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Pro Review – Petzl Meteor 4


Kenny Grant, Aspirant British Mountain Guide, reviews the Petzl Meteor 4 Climbing Helmet.

Between guiding and my own personal climbing I wear a helmet many days of the year and as well as safety, place a high value on a helmet’s comfort and weight.

The Meteor 4 scores very well in both of these categories for me. Having a fairly large head circumference I struggled with previous versions of the Meteor, finding it tricky to fit a hat underneath for cold climbing. However the shape of the 4 seems to have been tweaked and I find the size 2 is now perfect with or without a hat. The redesign also makes the helmet feel sleeker and lower profile and the new larger vent keep me cooler on boiling hot Alpine days.

As with any foam helmet it is not going to be as strong or durable as a hard shell polycarbonate (be careful when packing the Meteor in your rucksack) but for me it is worth the compromise for the high levels of comfort and very light weight(220g) giving the feeling you aren’t wearing a helmet.

I’ve certainly found that I’ve been inclined to wear my Meteor 4 more than any previous helmets I’ve used…

Kenny (far right) wearing his Meteor 4 in blue

Petzl Meteor 4 Features:

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Soft headband
  • Magnetic buckle
  • Comfortable, breathable foam lining
  • Chinstrap buckle and headband height are adjustable
  • Headband folds into the shell
  • Headlamp can be attached
  • Compatible with the VIZION eye shield

Weight: 220g

Size 1: 48-56cm head circumference
Size 2: 53-61cm head circumference

Available in Turquoise, Raspberry, Blue, Coral


Full Petzl Meteor 4 description here.

Arc’teryx Winter 2015 – 10% OFF

Arc’teryx Winter 2015 – First Look

See the brand new Winter ’15/16 range available at facewest.co.uk.

Manufactured using the highest quality materials and sophisticated construction techniques, this new range really is the pinnacle in winter sports clothing.

Get 10% off RRP by shopping now!

Click the button below to explore the range, or browse by category.

Click here to see the full range

Available while stocks last, we have loads of great clothing and equipment in our massive clearance categories. Up to 60% off top of the range clothing and much more! Click here.

Deal Of The Week – Montane Alpha 100 Jacket


40% Off – save £72

Get the Montane Alpha 100 Jacket for just £108 (RRP £180.00)

The Montane Alpha 100 Jacket is a lightweight and highly breathable jacket that provides protection and warmth for those that are on the move. Ideal for the fast and light Alpine climber or the ski mountaineer it will provide enough warmth to keep you comfortable as you work hard.

The outer Pertex Quantum is light yet durable and provides excellent wind protection. The Alpha 100 is treated with a DWR finish causing light rain and snow to bead and and run off and lined with an internal Peaq fabric to provide comfort as well as moving moisture quickly. The hood is fully adjustable with three points of adjustment and a wired peak for protection. Montane have articulated the arms allowing for good movement without the hem lifting. The two hand pockets are positioned so that they are above a climbing harness or pack hip-belt ensuring accessibility.

Polartec Alpha is a very lightweight insulation that’s ideal for when you’re working hard. Made from a light woven fleece it is highly breathable and will wick moisture fast. Alpha is not as warm as Primaloft, Coreloft or down but is ideal when you want more than just a windshirt but with low bulk and insulating properties.

Grab one while you can – click here

Deal Of The Week – inov8 Race Ultra Vest for just £48

Click here

40% Off – save £32

Get the Inov8 Race Ultra Vest for just £48 (RRP £80.00)

The Inov8 Race Ultra Vest is a fully breathable all mesh race vest ideal for ultra distance running. It comes complete with a 2 litre bladder with an insulated tube plus two 500ml flat bottles. To the rear is a large stretch mesh pocket along with bungee, ideal for stashing waterproofs, hats and gloves. The shoulder straps also have mesh pockets that are ideal for storing gels and energy bars.

