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!

Brunton Hydrogen Reactor

The high tech Brunton Hydrogen Reactor power supply has been reviewed by the ISM.†

We have the Reactor and can also act as a recharging station to refill your fuel cells.

See the Brunton pages.

Hydrogen Reactor

La Sportiva Anakonda Review

A while ago we ran a competition to win a pair of La Sportiva Anakonda running shoes. The lucky winner was Mark from West Yorkshire and he’s kindly sent us a review of his shoes now he’s had chance to get out on the moors and fells and test them out. Here it is:

Mark's Anakondas in use

The La Sportiva Anakonda is manufactured to a high standard. My foot sits low into the shoe which means my foot is feels stable whilst running on uneven ground e.g. tussocks or rocky tracks.

In wet muddy conditions the tread gives good grip and due to the sticky rubber sole it grips better than other fell shoes I have worn. It is breathable and lets water in which for me is not a problem because it drains out well too.

It has a rubber rand around the toe which gives protection if you stub your toes on a stony Lakeland track, especially good when you are tired and canít seem to lift your legs as high. Even though the midsole is thin it felt reasonably cushioned and I could not feel many stones under them.

On a negative note the heel cup is high without any cushioning which rubbed a blister on both feet at first. The heel tab is getting softer with use so this may not be a problem the more the shoe is worn.

Overall I was impressed with the quality of the product and one of the better pure fell shoes I have used. I would recommend them for Lakeland races over mixed terrain.

FREE Chair Kits with Thermarest Mats

Free Thermarest Chair Kits

We have a great new offer on the site – free chair kits with most of our Thermarest sleeping mats! Simply pick your Thermarest mat and it will say on the page if it comes with a chair kit. Basically any mat that isn’t an XL size and is £60+ will get you a chair kit, totally free.

These are great for lounging around on campsites or sitting up in the back of a van, and are worth £30-40 depending on the model, so it’s a great deal! To see our range of Thermarests, click here.

Here’s all the details:

These chair kits are new, as in not used, but not the current design of chair kit. In fact we don’t think they are even the design before the current one. The stock is unlabelled and unboxed but otherwise in a ‘like new’ condition. The 20″ / 51cm chair kits are of the style of the current Trekker Lounge Kit which allows your mat to be used as a chair or bed without removing the mat from the sleeve. The 25″ / 63cm chair kits are similar to the Trekker Chair Kit where the sleeve is used to make a chair but removed to use the mat for sleeping.

If your mat is compatible with one of these kits it says so on the page and we will include one in your delivery. You won’t see it at the checkout because it’s FREE but we will make sure it’s in your delivery. Sorry but these chair kits do not fit the 76cm mats, so you don’t get one.



Getting Midged?

The midges are pretty bad this year – we’ve been getting attacked on evenings out cragging in the dales, weekends in Scotland and even on the ride to work! If you’re getting sick of the little blighters or the itching is driving you mad, don’t worry! We have something to help. Our Care Plus range includes a whole bunch of anti-midge products designed to keep them away and you un-bitten.

Head Net


Getting in your eyes?! You need a Head Net! Designed to be worn over a hat (either a wide brimmed sun hat or baseball cap will work), this simply stops the little guys getting at you. No bites on your nose and no flies in your eyes either, at the bargain price of £7. An essential to keep in your pack.

Anti Insect Natural

A non-chemical option, the Care Plus Anti-Insect Natural Spray works great against midges and other biting insects and won’t melt your sunglasses or watch strap either. It even smells nice! Also available in a roll-on stick version and an 8ml pocket spray.

Anti Insect for Kids

Sensitive skin or got kids? The Anti-Insect For Kids spray uses Saltidin as it’s active ingredient – no DEET! The World Health Organisation claims that saltidin “demonstrates excellent repellent properties comparable to, and often superior to, those of the standard DEET”.

Bite Gel

Got bitten anyway? You don’t need to scratch – the Bite Gel will stop that itching fast using ammonia as the active ingreddient. Also check out the Click Away Bite Relief that uses a tiny electric spark to break down the histamine produced in your body from the bite, relieving itching and swelling.

Lightweight Stove Systems Comparison

There’s a whole range of lightweight, fuel efficient stove systems on the market now. It can be pretty hard to choose, so we’ve compared four of the best. Here’s a video comparing the outdoor ‘real life’ performance of the Optimus Electra FE, Jetboil Sol Titanium, MSR Reactor and Primus Eta Lite.

New Petzl Rope Range

Petzl have brought out a new range of ropes this summer and we have the best ones in stock! All their ropes are ClimbReady coiled – meaning you can just take them out and climb with them without worrying about them twisting. EverFlex treatment stabilizes the core strands to provide excellent handling over time. All the ends are bonded to the core to prevent any slippage. They come in some funky colours too!

Petzl Salsa 8.2mm

Salsa 8.2mm

The Salsa is the definitive trad and alpine rope, certified for use both as a half and twin rope. Available in Coral and Black, a pair of these will see you up any climb in style whether you’re on some alpine granite, ice climbing in Rjukan or cragging in the Lakes. 50 and 60m lengths available. DuraTec Dry Treatment.

Volta 9.2mm

The Volta is one of the most versatile ropes on the market, rated as a single, half and twin and able to handle any adventure you throw at it. Also DuraTec Dry treated for snow and ice use, it’s available in 60m, 70m or a massive 80m length, and in Orange or Black.

Arial 9.5mm

The Arial is a light and durable rope for sport climbing. This won’t weigh you down on the redpoint and has just the right degree of flex to make those clips easily. DuraTec Dry Treatment will help prolong its life. Orange or Black, in 60m, 70m or a forearm-pumping 80m.

Mambo 10.1mm

Designed for cragging and sport climbing, the Mambo is a super durable single rope. The thicker sheath will mean that the rope lasts much longer. Available in Yellow or Blue and in 50m, 60m or 70m lengths.

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