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Rucksacks

Gear review: Osprey Daylite 13l pack

Recommended price: £45 (£50 for print colour shown)Weight: 500g (as reviewed) A surprisingly spacious, comfortable, reliable pack for summer days when no winter kit is required. Osprey have updated their daylite pack with some added features, new colour options and a kids version. I’ve been using this one on a variety of day walks and found the single main compartment can easily hold a lighterweight set of waterproofs, first aid kit, insulated top, and food. There’s a sleeve at the back of this section that can take a tablet or small laptop and an externally accessed pouch for up to

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Posted in Gear reviews, Magazine, Rucksacks

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

Gear Review: Osprey Lumina 45 women’s backpack

RRP: £220Weight: 0.77g (M) The last thing you need when backpacking is pack that’s heavy before you even start loading up all your equipment, food and water. The Lumina is a women’s specific backpack from Osprey that is ultralight – so light that it is hard to believe it has a full frame or will stand up to the rigours of multi-day camping trips. I like to backpack as light as possible and usually use a frameless pack that requires careful packing to give it some structure; it still has a tendency to take the weight on the shoulders and

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Posted in Gear reviews, Magazine, Rucksacks

Gear Review: Vaude Trail Spacer 18 rucksack

Recommended Retail Price: £130Weight: 550g This running vest/rucksack hybrid from Vaude hasn’t so much grown on me as clung to me. Incredibly form-fitting and stretchy in places where packs are usually rigid, once secured by the narrow chest and waist straps and with shoulder straps adjusted it really moves with your body, making it good for running, scrambling and mountain biking as well as general hiking. It’s also very, very comfortable. With a capacity of 18 litres, including the stretchy pockets at the sides and front, the actual body of the pack is just big enough for Scottish summer walking

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Posted in Gear reviews, Magazine, Rucksacks

Gear review: Osprey Levity 60L backpack

Recommended Price: £240 Weight: 0.9kg Capacity: 60 litres When backpacking, excessive weight on your back can easily destroy your enjoyment. It’s obvious you need to minimise the weight whilst still carrying all the things you really need and when you’re trying to save every gram, it’s rather galling to see that the weight of many larger backpacks exceed 2kg. One of my favourite items amongst all the kit I’ve ever owned was the original GoLite Gust minimalist pack, based on Ray Jardine’s designs. This radical piece of kit really reduced design features to an absolute minimum, cutting the weight of

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Posted in Gear reviews, Magazine, Rucksacks

Review: Osprey Hikelite 26

RRP: £80 Weight: 0.73kg This is a 26 litre unisex day pack, part of Osprey’s 2018 range that also includes an 18 litre version. Osprey describe it as a pared-down pack; as someone who feels their packs tend to have too many features, complicated closing mechanisms etc this can only be a good thing. I’ve been testing this pack over the last few months on lower level and shorter walks where full winter gear hasn’t been necessary. The main feature is the ventilated back where the actual pack is kept away from your back by a taut mesh tensioned on

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Posted in Gear reviews, Magazine, Rucksacks

Review: Osprey Tempest 30l women’s backpack

RRP Price: £100 Weight: 86g Osprey’s Tempest 30 litre pack has been my all-year rucksack of choice for the last 4 years, except when carrying a tent. It has seen me through numerous hill and lower level walks, my Munro compleation in the Skye Cuillin, a 10 day Tour de Mont Blanc, and a number of other Alpine hut trips and Scottish bothy multi-days involving walking and scrambling. Whilst it probably has a couple more years wear left, my old pack had abrasion holes in the bottom requiring DIY duct tape repairs and a few holes in the mesh on

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Posted in Gear reviews, Magazine, Rucksacks

Review: Mammut Lithium Zip 30l backpack

RRP Price: £85 Weight: 960g For days out in the Scottish hills this summer I’ve been testing this 30l pack from Mammut. Unlike most others I’ve used the Lithium Zip doesn’t have a lid, instead simply having a top zip opening, and I’ve found it very convenient enabling rapid access to the contents. Beside this main top zip is a zippered compartment lined with fleece; inside this there is a good rain-cover that ensures that a covering lid isn’t missed when the weather takes a turn for the worse. There’s also plenty of room in this top compartment for other

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Posted in Gear reviews, Magazine, Rucksacks

Gear review – backpacking rucksacks

If you think of backpacking the first thing that comes to mind is probably carrying a big rucksack and walking a long distance trail, or maybe exploring a new country while being as self-sufficient as possible. In Scotland, although we’re not the biggest plot of land around, both still apply. We have an expanding network of long distance paths, and hostels are still busy with explorers from near and far. To many though, backpacking at home has become something else, an activity with a shorter scope but with perhaps a bigger prize which is getting the most out of our

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Posted in Gear reviews, Magazine, Rucksacks

Outdoor gear for kids – review

A few winters back we were coming down from a fine day on the hill and came across two people coming up towards us exchanging loud words until they spotted us. We had a quick chat, it was dad and junior making mixed progress in both their ongoing friendship and their ascent up the snow filled gullies and over iced rock. Dad was dressed for the Alps – either Arrochar or further afield – and junior was red faced and unhappy-looking in a damp cotton Gap hoodie. Of course I don’t know the whole story, but that youngster was miserable

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Posted in Accessories, Gear reviews, Jackets, Magazine, Rucksacks


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