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La Sportiva Trango Cube (2014)

£275.00

Reducing weight in many products is relatively easy, but when it comes to stiff mountaineering boots there are limits to what can be achieved. Or at least that used to be the case, before La Sportiva turned to modern technology for an answer. Mountaineering boots have to be stiff to allow them to take crampons, hold an edge when climbing ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Deuter Speedlite 30 (2014)

£80.00

The Deuter Speedlite 30 tips the Trail scales at 873g. But compared with lighter rucksacks it feels a little more robust and better able to handle the rough and tumble of a few years’ use in the hills when hillwalking and scrambling. I’ve used it for a year now and really love it for typical Lakeland hill trips. The back ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Black Diamond Bolt (2014)

£90.00

The Black Diamond Bolt is the heaviest sack in our test at 990g but it’s also the best-designed for hillwalkers and scramblers. It’s built around a reActiv back system, which allows your torso to move more easily, without the body of the sack rocking from side to side on every step. This is achieved by having the shoulder straps linked ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rohan Elite (2014)

£225.00

A frequent favourite in Trail tests, the Elite uses Rohan’s own fabric, Barricade Elite, which offers performance that is equal to the best in the industry. I’ve been using the jacket for several years and find that on the hill it is just as impressive. At only 334g the Elite packs in a host of useful features for heading onto ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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OMM Aether (2014)

£260.00

The OMM Aether is made from 3-layer eVent fabric so you get the benefits of a 3-layer fabric – maximum condensation management – along with the top-end breathability and water resistance that this fabric is well known for. The Aether is available as a smock or the jacket design featured here. The style is slightly looser around the body than ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rab Alpine 35 (2014)

£100.00

Established back in 1981 by mountaineer Rab Carrington, Rab first made high-end, alpine-spec down products, later diversifying. Its reputation established, Carrington sold the business to Equip Outdoor Technologies in 2004, which acquired brands such as OutdoorDesigns and Lowe Alpine. One of the later additions to the Equip portfolio was the cult purveyor of rucksacks acclaimed for their robust simplicity: Pod. ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Alt-Berg Malham (2014)

£165.00

Based in Yorkshire, Alt-Berg is the master of refining the traditional leather boot into something that meets the needs of the 21st century regular hillwalker. To that end the Malham weighs in at just 1478g (pair, size 11), which is remarkable when you consider that this is a leather boot offering great performance. So you get a leather upper with ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Scarpa Mustang (2014)

£160.00

The Scarpa Mustang weighs in at 1594g (pair, size 46), which is reasonably lightweight. The upper is made from a mix of suede and synthetic materials with a Gore-Tex lining for waterproof and breathable protection. The upper’s fairly stiff, supportive and protective of the foot, making this better than many synthetic lightweight boots for use on rough, rocky ground. In ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Osprey Tempest 20 (2014)

£75.00

The purpose of a rucksack is to carry essential items on your back – a vital part of your body – so it’s imperative that your choice of pack is as comfortable as it is practical. The fit is therefore of paramount importance; but sometimes, if you’re a woman and small-framed, it can be difficult to find a quality rucksack ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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First test: Meindl Bhutan MFS (2014)

£190.00

When Meindl released the Burma Pro in 1997, it was a game-changer – a tough 3-season boot with a multi-piece leather upper and an extremely comfortable lining. For the first time hillwalkers who wanted a stiff boot for rockier mountain trips and year-after-year durability didn’t have to suffer more uncomfortable traditional leather boots. The Meindl Burma Pro was ‘Best in ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • 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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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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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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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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Fjällräven Funas 35 (2014)

£98.00

Fjällräven gear is traditionally styled, high-quality equipment from Sweden. The 35-litre Funas feels incredibly well-made – the grab handle on the top is practically a thing of beauty – and the rigid, padded back system and thick belt straps definitely feel as if they’re built to last. You get a raincover, a drawstring and a cinch buckle over the main ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Montane Medusa 32 (2014)

£80.00

The Montane Medusa 32 is the serious hillwalker’s pack of choice. Thoughtfully designed and robust, its fabric certainly feels more substantial than many other packs in our test, though this does impact slightly on weight. The back system is a chunk of foam that sits into the groove of your back well, though those who prefer the airy feel of ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Berghaus Freeflow 30 (2014)

£80.00

This redesigned version of the Freeflow 30 features some changes. Chief of these is a large diagonal zipped pocket across the front and the addition of Berghaus’ Biofit system – enabling you to adjust the back system quickly and without fuss to your own back length. It’s a good tool and it is extremely supportive when on. Some would question ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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La Sportiva Trango S Evo GTX (2014)

£235.00

La Sportiva Trango S Evo GTXs are at the top end of the scrambling boot range both in terms of capabilities and cost. In truth they are very lightweight mountaineering boots, but despite this they fully deserve their place in this review. This is because scrambling is such a diverse branch of mountain sport, and at the higher grades it ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 2
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Marmot Precip (2014)

£85.00

To stay dry in the hills, walkers need not only great clothing design but also a great fabric. The Precip is a well-established lightweight jacket but this year Marmot has introduced a new fabric to its range called NanoPro, claiming it is 43 per cent more breathable than the brand’s previous coated fabric. This could make the Marmot Precip the ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Scarpa Manta Pro GTX (2014)

£280.00

The Scarpa Manta has long been the definition of a 4-season British mountain walking and mountaineering boot. This year it has received a radical facelift that transforms its appearance and moves it a step away from its more traditional-looking predecessor. The upper is made from a mix of leather and synthetic materials, with a dash of silver and orange to ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Salewa Blackbird EVO (2014)

£225.00

The Salewa Blackbird EVO is a remarkable boot at a very reasonable price. It has Gore-Tex Duratherm inside, which offers extra insulation, making it warmer than any other boots in the same price bracket. The upper is synthetic with a leather overlay and there isn’t too much stitching, so it should be durable, but you also get a rubber rand ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mammut Magic GTX (2014)

£220.00

At 1908g for a size 11 pair, the Mammut Magic GTX is the second lightest and the lowest-priced boot in our test, so it’s instantly appealing, as all 4-season boots are relatively heavy and pricy compared with bendy 3-season boots. The upper is made primarily from synthetic materials with leather overlays and there’s a large amount of stitching here, which ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Alt-Berg Mallerstang (2013)

£190.00

The Alt-Berg Mallerstang comes in five width fittings, so if you're struggling to get a pair of boots to fit, this is one to investigate more closely. It's also a great price and the performance is up there with the best. It's a well-established boot that’s built around a one-piece leather upper for durability. The ankle cuff is high enough ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 3
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La Sportiva Trango Alp GTX (2013)

£250.00

The La Sportiva Trango Alp GTX combines all the essential features needed to provide performance below and above the snowline. It weighs in at 1874g (pair, size 46), which is lighter than many similar boots and gives it a real advantage when you consider its performance. The upper is a mix of leather with synthetic overlays and a rubber rand, ...

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

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