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Paramo Bora Smock (2015)

£80.00

The Bora takes a different approach to soft shell. It is essentially a thickened-up, over-the-head windshirt, so it is exceedingly light (just 178g) and very packable. By itself, it is highly windproof (the peaked hood is especially good) and very breathable, thanks to two vertical venting zips up the abdomen. But the Bora has more to it than that. It ...

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Patagonia All Free (2015)

£110.00

This jacket was originally designed for climbing, but walkers can get a fair bit out of it too. Freedom of movement is great, as you might expect given its roots, and it stretches beautifully. It’s very lightweight, and water just glides off it, even when subjected to a ruthless water-bottle dousing. The neck is high and snug with no danger ...

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Regatta Nebraska (2015)

£40.00

I’d forgotten the price when testing this and was so surprised post-walk that I had to triple-check the figure. Surely there’s a ‘one’ missing before the ‘four’? Nope. A simple £40 it is. It was already praiseworthy, but in light of that, it’s hard to beat. The Nebraska performs wonderfully. On a late winter walk it proved resistant enough to ...

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Black Diamond BDV (2015)

£160.00

Black Diamond are probably better known in this country for accessories (in particular their walking poles) than clothing. But you will see more and more of their jackets hitting UK stores this spring, and the BDV (which stands for Black Diamond Vertical) is a perfect example of their innovative approach. It’s a robust, slim-cut jacket that feels fantastic as both ...

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Fjallraven Pro-Lite (2015)

£170.00

Even though it’s called Lite, this is a full-on, heavy-duty soft shell that is so robust it actually crinkles. The first thing you might notice are the colossal but cleverly-placed pockets. The zips run vertically up both sides of the upper torso, making the pockets accessible even with a rucksack on and big enough to take an OS map (each!). ...

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Helly Hansen Challenger 2 (2015)

£130.00

The Challenger is modelled on a running design, but walkers can benefit from its breathability and ease of movement too. Where the Regatta jacket prioritised weather protection, this  takes a lighter approach. The front is made from standard soft shell polyester, hardy enough to beat off wind and rain, while the back and underarms are made from lighter, stretchier material. ...

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Craghoppers Pro-Lite (2015)

£50.00

It’s rare – very rare – that our reviews could start and finish with the cheapest item, but Craghoppers’ new Pro-Lite really does give you the whole story of a soft shell jacket in a nutshell. It’s lightweight, sharply-cut, very breathable and completely windproof. It works up a mountain, in a country park and on the high street, and it ...

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Musto Evolution (2015)

£119.00

Cocooned. It’s a comforting word, bringing to mind snugness, warmth and security. All the things you’d want from a product that is intended to protect you against the wind, the wet and wild weather in general. ‘Cocooned’ popped straight into my mind on donning this, one late winter’s day. The inner is traditionally soft and fleecy, and immediately warming, while ...

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Helinox Passport TL130 (2015)

£130.00

www.helinox.eu DesignHelinox is a new cutting-edge brand specialising in lightweight gear. The 3-section Passport has a clever breakdown style, with a snap-lock button sealing the tension into a shock-cord design. A single internal twist-lock adjusts length. Although reliant on the cord, this makes them very light and the DAC aluminium tubing – found in tent poles – is designed to ...

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Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock (2015)

£110.00

www.blackdiamondequipment.com DesignBlack Diamond poles have a very good reputation for durability married to function, and while you’re paying close to top dollar, the evidence is you’re investing wisely. A three-section telescopic design, the FlickLock Pro locking system developed by Black Diamond is an incredibly strong all-metal design, and the shaft – grippy and, again, all-metal – feels far and away ...

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Pacerpole Carbon (2015)

£87.00

www.pacerpole.com DesignThe biomechanically designed angled handle subtly utilises the leverage of your arm when walking, applying power to your stride; an attribute poles with wrist straps aim for. Many Pacerpole users extol their long distance and slope performance. The 3-section carbon shaft has a good adjustment range and a quality internal locking system. Single poles are available direct. 5/5 FeaturesThere’s ...

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Leki Albula Lite (2015)

£100.00

www.leki.com DesignTrekking poles are modified ski poles. As Leki makes ski poles, it’s a fair assumption that its walking poles will be pretty good, and the Albula certainly seems to fit the bill. It features double trigger locks, very light aluminium material (despite the word ‘titanium’ appearing on the shaft, see below) in three telescopic sections and a fantastic range ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
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Berghaus Light Hike Hydroshell (2015)

£130.00

www.berghaus.com FeaturesDesigned, according to Berghaus, after gathering insight from walkers on the West Highland Way, the Light Hike Hydroshell’s main feature is its weight of just 336g (size L). It has only two mesh-lined pockets, plus a hood with wired peak. It is good to see the front zip has an external stormflap for better rain protection than many lightweight ...

