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R. B. Jones (England, UK)
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Best LED Headlamp Torch By Lighting Dynasty-Super Bright Head Mounted Led Torch With Adjustable Strap-High Quality, Strong Light-Perfect For Running, Hiking, Cycling, Hunting, Backpacking, Reading
Best LED Headlamp Torch By Lighting Dynasty-Super Bright Head Mounted Led Torch With Adjustable Strap-High Quality, Strong Light-Perfect For Running, Hiking, Cycling, Hunting, Backpacking, Reading

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's good value for the money, 26 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's good value for the money. There are about 10 LEDs, and the lamp is insanely bright. It's a floodlight, rather than a spotlight, but it's so bright you can still see a decent distance. It's a white light, rather than the yellowish light you get from ye olde incandescent lamps.

Only two brightness levels, plus a strobe. The lower level is still pretty darn bright, and seems to be from dimming all the LEDs, rather than turning some of them off. I'd have liked to have a mode which is much dimmer (e.g. for reading while sharing a shelter with others), and conserving battery. There's also no red light as some of these lamps have, to use to see without waking others.

Main complaint is that the headband seems to be designed for small children or sufferers of microcephaly (i.e. it's SMALL). It stretches, but then it's uncomfortably tight. I'm going to have to cut the band and sew in an extra piece of elastic.

Probably wouldn't buy it again. Would get something that can go dimmer and has better battery life.


Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite SOL Mattress - Silver/Limon, Regular
Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite SOL Mattress - Silver/Limon, Regular
Offered by FaceWest Ltd
Price: £37.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light weight is its main advantage, 26 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'll write this as a comparison with a point of reference I have, which is a Vango Trek 3 Standard, a cheap self-inflating mat that I had before. I spent this afternoon lying on both side-by-side in my tent...

Thermarest advantages:
- half the weight (410 vs 841)
- slightly quicker to roll out
- quicker to put away
- no chance of getting punctures
- can use as a small seat in folded form

Vango advantages:
- much comfier
- packs much smaller
- half the price

I can't comment on relative thermal insulation, since I haven't been able to compare them in cold conditions.

This model is a good option if you want a light, reliable pad for long-distance hiking. On the other hand, if you're not moving around a lot, so weight and packing time aren't important, the Vango is much more comfortable, and cheaper.

I'm going away on a long trip and I'm really tempted to take the Vango: it's so comfortable that you can really look forward to lying on it at the end of the day. The Thermarest isn't uncomfortable, it's just not actively comfortable in the same way. You get used to what you have though, and I'll probably end up taking the Thermarest just for its weight-saving. You can get really light blow-ups as well, but they're very expensive.

I'd also consider the thick roll-up mats you can get from Decathlon for £10. They weigh about the same as the Thermarest, and roll up to a similar size. There's also an even lighter and thinner version for £5.


Vango Mesh Internal Rucksack Bags - Green/Red/Blue
Vango Mesh Internal Rucksack Bags - Green/Red/Blue
Offered by Megabrokers
Price: £10.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as big as advertised, and too heavy, 25 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are sturdy bags with a quality feel to them. But I think they're a fail for their intended purpose of rucksack bags.

Weight:
As every backpacker knows, keeping weight down to a minimum is essential. I was surprised when I felt how heavy these bags are, so I weighed them. Weights in grams.
Blue: 28, 37 (damp)
Red: 55, 91 (damp)
Green: 116

So for the three you're packing an extra 199 g, or maybe 300+ g if they get wet. Might not sound like a lot, but it's significant on a long trek, where for example, people take titanium cutlery instead of steel, to shave off a few grams from their pack. They get significantly heavier if you get them wet. Why make a bag from a water-absorbent material anyway?

Size:
These aren't as advertised. I measured the capacities of the smaller two by placing a large plastic bag inside, filling with water, pulling the drawstring, and weighing them to find the volume of water. Volumes in litres:
Blue: 3 advertised, 2.17 measured
Red 10 advertised, 7.7 measured
Green 43 advertised, 24 estimated*

So I am trying to think of something nice to say about them. Well, they are nice colours. And the netting makes them more flexible in shape than a thin nylon bag, so they'll fill up the spaces in your rucksack better. But the stuff sack for my Vango sleeping bag must be at least 10 l in capacity, is fully waterproof, won't absorb water, and is only 36 g in weight. Make lighter, waterproof bags like those, or go the other way, and make ultra-light non-waterproof bags out of non-absorbent fibre with a much larger net.

* estimate based on fact that volume scales on the 3/2 power with surface area, and the assumption that the surface area of the filled bag is proportional to its weight (since it's the same material). Using the weight and area of the red bag, green volume = (116/55)^(3/2)*7.7 = 23.6
Comment Comment | Permalink


Vango Hard Anodised Adventure Cook Kit with Fry Pan and Lid - Grey
Vango Hard Anodised Adventure Cook Kit with Fry Pan and Lid - Grey
Price: £27.04

4.0 out of 5 stars but initial impressions are good. The pots have a nice quality feel to ..., 25 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm taking this (minus the larger pan) off with me on a long hiking expedition, so maybe I'll update this review on my return, but initial impressions are good. The pots have a nice quality feel to them.

