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Mammut Ridge High GTX (2014)

£160.00

The Ridge High GTX is described by Mammut as a boot for via ferrata and backpacking. At 1476g (pair, size 11) it is certainly light, which is useful on via ferrata routes and when scrambling. The upper is softer than many boots in its price range and the foot also feels closer to the ground, which overall gives this a ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Teva Riva Peak Mid Event (2014)

£140.00

Teva – best known for its outstanding sandals – has also released a range of boots. Put the Riva Peak Mid eVent on, and that sandal fit is clearly an influence as the forefoot is broad, the sole has a smooth, rolling action and the heel is neatly cupped in the back of the boot. The upper is mostly made ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Karrimor KSB Explore D30 (2014)

£140.00

The Karrimor KSB Explore D30 is very lightweight and built around a fabric upper with suede overlays. There is quite a lot of stitching on the upper so I would not expect this to be as durable as one-piece leather upper design if the boot is used on rockier ground. The toe box is very soft, though, so this is ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Haglöfs Matrix 60 (2014)

£150.00

Haglöfs isn’t a brand I’d normally think of when choosing a big rucksack, but the Matrix 60 is a good, workmanlike piece of kit. The back length can be adjusted by raising or lowering the shoulder straps on their Velcro panels. The shoulder straps and hipbelt are both well-padded and stiffened to spread the load, though they lack the finesse ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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The North Face Pursuit (2014)

£140.00

The The North Face Pursuit is a lightweight jacket at 364g (size M), and it’s made from 2.5-layer HyVent fabric. Like other 2.5-layer fabrics it tends to show condensation a little more easily than 3-layer fabrics or jackets with mesh lining, but the benefit is low weight and bulk. The Pursuit costs more than some other lightweights, but the fabric ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • 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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Sprayway Hydrolite II (2014)

£110.00

A weight of 578g (size men’s L) makes the Sprayway Hydrolite II instantly appealing. I also like the location of the pockets as they can be easily accessed while wearing a rucksack. The hood gets a wired peak so it can be moulded to provide a really good visor, even if you’ve just unstuffed the hood from the collar or your ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • 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 Hardwear Plasmic (2014)

£100.00

The Mountain Hardwear Plasmic is one of many jackets costing around £100 that weigh about 296g (size men’s L). The big difference though is that the Plasmic has a ‘normal’ fit on the body, so you can wear a fleece or other insulation underneath without all the air being squashed out. Also the pockets on the Plasmic are sealed, so ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Patagonia Cragmaster (2014)

£90.00

The Patagonia Cragmaster is designed for approaching crags, bouldering and moderate climbs. To that end it weighs in at a respectable 954g (pair, size 11), so it feels quite nimble on the foot. The upper is made of leather with two nice large rubber rands for durability. But there is no waterproof lining, and water would easily enter this shoe ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Fjällräven Friluft 55 (2014)

£155.00

  The Friluft range of packs from Fjällräven all have a ventilated back system, to allow more airflow. The mesh holds the sack away from the back and it also provides a comfortable form of springy contact with the back. But there’s a panel of foam down each side that effectively prevents easy airflow across the back, so for me ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Berghaus Fastrack (2014)

£120.00

The Fastrack jacket is designed for ‘high-octane trail sports’, according to Berghaus, although at 547g (size L) it’s quite heavy for moving fast. The fabric is Berghaus’s own AQ2, a material with good waterproof and breathability lab results, although higher-priced jackets do offer better performance in this respect. There’s a mesh lining and pit zips to help manage condensation. The ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Osprey Exos 58 (2014)

£140.00

I’ve been a fan of the Osprey Exos 46 for many years, and this is its bigger (58 litre) brother. For 2014 Exos packs have all had a facelift, which includes some rather comfortable cushioned mesh-covered shoulder straps. These have no hard edges so they sit beautifully on the shoulders. The hipbelt uses the same material. You get an updated ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Montane Atomic (2014)

£110.00

If you want low weight and minimal cost then the £110 Montane Atomic, which tips the scales at just 328g (size L), is a winner. The fabric is Pertex Shield, which – while it can’t boast the lab test results for breathability of jackets twice its price – does offer more than most around the £100 mark. It’s a 2.5-layer ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • 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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Mountain Equipment Vector (2014)

£150.00

What sets the Mountain Equipment Vector apart from many of its lower-priced lightweight counterparts is that here you’re getting a much higher-spec fabric, which means it should remain waterproof for longer while also being more breathable. It’s only a 2.5-layer fabric, though, and 3-layer fabrics and jackets with mesh lining will control condensation better, although there are vent holes under ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Craghoppers Kiwi Long/ Madigan Long (2014)

£110.00

It’s so hard to find a jacket that has a decent length on the body, so when you finally discover one it really is an uplifting experience. The Target Dry Element (women’s version is the Odyssey) jacket is long enough to nicely protect my groin from getting wet in the rain when I’m not wearing overtrousers, which is really useful. ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • 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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Craghoppers Kiwi Long/ Madigan Long (2014)

£100.00

One of the most common requests we get at Trail is for more reviews of longer waterproof jackets. So here goes! The Craghoppers Kiwi for men and Madigan for women come in a ‘standard’ version (£90) and the Long version featured here at £100. A damp derrière is a thing of the past when you are wearing this jacket – ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • 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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Vaude Birch Rain Pants (2014)

£55.00

Like many Vaude products the Birch Rain Pants are made from Bluesign-approved fabric, so they’re guaranteed to be made from sustainable materials and use resource-friendly production methods. The fabric is a 2.5-layer Ceplex Active, which is a PU-coated nylon. Like all 2.5-layer fabrics this can feel clammier than 3-layer fabrics or trousers with mesh linings, but with modern synthetic trousers ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Marmot Precip Pant (2014)

£75.00

As with the new Precip Jacket, Marmot is using its new NanoPro waterproof and breathable fabric in these trousers. Although this fabric is a 2.5-layer design, I’ve been really impressed with its performance and feel it’s the best 2.5-layer fabric I’ve used. These trousers are pretty light at 383g (size L), although not quite the lightest option. In terms of ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Sprayway Walking Rainpant (2014)

£60.00

Sprayway Walking Rainpants are slightly better than some lower-priced options as they have a mesh lining to improve comfort. The fabric is Sprayway’s HydroDry, which can’t boast the same lab test results for breathability as higher-priced trousers, but thanks to that mesh lining it’s a good, comfortable option if you’re on a budget. In terms of design you get an ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Berghaus Helvellyn Pant (2014)

£100.00

The Berghaus Helvellyn Pant is made from Gore-Tex with a mesh lining. This fabric is generally more comfortable in the long term than some lower-priced materials, due to Gore-Tex having higher waterproofness and breathability performance. As there’s a mesh lining, any condensation that does appear is held away from your clothing, so overall they’re more comfortable than most lower-priced options. ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rab Xiom Pant (2014)

£100.00

Rab Xiom Pants are very lightweight overtrousers at just 267g (size L), making them ideal for those who want to travel light. They’re made from 3-layer Pertex Shield – an excellent fabric for trousers as it has no mesh ling to snag, yet it controls condensation better than a 2-layer or 2.5-layer fabric. The fabric boasts top-end waterproofness and breathability ...

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

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