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Mountain Equipment Aeon (2015)

£150.00

www.mountain-equipment.co.uk FeaturesThere are lots of similar jackets to the Mountain Equipment Aeon, but I liked the combination of features here. It is reasonably lightweight at 362g (size L) with three pockets that can be easily accessed while wearing a rucksack and a hood with a wired peak to improve vision in wet and windy weather. The downside is mesh pockets ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
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Komperdell Approach Vario 4 (2015)

£130.00

www.komperdell.com DesignAustrian stalwart of walking pole design Komperdell is a specialist, and it shows. The Vario 4 is the next generation of a line of carbon poles that feature a unique, threaded screw-in design for the two lower sections with one power-lock quick-release trigger beneath the handle to tweak length. The drawback of this is a limited adjustment range (25cm), ...

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Target Dry Element/Echo (2015)

£105.00

www.targetdry.com FeaturesA past winner of Trail magazine tests and £5 down in price from 2014, the Target Dry Element (Echo for women) packs some great features for the price. Two Napoleon chest pockets allow easy access to maps and guidebooks, and the length means two lower pockets should have okay access in use. Pit zips allow ventilation, and the hood ...

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Vaude Crestone (2015)

£170.00

www.vaude.com FeaturesThe Vaude Crestone’s weight of just 314g (size L) is an important feature but you also get two large chest-mounted pockets for easy access while wearing a rucksack and a third higher-placed chest pocket for a GPS. The hood has a wired peak plus rear volume adjustment. Pit zips are provided to aid ventilation without having to open the ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
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Regatta All Peaks (2015)

£80.00

www.regatta.com FeaturesThis is a new jacket from Regatta and part of the Point 214 range, which was created to provide fellwalkers with technical gear they can rely on. It boasts four external pockets, including two huge chest pockets and a hood with a wired peak. It is also longer in the body than many jackets so overall it appears well-featured ...

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Mountain King Super Trekker (2015)

£65.00

www.mountainking.co.uk DesignPacking an excellent feature set, the 3-section Super Trekker STD is well-proven as an ideal, very-good-value pole for the UK hills. Length is tweaked to a massive range of adjustment via a smooth-running, robust internal locking mechanism that looks very well-built, and the strong telescopic design comes in a whisker shorter than the Alpkit Carbonlite Ultra when collapsed. A ...

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Trekmates Locklite (2015)

£60.00

www.trekmates.co.uk DesignThis 4-section design has one trigger-lock clip beneath the handle, which allows fast length tweakage without bending down or twisting the pole. The rest collapses in sections with dual shock-cords tensioning them together. Material is aluminium, with a foam handle and fleece-lined strap. Broken down (including the handle section), the pole is an impressive 32cm: shorter than the stated ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
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First test: Nigor PioPio Solo (2015)

£300.00

Weight is one of the most important factors when choosing a tent for backpacking, but a shelter also needs good space inside along with adequate protection from the elements. The Nigor PioPio Solo promises all this, and at 989g it certainly won’t weigh you down – but is it worth the £300 price tag? Nigor is a brand from the ...

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Keela Saxon (2015)

£85.00

www.keela.co.uk FeaturesThe Keela Saxon is a very lightweight jacket at just 263g (size XL), and it benefits from a hood with a wired peak and two main pockets. There is reflective piping as well, which would be useful at night. For such a lightweight option the jacket is slightly longer than might be expected. But it does lack the extra ...

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Alpkit Carbonlite Ultra (2015)

£45.00

www.alpkit.com DesignA 3-section carbon offering from online quality/value-monger Alpkit (the original Carbonlite was its first ever product), this very light pole – among the lightest available – is strong, stiff and very functional. The handle is foam with a foam-lined strap, and the pole collapses using a basic, traditional internal twist-lock adjustment mechanism. The collapsed length is 67cm, which is ...

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Lowe Alpine Grand Teton (2015)

£200.00

www.lowealpine.co.uk FeaturesUsing Triplepoint Eco, an environmentally friendly material, with a Sympatex waterproof breathable membrane, the Lowe Alpine Grand Teton jacket feels nice and stiff and robust to combat mountain weather. It has two main pockets and a useful third chest pocket that is large enough for maps. The Raptor Hood has a wired peak and great adjustment at the face ...

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The North Face All Terrain (2015)

£180.00

www.thenorthface.co.uk FeaturesGore-Tex 2-layer fabric with a mesh lining is provided in the The North Face All Terrain, which guarantees high levels of waterproof and moisture management. The jacket has two lower pockets and a third chest pocket, while the body is longer than most. The hood gets a wired peak but can also be rolled into the collar when not ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0

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