Bank holiday plans?

August bank holiday weekend is almost upon us – a well-deserved 3 day break for most. But it’s a difficult decision when it comes to choosing how you spend the time.

Some of us may take advantage of the extra day and make plans for a an outdoor adventure somewhere. A spot of hiking? Cycling? A couple of days climbing, perhaps? It’s a great opportunity to break out of the confines of weekly routine and do something different, or something you haven’t had time for in a while.

Despite the unpredictable nature of the Great British weather, it is forecasted to be decent across the UK this weekend. Nevertheless, make sure you’re prepared for those onslaughts of wind and rain wherever you decide to go!

Be prepared

So, in order to help prepare you for all that this weekend may bring, we at Facewest are putting on a 24-hour special offer. You will have the chance to buy on our site with an extra 10% discount available on EVERYTHING! This includes 10% off brand new Autumn/Winter 2014 products and an extra 10% off current discounted items, meaning there are bargains to be had.

The offer will be available to all those signed-up to the Facewest newsletter and will begin at 14:30 (UK time) on Wednesday 20th August. You’ll have to be quick though, the discount will be active for 24 hours only. Make sure you’re signed up, otherwise you’ll miss out on this discount and many great offers in the future!

Arc’teryx Autumn/Winter 2014 is here!

We’ve just received our first delivery of brand new Arc’teryx stock for the coming season, and we’re so excited that we thought we’d give you a sneak preview of what was inside!

Here are a few products that are completely new to the Arc’teryx range which we couldn’t wait to try out:

Arc'teryx Alpha Comp Pant

Arc’teryx Alpha Comp Pant

A super versatile pant ideal for either climbing or skiing in conditions where a good degree of leg protection is required but full on over trousers are too much. Designed with a unique Composite Construction they are a combination of Gore 3 layer fabric with a fast wicking Tricot backer and Fortius stretch softshell fabric that is breathable and also allows for unrestricted movement.

 

Arc'teryx Argus Jacket

Arc’teryx Argus Jacket

A performance windshirt with a layer of Polartec Alpha in the chest and shoulders – the ideal jacket for running in colder weather. The outer chest fabric is a highly wind resistant Nylon ripstop that has a DWR finish ensuring light rain and snow will be easily shed. The lower arms and back use Torrent fabric with built in stretch. This fabric is Polygiene treated, a silver and salt based finish that keeps the Argus jacket fresh and free from odour for longer periods.

 

Arc'teryx Khamski 48

Arc’teryx Khamski 48

A superb choice for Backcountry skiing – offering durability combined with excellent features. The Khamski 48 enables skis to be carried easily and comfortably with secure external straps binding them to the sides or across the front of the pack. For support there are aluminium M-bar stays that transfer weight to the hip belt, which can be removed if a lighter load is required.

Want to see more? There’s plenty of great gear to have a look at – Facewest.co.uk

Pre-order your Suunto Ambit3 NOW!

The Suunto Ambit3 is due to arrive in September and they are expected to fly off the shelves – no sooner in than out the door again!

At Facewest.co.uk we’re making all products in the range available to pre-order so you can bag yourself the latest and greatest in sports wrist wear before anyone else.

The Ambit3 is the ultimate package for tracking your performances and sharing your experiences. The GPS provides accurate speed and distance values, whilst the heart rate monitor lets you train in the ideal zone.

In addition to this, the Ambit3 can connect to your smartphone, via the Movescount app, allowing you to keep up to date on the move by displaying calls, text messages, and push notifications. The Movescount app also offers a great way to visualise your route by displaying it on a 3D map with the key metrics included, and you can share these on social media.

Make sure you don’t miss out – Choose a model and pre-order now

We currently have a SALE on all Ambit2 products – Click here for more details

Autumn/Winter 2014 – Just in!

Hot off the press, so to speak – new deliveries are coming in almost daily and are full-to-bursting with brand new gear for the coming seasons! In the office we’re hard at work (promise) building the new product pages whilst the warehouse team are finding the space for the new stuff – generally getting everything ready for launch next month.

What’s in these boxes?

Look out for some sneak previews of brand new products coming soon to the blog, Facebook and Twitter.

The Peak District Challenge

Peak District

View of Mam Tor, Peak District National Park

The Peak District National Park – a stunning area full of opportunity. There are almost 3’000 kilometres of trails and over 10’000 climbing routes within the Peak District therefore activities aplenty whether you’re a hiker, fell runner, or climber. This August a gruelling challenge is set to take place across this beautiful landscape – the Peak District Challenge.

This walking or running challenge is for teams of 3-5 people (solo or duo competitors can compete if they can demonstrate extensive navigation and fell running/hiking skills) and challengers are invited to obtain sponsorship in order to raise money for the charity SALVE International or one of their own choice.

Peak District Challenge

Peak District Challenge

You can choose from 4 challenges – Copper, Bronze, Silver or Gold. Each challenge involves a certain distance and a timed target, and these range from less intense activity to difficult climbs and distances!

