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Outdoor Features

Gelert – Cheap And Not Nasty?

We’d be the first to admit that we tend to focus on kit from top-end brands on OM, but we know there’s plenty of interest in budget-priced outdoors clothing and equipment from those who are just starting out and don’t want to blow a small fortune on the latest kit, from D of E Award participants and anyone who’s on a tight budget, which is what we popped over to visit Gelert’s St Helens showroom last week for a quick preview of their new for spring 2013 range.

We’re not going to take you on an exhaustive tour through the whole caboodle, but we thought we’d pick out a few interesting bits and bobs from the revamped brand just to give an idea of where it’s coming from. During our visit, we were asked several times what we thought of the new kit and it’s basically this: we can’t tell you right now how well it works, but what we can say is that it doesn’t half look a whole bunch better than budget kit used to.

As an example, take the pack range. Budget sacs used to look basic and angular and, well, ‘budget’, but the top-end Gelert big packs actually have a quite nice designer look to them with smooth contoured lines to go with more practical features like easily adjustable back systems. Or at the other end of the pack line, you can pick up a simple hydration pack complete with slick looks and a reservoir for 20-odd quid.

Or how about a 1700g, single-person tent for £49.99? One of Gelert’s top-sellers in the tentage area apparently. Anyway, check out the images to the left for some more examples.

More Gelert info at www.gelert.com.

Gelert boots and shoes, complete with own-brand waterproof liner, PP shanks and plates and a Psylon mid-sole. Think around £55 for boots, £35 for shoes.

Big budget packs with sleeker, more contoured looks. The top of the range models top out at £80 for a 75+10 with fully-adjustable back system using aluminium staves for support.

Again clothing looks slicker and more designed than you’d expect from the budget end of the market.

And check out the neat little Solo double-skinned tent. It weighs 1700g and retails for £49.95. Not bad for a starter solo experience.

Last but not leat, this was our fave, the Cabana. It’s a teepee-styled, rapid-pitching family tent sleeping four people and going up in 10-15 minutes. It was developed with a team from Bournemouth Uni to be stable without guys, though they are also supplied for reassurance, and is a registered Gelert design. Looks great and would be spot on for mild-weather car camping. Expensive by the brand’s standards at £264, but quirky and distinctive.

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