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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 ...

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

£60.00

FeaturesNew this autumn from British brand Montane, the Primino is an unflashy zip-neck top with minimal features (on a base layer, though, so you may not want them!) and clever fabric that’s useful for standalone use in autumn/spring and as a layer in winter. A women’s fit is available. 4/5 FabricA clever idea (common to several other brands), the Primino ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mammut Crater (2014)

£250.00

FeaturesThe Mammut Crater has those all-important two large chest pockets that can be used to warm hands or store maps with easy access while wearing a rucksack. In addition you get pit zips for improved condensation control. The hood is helmet-compatible and benefits from a stiffened (but not wired) peak, a rear volume adjuster and face drawcords. All that is ...

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

£180.00

FeaturesThe Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody has seen a major improvement since Trail reviewed it in March 2013: the hood now has a rear volume adjuster. The two pockets on the body are still just too small to take an OS map, though, and access to these is also slightly obscured by rucksack hipbelts. Like most jackets in our test the ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mammut Rime Pro Jacket (2014)

£170.00

FeaturesBeing able to wear a warm jacket over a waterproof can be a real advantage in some situations, and the Mammut Rime Pro Jacket is designed to do just that. It has a hood with a wired peak, and drawcord adjustment at the face and back of head. But all three outside pockets are a bit small for OS maps. ...

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

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
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Keela ADS Long Sleeve (2014)

£20.00

FeaturesKeela gear is trusted by outdoor professionals, and on the strength of this product you can see why. The ADS wicking system, the zip neck (which has a glove-friendly pull and a draught flap behind it), robust but light – 212g (size M) – construction and sculpted fit give it the technical chops of products twice the price. 5/5 FabricADS ...

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Snugpak 2nd Skinz (2014)

£20.00

FeaturesFeatures-wise the Snugpak 2nd Skinz is a basic product, but it’s still a very functional crew-necked layer from a British brand that’s popular with the army. Weight is 184g (size M). You also get a nice mesh carry case with a plastic window on it; not sure what base layer application this has, but it’s got washbag written all over ...

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Berghaus Capucin (2014)

£160.00

FeaturesThere are a lot of nice touches here, but some annoying elements too. The hood has face drawcords, but no volume adjustment at the back. The three pockets on the outside are placed reasonably well for access with a rucksack on, but they aren’t quite big enough for an OS map. The cuffs get internal elastication, though, which is neatly ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Aclima Warmwool Hoodie (2014)

£80.00

FeaturesThis oddball from Norwegian wool specialists Aclima can be worn as a crew, a polo neck or sporting a full hood, making it ideal for a range of cold conditions. You also get a tunnel pocket and thumb loops so – while it looks a bit Flash Gordon – you’re getting great value here. A women’s fit is available. 5/5 FabricThe ...

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The North Face Thermoball Hoodie (2014)

£170.00

FeaturesWhat a difference a hood drawcord makes – and that’s what sets the The North Face Thermoball Hoodie apart from others. You also get elasticated cuffs where the elastication is tucked inside so the cuff is neater and potentially less draughty. The two main pockets are happily OS map-sized; but, like most, access is obscured when a hipbelt from a ...

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

£125.00

FeaturesThe Rohan Icepack lacks a hood but has other benefits. A soft fleece collar adds comfort, although the fleece doesn’t extend to the chin area. You also get Velcro tab adjustment on the cuffs to lock out draughts. The two main outside pockets are OS map-sized and they’re placed high enough to allow access while wearing a rucksack hipbelt (although ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
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Páramo Torres Jacket (2014)

£140.00

FeaturesThe moment you reach a summit and want to throw on some insulation, in most cases you have to remove your waterproof before you can add a warm layer – and in the process you freeze. The Páramo Torres Jacket, however, is designed to go over your waterproof. It also has large, well-placed pockets and hood drawcords. The front zip ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
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Montane Micro Flux (2014)

£100.00

FeaturesThere is no hood on the Micro Flux, which for me is a major drawback, although Montane does have plenty of hooded options available, so choose one of them if you love hoods. There are two map-sized pockets and they’re placed high enough to allow access even when wearing a rucksack hipbelt. The cuffs are elasticated and they fitted me ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Páramo Cambia Zip Tee (2014)

£40.00

FeaturesA fascinating concept well-executed by a British company that knows a thing or two about sweat. The clever Cambia can be reversed for optimal use in both cold and hot conditions, and is therefore rather plain-looking. But you get a deep, two-way zip neck, stretchy fabric plus padded cuffs and hem. 5/5 FabricThe reversible fabric is ‘Parameta T+’. In hot ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
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Berghaus Tech Tee LS Crew (2014)

£25.00

FeaturesFeaturing Berghaus’ high-wicking Argentium polyester fabric, and Polygiene odour control – an antimicrobial treatment – this is a well featured base layer. You also get UPF 30 solar protection, stretch fabric and a crew neck. A zipped-neck version is also available for £28. Women's version has stripes but is £22! 4/5 FabricArgentium is a type of silver, which hints at ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Sherpa Tsepun Zip Tee Zip (2014)

£55.00

FeaturesFrom a company owned by Sherpas, the Tsepun Zip Tee has a chest pocket big enough for a credit card or the like. Nice details include the ‘endless knot’ symbol on the rear neck and ‘prayer flag’ zip, plus padded cuffs and collar. The zip is generous: more like 1/3 than 1/4. The women’s equivalent is the Dikila. 5/5 FabricWhile ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rab Aeon Long Sleeve (2014)

£32.00

FeaturesDesigned to be very light – it’s 94g for a size M – and comfortable, you’d expect features to be lean. But the Rab Aeon Long Sleeve doesn’t do badly: you get flatlocked seams and reflective decals on the back and sleeves, handy for running and cycling as well as night walking. Treated with Polygiene to control odour, it’s also ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rab Xenon X Hoodie (2014)

£140.00

FeaturesThe Rab Xenon X Hoodie’s two main pockets and a chest pocket are all map-sized and have zips, although if you wear this with a rucksack you do lose some access to the lower pockets. The hood is elasticated around the face with no drawcords at all, while the cuffs have no adjustment and are simply elasticated. 4/5 FitThere is ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Lowe Alpine Eclipse 45:55 (2014)

£100.00

The new Lowe Alpine Eclipse 45:55 has a mesh covering over a padded back panel with a wire frame to add stability to the load, and this is stiff enough to allow fairly casual packing without items digging into your back or the sack ‘barrelling’ too much. The back panel has shallow air channels while the shoulder straps and hipbelt ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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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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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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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 Creon Light 45 (2014)

£125.00

The Mammut Creon Light 45 looks like any other well-designed rucksack, but plonk this on the scales and it weighs just 1094g, which is far lighter than first appearances suggest. There’s no skimping on features here, though, as you get a back system with a mesh panel to hold the pack away from the body to create masses of airflow. ...

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

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