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Deuter ACT Lite 40+10 (2014)

£110.00

The Deuter ACT Lite 40+10 for men and the women’s nearest equivalents – the ACT Lite 35+10 (£105) or ACT Lite 45+10 (£120) – are well-established packs. They have Deuter’s VariQuick adjustable back lengths so you can ensure you get a good fit. The back system is padded in the body contact areas, with air channels to reduce how sweaty ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Marmot ROM (2014)

£160.00

ROM stands for ‘Range Of Movement’, and this selling point is achieved by an all-over two-way stretch fabric with four-way stretch breathable panels under and along the arms. The Marmot ROM is also a generously long jacket that isn’t prone to riding up. Both of these assets notwithstanding, the freedom of movement isn’t massively more striking than other jackets in ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Berghaus Freeflow 40 (2014)

£90.00

The Freeflow range of rucksacks from Berghaus have been popular for many years, and in the latest versions they get an adjustable back length so you can be sure that the sack fits you. Of course others may fit you straight off the peg, so this itself isn’t necessarily a big advantage. However, the Freeflow back system does hold the ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Osprey Talon 44/Tempest 40 (2014)

£100.00

The Osprey Talon for men and the women’s Tempest range of sacks have gained ‘Best Value’ awards from Trail on several occasions. They have a moulded back panel with a mesh covering to produce good airflow across the back, while the perforated hipbelt and shoulder straps allow further air circulation in body contact areas. This design allows the sack to ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rab Vapour Rise Guide Jacket (2014)

£160.00

Exceptionally comfortable and billed as the ‘original’ soft shell, Rab’s insulated Vapour Rise garments aim to be very warm yet extremely breathable. As such they are well-suited – and well-proven as such – to excelling in the British hills in seasons when you really don’t know what’s likely to be thrown at you. The Vapour Rise Guide Jacket is very ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Vaude Asymmetric 42+8 (2014)

£120.00

The Asymmetric range from Vaude replaces the popular Astra range of packs. The Asymmetric back system can be adjusted to length by raising or lowering the shoulder strap section along metal staves in the back panel. You get a thin layer of mesh over perforated padding on the main body contact areas to reduce the build-up of sweat. The back ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Arc’Teryx Epsilon LT Hoody (2014)

£150.00

There’s a lot to be said for simplicity. It’s something Arc’Teryx is very good at: making products that seem minimalist but sport features that feel very considered. The Epsilon LT Hoody is fairly light, highly functional and understated-looking, with performance that is pitched just right for most regular conditions. So this is for those who prefer to have a basic, ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mountain Equipment Vulcan (2014)

£200.00

There’s something retro about this new jacket from Mountain Equipment. With its chunky zips and vintage colour, from a distance it’s easy to mistake the Vulcan for the old-style fleece jacket that in a way it spiritually replaces. Thick and soft, it has the feel of a drysuit and the Gore Windstopper’s impressive DWR (durable water repellent) continues this illusion. ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mammut Ultimate Light Hoody (2014)

£170.00

Far and away the lightest soft shell we looked at in this test, the Mammut Ultimate Light Hoody, by its rather cocky name, has a lot to live up to. On paper it adds up: Gore Windstopper fabric provides premium protection from gales, while remaining relatively breathable. That said, you’ll still heat up if working hard, and for this there ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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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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Osprey Talon 22 £75/Tempest 30 (2014)

£60.00

The Osprey Talon 22 has been a frequent winner of Trail tests. It’s a very well-established sub-1kg day sack, with the nearest women’s-specific equivalent being the slightly larger Tempest 30. Both sacks weigh under 1kg and offer great features for hillwalkers. The main benefit is the AirScape back panel, which features a mesh covering over a ridge-moulded foam panel to ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Gregory Z25/J23 (2014)

