Canadian brand Arc’teryx make high-spec kit for those who don’t mind paying more for the very best materials and build quality. And they are very mountain-centric. So there is probably only a slim percentage of actual country walkers who will be tempted by these, but those who want to take on every terrain in every condition will really love them. There is absolutely nothing cheap or skimpy about the Gammas. The rigid, high back is beautifully supportive. The toughened face fabric is extremely robust without needing weighty abrasion panels, and they stretch in all the directions you want them to. They come with a fully enclosed belt and three generous pockets, and the hem is adjustable by drawcord. They’re comfy, well insulated, and they are likely to last for years. The only ‘but’, of course, is the price. Is absolute peace of mind worth that much? But that said, it’s possible to find these reduced to the RRP of a good pair from Rab or Montane; that’s still a lot, but it does make them competitive, especially if you’re a committed winter hill-walker (or even an Alpinist).
Target Price £130
Fabric: 50% nylon, 43% polyester, 7% elastane
Contact: 0207 078 3546, www.arcteryx.com
PROS: All-round excellence, comfort and robustness.
CONS: Price in comparison to others in its class.
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5
BEST FOR: Mountain terrain in cold conditions – but lovely on the flat too.
Review from Country Walking magazine