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Pro Review – Arc’teryx Alpha FL Jacket

The Arcteryx Alpha FL Jacket has received a ‘Pro Review’. These Pro Reviews are from BMG qualified mountain guides, Facewest staff members or other outdoor professionals.
The Alpha FL Jacket  is part of the official uniform of the British Mountain Guides (BMG), along with the Arc’teryx Gamma MX Hoody and the Arc’teryx Theta SV Bib.


Pro Reviewer: 

Andy Perkins is the Equipment and Partnerships Officer for the British Mountain Guides and is based in Chamonix. His work ranges from classic summer alpinism through to ski touring in Arctic Norway. He’s been a guide for 12 years and before that spent another 12 years in the UK outdoor trade working for Troll with a PH.D. in textiles. So he knows his kit as well as his mountains. You can find out more about him at www.andypmountainguide.com.

Pro Review:

“Early in 2014, the British Mountain Guides decided to add a shell jacket to complement the Arc’teryx Gamma soft shells we’ve been using since 2012. It’s not as easy as it sounds, as a shell piece has got to stand up to the worst of the Scottish winter and yet still be light and breathable enough to carry in an alpine summer pack or take ski touring where light weight is an important factor. The 2014 summer in the Alps the weather was absolutely shocking. Week after week of unstable weather with heavy rain and strong winds at altitude. So it was ideal to test our chosen jacket, the Arc’teryx Alpha FL. What attracted us initially is that it’s a really simple design, but that’s not to say it’s basic. It’s been carefully thought out so that it has all the features a technical jacket needs and nothing superfluous. Packed away in the sack, it’s light and compact and even comes with its own stuff bag that has a clip-in loop so you can carry it up multi pitch routes on your harness. The fit is the usual perfection from Arc’teryx with plenty of freedom of movement to climb or ski. But where this jacket really stands out is the combination of waterproofness and breathability. It stood up to the worst of the downpours this summer and yet remains comfortable during hut approach walks. It’s almost as if the jacket knows what temperature you want to be at – too cold and you’ll warm up swiftly as soon as you put it on without getting sweaty. This comes from the new Gore-tex Pro Shell combined with clever design to minimise seam taping and pockets in the jacket. The material is really durable too – along with several BMG colleagues, we were involved in the field-testing of the new laminate and over 12 months of guide use (which is perhaps 5 to 10 years of “normal” use) we had no issues at all. So the British Mountain Guides are using the Alpha FL as their team jacket, and I’m very confident that it performs superbly as a technical mountain jacket for the wide variety of work we undertake in the mountains.”

Alpha FL Jacket Features:

  • 3 layer Gore-Tex Pro fabric
  • 8mm seam tape improves performance
  • Trim fit enhances breathability
  • Fully adjustable helmet compatible StormHood
  • Laminated hood brim
  • Highly water resistant front zip with storm flap
  • Single chest pocket with clip-in loop
  • Two piece Hemlock inserts prevent jacket slipping out under harness
  • Drawcord hem
  • Laminated die-cut Velcro cuff adjusters

Full Alpha FL Jacket description here

Pile Gloves


Sometimes it takes a while to spot a change in your habits or preferences, especially when you try as much new kit as I do. Recently  I noticed there was a definite theme to the gloves that I liked and the ones I had hung on to and that was a pile lining (or hi loft fleece as it can be known). I know many of you will be tutting at me right now, saying I should have known long ago, but there it is. Until a couple of years ago I was very much a 2 part glove man with windstopper liner gloves and a nice big Gore-Tex liner gauntlet over the top, sort of marks me out as a skier really. I realised the limitations of this system when I went ice climbing for the first time a few years ago, and faffed about getting my gloves on so much that I eventually ditched the outers and just used the inners even though this wasn’t warm enough. Once the liner of a gauntlet gets wet and twisted then you are in for real problems.