£80.00

The men’s Z25 and women’s J23 are unique in our test as they have the only back system that holds the pack a few centimetres away from the torso to really promote airflow around the body. At 964g (Z25) and 790g (J23) these packs aren’t the lightest options around, but the less clammy sensation you get may well be worth ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Fjällräven Abisko/Tundra (2014)

£140.00

No-one likes having a wet bum, so the ability to make some areas of your outdoor trousers water-resistant is very useful. Fjällräven Abisko/Tundra trousers are made from polyester / cotton, which can be treated with Greenland Wax for more water resistance. Proofing the seat, knees, thighs and ankle cuff areas is ideal for many walking situations as this then leaves ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • 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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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 ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Haglöfs Rugged II Mountain Pant (2014)

£150.00

Made from a relatively heavy nylon canvas called Climatic, with triple stitching in many areas, Haglöfs Rugged II Mountain Pants are well-established, hardwearing trousers. There’s no stretch in the main fabric but there are waterproof stretch panels in the knees and seat. The waist has elastication and belt loops, and there is zipped ventilation behind the thighs, while the two ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mountain Hardwear Mesa/Ramesa V2 Convertible Pant (2014)

£55.00

The Mountain Hardwear Mesa (men’s) and Ramesa (women’s) are convertible trousers made from nylon with double lines of stitching for extra durability. You get massive OS map-sized pockets on the front and rear of the hips, plus belt loops to ensure the trousers stay in place, even when you’re burning calories during a trip. The zips on the removable lower ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mammut Base Jump Advanced II Pant (2014)

£150.00

Base Jump Advanced II Pants – the latest version of Mammut’s very popular trousers – uses stretchy and durable Schoeller fabric with a 3XDry treatment for fast drying. The fabric is an excellent weight for general hill use, making them a good option throughout the year until shorts are needed. The seat and ankle cuff are reinforced for extra durability, ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • 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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Mountain Equipment Aeon (2014)

£160.00

The Mountain Equipment Aeon boasts a wealth of hill-orientated features. Firstly the Drilite fabric features top-end waterproofness and breathability, while the ‘dry-touch’ inner treatment helps to manage condensation – although higher-priced fabrics may be even better. The fabric also feels a little softer than some options, which gives the impression of being less durable, but I think it will be ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Marmot Artemis/Adroit (2014)

£200.00

This jacket is made from Marmot’s latest fabric, NanoPro Membrain, which boasts excellent breathability in the lab and in my experience is one of the best 2.5-layer fabrics available for controlling condensation on the hill. It comes in men’s and women’s version called the Artemis and Adroit respectively. The jacket has a good water-resistant zip up the front with an internal ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Berghaus Voltage/Electra (2014)

£200.00

The Berghaus Voltage for men and Electra for women feels nice and robust compared to other lightweight jackets and that makes it instantly appealing for hillwalking as it means it should be better able to trap air around the body than softer and more flexible materials. The fabric is Gore-Active Shell, a well proven development from the house of Gore ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Salomon Minim (2014)

£180.00

The Salomon Minim lives up to its name by tipping the scales at just 292g (size men’s large). It is made from a very thin Climapro fabric that is waterproof and breathable but does not boast the performance of higher-priced jackets, and that is why it has a lower price tag than some options. The main front zip is exposed ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Lowe Alpine Meron (2014)

£130.00

A weight of 359g with a price tag of £130 and some good hill walking features makes the Lowe Alpine Meron very appealing. It is built from Lowe Alpine’s Triplepoint fabric in a 2.5-layer construction. This keeps weight down but does not handle condensation as well as 3-layer fabrics. The front zip is a good water-resistant design with a stiff ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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AKU SL Hike GTX (2014)

£170.00

The AKU SL Hike GTX boot is extremely robust and well-designed to provide practical performance on the hill for its weight of just 1398g (pair, size 11). The upper is made mostly of a synthetic material called AIR8000, which feels far more durable and supportive of the foot compared to most lightweight boots. There’s good stiffness too in the toe ...

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

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