The North Face Thermoball Eco.
The North Face’s Thermoball insulation is lightweight but still durable, it provides warmth even when it gets wet, and now, after some significant developments by the U.S. brand’s R&D team, it has a positive impact on the environment. Thermoball Eco is made from 100% recycled polyester which, according to The North Face, has removed the equivalent of 3.6million plastic bottles from landfills and oceans this year. What’s more, the nylon, polyester and taffeta face fabrics and linings are made from 100% recycled fibres as well.
At 450g, this is a great lightweight insulation option to stick in your pack to whip out when it’s needed on a windy summit, and it also makes for a great layering option for those days where you need non-stop protection.
Snugpack Kitmonster 70L G2 Bag
Every outdoor enthusiast needs a good duffel bag. Whether it’s a weekend escape to the Lake District or an adventure around the world, get the right one, one like the Snugpack Kitmonster, and it’ll swallow every item of kit and then allow its owner to carry said items easily and comfortably. Then, when it’s not needed it can be flattened down and kept neatly out of the way.
The Kitmonster 70L is an example of a duffel bag got right. It’ll serve well for all of the above, last a long time and stand up to the rigours of adventure – and all at a very decent price.
Klean Kanteen Tk Wide Vacuum Insulated Flask 473ml
The power of a good hot drink on a chilly day in the mountains cannot be underestimated and fortunately nowadays there are some quality insulated flasks that’ll serve us right from the start of a day’s hike through to the end of it.
Capable of keeping liquid hot for up to 14 hours thanks to its quality stainless steel vacuum insulation, this option from Klean Kanteen is one of the best out there. We particularly like its leakproof twist lock which gives instant and easy sipping while minimising heat loss. It’s also compatible with a number of other tops that Klean Kanteen offer. Come summer it will keep on giving as well, being capable of keeping anything ice cold for up to 47 hours.
Primus Lite Plus Piezo Stove
Stoves have come a long way in recent years, becoming not only smaller and lighter to carry but also much more efficient as well. This is one such example; a stove, pot, lid, handle and spark ignition combo that weighs just 390g and packs down to around the size of a pint glass. On average, it’ll have a pot of water boiled in under three minutes and it can even be used for quickly frying up some bacon in the morning thanks to its regulator and mini screw-on pot stands
Black Diamond Spot 325
There’s a lot to like about this headtorch by U.S. backcountry equipment specialists Black Diamond. It packs a 325 lumen punch in the brightness stakes to start with, and that brightness can handily be adjusted between three different settings with just a simple tap on the side. It’s also waterproof to 1.1 metres, as light as 86g and comfortable and secure enough for use even during fast paced activities like mountain running. With 3AAA batteries loaded up in it, it’ll provide light for as long as 200 hours on its economical setting. That’s almost an entire week.
Therm-a-rest NeoAir Uberlite
Price: £116.29 – £210
What we have here is the lightest insulated sleeping mat ever made. It weighs just 250g – that’s about as light as three apples – and it has a packed size that’s only slightly bigger than a can of beer. But it still provides a remarkable amount of comfort as well, giving the user 2.5 inches between them and the cold hard ground. The outer material is made from 15 Denier nylon so a little care is required with this to prevent it from puncturing, but, as the Outdoors Magic team point out in their review, it is surprisingly more durable than you’d imagine.
For anyone into their lightweight hiking, fast and light mountain climbing or fast packing, this could be a real game changer for them.
Thule Subterra Rolling Carry-On 36L
With its oversized rolling wheels, super tough exo-skeleton and nifty design features, this luggage hauler makes the travel side of adventure travel a whole lot easier. Touches we love include the internal compression straps for load maximisation, the strong telescopic handles and last but not least, the fact it’s been designed to comply with carry-on requirements for most airlines. With excellent wet weather performance credentials to boot, this is a great companion for any globetrotters out there.
Leki Micro Vario Carbon Strong Poles
Despite what some people might think, walking poles aren’t solely for old people with bad knees. For backpackers and trail runners they can make a huge difference when it comes to agility and balance and can help the user to cover bigger distances and for longer spells.
A good pair will be lightweight, sturdy, reliable and comfortable and these ones by Leki, the Micro Vario Carbon Strong, tick all those boxes. Utilising aluminium and carbon, they’re super light but strong, and their folding z-pole design means they can be deployed quickly and easily when needed and also stowed right out of the way on or inside a pack when not needed.