Sunday, 13 March 2011

New Kit for 2011

Mrs M rolled her eyes at me as I walked through the door last week, indicating with an (almost regal) wave of her hand the dining table which is plainly visible from our front hallway. On it lay several packages. Without speaking, she drifted off to see to dinner as I removed my suit jacket and located a knife. I made a number of purchases recently, all of which will form the basis of separate Initial Analysis posts in the coming weeks. They are not solely for my alpine endeavours later in the year - some most certainly are - but they are also designed to refine my 3-season trips. As a consequence of these targeted acquisitions, my kit will be more versatile, lighter and more effective.


As a nod towards the principles I found so appealing in the Buffalo systems, and on the recommendation of others, I looked at the Rab Vapour-Rise Pull-On in some detail. I liked what I saw and that is the first of the four I'm going to be Analysing soon.


To lighten my shell-layer as much as possible, whilst still suiting my requirements, I secured the services of the OMM Cypher Smock and the Golite Tumalo Storm pants. The primary balance for me is between weight and breathability - I prefer a more breathable shell-layer for the upper part of my body than the lower so different fabric considerations applied. The OMM Cypher Smock I reviewed in brief as my brother-in-law purchased one recently after seeking advice from me and he used it in the Lake District. I initially looked at Golite Reed pants but they are tough to find now and have been replaced by the Tumalo. At 180g, the Tumalo are just about the lightest waterproof/breathable pants I could find. They are also my first experience of Golite, so I am intrigued.


Finally, for the Alps I needed some pants which would shed water and show reasonably well, keep me warm but breathe well whilst on the move and be robust and durable. I went for the Mountain Equipment Liskamm pants. It's worth reading the Mountain Equipment blog in respect of these, with an eye to corporate self-promotion of course, as the design and manufacture process is actually rather interesting, particularly in reference to nano-technology.

7 comments:

  1. Sounds like you are in for a busy time Maz. I will be interested to see what you find with the Tumalo pants. They didn’t look that breathable to me but obviously they need to be assessed in the right conditions. Which i havn’t done.

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  2. ditto that on the Tumalo. I should have bought the last of the Reed stock last year from ulog, but have old school heavy pair that won't die but also sit in pack as dead weight most of the time in summer. Vapour Rise is a winter classic and looks to be perfect for more mountaineering you may do.

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  3. Some reviews to do, certainly. I've been walking in each piece recently, with another little jaunt to come this Saturday in the Surrey Hills. I'll post on them soon...

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  4. Maz,I like my Montane Atomic Pants. I have not seen the Tumalo, but always interested in hearing about new gear. My wife cannot believe that I would ever need any more gear - but we know better :)
    Mark

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  5. I did look at the Atomic pants but went for the Tumalo solely because of weight. Nice to see you back after a long absence.

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  6. Ahh, the GoLite Reeds. I still have an immaculate pair that I always carry but never seem to use! Last year I didn't wear waterproof pants once during the hiking season. Even on my wet few days on the Hardangervidda I preferred water resistant 'wind pants' that wetted out after a while but dried out in a flash.

    Yep, I like the look of the Cypher smock too. Could be the option I sway for when weighing up the Rab Demand pull-on and it's competitors.

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  7. Yes the Vapour Rise is excelent. Was in the Alps last weekend and it worked like a charm on a windy cold day, snowshoeing, snowcave digging, sleeping etc. I got one with the hood and short zip. Highly recomended piece of winter kit!

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