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Outdoor gear reviews

Used a bit of gear and thought it was great? We want to know- especially if you bought it from us or think we should be stocking it.

Please note that the outdoor gear reviews are not  the opinion of Walk and Travel Ltd, they are subjective and based on one persons experience. You may well have a totally different experience and opinion of that particular item of gear as you are a totally different and unique person. This is also worth bearing in mind when you are reading other gear reviews. But, hey it's a good place to start.  We will not put up scathing reviews for outdoor gear, if you have one send it to us, we would still like to know about the products, but we will not be able to publish it.

We look forward to hearing how you get on with outdoor gear, please email articles@walkandtravel.com with your outdoor gear review.

 

Rucksacks and luggage reviews

Source Vector Hydration Pack Review   - By Gareth

So comfy, so roomy. This accompanied me on my 2 day epic bike ride of the South Downs Way. The temperatures were over 30c. The Source Widepak bladder held 3 litres and this was life saver. If you think that a 3 litre bladder would encroach on the storage space of the bag, you would be wrong. The bag has more than enough room to for a days cycling gear, mine was crammed with food, enough nuts and raisins to sink a battleship and plenty of spares for the bike. I even managed to cram in camera, wind windproof (why?), sun cream and my cycling partners warm top. The multiple pockets make it great to organise all the things you need to take when cycling the South Downs Way. Is this the best hydration pack available? It certainly was the ideal pack for my bike ride.

Tatonka Barrel Holdall Review.  - By Simon

I have been using Tatonka Barrel Holdall Bags as my luggage of choice for many years. They are tough bags with plenty of space in them and versatile to carry. The chunky zips have never got caught or broken living up to the legend that makes Tatonka Barrels very hard wearing and great to take with you whatever your journey, whether it is Overlanding, a Truck Safari, Island hopping in Greece or weekend breaks to Portugal. I recently took my small Tatonka Barrel on that trip to Portugal and even managed to get it in the cage that allows you to get on as hand luggage. Equally the bag looks cool and fits in with every type of trip. Buy a Tatonka Barrel, you won't be disappointed.

Vaude Ultratrail Backpack Review  - By Alan

I've given this backpack a hammering. Biking on the South Downs Way and in the Lake District in the pouring rain and it kept the contents dry. The backpack is very comfortable and has loads of space. You can get your mountain survival kit in it as well as your food and spare bike parts for the day. Pack it carefully as it only has one main compartment. But as I said very comfy, waterproof and a great helmet holder on the front! Fully recommended.

Hi Gear Glendale 20 Daypack Review - by Claire

Great little daypack, just the job for summer walks in the hills, great value for money, glad I bought one and you got it to me so quick - thanks!


Tent Reviews

Vaude Ferret Tent Review   - By John

My old Phoenix Phor 4 tent finally gave up after 15 plus years of exceptional service, one final battering in the Lake District and that was it. Whatever happened to Phoenix? It was a great 4 season year round tent that would be hard to replace. I was looking for something that would be as tough as the Phoenix and last as well. I keep hearing about the strong, versatile and well made tents by the German company Vaude (or Vau De). After much deliberation I went for the Vaude Ferret Tent. This is because of the very large porch, I need room when I camp now to keep my kit in, I don't really carry it on my back any more, so the weight wasn't a problem. (It is a fairly lightweight tent when you think about the size and large amount of room you are getting). The tent is a great 4 season tunnel tent tat is quick and easy to pitch, even in howling gales during the middle of the night. The venting no see um mesh panel windows allow excellent airflow and is simple to pack away as well. Big thumbs up.

Vaude Taurus Ultralight Tent Review. - by Craig

I bought two of these tents when me and my team of Explorer Scouts went to the Lake District to do our Queen Scout Award.  We backpacked for 5 days with these tents and found them absolutely brilliant.  They perform very well in bad weather and are very easy to put up and down.  This is a brilliant lightweight tent.


Sleeping Bag Reviews

Rab Down Sleeping Bags Review  - by Gareth

I've used Rab Down Sleeping bags for over 15 years. I own two, a Ladakh 600 which is my warm bag (I don't camp in very cold weather!) and a Rab Ultralight which has now been succeeded by the Rab Quantum Down Sleeping Bag Range, (and soon to be superceded by the RAB Neutrino Sleeping Bags) as my summer bag. These bags are just so great to sleep in, I find them comfortable, breathable, I'm never clammy in them and they work at the temperature ranges specified by Rab. The pack size and weight to warmth ratio is great and if used with a sleeping bag liner and well aired when I get home they just don't seem to smell (I think I'm just lucky!).

Snugpak Softie Chrysalis Autumn Sleeping Bag Review  - By Trev

Time to get a new sleeping bag, the one I had was about 20 years old and weight to warmth ratio just wasn't right. It weighed two tons and was now so worn out it was like a summer bag. I decided to go for the Snugpak Softie Chrysalis Autumn, a well made, well thought out bag with the expander panel. Warmth to weight ratio is good and for a a quality British sleeping bag I thought that the price was very reasonable too. Highly recommended.


