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Xtro Jon (Derbyshire England)

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SealSkinz Men's All Season Gloves
SealSkinz Men's All Season Gloves
Price: 14.11 - 39.11

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spot On, 2 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I wanted a glove that would keep my hands dry, protected from windchill, and be reasonably warm during active days out in hill, moor and mountain. Comfort and dexterity also rated high on my requirements too. These Sealskinz have met all four requirements and are a pleasure to wear.
The gloves are waterproof when worn under the cuff of a fully waterproof jacket. Any waterproof glove is vulnerable to water ingress at the wrist area. Waterproof jackets can often allow water through the cuffs and lower sleeves during heavy sustained rain unless they are reproofed regularly. This water will travel down your arm and into the glove you are wearing giving the impression that the glove has failed when actually it is the jacket that is at fault.
I would suggest to anyone who has found these gloves let in water to check the integrity of their jackets waterproofing just to be sure. If your coat is in good order and you make sure the glove ALWAYS remains under a sealed (not loose) cuff then water will not get inside these gloves to your hand. If after checking the above you are still suffering water ingress in these gloves then you must get them replaced they can only be faulty, because they do work.
A word on the warmth of the gloves, you will note my requirement was 'reasonably warm'. An all season waterproof glove needs to be comfortable during wet weather all year round. To achieve this there will always be a compromise and the user must decide if that compromise suits their needs. The thermal rating on the gloves packaging says three out of five which puts them bang in the middle of the scale. That is exactly where I would expect a glove claiming to be 'All Season'. It lets me know that for the most part I can wear these gloves all year round, from summer storms to winter deluge and my hands will remain dry and comfortable. If you are wanting a full winter glove then that is what you must buy. 'All season' means usable in all seasons, not just one. I always carry winter rated gloves in my pack during the winter months in case of extreme cold but to be fair during active use even in cold, wet and windy conditions I have found these Sealskinz to be as my review title says, spot on.

Osprey Kestral 38 Backpack - Conifer Green
Osprey Kestral 38 Backpack - Conifer Green
Price: 84.99 - 110.46

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Versatile And Very Comfortable, 16 Feb 2013
The single most telling thing about any kit you use is what you would do if anything happend to it causing you to need to replace it. Now don't get me wrong the need to replace this bag would have to be a pretty unusual occurance because it is so well made and sturdy that you will not wear it out.

The simple fact is that if my Kestrel 38 spontaneosly combusted tomorrow (one of the very few things I could imagine challenging it's build quality!) then I would be buying a new one the same day without hesitation.
This bag fits to my back like a harness, compresses down when lightly loaded but still fits masses of gear inside neatly when fully loaded, the weight is distributed perfectly on my body allowing me to forget I'm wearing it (always a sign of a great pack), if at the moment you keep thinking "I'll be glad to get this bag off my back when I stop" then I can only say give one of these backpacks a try because there is no need to put up with discomfort.

The bag has many features which granted are not unique but nonetheless tick all the boxes as 'must haves' when it comes to packs: good quality materials, effective comression straps, stretchy pockets, hydration compatable (fits other makes of hydration bladders not just Ospreys own system), fitted raincover, a zipped compartment in the lid for stowing quick access items such as gloves etc. Add to all this one of the packs more unique features, the 'Stow On The Go' walking pole holders, I won't go into detail how they work but suffice to say they are simple to use, fully effective and are a feature that ought to be on all bags large enough to accept them, then what I have is a pack perfect for my needs.

I'm sure there are many other high quality packs out there that compare to the Osprey Kestrel 38 but I have no reason to study this because the only thing I would want to know if I were looking for a new pack would be 'Where do I get a new Osprey 38 from and how fast can they get it to me'.

Scarpa SL Activ Mens Walking Boots
Scarpa SL Activ Mens Walking Boots

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reassuring, 2 Feb 2013
I have written 'reassuring' as my title to this review, a strange term to describe a walking boot but I'll explain:

When fording a stream it is reassuring to know that once committed your foot won't just slide away as soon as you put any weight on it.