There is something about a pile liner that makes it go on some much easier. I think it must be the reduced surface area having less drag as you slide your hand in.  Also the liner is able to contour around your hand more easily because the tip of each pile ‘peak’ does not pull on the tip of the next peak but on the base of the lining. When you have your gloves on and off a lot then water inside is inevitable, it arrives on your hands as much as soaks in from the outside. Deep pile places a cushion between your skin and the water making these gloves a lot warmer when wet than some other styles. This is also why quite a few pile gloves have no membrane. If the glove will get wet no matter what then why not remove the membrane and allow you to wring the glove out easily and go back to having a pretty dry glove.

Whilst writing this I have realised that this is a sort of skier / climber debate. Mountaineers mainly  prefer one piece gloves for the reasons above and skiers are split between 1 and 2 piece gloves. Ski tourers like to remove the outers when climbing and just use the inners. A number of Mountain Professionals like Andy Perkins do not use expensive gloves at all but use wool lined leather gardening gloves, which are very similar indeed to leather palmed one piece pile gloves. Guides in particular get through quite a few pairs of gloves a year so the replacement cost is important to them. I wonder what they would choose if given unlimited free gloves?

So what’s my point? Well I urge all those who have not tried pile gloves to give them a go even those 100% skiers who will never climb. I think it’s just a better system no matter which way you use the mountains.  Read the points below and give it some thought next time you are replacing your gloves.

1. Fibre Pile takes a while to ‘bed in’. Brand new pile gloves can feel a bit spongy inside. As you use them the pile beds down where you compress it and the grip improves but retains it’s loft everywhere else for the best thermal performance.

2. Pile gloves can be too hot! It’s best to have other gloves for milder conditions. Rather than wearing one or both as in the 2 piece gauntlet system, now you carry some other lighter weight gloves. Because these gloves are not designed to fit inside another glove they themselves can have more reinforcement or insulation as you wish. Getting your liners wet with a 2 part gauntlet compromised your whole glove system and it can happen even when your are wary of it. Now trashing your liners has less overall impact.

3. You still have a choice of fully waterproof with membrane or not, that’s depends on your attitude to wet gloves.

My top picks:

If you are a deep winter all mountain skier that loves a gauntlet then the Mountain Equipment Pinnacle Glove is a great choice. It uses a long gauntlet with Gore-Tex liner. The back of the glove is insulated with Primaloft Gold for amazing warmth but the inside lining is pile for all the reasons we have discussed. Your other pair could be a Rab Vapour Rise Tour glove for spring skiing or hiking.

ME Pinnacle Glove


Rab Vapour Rise Tour Glove

For ski touring then the Rab Guide Glove or Montane Thermostretch Gloves are good picks. One with a membrane and one without. These shorter gloves will either go under your cuff if you want a seal or just butt up against the end of your sleeves. Great value and very versatile. Your 2nd pair could be some Powerstretch Gloves like the ME Touch Screen Grip Glove for light weight or again the Rab Vapour Rise Tour glove.

Rab Guide Glove

Montane Thermostretch Glove

ME Touch Screen Grip Glove

For Mountaineering then consider the Mountain Equipment Randonee Gauntlet. Using the high performance Schoeller Soft Shell outer, no membrane, but very weather resistant. Combined with a deep pile lining. This glove is a favourite of the staff at Plas Y Brenin where Mountain Equipment are the equipment supplier.

ME Randonee Gauntlet

This is one subject where we would love to hear your comments and experiences. Tell us the gloves you love and why.

Avalanche Awareness Day

If you were out and about around Edale on Saturday 10th January you may have seen a group of people wandering up and down a windy hillside as though they were lost.  They weren’t already lost on The Spine Race (which was happening on the same day); they were the lucky 12 who got a place on the Facewest Avalanche Awareness Day.

Running the course was British Mountain Guide Graham McMahon, who kicked things off by showing a few videos demonstrating what massive avalanches look like.  From the videos it’s clear just how powerful and dangerous even a small avalanche can be, which is why when going out in avalanche terrain it only sensible to know how to avoid them and, if the worst should happen, how to deal with it.  These 2 points were the main aim of the day and Graham spent the first 45 minutes of his presentation going into the detail of understanding what avalanches are, the differences between them and how they are formed.  He also covered how to recognise avalanche terrain, both in the planning stage and when out in the mountains.

