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Patagonia Torrentshell Plus (2014)

£140.00

The Torrentshell Plus is the heaviest jacket in our test, but it has the lowest price tag and also boasts some pretty good hillwalking features. It is made from Patagonia’s H2No 2.5-layer fabric, which gives top-end lab results for waterproofness and breathability; but like all 2.5-layer constructions it doesn’t manage condensation as well as 3-layer fabrics. Like some other jackets ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • 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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Arc’teryx Beta SL (2014)

£230.00

The Arc’teryx Beta SL weighs in at 349g (men’s size large) and is made from Gore-Tex Paclite, which is designed to be the lightweight and durable option from the house of Gore. The jacket, which was a comfortable fit on me, has a short body with a water-resistant zip up the front. There is a small baffle on the inside ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Vaude Crestone (2014)

£170.00

The 2.5-layer Ceplex Advanced fabric used in the Vaude Crestone meets the environmentally friendly Bluesign standards, while the pit zips and three pockets on the body will suit a wide range of user needs. The two main pockets are large enough for maps and they’re well-placed to maintain access while wearing a rucksack. These pockets don’t use mesh linings, but ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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OMM Aether (2014)

£260.00

The OMM Aether is made from 3-layer eVent fabric so you get the benefits of a 3-layer fabric – maximum condensation management – along with the top-end breathability and water resistance that this fabric is well known for. The Aether is available as a smock or the jacket design featured here. The style is slightly looser around the body than ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Outdoor Research Helium HD (2014)

£165.00

The Outdoor Research Helium HD is a very lightweight jacket, weighing in at 270g (size L) and made from 2.5-layer Pertex Shield+, a fabric that boasts top-end performance for breathability and waterproofness. The zip up the front of the jacket is a more water-resistant design than many around this price, but you don’t get an internal flap to impede progress ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • 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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Rab Alpine 35 (2014)

£100.00

Established back in 1981 by mountaineer Rab Carrington, Rab first made high-end, alpine-spec down products, later diversifying. Its reputation established, Carrington sold the business to Equip Outdoor Technologies in 2004, which acquired brands such as OutdoorDesigns and Lowe Alpine. One of the later additions to the Equip portfolio was the cult purveyor of rucksacks acclaimed for their robust simplicity: Pod. ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • 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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Mountain Hardwear Stretch Plasmic (2014)

£170.00

Made from a stretch fabric to reduce any restriction in movement while allowing a closer fit, the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Plasmic uses a 2.5-layer Dry.Q Evap fabric that offers high performance; but, like any 2.5-layer fabric, condensation control is even better in 3-layer fabrics. However, there are pit zips provided for additional control of body temperature. The front zip get ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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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

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Zamberlan Gear (2014)

£155.00

The Gear is typically Zamberlan by design, as it’s very much a robust boot with stiffness and support to make light work of walking and scrambling over rockier ground. Compared to most boots in our test the upper is exceptionally stiff, not just at the heel cup or toe box but throughout. This makes them feel a bit stiff when ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Brasher Hillmaster II (2014)

£150.00

Frequently described as ‘Britain’s most loved boot’, the Brasher Hillmaster II has been a frequent sight on the British hills for 30 years, thanks to its weight, comfort and performance. The Hillmaster is no longer the lightest option out there, but it still offers great comfort and performance. It’s built around a leather upper with minimal stitching or obstruction at ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • 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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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

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Lorpen Trekking & Expedition (2014)

£55.00

It’s not often you’d spend £55 on socks, but the price tag is fully justified here. You get two layers of Polartec Power Stretch fabric and a layer of PrimaLoft Footwear insulation, and the result is insane warmth. They’ve been tested above 8000m and stretch right up to your knees, so you’re getting a serious expedition sock. www.lorpen.co.uk

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

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

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Boreal Strider (2014)

£150.00

A fairly traditional style of boot, the Boreal Strider offers more functionality at its price than many modern styles. It weighs in at 1608g (pair, size 11), which is light for its design, but less substantial boots are certainly lighter. What you get here is a virtually stitch-free upper so it should be pretty durable for many years to come ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Meindl Kansas (2014)

£165.00

The Kansas is a typically robust design from Meindl. The upper is made from leather with minimal stitching to ensure this area of the boot is very durable and well-suited to a long, hard life on the rockier hills. There is good support at the heel and toe as well, which again makes this ideal for rockier ground. The ankle ...

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

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

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

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