A close and comfortable fit is always achieved as the the Ultra Vest has six adjustable straps, two to the front and four to the rear/side. Combined with shaped shoulder straps this vest has a superb fit and will remain static and comfortable as you run.

★★★★★ - “What a fantastic product. It fits perfectly and doesn’t move at all. So many pockets to put gels, snacks, keys, waterproof etc. Inov8 have thought of everything!”

Laura, Stamford

There are a very limited number available, so don’t delay.

Want to be amongst the first to hear about these amazing deals? Subscribe to the mailing list below





Leatherman Tools – Big discounts


Leatherman Seconds on offer

These tools are all new and unused, but either contain engraving mistakes or the engraving itself did not quite pass our quality control. Therefore we’ve made them all available to purchase at amazing knock-down prices!


  • Leatherman Wingman – Save £19.96


  • Leatherman Sidekick & Rebar – Save £29.95


  • Leatherman Wave – Save £49.96


  • Leatherman Surge – Save £59.95


  • Leatherman Charge TTI – Save £89.96


All these tools still come with the usual Leatherman quality and 25 year warranty.

Click here to see what’s on offer






Pro Review – Wild Country Super Light Offset Rocks


CGR take a look at the new Wild Country Offset Rocks to see if they shed some grams.

Less is more. Subtle, super light and secure, Super light Offset Rocks are by far the lightest passive pro per size in the world. I bought a set of Wild Country Super light Rocks as soon as they came out several years ago. Since then they have become a staple and invaluable part of my rack. I keep them with my normal wires so I have three of everything on the lower sizes with minimal weight gain. They have proved their worth on those awkward, shallow slots where a full sized rock just won’t fit right.

When I’m on a ‘moving mountain’ day – a day where we are covering a lot of ground at up to VS (5.7), moving fast and often simul climbing I ditch the full size rocks 1-6 completely and just carry Superlights. With thinner wire, shallow profile and Wild Country standard colour coding they have been a constant on my rack for many a season.

So how do the new Wild Country Super light Offset Rocks compliment the original Super light Rocks? Firstly they are exactly what they say on the tin – super light. The set, which comes in sizes Rock 5 to 10 weighs in on the CGR scales at a mere 160g (the official weight is 163g). Normal set of Rocks 5-10 is 284g and that’s older rocks so you add a few extra grams onto that so you are saving a 124g in weight.

superlight Superlight is the name of the game. A full set of 5 rocks for 160g!

On top of that you are adding to the versatility of the range as the offset nature means that you can fiddle the Wild Country Offset Rocks into even more awkward cracks and slots. They really come into play when you are faced with a shallow, flared crack that you would normally give up on and move past.

In side profile they are the same size as a standard Rock of that size so a Rock 10 and Super light Rock 10 are the same. So the Super light Offset will work as a normal Rock 10 in a normal placing position. At the front the Rock 10 reduces down to a Rock 6 and at the back it’s just in between a Rock 8 and 9. So with the width being just 80% of a Rock 10 and the thinner wire and walls you get a big reduction in weight and a small reduction of 1kN in the breaking strength.

Thinner walls but the same size with very little loss of holding strength.

Overall rating: ★★★★★

I have no reservations in giving these 5 stars, they are brilliant and the fact that they are flying off the retailers shelves is testament to how popular they are. The only issue I have (which I haven’t tested I might add) is that if you take a big fall onto one of these they could be difficult to remove.

So I’m going to re-arrange my rack in the following ways – I usually carry a full set of Rocks from 1-10 as well as a set of DMM wires 1-10. On top of that I carry a full set of Wild Country Super light Rocks 1-6. The changes I have made and am still working with are I have replaced my Rocks 5-10 and Super light Rocks 5 and 6 with the Offset Rocks with a total weight saving of 170g.

Climbing Gear Reviews are an independent reviewer of climbing, skiing and mountaineering equipment. Fronted by Kevin Avery, a trainee IFMGA mountain guide and former Gear Editor at UKClimbing.com, alongside Yorkshire based MIA Dave Sarkar, they provide completely honest and 100% impartial reviews. Click here to see their page.