When contouring a steep slope it is reassuring when the sole of your boot bites positively into the surface and your ankle sits well supported.

When climbing down a gully it is reassuring that you can place your feet with precision and confidence and know that if you test your footing and it feels safe then you can proceed without issue.

When walking on wet/icy ground it is reassuring to know that you won't be wasting energy losing your footing every few steps or suffering the extra drain on your energy the increased concentration you need causes when this keeps happening.

When wet conditions are encountered it is reassuring to know that your feet will remain dry due to the quality of the leather and construction of your boots and not because you are relying on a Gore Tex liner which although good, is nowhere near as breathable and sweat resistant as the liner in these SL Activ's.

When on long walks it is reassuring to know that your feet will be comfortable and supported all day long and that the boot you are wearing feels like part of your foot, not, like some, feel like you have a plaster cast on, or to the other extreme, a pair of Sunday market trainers.(Nothing against Sunday market trainers but they ain't any good for hill and mountain!)

I could go on but I would just be repeating what the other positive reviews have already said.

The Scarpa SL Activ then: 'reassuring', an unusal description but like the boot it refers to, it does the job perfectly.

Mammut Men'S Mt.Trail Xt Gtx Hiking Boot
Mammut Men'S Mt.Trail Xt Gtx Hiking Boot
Price: 189.60 - 240.00

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Should Perform Better At This Price, 2 Feb 2013
Firstly many people know about the problems in the past of the sole peeling away on these boots (Google it for more info). Mine have not peeled but the sole has worn far more in 6 months use than it ought to have.
However the issue of durability is not my main concern with this boot. My main issue is the way they perform during demanding use, a purpose that any boot in this price range should excel at.
Yes they are waterproof, yes they are reasonably comfortable staight from the box, yes they look good and yes the sole rolls beautifully during level walking. Unfortunately that same sole forgets to grip when wet, particularly on rock.
Now whichever way you look at it in any walking boot poor performance on wet rock is a flaw, but in a high end boot like this it is inexcusable. The surface you are treading on does not even need to be wet, I have put my foot in a shallow stream then slipped on dry rock because the boot was wet.
Add to this that the boot feels cumbersome when it is on, the ankle support is poor for a boot of this stiffness and the sole does not bite into the hillside enough when contouring on steep slopes, you may find yourself like I did thinking you have misinterpreted what the boot was meant to be used for.
I have had to replace my pair of Mt.Trail because at best they were causing me confidence issues due to constant slipping even on the approach to an ascent, particularly when using cloughs or gulleys, but in worse case scenario they have been dangerous (bad traction at the top of a 25ft waterfall which I had gone around and not, I haisten to add, attempted to climb).
I know conditions and terrain play a big part in boot performance but the Mt Trail have been consitently bad culminating with me slipping and hitting my fist into a dry stone wall (only one winner there!) and my previous (cheaper) boots performed much better in the same environment.
To top it all the boot I have replaced the Mt Trail with is the Scarpa SL Activ and the Scarpas are in a completely different league, better grip, more precise foot placement, real ankle support, the list goes on, and yes personal preferece plays its part when saying what one person likes better in one make of boot compared with another but when two types of boots are so close in price and intended purpose as the Mammut and the Scarpas I'm afraid that when only the Scarpas are fully usable for that intended purpose it leaves a damning indictment on the Mammuts whatever your personal preference.

Berghaus Unisex Glacier Gaiter
Berghaus Unisex Glacier Gaiter
Price: 24.43 - 29.95

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars In a word VELCRO, 22 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Berghaus have a well earned reputation for quality outdoor garments and I would not for one minute refute that.
Unfortunatly products like these gaiters help to reinforce the other opinion, that modern Berghaus is starting to become more of a fashion name that inflates the price of an inferior product.
My well worn pair of Trek mates Windermere gaitors needed replacing so I thought I would try the Glacier offering from Berghaus not because of branding but because I thought that velcro strap fastenings would be less abrasive on expensive walking boots than metal buckles and lace hooks.
The big flaw in my brilliant scheme is that I did not forsee the minor issue of the fact that the 15 quid metal buckle/hooked Trek Mates never once let me down where the much more expensive and bigger named Berghaus do so regularly.
This is not opinion, this is not anti Berghaus snobbery, this is not misuse, the simple fact is the velcro does not stay fastend on the lace strap and worse still I end up with the underfoot strap flapping around when that detatches itself.
This is the part where someone posts in comments:- 'Mine where fine perhaps you got a dud' this could be true for all I know but in truth whether I got a dud or not does not change the fact that I should have bought another pair of Windermere's that even without the velcro issues are ten times easier to put on than the Glaciers, have proven to be hard wearing and are much cheaper.

