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Berghaus Stainless Steel Flask 2014

£10.00

This product from Berghaus – a brand you might not naturally think of when choosing a flask – includes a stainless steel cup with a plastic liner so you don’t burn your lips. The cup fits easily and there is a plastic press-button pourer, similar to many designs. In the lab test its contents lost 9 deg C in the ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Vango Vacuum Flask 2014

£10.00

This stainless steel flask has been a Trail favourite for years. It comes in four sizes, with an impressive price tag of £10 for 1000ml. The cup fits well and features a plastic liner to help prevent mouth burns. But you don’t get the press-button pourers of other bottles; instead there is just a basic screw cap. The Vango Vacuum ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Keela ADS Long Sleeve (2014)

£20.00

FeaturesKeela gear is trusted by outdoor professionals, and on the strength of this product you can see why. The ADS wicking system, the zip neck (which has a glove-friendly pull and a draught flap behind it), robust but light – 212g (size M) – construction and sculpted fit give it the technical chops of products twice the price. 5/5 FabricADS ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
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Sherpa Tsepun Zip Tee Zip (2014)

£55.00

FeaturesFrom a company owned by Sherpas, the Tsepun Zip Tee has a chest pocket big enough for a credit card or the like. Nice details include the ‘endless knot’ symbol on the rear neck and ‘prayer flag’ zip, plus padded cuffs and collar. The zip is generous: more like 1/3 than 1/4. The women’s equivalent is the Dikila. 5/5 FabricWhile ...

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Berghaus Capucin (2014)

£160.00

FeaturesThere are a lot of nice touches here, but some annoying elements too. The hood has face drawcords, but no volume adjustment at the back. The three pockets on the outside are placed reasonably well for access with a rucksack on, but they aren’t quite big enough for an OS map. The cuffs get internal elastication, though, which is neatly ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mammut Crater (2014)

£250.00

FeaturesThe Mammut Crater has those all-important two large chest pockets that can be used to warm hands or store maps with easy access while wearing a rucksack. In addition you get pit zips for improved condensation control. The hood is helmet-compatible and benefits from a stiffened (but not wired) peak, a rear volume adjuster and face drawcords. All that is ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Karrimor Technical Top Zip (2014)

£8.00

FeaturesThe Technical Top Zip is a very well-featured base layer from British brand Karrimor. You get flat seams, good stretch, high wicking action and light weight (191g, size M), which makes it good for summer. Factor in the zipped neck – rarely found on lower-priced products – and you have a bargain. 5/5 FabricDistinctive (white inside, coloured outside) with a ...

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Marmot Precip (2014)

£85.00

FeaturesThe Marmot Precip has been a stalwart of lightweight hill and mountain travel for many years. Its low weight of 325g (size L) is a mammoth feature when backpacking. It also has a two OS map-sized hip pockets, pit zips to aid ventilation and a hood with a rear volume adjuster and face cords that can be rolled into the ...

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Rohan Icepack (2014)

£125.00

FeaturesThe Rohan Icepack lacks a hood but has other benefits. A soft fleece collar adds comfort, although the fleece doesn’t extend to the chin area. You also get Velcro tab adjustment on the cuffs to lock out draughts. The two main outside pockets are OS map-sized and they’re placed high enough to allow access while wearing a rucksack hipbelt (although ...

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Garmin Montana 650t (2014)

£490.00

There is a model in the Garmin range of GPS receivers to suit just about every user. The Montana 650t is the ‘bell and whistles’ option. It has a huge, tough screen measuring 5x9cm, and this automatically orientates to portrait or landscape format depending on how you hold the device. For ease of navigation you get a magnetic compass and ...

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Montane Primino (2014)

£60.00

FeaturesNew this autumn from British brand Montane, the Primino is an unflashy zip-neck top with minimal features (on a base layer, though, so you may not want them!) and clever fabric that’s useful for standalone use in autumn/spring and as a layer in winter. A women’s fit is available. 4/5 FabricA clever idea (common to several other brands), the Primino ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Memory-Map Android GPS TX3 Phone (2014)

£279.00

Memory-Map is best known for its mapping software, but the brand also makes hand-held GPS receivers – and the Android GPS TX3 Phone (engineered by Seals Technologies) is its latest addition. It features a touch-screen menu with 3G phone, GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capability, plus compass, barometer and a 5MP camera. It comes loaded with Memory-Map mapping software where the ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
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The North Face Thermoball Hoodie (2014)

£170.00

FeaturesWhat a difference a hood drawcord makes – and that’s what sets the The North Face Thermoball Hoodie apart from others. You also get elasticated cuffs where the elastication is tucked inside so the cuff is neater and potentially less draughty. The two main pockets are happily OS map-sized; but, like most, access is obscured when a hipbelt from a ...

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Edelrid Vacuum Bottle 2014

£20.00

Edelrid’s Vacuum Bottle is impressive. It comes in three sizes, all with a screw-cup lid and a pourer that you depress to allow liquid out. The cup has a plastic moulding around the lip area, to prevent burns. You have to be a little more careful screwing the cup on, though, as it tends to cross-thread more easily than other ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Lifeventure TiV Vacuum Flask 2014

£19.00

This black anodised torpedo design, which comes in four sizes, is pretty cool! There is a screw-cup lid with the contents sealed by an additional plastic pourer that you depress to allow liquid to flow out. This works very well, although it would be better if there was a plastic covering around the lip of the cup too. The temperature ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Berghaus Tech Tee LS Crew (2014)

£25.00

FeaturesFeaturing Berghaus’ high-wicking Argentium polyester fabric, and Polygiene odour control – an antimicrobial treatment – this is a well featured base layer. You also get UPF 30 solar protection, stretch fabric and a crew neck. A zipped-neck version is also available for £28. Women's version has stripes but is £22! 4/5 FabricArgentium is a type of silver, which hints at ...

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Montane Micro Flux (2014)

£100.00

FeaturesThere is no hood on the Micro Flux, which for me is a major drawback, although Montane does have plenty of hooded options available, so choose one of them if you love hoods. There are two map-sized pockets and they’re placed high enough to allow access even when wearing a rucksack hipbelt. The cuffs are elasticated and they fitted me ...

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