Before Miles, from Noble Custom the UK Ortovox supplier went through the 3 different transceivers on offer from Ortovox Graham briefly covered how transceivers work as this is an important part of understanding what the transceiver is telling you when conducting a search.  The Ortovox range of transceivers was available to borrow for the day for those who didn’t have their own.  In this range there are 3 models; the basic model is the Zoom+, the intermediate model the 3+, and the advanced model the S1+ and the course attendees had the opportunity to try out the different models.

Ortovox s1+ transceiver in action

With full outdoor clothing donned and armed with a transceiver each everyone headed outside in the wind (thankfully it had stopped raining) to practice using the transceivers.  With 4 units hidden in the bracken on the side of the hill the course split into small groups to perform a few searches.  Once everyone had got the hang of doing a transceiver search, heading back into the warmth seemed like a good idea.  With some practical knowledge gained Graham took the course through the thought processes and decision making that should be going on before travelling in avalanche terrain.

Practicing a probe line in the snow.

After a break for lunch it was straight back into the presentation where Graham covered in detail the factors which should always be considered when travelling in avalanche terrain and how risks can be minimised.  This included getting to grips with the more common weather patterns in the Alps – by no means an easy task.  Having covered this, the course headed back out into the weather to practice searches with multiple burials.  The final practical part was a probe line and the weather provided the opportunity to practice in conditions more applicable to Scotland and the Alps.

The final part of the day was to have a look at some of the other avalanche safety kit available and the benefits to different models.

The course was ideal for those looking to get into any activity where being on avalanche terrain is a possibility.  The main message I took from the course was that avalanches are not something which should put you off doing anything as long as the conditions have been thoroughly checked and the necessary precautions taken.  And finally, if you have a transceiver, make sure that you know how to use it!

Choosing a Ski – Winter 2014/15 | mountaintracks.co.uk

Choosing your skis: Off-Piste and Touring Ski Review – Winter 2014/2015

It’s that time of year when everyone is drooling over Facebook posts with snow on the Grand Montets. People then start splashing the cash on new gear.

My wife has already bent my ear about new skis and is sick of me saying “nowadays there is no such thing as a rubbish ski, just poor selection of skis by skiers”. Before I get shot down in flames, let’s analyze this statement further!

Modern skis are very good but because of this there are a myriad of ski models with markedly different characteristics. This is the key when choosing a ski. You wouldn’t dream of driving sports car off road or getting the most out of a 4×4 round Brands Hatch, but some people expect one ski to cope with all terrain. Again using the car analogy, when I hire a car at the airport it takes me a week to get used to it. The first few days the engine gets thrashed, gears crunched and a few over zealous corner speeds end up with passengers reaching for the sick bags. Skis take at least a week or two to get used to, so testing them for a day won’t give you the full picture. If you have done your homework then a day testing them is probably not necessary especially as rating a ski is very subjective and tricky enough even for professional skiers like me.

Doing your homework involves a fair amount of internet trawling, looking at key ski attributes like weight, length, width, flex, side cut, camber, construction, price and the most important for my wife – the colour!

We have 2 basic ski categories:

Freeride/All Mountain: These are skis built primarily for downhill performance in all conditions. They are still light enough for short hikes back up but it’s mainly about the downs. Freeride and All Mountain skis tend to be heavier, wider and stiffer. This gives them greater stability at speeds or in poor snow conditions i.e. crust, crud, slush, ice.

Touring / Free Touring: These are designed to be a blend of weight and performance. Not super-light (these are strictly for the Lycra-clad race brigade) but not super floppy either. You can rack up the metres on the ascent, but still look forward to the downhill. The lighter the ski the more you’ll get bounced around in the crud but will be whooping with joy on the uphill. So decide what you want the ski to do, bearing in mind that some skis sit in the middle of these two above groups and perform adequately on both fronts.

Ski Weight:

As a rule of thumb anything below 1700g per ski would fall into the touring category and anything above 1900g is a tad heavy for the uphill and ski touring. Having said this, I see plenty of people touring on very big fat heavy skis but you just need to be that much fitter. Anything that sits in between these weights is one of those ‘does everything ok’ skis.

