Gear Preview: September upgrades

Bit of a spree, oops

I’ve been upgrading a few pieces of gear this month, some of which I’ve already mentioned in my 50 litre journey post. I’ll be reviewing each item once I’ve had the chance to use them outdoors a couple of times.

Patagonia Houdini – replaces my Montane Featherlite Smock which was a little bit too big and rattled about in the wind on a recent trip up The Cheviot. The Houdini gets talked up quite a lot so after finding a deal I decided to take the plunge. It took its first outing on Coniston Old Man and performed really nicely with just a base layer underneath. I’ll be taking it up Blencathra in a couple of weeks and will report back.

Berghaus Velum jacket – my old Regatta jacket had lost all of its waterproof qualities and could never have been accused of being breathable. The Velum is made from Gore Tex Active Shell, supposedly Gore’s most breathable waterproof fabric yet; it also has reinforced shoulders to add a bit of abrasion resistance.

Alpkit Y-beams – the aluminium crook pegs that came with my Banshee 300 were bending all over the shop so I’ve replaced them with these stronger models.

Platypus SoftBottle – replacing a 1L, wide-mouth Nalgene

MSR Blizzard Stake – apparently great for snow and sand but I bought this as an entrenching tool for when nature calls.

Montane Terra Pants – I’ve been wearing a couple of pairs of Craghopper Kiwi trousers thus far. I didn’t really need to upgrade but I saw these for a good price so thought I’d give them a try and jump on the Terra bandwagon.

Clif bars – never seen them for sale individually in the UK until I stepped into Cotswold Outdoor in Keswick. Worth a try since they’re so popular in the states.

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