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Gear reviews

Gear reivew: Hoka One One Sky Toa mid boots

Recommended price: £160Weight: 720g (pair, women’s size 5.5) French company Hoka One One (the name comes from Maori meaning “to fly over the earth”) is well known for it’s running shoes, often favoured by ultra distance competitors and characterised by the outsize midsole and deep layered cushioning. Hoka have now added 5 walking boots to their stock as a lightweight alternative to lower profile trail shoes. I’ve been testing out the women’s Sky Toa since late summer and through the autumn. First thing to mention is the bulky outline – the large midsole gives Hoka’s a distinctive bulbous look. The

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Posted in Footwear, Gear reviews, Magazine

Gear review: Hanwag Alta Bunion GTX boots

Recommended Price: £195Weight: 1510g (Pair, size 10.5) I’ve long been interested in trying out footwear from Hanwag, since hearing that they make some models on a special last suitable for people with bunions. Though less known in the UK, German company Hanwag have a long pedigree, having been founded in Bavaria in 1921. The Alta is a pretty sturdy but fairly lightweight traditional full height leather hiking boot. The uppers are nubuck leather with a waterproof gore-tex lining, and the sole is a Vibram unit with a decent tread, providing good grip. The ankle cuffs are lined with soft leather,

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Posted in Footwear, Gear reviews, Magazine

Gear review – Alpkit Definition Jacket

Usual Price: £229 (currently on sale)Weight: 545g (men’s large) The Definition is Alpkit’s top of the range mountaineering jacket. On handling, you can immediately tell this is a serious hardshell; the fabric feels quite stiff and very robust and the fit is quite generous. The Definition feels like a waterproof built to inspire confidence that it will cope with the toughest conditions Scotland can offer. The fabric is a 3 layer laminate, with a nylon inner and outer, enclosing unbranded waterproof membrane. It may be the latter that is key to the very competitive pricing, but the specs show high

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Posted in Gear reviews, Jackets, Magazine

Gear Review: Mammut Whitehorn Jacket

Recommended Price: £199Weight: 640g (men’s large) The Whitehorn is a new insulated downjacket from Mammut, with a few innovative features. The 115g of filling in the main part of the jacket is recycled 650 fill power goose down, but the shoulders are filled with a recycled synthetic insulation – which should boost durability when worn with a pack as well as aiding performance in damp conditions. Not only are both fillings recycled, the face and lining fabric is too; the Pertex Quantum Eco has been treated with a durable water repellent finish – PFC free, to complete the impressive environmental

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Posted in Gear reviews, Jackets, Magazine, Midlayers

Gear Review: Gaiters

Gaiters can be a divisive piece of outdoor kit – some walkers swear by them for keeping mud and wet undergrowth from soaking their feet and trousers, whilst others find them a fussy hindrance. In the winter season, though, they become truly essential to prevent the snow from entering the top of your boots. Over the last few months we’ve been testing a wide variety of gaiters. Here’s our vedict: Rab Latok Alpine Gaiter GTX Recommended price: £55Weight: 212g pair (women’s medium) Goretex fabric on the legs and reinforced Robic nylon at the ankle has proved to be a breathable

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Posted in Accessories, Gear reviews, Magazine

A Greener Gear Guide, Part 1

In the first part of a short series, David Lintern looks at choosing clothes and kit that work for you, how to extend the life of your gear, plus some of the eco-labelling to look out for when buying. Responding to questions from readers and followers, Walkhighlands have asked me to pen a few thoughts on ‘green’ outdoor clothing and equipment. I’ve spent a good deal of time studying the issue over the last 3 years, and it’s worth starting on a positive note: It has become easier to find out about the outdoor trade’s environmental impact over that time.

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Posted in Features, Gear reviews, Magazine

Gear review: Patagonia Micro-Puff Hoody

Recommended Price: £200 – £250Weight: 295g (men’s large) The Micro-Puff is a truly ultra-light mid-layer jacket. Patagonia state the weight as being 264g – my large comes in at 295g and packs down to a tiny size in its own pocket. The amount of warmth on offer here for such a slight jacket is phenomenal – I’ve found it as warm as fleeces at around twice the weight. The outer is ripstop nylon Pertex Quantum – which is ultralight and windproof, whilst the insulation is PlumaFill – a synthetic that is claimed to be almost as warm as down, whilst

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Posted in Gear reviews, Jackets, Magazine, Midlayers

Gear review: Vaude Rienza pull-over II

Recommended Price: £70Weight: 385g (men’s large) Fleece jackets (and sweaters) were once the ubiquitous outdoors kit. Easily to wash, pretty durable, comfy to wear and warm for the weight, it’s easy to see how they expanded out from being walkers’ gear into the mainstream. There were downsides though – the fabric tended to pill over time, leaving the jacket looking a bit of a mess, whilst synthetic insulated jackets surpassed fleeces for warmth-to-weight ratio. Fleece does remain popular, though, whether worn as a mid- or outer-layer. The Vaude Rienza – which is available both as a pull-over as reviewed here,

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Posted in Gear reviews, Magazine, Midlayers

Gear review: Alpkit Presta 20l pack

Recommended Price: £44.99Weight: 645g (as reviewed) This small pack from Alpkit is just the size for a day hike when you have compact kit and don’t need any winter gear. Despite the diminutive dimensions, the pack is actually pretty fully featured. There’s a zipped main compartment, complete with a sleeve for a hydration pouch. There’s a mesh pocket at the top of the interior for valuables, and separate zipped external top pocket, as well as a large stretchy rear pouch and two side pockets – each of which can fit a litre water bottle if needed , though they are

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Posted in Gear reviews, Magazine, Rucksacks

Berghaus Paclite Gore-Tex Overtrousers

Recommended Price: £110Weight: 226g (Men’s M, Regular length) Walking in the rain is pretty impossible to avoid in Scotland, even for the most fair weather of walkers. Waterproof overtrousers are in my pack all year round and for the last 5 years I’ve been using the older version of these Paclite ones from Berghaus. Paul’s now been testing the latest model over the last wet month or so, with our combined verdict below. Fit is good, with less excess material than some due to the long side zips which allow them to be put on over boots without being overly

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Posted in Gear reviews, Magazine, Trousers


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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.