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Zamberlan Airound Mid GTX (2015)

£155.00

FeaturesAt just 1014g (pair, size 11) the Zamberlan Airound Mid GTX is extremely light. It features the new Gore-Tex Surround technology, which provides an air gap below the footbed to allow moisture vapour to escape from the base of the foot through the side of the boot. The upper is made of mesh and PU with a rubber toe rand ...

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Vaude Casson (2015)

£150.00

FeaturesThe Vaude Casson’s 2.5-layer Ceplex Advanced fabric gains Bluesign approval for its environmental benefits, but condensation control is not quite as good as 3-layer fabrics. There are two main pockets, pit zips and a hood with a wired peak. It has a decent weight of 310g too. The main drawback is the two pockets: they’re mesh-lined so they may allow ...

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Montane Minimus (2015)

£160.00

FeaturesAt just 265g (L) the Montane Minimus is exceptionally light, and the features are minimalist to reach that goal. The main weight saving comes from the Pertex Shield + fabric, which is very thin and feels quite delicate. Also the three pockets have mesh linings, to save weight. But at least you get all those pockets, and the hood has ...

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Arc’teryx Beta SL (2015)

£230.00

FeaturesThe Gore-Tex Paclite fabric used in the Arc’teryx Beta SL is designed to be lightweight and packable, but it doesn’t control condensation as well as 3-layer fabrics. You also get two good-sized pockets that are well-positioned and don’t have mesh linings, so they should keep water out. The hood has a stiffened peak, however it isn’t as well-stiffened as others. ...

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Vaude Crestone (2015)

£170.00

FeaturesThe Ceplex Advanced fabric used in the Vaude Crestone is Bluesign-approved, meaning it meets stringent environmental standards. It is a 2.5-layer fabric, so it’s not quite as good as 3-layer materials for condensation management. But it is light at 313g (size L) and you still get two main pockets, plus a third chest pocket, a hood with a wired peak, ...

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Regatta Vapourspeed (2015)

£90.00

FeaturesThe Regatta Vapourspeed’s weight of 301g (size L) and a cost of just £90 are the main attractions. For that weight and price you get a 2.5-layer fabric that cannot boast the performance of pricier jackets. There are two main pockets, without mesh linings, so they won’t leak easily, while the hood gets a wired peak. Not outstanding but excellent ...

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Salewa Mountain Trainer GTX (2015)

£135.00

FeaturesThe Salewa Mountain Trainer GTX is a remarkable shoe that has better hill features than some boots. Check out the full rubber rand, and the stiffness in the heel cup and upper generally, plus the relatively sparse stitching on the suede leather upper. Gore-Tex provides a waterproof lining, while there’s an outstanding Vibram sole unit with lugs of quality boot ...

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Columbia Peakfreak XCRSN Xcel (2015)

£65.00

FeaturesThe Columbia Peakfreak XCRSN Xcel is exceptionally lightweight, and that is its main advantage. The upper is very open mesh with synthetic overlays, which won’t be as durable as leather, but this does keep the weight down. The upper isn’t very stiff, and neither is the sole, but you get good, deep lugs for grip. The waterproof option is the ...

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Millet Switch Low GTX (2015)

£130.00

FeaturesThe Millet Switch Low GTX is a very interesting shoe that’s designed for fast hiking along hill and mountain tracks and trails, and its features fit this target use well. So you get a Gore-Tex waterproof lining that is protected by a stiff synthetic upper with a good placement of reinforcement. The Vibram sole unit doesn’t have the deepest lugs ...

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Anatom V1 Ex Ventia (2015)

£60.00

FeaturesThe Anatom V1 Ex Ventia features a synthetic open mesh upper that has suede leather and rubber reinforcement. There is some stiffness in the toe, but not as much as in better shoes, and the heel cup is fairly supportive. There is no waterproof liner, though, so it’s good for warm weather but you need to avoid the wet. The ...

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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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Craghoppers Kimba/Ruhi (2015)

£40.00

www.craghoppers.com FeaturesThe price is the main feature here as the Craghoppers Kimba/Ruhi was the lowest-priced jacket we received for our test. It weighs 505g (size L), which is reasonable. The hood has a stiffened peak, and there is a rear volume adjuster and captured face drawcords. There are only two lower pockets, which are not large enough for OS maps, ...