The Copper Challenge: No need to be a super-experienced hiker for this one! An achievable distance of 25km within a target time of 9 hours – easy!

The Bronze Challenge: Not to be underestimated – 50km within 12 hours, and over 500m of ascent.

The Silver Challenge: For the pros – 80km within 24 hours, with 850m of ascent.

The Gold Challenge: Ultra-extreme – 90km, 24 hours, 2800m of ascent. Lots of climbing and a fast pace required. You have to be fit to try this!


View Peak District Challenge in a larger map

  • Copper route follows blue then red lines from Hathersage to Baslow and back
  • Bronze route follows green then blue lines to Castleton then Bakewell and back
  • Silver route visits all checkpoints marked via blue and yellow lines
  • Gold route visits all checkpoints via blue and red lines

All routes begin in Hathersage, Derbyshire and are all circuits with finishing targets set for the evening of Saturday 30th August. Silver and Gold challenges begin at 9pm on Friday 29th August, with the Copper and Bronze competitiors departing on the Saturday morning.

Fancy giving it a go?
All the info you’re going to need is available on the website: Peak District Challenge.

Don’t forget – if you do decide to do it then remember to take some photos/videos to share with us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d love to see how you get on!

Suunto Ambit 2, 2S and 2R – SALE

It’s amazing these days, with technology constantly advancing, how gadgetry can carry so much information in such a small case. The man on the street now carries substantially more computing power in his pocket alone than was needed for the entire mission to send a man to the Moon in 1969.

Watches are no different when it comes to the ability to do more than just tell the time, and Suunto are the pinnacle of innovative and technologically advanced wrist wear. Able to record and manage data from a list of sporting activities, a Suunto watch can change the way you track your performance forever.

 

Suunto Ambit 2

Suunto Ambit 2


The Suunto Ambit 2 has the latest in GPS technology and advanced outdoor features. More like a computer than a watch, The Barometer and Storm Alarm functions allow weather conditions and potential storms to be recognised and measured – meaning you can get to safety in good time. Route navigation has never been easier using the new 3D Compass and GPS technology, and data is available to download after use making performance review simple and effective.

The Ambit also has unique multi-sport functions based around running, biking and swimming. These allow you to log data for each of the specific disciplines including distance, duration, pace and stroke count, whilst being able to quickly switch between sports.

Charging and managing recordings is simple – the USB cable connects directly to the watch allowing for fast transfer of data and also for the watch to be charged up ready for its next adventure. Once charged it has a 30 day life in normal watch mode and 15 hours in GPS mode with a 1 second fix rate.

We are currently offering a £100+ saving on Ambit 2! Click here

 

 

Suunto Ambit 2 S

Suunto Ambit 2 S


The Suunto Ambit 2 S is a GPS watch specifically designed for the sportsman rather than the mountaineer or ski tourer.  Some elements of the Ambit 2 have been stripped out of the sport version providing a dedicated unit ideal for runners, adventure racers, swimmer and cyclists – the perfect choice for triathlons.

Available in a range of colours, the Ambit 2 S has an optional Dual Comfort Heart Rate Belt – the ANT signal then links your belt and Ambit with no chance of interference whilst the uncoded signal is compatible with most cardio gym equipment.

Ambit 2 S offer on now! Click here

 

 

Suunto Ambit 2 R

Suunto Ambit 2 R


The Suunto Ambit 2 R is specifically designed for the runner and allows you to use Movescount to plan, analyse and share your runs. The built-in GPS and accelerometer give you accurate pace, speed cadence and distance data. The GPS also gives you full route navigation, for following a predetermined route or exploring unknown areas.

Available with or without a heart-rate monitor, with a full charge it will run from 8 to 25 hours depending on the GPS recording interval (from 1 to 60 seconds).

Save 10% on an Ambit 2 R! Click here

You’re guaranteed to be surprised by the capabilities of a Suunto watch. At Facewest.co.uk we’re so convinced of this that we’re offering you a 28 Day Satisfaction Guarantee on all Ambit 2 watches – if you don’t love it then you can send it back!

More Thermarest stock.

We have this great Thermarest offer where we are giving away FREE thermarest chair kits with most of thermarests that fit them. Only trouble we had was keeping the actual mats in stock! Here is our latest mat delivery, so order now to get a free chair kit.

Sea Kayak Wagon

Aborted attempt to paddle round St Bees Head on sunday due to wind and swell but we did have a nicer time on the estuary at Ravenglass and paddling up the Esk for a bit.

Nothing beats a big van loaded with kayaks

Montane Jaws 10 Pack – Review

Dan Allen was the lucky winner of our recent competition to win a Montane Jaws 10 pack. Here’s what he thinks…

I was lucky enough to win this pack in a competition run by Facewest. I had heard a few positive things regarding the pack, so was excited to take it out for a test run over the Peak District fells.