Other Camping and Travel Accessory Reviews

Sea to Summit Silk Mummy Shaped Sleeping Bag Liner Review - By Lou

Sleeping in silk, warm, comfy, feels great on your skin, what more can I say. It helps keep your sleeping bag from smelling!

Design Go Brush Guards Review   - By Gareth

I had a Design Go Brush Guard given to me by a Danish girl on an Overland Truck Safari Trip in India. She told be the brush guard would help stop me getting ill because of the germs and bacteria on my tooth brush. I was told I wasn't taking enough care of my travel health and hygiene because I didn't have the brush guard! It didn't really make a lot of difference to my travel health, but what it did do was keep my travel wash bag clean and when I wasn't using my toothbrush it would keep the bugs from landing on it, keeping it clean. I guess it has now become and essential part of my travel wash kit and my travel health and hygiene kit.

Beacons Leisure Multimat Self Inflating Adventure Sleep Mat Review  - by Lou

Comfy and inexpensive, but slightly bulkier and heavier than more expensive ones. I was happy with this combination because I can then spend the quite considerable difference on other outdoor gear that I need, such as walking boots. Mind you, it does still pack small and would be an ideal self inflating sleeping mat or ground mat for backpacking with.

Button Cord Grips Locks Review - by Liz

I use the button cord locks on my trainer and shoe laces.  It saves me time and hassle tying up laces and they don't come undone like shoe laces.  They're also useful in emergencies if your shoe laces snap.

Nomad Neet Deet Review - review for  neat DEET insect repellent - by Liz

I've just returned from a fantastic safari trip to Kenya and Tanzania and I'm so glad that I took some Neet Deet with me.  I'm very attractive to mozzies (in fact, my husband likes to take me everywhere with him to prevent him from getting bitten) and I get very bad reactions when they bite me. This can put a real a dampener on my holiday and sometimes cause scars.  I used the Neet Deet every evening and it worked a treat;  the only time I got bitten was before I had put the repellent on.  Because the Neet Deet is not a spray, I found there was less wastage and I could apply it accurately to the areas I wanted! I know there are some health concerns about deet, but everything else I've tried has not been very successful and the possibility of getting malaria from a bite outweighed any doubts in this case.  A minor drawback was that I wasn't able to wear my nice beads (because deet can "melt" plastic) in the evenings, but that's a small price to pay for having a much happier holiday.   I didn't need to use the Design Go Electronic Bite Relief at all, but I'll let you know how good that is when my Neet Deet runs out.

Deet Insect Repellent Review - by Gareth

I first came across Deet Insect Repellent when I went to the Adirondacks in America for three months to work on a Summer Camp. I took with me insect repellent from Boots, a natural one and it was awful, still getting bitten all the time. One of the other American Counsellors on the camp recommended a DEET insect repellent and I've not looked back since. I always use a DEET formula. For me, natural insect repellents just don't work and reading up on the subject scientific tests show that DEET is still the best repellent you can get.

Design Go Bug Guards Review -  by Sandra

Nomad 50% DEET Insect Repellent Review - by Sandra

Being the type of person other people take away with them as their insect repellent it is no comfort in knowing I must have very tasty blood (I ended up on antibiotics after one trips worth of bites). I booked a 10 day holiday to Mauritius in May and was determined to do whatever it took to reduce the chance of getting bitten and ending up with swollen itchy skin. I used Nomad 50% DEET Insect Repellent in the day and then Design Go Bug Guards at night which are handy wrist and ankle bands you wear to bed (follow the instructions as DEET is not clothing/jewellery friendly stuff). I was very impressed with the results and was especially smug when people I travelled with got bitten after taking the mickey out of me for my so-called extreme measures! I can only speak for myself but Design Go Bug Guards worked and they will be coming with me on every trip from now on.

 

Gear reviews - Clothing

Berghaus Suillivan III Jacket

An awesome jacket, one of the bext waterproof jackets I have used. I admit, I'm more a hill walker than a mountaineer and I beleive this is designed more for the mountaineer. But, I like the style, the cut and the feel of the jacket. I'm sure some of you hardcore outdoor people are syaing it doesn't matter..... but to me it does. As well as the functionality. Gore Tex XCR, 3 layer, a hood that fits my long neck and protects my large nose from the rain, basically thats all I ask in a heavyweight waterproof jacket. This is what I got. Comes in some great colours too.... though I went for black. I like the Milk Tray action man look.

Bridgedale Women's Endurance Trekker Walking Socks Review - by Fiona

I recently bought two pairs of Bridgedale Women's Endurance Trekker Walking Socks from you. I would like to thank you for recommending them as I recently went to the Lake District for the first time and they turned out to be the most comfortable socks I own. I have sent you a picture of them by the side of a tarn. They were warm and cosy on colder wet days and felt quite cool and comfortable on the hotter days. I didn't get any blisters, even after six days in my poor old walking boots. (which I really should have replaced before I went but couldn't afford it!) Thanks Gareth.