Ski Length:

This is a factor of your height, weight and ski ability. I ski on 170cm -175cm ski am 60kg and 168cm and work on skis from December to May. There are pros and cons to both sides of the argument but essentially shorter skis turn easily but are less stable at speed. That’s why most pro skiers rip it up on 195cm skis even though many are hobbits like me! Go for a ski that is between nose and head height. Rugby players over six foot need to go long (185cm minimum). If you’re a lightweight like me you might get away with less than 170cm if you just want to cruise around and enjoy the turns. The ski width can also affect your choice of length, so the wider the ski underfoot the shorter you can go.

Ski Width:

The fatter the better! I wish it were that simple, but again there are a few pitfalls to avoid. With touring skis anything over 100mm underfoot becomes annoying in narrow skinning tracks, adds to the ski weight and remember you have a rather fat piece of skin stuck to your ski creating a lot drag on the uphills. I’m pretty old-school and tour on around 80mm underfoot, but most people go around the 90mm to 100mm mark. If you’re fit but not a great skier choose the wider end and conversely if your not that fit but ski like a Jedi go skinny!

Ski Flex:

This is how the ski engages in a turn when weighted. Lightweight people need a softer ski, rugby players need stiffer planks. Most female specific skis are just the same as the male ski but softer in flex. Stiff skis on a light person are hard work to turn needing aggressive style. The lighter the ski the softer the flex, that’s why heavy tall people on touring skis end up with their weight all over the place.


All skis have a width at the tip, tail and underfoot. The sidecut is a ratio of all these three; the wider the tip and tail the narrower underfoot the more aggressive sidecut and smaller turn radius.

This is what makes the ski turn or ‘turn radius’. It’s printed on most skis as a number:17m would be a ski that corners like a rally car, 25m would be one that corners like an oil tanker! If you want something that is easy to cruise around on, do nice turns, or your a Euro-mincer in the powder then go short radius! If you like gunning it in straight lines or skiing steeps then a larger radius is better. Big skis with a long turn radius in tight trees is torture, be warned! Nowadays rockered skis allow the turn radius to be pretty good even on big skis.


This is how the ski is shaped in the vertical plain. All skis bend up in the middle, tip and tale if put on there base. A ‘Traditional Camber’ is one where the front and back of the skis don’t rise up until near the ends of the ski. Nowadays lots of skis have a ‘rockered’ camber where the tip and tail rises soon after leaving the binding area. This allows a big ski to have a very short turn radius but lots of flotation in the powder. Rockered skis are now becoming the norm for freeride, but beware: I find them unnerving on steep ground as you loose quite a lot of running edge. If ski touring, skins tend to bounce off rockered skis and again you loose quite a bit of traction as the skin looses contact with the snow.


Touring skis have lots of composite materials (carbon, foam, resins) in to make them light. Heavier freeride skis will also have some sort of wood core that adds to weight but allows a more progressive flex. Light skis have thinner base layers and edges so wont stand up to as much abuse as a heavy beefy freeride ski.


All manufacturers have skis in their range that are similar to the ski in a competitors range. Look for the ski attributes rather than the brand if you’re on a budget. If you’re not fussy about last years model or iffy graphics then loads of retailers sell off old stock cheap. Have a look on Ebay, but beware 1 careful owner (a rugby player ragging it around for 2 months in Chamonix) is not a good buy. If your small and light it easier as these skis don’t get as much hammering. No matter how hard I ski I’m never going to stress the ski as much as a 100kg skier!

Here are some ski recommendations from both camps so you get a rough idea of what to look for…

Freeride / All Mountain

K2 Shreditor 112 – The 112mm waisted Shreditor is a versatile fat all terrain freeride ski. It will be very good in soft conditions, with a bit more versatility in hard or mixed conditions than the fatter models. A great Freeride ski choice for someone who wants all terrain versatility with a slight bias towards soft snow performance.

K2 Shreditor 102 – The 102mm waisted Shreditor is a versatile all terrain Freeride ski. It will be very good in mixed conditions, with much more versatility and performance in hard or mixed conditions than the fatter models.