Jaws 10, just arrived

Upon first glances, the pack has a vest fitting design which fits and hugs the body. There are two water bottles situated on the shoulder straps with a peculiar way of attachment. The bottles are slightly curved to better fit the body shape and they have a clip which slides into a reinforced pocket on the shoulder straps and each bottle is held in place with two elastic bungees. Initially this took some getting used to, but as with all things practice helps.

Adjusting the fit of the pack is done using two straps. The first is an adjustable strap across the sternum; this has the ability to be moved up and down to accommodate different chest sizes. The second is an elasticated belt which sits just under the rib cage; I found this method a much better fit than clips and allowed for expansion while wearing without the need to retighten, like I have found in the past with clips.

All that lot fits in easily!

It was now time for the fun part, the testing! I thought about what I would need on a longer off road run and packed it in the Jaws 10: Waterproof top and trousers, map, compass, first aid kit, spare hat, gloves and buff. The pack comes with a small whistle attached; therefore there I did not need to carry another. I had no problems fitting all of the gear in the bag and there was still room to spare if I wanted to carry extra kit or food. On the side of the pack, there is a loop which enables you to carry poles if you so wished.

The rear of the pack has three separate compartments: a large pocket at the back which can be used for a bladder (loops are situated on the right hand side) or storage, in the middle a slightly smaller waterproof pocket made of RAPTOR Hydroseal fabric with a YKK zip and at the front a small zipped mesh pocket.

One downside I did notice was the lack of available, easy accessible pockets and pouches on the front of the pack. On the left hand side there is a small open ended stretch mesh pocket and on the right a larger zip pocket with a smaller mesh pocket on top. I got around this problem by filling one of the water bottles with gels and spare tabs because I wouldn’t need two bottles of water.

While out running I found the pack itself to be very comfortable with very little movement, sadly I could not say the same for the bottles. Although they didn’t swing around, I found that they bounced too much for my liking. I later tried the pack with a bladder and found this option much more comfortable and easier on the shoulders. The pack is lightweight and I found it to be very breathable, which made it much easier to run in. The Montane Jaws 10 is a good pack and I would recommend it.

One happy runner!

Tested Ultimate Direction PB Vest

UD PB Vest

Had a good commuter run this morning with my Ultimate Direction PB vest. When I was leaving home I didn’t set out to make the load as awkward as possible but I did have my work clothes and waterproof, wallet, phone and dog lead plus a bunch of workbooks / catalogues that I got from Salomon yesterday. Just as I was leaving I spotted a faulty thermarest that one of my friends had asked me to get sorted, instead of leaving that till tomorrow I thought it would make a good test and chucked that in as well.

This mornings load

When I say chucked in, strapped on would be more accurate. The bungees did a good job of keeping the mat on despite it being larger than the pack itself. The weight and poistion of it did make the pack sag down my back but it was still very comfortable.

After the run to work.

I originally got he PB 11 Litre vest to try and do the LAMM mountain marathon with but it turned out not to be big enough. The reasons that it couldn’t hold all the contents of my inov8 Elite Extreme 10 pack are;
1. inov Elite Extreme 10 is at least 12 litres
2. The space is broken up into lots of organised bits rather than one big pocket. Good for access but I couldn’t find a decent spot for my tent poles.
So having used my old set up for the LAMM, I was keen to do some miles in the UD pack.

Most vests weight 100 – 250g more than simple lightweight packs but claim to offset that weight penalty by having a lower energy cost to run in (less bounce) and easier access to things whilst still running (less stopping). I  agree that there is a whole lot less movement in these packs and it’s actually possible to carry some water on the front straps in silicone bottles. I was always disappointed by the performance of bottles that strapped onto traditional pack straps when running. The longer you run, the more you appreciate the way the pack behaves on your body. I think the energy saving and extra comfort are worth some extra weight.

Lots of pockets

The pack was really snug, even coping with my odd shaped load and the extra weight hanging off the back. It was very comfortable and I didn’t realise how poorly positioned the load was until I saw the photos. I could adjust the pack to be much better even with this load, but because I don’t know the pack well I couldn’t make those adjustments on the hoof and I still can’t place my hand on all the little pockets when running along either. There are 16 different pockets and sleeves on the PB pack so it takes a while to know them all with a fuddled brain. There are probably a few too many little pockets and loops of elastic on the pack but you cut cut them off once you were sure you didnt need them. However potential weight saving would only be 20g.

Access to food, snacks, water, compass, gloves etc are fine as I use one of the bottle holders as a pocket for larger items whilst keeping the other one for water. The kicker bottles that it came with are good but I really am a fan of the silicone bottles / flasks so use those instead. There is potential to join the 2 sternum straps together and create another net pocket, definitely a refinement that UD could make.

Overall I really like the PB pack and will definitely use it for all long runs. (For mountain marathons I have seen a Salomon vest pack that is 14+3 litres so will get my hands on one of those to test). I think the PB vest is not really 11 litres maybe 9 as it’s probably 3 litres smaller than my inov8 pack. Another bonus of the extra weight of the PB vest over my inov8 pack is that it is feels much more durable. I can see why there are more and more vest packs on the market, they are really good!

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