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Lightweight boots – Group Test

Last month I looked at trail shoes and the best thing about doing that review was the comfort and flexibility for my feet during testing. The good news is that these are still qualities you can find in lightweight boots, even when wearing them right from the box. Although I’m a trail shoe wearer there are plenty times where boots are still the best choice, days where you want a better chance of keeping your feet dry or want a bit more protection on rough terrain. Boots may just be a better fit for you and feel right – you

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Posted in Footwear, Gear reviews, Magazine

Trail shoes – Group Test

I spent my early days running around the hills in trainers carrying a cheap rucksack with a nylon cagoule and a spare jumper in it. Before I knew it I was head to toe in technical gear, with big boots on and suffering frequent attacks of buyers remorse. These days when I’m packing to head out, my gear more closely resembles what I carried all those years ago, some call it going lightweight but I think simplicity is a better description. Footwear is a big part of that and trail shoes I find come with a freedom and adaptability attached

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Posted in Features, Footwear, Gear reviews, Magazine

Baselayers group test

Base layers are something you have to get right to help make sure you’re comfortable and still smiling at the end of a long day on the hill. However, if you’re looking for something new, the proliferation of fabrics and styles claiming all sorts of outlandish benefits at scary prices might make you cling on to that holey and bobbled old crew neck for a little longer. But the news is actually good, current baselayer fabrics perform well at moisture management, odour control is something that is improving all the time in synthetic fabrics and you can get the performance

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Posted in Baselayers, Gear reviews, Magazine

Give Me Shelter

Last December I included the Lomo Emergency Shelter as part of my winter gear round-up and it’s proved a useful bit of kit for getting out of the winter winds on the hills. Lunch can be eaten with a friend in relative comfort on a blizzard-blasted ridge, but the name on the tag isn’t lunch shelter, it says Emergency Shelter on it. I couldn’t help but wonder what a night inside it would be like. To test it properly I couldn’t just have it replace a tent, but as it was still winter conditions I couldn’t risk safety too much

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Posted in Accessories, Features, Gear reviews, Magazine

Backpacking Kit Test

Most of my reviews on Walkhighlands have been a grouptest – a selection of similar or related items that I use and compare over time. This month is a little different with reviews of either a pair of test samples or just single items. I wanted to do backpacking test, but half a dozen tents, half a dozen sleeping bags and so on would take me months to cover so I looked at the press releases as they came in last year, looked at what was new and thought about what I would chose for myself if I was going

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Posted in Camping, Gear reviews, Magazine

Midlayers Group Test

I had planned to make this month’s article a softshell jacket review with a nice selection of windproof all-rounder jackets for us to fight off the winter weather with. But as I sent requests out for samples it became clear that the edges of the definition of softshell have blurred and as a result what we have is a more diverse line-up of midlayer jackets. This is a good thing however as weather protection has never seemed quite so light and breathable as it has with some of these jackets. Traditional softshell is miles away from the stiff-fabric sweatboxes of

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Posted in Gear reviews, Jackets, Magazine

Winter insulated jackets – Group Test

There’s snow on the hills, lots of us will have vouchers to spend and the sales have started, so now’s probably the best time to look at one of the most expensive bits of kit you can buy: a warm winter jacket for the mountains. I asked for winter weight insulation for this review expecting a handful of similar jackets and what came in for test had a good bit of variety which actually works out well. If you consider a winter jacket for rest stops, camp or belaying the image of a nice puffy hooded down jacket probably comes

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Posted in Gear reviews, Jackets, Magazine

Winter gear round-up

Finally there’s some snow on the high tops. This time last year I’d already used ice axe and crampons a few times and I was starting to get worried the past few weeks. Wouldn’t it be nice if the snow just appeared on a certain day every year so you can plan for it? Mind you, that would take the joy out of those perfect white and blue days when they do arrive as a big surprise. Whenever the snow comes we have to be ready for it and that means some changes to our kit list. Hats and gloves

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Posted in Accessories, Gear reviews, Jackets, Magazine

Winter Waterproof jackets group test

Winter’s here, if you’ve been on the hills recently the wind, the rain and the recently arrived snow will have you pulling your hood up and leaning into the gusts on the ascent before running for cover behind the cairn. I suppose we’d all like crunchy snow underfoot and clear blue skies above until Easter next year but the reality of a Scottish winter sees us as likely to be battling horizontal rain as much as happily walking across a Christmas card scene. It’s nice to know that we can shut it all out if we’ve got a jacket that’s

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Posted in Gear reviews, Jackets, Magazine

Lightweight insulation group test

Layering your outdoor clothing used to be a lot simpler. You had your base layer, a fleece, a waterproof and something warm jammed into your rucksack for pulling on at lunch stops or camp. But apparently we were all suffering terribly with this basic equipment and so all sorts of new clothing came along to fill the gaps in our mountain cupboard that we didn’t even know were there until marketing departments pointed them out to us. The cynic in me can’t help but admit to just how useful some of these developments have been however; softshell has all but

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Posted in Gear reviews, Jackets, Magazine


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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.