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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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Craghoppers Kiwi Convertible Trouser (2014)

£45.00

Craghoppers’ Kiwi Convertibles are extremely popular trousers that’ll be ideal for many walkers. They’re made from a cotton and polyester material that makes them very comfortable and they have nine pockets, of which five have zips. The thigh pocket is ideal for an OS map, and the zipped hip pockets are perfect for storing valuables when travelling. The elasticated waistbelt ...

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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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Teko Light Hiking (2014)

£14.00

Teko Light Hiking socks have a seamless toe zone, a well-padded sole and a foot arch brace for increased comfort, plus (according to Teko) they resist odour for at least five days of rigorous exercise. They’re also made from environmentally sustainable materials, thus reducing your carbon footprint (pardon the pun).    www.tekosocks.com

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X-Socks Trekking Merino Light (2014)

£24.00

Insulation. Protection. Comfort. Ventilation. Moisture absorption. It’s all packed into these futuristic socks, designed for cooler temperatures. They’re not the thickest, but they feature toe protectors, ankle pads, stabilising rods, Achilles protectors, cooling channels and air-conditioning pads. www.x-socks.com

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1000 Mile Ultra Performance (2014)

£9.50

Outrageously clever, 1000 Mile socks are laced with copper fibre technology, which is proven to combat bacteria and fungus, so they protect against odour and promote foot health. They feature Wool Ultra, which is warm, fast-drying and lightweight. They’re quite thin, but well-padded on the ankle and heel. www.1000mile.co.uk

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Smartwool Outdoor Light Micro (2014)

£15.00

These lightweight socks come to just above your ankle, making them perfect for a wide range of activities such as walking, running and mountain biking. The heel and toe both benefit from extra padding that offers excellent levels of comfort and protection, so if you can live with the low ankle design, you’ll love them.   www.smartwool.com

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Bridgedale MerinoFusion Trail (2014)

£15.00

Best suited for walking in warmer conditions, the classic Bridgedale Trail has a clever mixture of thick underfoot padding with thin mesh material above, which allows the top of your foot to breathe. They also come with a three-year guarantee, so you’ll get plenty of great mountain adventures out of them. www.bridgedale.com

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Falke RU Stabilizing (2014)

£18.00

These technology-heavy socks are intentionally tight-fitting, with the resulting compression designed to increase ankle stability. They’re well-padded on the bottom and are specifically shaped for the left and the right foot, which provides extra comfort. Designed for runners, they’re equally effective for hillwalkers.   www.falke.com

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Wigwam Cypress (2014)

£13.00

Wigwam is an American company that specialises in socks for every kind of outdoor activity, in every colour you could dream of. The Cypress has a classic ‘ragg wool’ look and also features moisture control, odour management and blister-free technology. Thinner than most, but makes up for it in looks. www.wigwam.com

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Brasher Mountain Master (2014)

£30.00

Waterproof socks are still an acquired taste, but they’ve come a long way from the ‘bin bags on feet’ jobs of a few years ago. SealSkinz has an extensive range that now incorporates merino wool, as well as a breathable waterproof membrane. They still crunch a bit when you walk, but the important thing is they keep your feet dry! ...

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Brasher Mountain Master (2014)

£17.00

Described by Brasher as being ‘perfect from the Himalayas to winter in the Lake District’, there’s very little to dislike about these Merino Wool Ultra socks. They’re warm, comfortable, do a great job of wicking moisture away from your feet and are extremely thick. Perfect for using on long, cold mountain days. www.brasher.co.uk

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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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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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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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Regatta Survivor 35 (2014)

£45.00

A good, simple, entry-level pack with no frills. It took all the key items we packed, and the basic padded back system circulates air reasonably well. The dark interior makes it hard to find things, and the side pockets are rather shallow so your flask or bottle will protrude, if not wobble. The outer bungee cord will hold a spare ...

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Outdoor Research Echo (2014)

£35.00

A comfy top which ticks most of the boxes for a great price. ‘Stripped-back’ is the word: it’s extremely lightweight, almost tissue-thin, with uncomplicated stitched seams; a lean top for those who like to move light and fast. It isn’t close-fitted at all, in fact it’s rather baggy and shapeless round the waist and at the wrists. This means it’s ...

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The North Face Hybrid (2014)

£45.00

Despite coming in at the lowest price-point of all the base-layers here, the Hybrid boasts some pretty impressive technology. The fabric is mapped out according to the body’s hot and cold spots so that the underarms, for instance, are ventilated while the sides are insulated. Under test, it did a fantastic job of regulating my body temperature at a comfortable ...

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