PRICE: £45 (2010)

Used by Ben Weeks, Trail News and Features Writer
Used for 4 years

When it starts to rain you slip into your hard shell jacket and overtrousers, and bingo – you’re waterproof. What you don’t do is take off your walking trousers, dig in your pack for your waterproof legwear and put them on. So why do that with gloves? Unless it’s really cold and I’m going to be wrist-deep in snow, full winter gloves are overkill. If it’s just a bit chilly I’ll take a pair of lighter windproof gloves and pack my Tuff Bags in my jacket pocket. If, or rather, when it rains, I slip the waterproof Gore-Tex mitts over my regular gloves and I have warm and dry hands. Since I bought them these Tuff Bags have been on every mountain trip with me. The grip on the palm has almost peeled away completely, but that just shows how much use they’ve had. When they do eventually leak, they’ll be buried with full honours and replaced with a new pair.

Verdict An absolute outdoor essential.



Used and Abused: Victorinox Night Vision (2014)

PRICE: £570

Used by Simon Ingram, Trail Magazine editor
Used for 6 months

Lights built into watches are nothing new, but torches built into posh watches rather are. I’ll admit I became infatuated with this watch because it had the name of the best Swiss Army knife on it (which, come on, is pretty cool) and was a gizmo that struck the balance between being something I could wear on the hill without looking like I belonged in an office, and in the office without looking like I belonged on the hill. The push-button torch is actually a genuinely useful thing, when you remember it’s there. I’ve used it for a variety of practical applications on and off the hill (reading important things in the dark, rummaging in a rucksack for a headtorch, dazzling colleagues) and have to say this is far from a pointless gimmick. And the watch itself is lovely: precise, pretty and – while heavy, and with a rather fiddly strap – something to cherish. 

Verdict A Swiss mountain machine that isn’t Ueli Steck.


Originally published in Trail Magazine, 2014