No Title Available

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Garment, Cheesy Name, 5 Jun 2012
I have seen these trousers discribed elsewhere on the net as 'fragile'. The only conclusion I can come to on that opinion is that the reviewer was put off by the lightweight material they are made from or that it was written by Indiana Jones after that lorry dragged him.
Yes the material is light but the use of the durable and stretchy black fabric in all the high wear places really works.
You get comfort and dexterity with plenty of durability, without the weight and/or price tag of garments which at face value may appear harder wearing to the uninitiated.
I have used a pair of these trousers regularly for over a year now for many off path ventures in the Dark Peak area of Derbyshire in all weathers and have never found them wanting in any way.
They fit close where they should but give great freedom of movement due to the design and materials used this makes such a difference when compared to one of craghoppers other popular walking trousers the Kiwi which have a much looser fit but yet have far less dexterity. Now I know none of this makes a great deal of difference to you if you just want a Sunday stroll but even for you the comfort and practicality coupled with a reasonable price tag puts them high on my 'recomended' list.
For those who give these trousers a harder life I can tell you they will take it without doubt.
As with all good outdoor gear the enjoyment of your chosen activity is increased by the garments effectiveness and though it seldom becomes a life or death issue the right gear turns an 'uncomfortable day cut short' into 'a full day enjoyed.'
This last point brings me to my only (petty!) gripe, the name 'Survivor Walking Trousers'. Come on Craghoppers we are not twelve. The Bear Grylls label I have nothing against (so long as a garment does the job I don't care if Paddington Bear endorses it) but I can't help feeling that the name 'Suvivor' may put some people off by making them think that its a little like when car manufacturers write 'Sport' on an ordinary saloon car that only has cosmetic differences to the cheaper model.
Don't be put off by the over dramatic name, these trousers most certainly have substance as well as style!

Dark Peak BMC (British Mountain Map): 1
Dark Peak BMC (British Mountain Map): 1
by Harvey Maps
Edition: Map
Price: 10.84

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not For Everyone Though, 26 Feb 2012
Firstly five stars no question about it. The map is lightweight, weather proof (no need for a mapcase), clear to read with the 1.40000 scale being a very usable scale and it is very easy to unfold and fold back up again.
So why 'not for all' then? Well, the mountain map as opposed to the more common 1.25000 Ordnance Survey map needs a little more map reading skills to get the best from it. This makes the moutain map a little less suited to begginers or people that just enjoy marked footpath walks. If however you like to go off track and/or cover larger areas this map often proves superior to the Ordnance Survey,and that includes the 1.50000 Land Ranger maps which although are as good for area covered on one sheet, the moutain maps colour shaded contours make natural features easier to read.
The glaringly obvious choice of course is to get both this map and the OS of your preference because the two maps really do compliment each other so much and where you find one map limited in a certain aspect the other often fills the gap. A good example of this is where one map shows trackless ground the other may show an intermittent path, very useful to know about when navigating featurless moorland.
So then, if you are only buying one map of the Dark Peak area make sure its the OL1 Explorer map (Ordnance Survey), but to be fair you probably already own that map anyway. This BMC map is a wonderful acompaniment to that essential bit of kit and as time and experience progress you will find yourself using the easier to handle much less cumbersome BMC on its own more and more.
One word of advice, only use the clear plastic cover this map comes in to store it when at home. In the field the cover is unecassary as the BMC map is durable enough to carry in a pocket without a cover and the sharp corners of the provided case could damage material if not careful, particularly delicate waterproof linnings.