Volkl Gotama – If you want a soft snow focused freeride ski this should be on your shortlist. With a 107mm waist it will cruise down powder fields. It will offer pretty good versatility in mixed conditions, thought not so good as something like the Mantra in harder conditions. It’s not a heavily built freeride ski so actually offers good flexibility for longer hikes.


Volkl Mantra – The Mantra has been a best seller for a few years now and has a great following. It’s simply a great all mountain ski, that will perform well in all conditions. This season it’s got a little wider and has a bit more rocker. It should ski soft conditions better without losing its all-terrain versatility.


Dynastar Cham 107 – The Cham 107mm is a stiff capable freeride ski. It’s quite heavy and stiff so will be a great ski for charging down lines whatever the conditions, with a slight bias toward softer conditions. It’s a ski for strong advanced/expert skiers. Weaker less experienced skiers won’t get the most from this ski.

Dynastar Cham 97 – A narrower version of the above allowing better performance on hard packed terrain.


Movement Trust – A freeride ski that excels at higher speeds. This ski will suit advanced/expert freeride skiers who want to rip up all terrain at speed. The 108mm waist will give great float in soft conditions and it’s not so fat that is looses all terrain versatility.

Movement Buzz – A really nice light freeride ski. A 99mm waist gives all terrain versatility and the lightweight construction makes it maneuverable and light enough for touring too.

Black Crows Atris – The ski to have this year – gets rave reviews and very popular with the ‘Chamonix set’ Will do most things very well despite the Marmite (love it/hate it!) graphics.

Black Crows Camox – Narrower and easier to ski than the Artis but maximum kudos on the slopes! Will handle most conditions apart from the deepest of powder.


Touring / Free Touring

Black Crows ‘Freebird’ Series – Camox Freebird, Orb Freebird and Ova Freebird. This range of touring skis are based on the same construction to lighten the skis. They are great all-rounders and perform well in all but the toughest off-piste conditions. All you have to do is choose how fat you want to go!


K2 ‘Back Series’ – Again, they are all based on a similar light construction designed for ski touring. The Coomback 104 is at the wider end of the range and Wayback 88 and 96 are there mid-range offering. The 88 has become a hut-to-hut favorite in recent years, with enough downhill performance to be versatile all rounder. For European hut touring this is a great ski.


Dynastar Cham High is the lightened versions of their off-piste range. As with the freeride skis they come in a 107 and 97. For a pure light touring their ‘Cham Alti’ range is excellent.


Movement have the Response at 88mm underfoot – at 1300gm it’s pretty light, but still skis well.


Ski Trab still have the Evo Rapido and the Polvere. Both are great touring skis and handle most conditions really well.

Dynafit have become synonymous with pin bindings. Over the past few years they have established themselves as a leader in lighter touring skis. The Dynafit Manaslu and Baltoro are both excellent uphill tourers.


The list above is by no means exhaustive, but it gives you a flavour of what you might need – or completely baffle you with choices! Either way you’ll enjoy the process of doing some research then totally ignoring it and going for something that has nice graphics and matches your ski boots!

Olly Allen – IFMGA Mountain Guide and Director of Mountain Tracks.

Olly Allen, IFMGA Mountain Guide and Director of Mountain Tracks

p.s. be warned – make the wrong choice and you could end up skiing like this…

See more at: http://mountaintracks.co.uk/blog/choosing-ski-winter-201415

Pro and Customer Reviews

To complement the Customer Reviews on the site we have added ’Pro Reviews’. Pro Reviews come from members of the British Mountain Guides (BMG), very experienced mountain professionals and Facewest staff members.

The brands we stock at Facewest often have sponsored athletes and professional affiliations. These affiliations are generally used by the brands for R&D and product testing. Arcteryx supply the uniform kit to the BMG and have a kit offer for the guides. Mountain Equipment have a strong link with the guides from Plas Y Brenin, many of whom are BMG guides themselves. Marmot until recently supplied kit to the instructors of Glenmore Lodge. Rab tend to supply individual guides and athletes rather than a body as a whole. All these brands want the same thing, they want their kit used day in and day out so they can continue to refine and improve their products. Better product means happy customers means more sales!