Wild Country Super Light Offset Rocks Features:

  • Offset tapered sides
  • Thinner wire
  • 7075 alloy for easier removal
  • Classic Wild Country curve
  • Colour coded anodizing

Full Wild Country Super Light Offset Rocks description and strength specifications here.

Pieps Transceiver Software Update Available


Pieps have just released a new software update (to software version 3.0) for the both the DSP Sport and the DSP Pro.  Version 3.0 includes the following additional features:

• Auto Revert Search-to-send for DSP SPORT

• Transmit Parameter Check for DSP PRO

• Optimization of software for improved performance

You can read about the new updates in more detail by clicking HERE.

If you need your transceiver to be updated then we are able to that at our offices. Details and the necessary form can be found HERE.

Our transceiver update service is also available for checks and updates on updateable Ortovox and Mammut transceivers.

Deal Of The Week – Suunto Ambit2 HR for just £199!


Get the Suunto Ambit 2 HR with 51% off the RRP – available while stocks last!


51% Off!

£199 - save £210

Suunto Ambit2 Silver HR
RRP £409.00

Suunto Ambit2 is the GPS for explorers and athletes. All you need for outdoor sports - navigation, speed, heart rate, altitude, weather conditions and features forrunning, biking and swimming. Thousands of Suunto Apps available to add new functionalities to your watch. Packed in a glass fiber reinforced casing with a battery life of 24 hours with GPS, Ambit2 is ready for any adventure.

  • Full-featured GPS
  • GPS corrected barometric altitude
  • Total ascent/descent
  • Barometric pressure and graph
  • Altitude graph

This fantastic Ambit2 offer includes a Dual Comfort Heart Rate Belt with disturbance free ANT transmission and analogue uncoded transmission which is compatible with most gym equipment.

Click here to get yours

Pro Review – Arc’teryx Acrux² FL GTX


Dave from Climbing Gear Reviews UK tries out the new approach shoes from Arc’teryx.

“The revolutionary new Acrux² FL GTX approach shoes from Arc’teryx had the outdoor industry abuzz when first announced, so how did they perform?”

When Kev announced that the new Arc’teryx shoes had arrived I was more than a little excited, after all Arc’teryx have developed an enviable reputation with their technical clothing and it was going to be interesting to see how this transferred to footwear. The shoes certainly looked different, to be honest they looked more street shoe than ‘trainer’ and on their first outing up to The Cliff I was asked if I’d escaped from Sunday School by one of my more comedic friends.

On first wearing the Acrux² FL GTX I was a bit nonplussed, they felt very stiff (almost clumpy) and weight-wise were at the upper end of what I would consider acceptable as an approach shoe. To be honest on first wearing I was not as impressed as I was expecting. Comfort wise the removable stretch GoreTex liner was amazing, no pressure points or rough edges just a beautifully uniform cradling of my foot. A closer examination of the outer shoe revealed the typical Arc’teryx attention to detail and their signature ‘laminated’ construction; there is no stitching to blow out or allow ingress of water anywhere on the upper. It was clear that these were built to last with burly synthetic uppers and minimal seams to reduce weak points. The sole is a Vibram Arc’teryx approach sole with the now ubiquitous blocked ‘climbing zone’ along the inside fore edge. Overall there is a lot of clever stuff going on and rather than regurgitate the technical specs just take a look at ‘Evolution in Action‘ page on the Arc’teryx site. You can also buy additional liners from Arc’teryx including insulated and bootie versions, I’m not sure how these would effect the fit of the shoe but they further add to the shoes versatility. The robust build quality may initially be off-putting to people used to the virtually instant comfort of modern trainers. I can quite happily buy a pair of trail/fell shoes in the morning and run 15km with them at lunchtime. However with the Acrux² FL GTX there is a distinct break-in period, much like a walking or mountaineering boot. For myself it took about a week before the stiff clumpy feeling disappeared and I started to appreciate the qualities of the shoe. Be aware that the synthetic uppers are not going to ‘give’ very much, far less than a leather or lightweight synthetic approach shoe so don’t bargain on these stretching out or moulding to your feet much at all. The corollary of this is that you can buy them with the confidence that they will maintain their fit and performance. The smooth laminated upper had another unexpected benefit in that it was extremely easy to clean, with no stitched bands or reinforcing there was little opportunity for dirt to become lodged so you can just wipe them clean with a damp cloth.