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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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Regatta Breaktrail (2015)

£25.00

FeaturesThe Regatta Breaktrail’s biggest benefit here is the price of just £25, but at such a low cost it isn’t surprising to find that hillgoing features are limited. There’s a short front zip, only one pocket and no hood. But the zip does have an inside baffle to block wind and prevent chin scraping. The pocket is large enough for ...

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Craghoppers Pro Lite (2015)

£40.00

FeaturesThe Craghoppers Pro Lite is a low-priced fleece jacket with a hood and three pockets is a good option for many hillwalking situations. This one has no baffle behind the front zip, though, so it can be draughty and there’s no chinguard for the top of the zip. There are no adjustment cords at the cuffs, hem or around the ...

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Columbia Fast Trek II Full Zip (2015)

£50.00

FeaturesWith the Columbia Fast Trek II Full Zip three pockets. You can fit OS maps in the hip pockets and a small guidebook in the chest pocket. The two lower ones are easily obscured by a rucksack belt, but at least you have a more accessible chest pocket. You also get a drawcord at the hem to block out the ...

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Alpkit Filo (2015)

£120.00

FeaturesThe Alpkit Filo features 675+ fill power 90/10 duck down – not quite the spec of higher-priced jackets – which is why it’s a little heavier. The outer is ripstop nylon, again a slightly heavier option than pricier jackets, but you do get a removable hood, which benefits from a wired peak. The cuffs only have plain elastication rather than ...

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North Ridge Elbrus (2015)

£120.00

FeaturesThe North Ridge Elbrus is filled with a 650+ fill power 70/30 duck down, which is less efficient than higher-priced options, and so this jacket is not the warmest, but it is light – in part because there is also no hood. But you do get Velcro cuff adjustment and a nice brushed collar area. The outer is also quite ...

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Quechua X-Light (2015)

£30.00

FeaturesAt just 409g (size M), something must be missing, and there is less insulation inside the Quechua X-Light than in the other down jackets we looked at. What sets it apart is the price, but to achieve that there is no adjustment drawcords on the hood, only two pockets, no cuff adjustment and no soft brushed lining at the chin. ...

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Vango Pumori (2014)

£85.00

FeaturesThe grey nubuck leather upper does not have too much stitching and there is a fabric tongue, while a ProTex waterproof membrane is provided inside to keep your feet dry. The upper has little stiffening though. However, the outsole does have deep lugs that are widely spaced and you get a small heel breast to help descents. 3/5 FitThe Vango ...

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Brasher Hill walker II GTX (2014)

£120.00

FeaturesA leather upper with minimal stitching and a Gore-Tex lining is an impressive achievement at this price. Then add in the 1210g (pair, size 11) weight and this appears even better. Better still the toe box is very well-stiffened and the outsole has well-spaced lugs and a heel breast. More stiffness in the sole would be good, though. 4/5 FitAvailable ...

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Berghaus Expeditor AQ Suede (2014)

£100.00

FeaturesThe big feature here is the weight of just 1234g (pair, size 11). This has been achieved by using a mesh upper that covers a Berghaus AQ waterproof lining. It is quite a bendy boot too so there is less stiffening material to weigh it down. The studs on the outsole are widely spaced to prevent clogging, and there is ...

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First test: Sherpa Nangpala Down Jacket (2014)

£250.00

The traditional and well-proven choice for top-quality insulation has been down, gathered from geese. However, as down loses some of its insulating performance when wet, synthetic fibres are often used instead, which perform better than down when wet, but are heavier and less compact. This is not ideal, say when carrying an insulated jacket in your rucksack. So over recent ...

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Karrimor Technical Top Zip (2014)

£8.00

FeaturesThe Technical Top Zip is a very well-featured base layer from British brand Karrimor. You get flat seams, good stretch, high wicking action and light weight (191g, size M), which makes it good for summer. Factor in the zipped neck – rarely found on lower-priced products – and you have a bargain. 5/5 FabricDistinctive (white inside, coloured outside) with a ...

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Marmot Precip (2014)

£85.00

FeaturesThe Marmot Precip has been a stalwart of lightweight hill and mountain travel for many years. Its low weight of 325g (size L) is a mammoth feature when backpacking. It also has a two OS map-sized hip pockets, pit zips to aid ventilation and a hood with a rear volume adjuster and face cords that can be rolled into the ...

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