No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Deeply Flawed, 20 Feb 2012
Used these gloves in the high moorland area of the Peak District near Black Hill. Now before I begin I know it says 'windproof' and not 'waterproof' in the the description and I set out on a very cold windy morning with full knowledge of this. The fundamental flaw in these gloves showed up when the inevitable driving rain and hail arrived, the gloves became saturated and obviously lost much of their insultion as a result. However this was to be expected and was not too much of a problem as exertion from the days activity helped the gloves keep my hands reasonably warm.
It was when I took the gloves off for a few minutes that I went from a wet but still helping glove to no gloves at all. You see once these gloves get wet and you take them off YOU CANNOT GET THEM BACK ON AGAIN, the linning inside just would not let either of my hands back into the glove. It is nothing to do with the size of the glove (XL and they fit lovely) it seems to be the linning gathers up when wet. They also took a long time to dry out.
To sum up I know a none waterproof glove has its performance impaired once wet and that is an issue you either put up with or buy waterproof, but to not be able to even get the things back on your hands just because they are wet is ridiculous.
In short, walking your dog for an hour or so and want some light comfortable gloves:- maybe.
Spending a winters day in the hills where gear counts:- Leave well alone.
This is the first time my gear has ever let me down, congratulations SealSkinz.

El Revengo (Disc 1)
El Revengo (Disc 1)
Price: 12.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Think You've Heard All Thrash Has To Offer? Two Words: Holy Terror., 2 Dec 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: El Revengo (Disc 1) (MP3 Download)
It does not matter how much you enjoy your music there always comes a time when you seem to have heard it all before. You know the kind of thing I'm talking about when stuff is well played got the right sound but feels a little like 'thrash by numbers'.
The eighties became full of these 'Also Ran' thrash bands and I'm not knocking them cos we loved 'em. However when you hear Holy Terror for the first time you sit up and take notice.
100% thrash metal but so original and fresh, and no, time has not blunted this at all, the cliche 'ahead of its time' must have been invented for Holy Terror.
With 'El Revengo' you get four tracks from the album 'Mind Wars', the whole album 'Terror And Submission' and a load of well recorded great sounding live tracks from both those albums all remastered and all in one package.
This is like the Holy Terror dicovery and believe me it is a journey well worth taking because I garantee you WILL hear somthing you haven't already heard a hundred times before no matter how much of a thrash vetran you are.
What's that you say 'If this Holy Terror are so amazing why were they not really that well known even outside 'The Big Four' thrash bands'. The answer to this is simple I HAVE NO IDEA. I guess thats life.

The Final Frontier
The Final Frontier
Price: 8.99

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Textured and High Quality., 2 Sep 2010
This review is from: The Final Frontier (Audio CD)
I'm a Powerslave man myself so yeah "yawn, yawn this album is not like my favorite etc etc". We all need to admit that Maiden have grown and developed as a band since whichever album or era we like best and that when the quality of the new stuff is this good we can sit back knowing Maiden are still on top of their game.
Iron Maiden are a stadium band these days and this latest album reflects that fact, and no that doesn't mean its self indulgent or bloated. What I'm getting at here is that '..Fontier' sounds like what it is, a top quality album from an experienced big venue band.
The stripped down sound of the eighties albums is there for you to listen to any time you wish, by listening to THOSE albums, but here in 2010 Iron Maiden are still giving us the sounds we all expect yet are not afraid to try a few new twists. Never at any point does 'The Final Frontier' feel lazy or re-heated, you always get the feeling your getting your money's worth and this is not a band just sitting back and letting their name sell an album they sleepwalked through.
So when thinking of buying this album ask yourself:- "Do I like good music that has been written and performed by a band that packs stadiums throughout the world or do I just like the odd early Iron Maiden album which granted was amazing but I can't expect them to only keep remaking my particular favorite in a career spanning decades."
Just buy this disc you'll enjoy it. With 'The Final Frontier' Iron Maiden have stayed true to their old fans but will continue to gain new one's and lets be fair that's why they are one of the biggest bands on earth.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 25, 2010 5:49 PM BST

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