The Pro reviews are there to add depth to the existing product description and any customer reviews. The Pro reviews are distinct from the customer reviews and do not contribute towards the star rating. We have added a new icon to the page to highlight them.


cat image


We hope that by having the comments of the professionals who helped develop and test the products alongside the feedback from our customers who have used the production versions and are free from any bias (however slight) will give the most comprehensive help to those thinking of buyng the product. In a perfect world those new customers will become reviewers (and earn discounts) who will help the next wave of shoppers.

On the page for the specific product, Customer and Pro Reviews are both on the same tab next to description and possibly videos (if the product has them). In the case of this Rab Microlight Vest, you have 5 customer reviews all of which are 5 stars plus a Pro Review from mountain guide Jon Morgan.


Once you have selected the Reviews Tab you will see all the reviews.

prod 2

We want YOU to be a reviewer too. We offer 30 reward points, worth £3, for each review that you supply us as long as it passes our very reasonable quality criteria. You will help other Facewest customers and also us here to buy the products that you want. To submit a review you need to go to the product on the site, select the reviews tab and then the ‘Write a Review’ blue button.

The Facewest Story

In the beginning there was skiing…

jake and stu mountaineering

Jake and Stu

Jake and Stu both worked in ski shops in Meribel during the winters of the mid 90′s and worked for a paragliding school in North Yorkshire in the summers. The paragliding school also had a shop and did mail order. As pretty typical ski bums looking to make ends meet without losing too much skiing time we had washed dishes, sold fleece hats and taught a bit of skiing and boarding. As we progressed from skiing into ski mountaineering, we discovered that it was difficult to find the kit in the UK and even more difficult to find someone who had used it. It wasn’t long before we connected the dots and in 1998 we began to sell kit.

For a few years we had a printed mail order catalogue. We existed on word of mouth sales and part time employment. We sold avalanche safety kit to the locals in Meribel and through friends in others resorts. Along with the kit we offered training on how to rescue people and a bit of avalanche avoidance information. We skied a lot and tested our avi gear a couple of times!

2001 was the year it all changed. Foot and mouth disease effectively shut the outdoors and along with it went our summer employment. The resulting void was filled with a copy of ‘Dreamweaver’ and an idiots guide to websites. By the end of the summer we had a new website and a new catalogue. A good snow winter and the off piste carver ski evolution meant more and more people wanted avalanche safety and touring gear and we were there to help them, both on the new ‘world wide web’ and in person at various ski shows.

first ski show

The first ski show

In only 2 years the catalogue went out the window and we were a full time internet business. When I say full time, obviously we still skied 5 months of the year and operated mainly out of Meribel with a UK dispatch operation (thanks to all who got roped into that). We have answered our diverted phone in bubbles and on chairlifts, in the middle of the night whilst on Canadian ski trips and tied off on crags whilst winter climbing in Spain and would like to thank all those customers who tolerated that and especially those who thought it was a good thing.

In 2002 after 10 years of winter seasons, and 4 years of running Facewest from a rented flat we set up some premises and took on our first employee. We toyed with opening a bricks and mortar shop but decided that distance selling technical gear was what we were good at and what we would stick to. Backcountry ski gear went from strength to strength and avalanche safety gear became more mainstream, along with more customers came more competitors. We expanded our range beyond ski hardwear to include most things you would find in a good independent outdoor shop without losing our commitment to only selling premium products for demanding users.

gebroulaz glacier

Gebroulaz Glacier

Since then Facewest has grown from the 3 of us in a house to 9 of us in a warehouse / office. To grow the Facewest team we have looked for people who share our passion and dedication in adventure sports, so that we can continue to offer our customers the correct level of service and advice that they need to for their adventures. With so much varied experience between us, we can be sure of stocking and recommending the right selection of products. Products from brands that we are confident to use in demanding situations, products that offer ‘value for money’ rather than a ‘low price’. We strive to be a good traditional shop with knowledgeable staff, good stock, great customer service and keen prices. The fact that we are online only should not degrade your experience one little bit. We continue to ski, climb, bike, fly and run as much as we can so that our product range keeps pace with new technologies and developments. We offer the best prices we can without sacrificing the excellent customer service that our demanding customers deserve. We still love what we do and we still get out and lay down tracks like these.

powder tracks

Powder tracks

If you have shopped with us before then thank you, and if you are considering doing so for the first time then please test us out – you won’t be disappointed.