Looking smart and feeling comfy approaching the crag in the Lakes

So how did the Acrux² FL GTXs perform? Throughout the test period I used them across a variety of typical British terrain, short approaches to local crags as well as longer hour plus walk-ins to mountain crags in the Lakes. The Acrux² FL GTX handled a wide variety of terrain brilliantly, the soles provided excellent friction on rocky terrain but also coped well on the slippery grass/mud which is so often the undoing of approach shoes designed for drier climes. Climbing performance is good too – certainly on a par with other approach shoes though the ‘double boot’ construction reduces sensitivity and there is a little more lateral roll when inside edging compared to conventionally built shoes.

The Acrux² FL climb well with their sticky Vibram soles

The shoes proved very waterproof up to the point where you go in deeper than the toe box when water will get into the outer at the laces, your feet will remain dry protected by the inner but it is a slightly odd feeling! Walking through long damp grass they were excellent. Being all synthetic and with a removable bootie it is also very easy to dry them at the base of the crag – be careful the lightweight booties don’t blow away though! The booties will do double duty as a hut boot if staying in mountain huts. The shoes were very comfortable though perhaps a little snug on my E width feet (the Arc’teryx last is a standard medium D fitting) and have proved very durable.

So what are the down sides. Well although these are tagged as FL – fast and light they are hefty. In fact a single size 9 weighs 517 grams which more than a pair of my normal trail shoes. This is especially telling when you clip them to your harness and they wouldn’t be my first choice for routes where I was expecting to carry them up. The Acrux² GTX FL is also a very warm shoe, although it breaths better than other GoreTex shoes I’ve used you have still got large areas on impermeable material and a double boot construction to add insulation. I won’t be taking them to the south of France or even the Alps this summer but you can bet they will be coming with me on my winter trips – perfect for dealing with slushy snow on apres climb walks into Cogne or Kandersteg to buy pizza, or wandering around Fort Bill in the rain to get fish and chips. The other issue for most climbers with Acrux² FL GTX is the price, at £225.00 they are more than double the price of most conventional approach shoes.

Overall the Acrux² FL GTX is a waterproof, tough, versatile approach shoe built to the exceptional high standards you expect from Arc’teryx. There are some interesting technical aspects that could make it a winner depending on your needs but it is not light and the price reflects the innovation and build. They are definitely an impressive debut into the footwear market. The laminated upper with liner design shows a lot of potential and if Kev’s reports from the Arc’teryx Alpine Academy are anything to go on a lightweight alpine boot may realise its true potential.

Climbing Gear Reviews are an independent reviewer of climbing, skiing and mountaineering equipment. Fronted by Kevin Avery, a trainee IFMGA mountain guide and former Gear Editor at UKClimbing.com, alongside Yorkshire based MIA Dave Sarkar, they provide completely honest and 100% impartial reviews. Click here to see their page.

Arcteryx Acrux² FL GTX Features:

  • Removable stretch waterproof Gore-Tex liner
  • PU coated Nylon yarns
  • TPU high abrasion protection films
  • 3D moulded heel and toe cap
  • Injected EVA midsole
  • Injected TPU chassis
  • Vibram Approach Megagrip sole compound

Colour: Black / Big Surf
Weight: 480g (Size UK 8.5)

Full Arc’teryx Acrux² FL GTX description here.

Summer 2015 Sale – facewest.co.uk

Limited Stock Available

It’s that time once again, where all Summer 2015 stock is now available with 25% off the RRP.




Not only that, but you can get Summer ’14 items at 60% off.