Wingsuits, Rescue Dogs, and a Crazy Bungee

Check out these awesome videos from the web this week

Absolute insanity – A wingsuit flight under the Aiguille du Midi bridge.

Man’s best friend – These rescue dogs are amazing.

New to Tignes – Brilliant, if you fancy injuring yourself!

Don’t miss a thing from Facewest.co.uk. Join us on both Facebook and Twitter.

New in: Care Plus Water Filter

We’ve just added a new water filter to our collection. This new and extremely innovative filter from Care Plus is ingenious in it’s design, and could possibly be the best value-for-money water filter on the market!


Allowing you to drink safely from any water source, the Care Plus water filter uses advanced technology to capture harmful bacteria and protoza, and fits in the palm of your hand. Supplied with a squeeze pouch and drinking straw, the filter can be used in 4 different ways:

1) Affix to the squeeze pouch for simple, no hose, no pump drinking.
2) Attach the drinking straw for direct refreshment from a freshwater source.
3) Screw onto disposable bottles or taps.
4) Inline on a hydration bladder.

This filter has the smallest pore diameter of any filter (0.1 micron membrane), using unique hollow-fibre technology for super effective filtration with a remarkable flowrate of 1.7 litres per minute. Furthermore, the filter has a huge filtration capacity of 375,000 litres, and cleaning is a breeze, using only clean water and the provided syringe to back-wash the filter and have it ready for use all over again.

Check out the video of the Care Plus water filter in action:

ISPO Winner
The Care Plus filter is also an ISPO Award Winner – Outdoor Trekking Equipment 2014/2015.

Care Plus Water Filter Features

  • Captures harmful bacteria and protozoa
  • Capacity 375,000 litres
  • 0.1 micron membrane filter (pore diameter)
  • Through-flow speed 1.7 litres/minute
  • Ultra light, 65 grams
  • Fits in the palm of your hand
  • Flush-back system for longer lifespan

Click here for full Care Plus water filter details.

Click here for our full range of water filters.

WIN a Montane Medusa 32 pack

Medusa 32

Buy any Montane product in January and you’ll automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a Montane Medusa 32 mountaineering pack worth £80.


The Medusa 32 is a lighter weight fully featured pack for climbing, mountaineering and hiking. Montane haven’t compromised on comfort or features yet have kept the weight of the pack down to less than 1 kg.

The Medusa 32 has all the features you would expect in a top-quality pack, with an emphasis on ease of use and lack of ‘clutter’. The main pack body is made from hardwearing Raptor fabric, with a reinforced base – great for taking abuse from rocks. A stretch band around the base of the lid gives a streamlined finish to the pack, no matter how much you have in it. The lid pocket faces outwards for ease of access and there is also a zipped pocket on one hip belt, as well as stretch water bottle pouches and an inside lid pocket.

To be in with a chance of winning this great prize all you need to do is purchase any item from our Montane range this month and you’re automatically entered into the draw – it’s that simple!


Click here to see the range


The winner will be announced on Monday 2nd February. Good luck!

Entries close midnight Saturday 31st January 2015. All entrants must have purchased at least one Montane item from Facewest.co.uk within the allocated time period.


Happy New Year


As 2014 draws to a close, we’re looking forward to the new year ahead, and the exciting things we have planned.

But first, we thought we’d ask you what you would like to see more of in 2015. Do you have any suggestions on where we could improve? Was there anything you particularly liked over this past year? We’d appreciate any feedback you may like to share, as we always seek to improve in every way that we can!

So go on, take a minute and let us know what you think. Comment below, or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.


All of us at Facewest.co.uk would like to wish you a very happy new year, and all the best for 2015!


Happy New Year