A couple of things I'd change:
1. Have liquid measurements within the pots
2. Add some straining holes at the edge of the lid on the opposite side to the steam holes. You need to be able to strain those noodles!


Highlander Storage Kit - White
Highlander Storage Kit - White
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cheap but expensive, 25 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Price paid: £4.99. The set consists of:
1x 120 ml bottle
2x 75 ml bottle with pourable lid
2x 25 ml bottle
2x "mini storage tub"
A mesh storage bag with a zip

The bottles are made of a flexible, slightly cloudy plastic; I suspect it's the same stuff they make school glue bottles from. Which is good, because you'll need to squeeze to get stuff out of them. The finish on the bottles looks cheap, with rough seams, and they are covered in little dents and scratches, as if they've been recycled from some former use. They smell OK. The tops seem airtight so long as you screw them down very tightly.

The tubs look pretty useless. The top on one of them pops off too easily. There's no seal so you couldn't keep liquid or powder in them. In fact, I can't think of anything you'd want to store in them. I suppose I'll just bin them.

The bag is poor quality, in particular the stitching, and the way the elastic holding the bottles in place is stitched directly to the mesh. It looks like it will last about five minutes in the field. The design is poor too since one of the bottles has to be secured sideways, and the tubs have to be shoved in sideways with no way to secure them. There's not sufficient space between the bottles to fold the whole bag in half, with bottles in it, which would have given you more packing options for your bag.

BUT IT'S ONLY A FIVER, I hear you shouting. Yes, but the whole kit looks like it could have been produced for 20p, and it's not like a few bottles in a bag is some patented invention requiring expensive R&D. Also, shortly after ordering, I picked up a similar set of bottles from Poundland for a fifth the price, consisting of 3x 100 ml bottles, and 2x 80 ml bottles, one with a "soap dispenser" top, and one with a spray pump, in a nice clear ziplock bag.

This set would be OK value in the pound shop, or a Christmas cracker. I'll give it a star over the minimum for the potential usefulness of being squeezy bottles, rather than the more solid clear ones you get in air travel sets. But overall, it's disappointing quality for the price.


Haoponer 7-Port USB 2.0 Hub High Speed ON/OFF Sharing Switch For PC Laptop Black
Haoponer 7-Port USB 2.0 Hub High Speed ON/OFF Sharing Switch For PC Laptop Black
Offered by HaoBoElectronic
Price: £5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor build quality, 10 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
- I like the presence of switches, specifically so that I can leave a backup hard disk plugged in, but not spinning when I don't need it.
- The bright blue LEDs don't serve any real purpose, since switch position tells you whether a port is "on" or not, and are distracting, but you can put something over them if this is a problem.
- It doesn't come with a power supply, so you can't really use it for charging things.

This product might be OK if it worked, but the one I got didn't:
- one of the USB ports didn't work at all
- others would disconnect temporarily given a slight wiggle, or plugging or unplugging something on one of the other ports.

So it seems like the build quality is not good and there might be some dodgy soldering. Maybe you'll be lucky and get one that works, but I'll be opting for something a bit more solid.


SYMA X5SC WHITE QUADCOPTER WITH 2 MEGAPIXEL HD CAMERA 4GB SD CARD HEADLESS MODE FUNCTION
SYMA X5SC WHITE QUADCOPTER WITH 2 MEGAPIXEL HD CAMERA 4GB SD CARD HEADLESS MODE FUNCTION
Offered by waimay-eu
Price: £34.07

4.0 out of 5 stars Good beginner's quad; some reliability issues, 2 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Price paid: £30.99

If you're looking for a beginner's budget quadcopter, this is a good one to get. It's really great what you can get for £40 these days (you really need to buy a few extra batteries as well, which brings the price up).

I've done quite a lot of research and apparently this is easy to fly compared to others, and it's light enough not to do much damage to itself or anything else when it crashes. However you should definitely do some practice indoors to start with, and when you do take it outside, make sure it's not windy and you keep it at low altitude (say, head-height). We learnt the hard way, with several long searches after it "took off" in the wrong direction over the tops of trees!

The camera quality is surprisingly OK. Not really HD, but totally adequate for what it is, i.e. a bit of fun. Impressive that it comes with a 4 GB SD card. For better quality you need a bigger quad with more power, that can lift something like a GoPro (or spend over £400 on a DJI Phantom!). But you should definitely start with one of these as a beginner.

Unfortunately I have to knock off a star because, while it was reliable most of the time, we did get some problems with it seemingly suddenly losing contact with the transmitter and falling out of the sky, when it wasn't really very far away (maybe 20 m). I'm not sure if it's interference from home WiFi systems, or some other problem. Then one of the motors died. I'd only had the thing a week. Even though it's only £31, I'd expect it to last longer than 15 flights. So it's going back as faulty, and I'm going to try a different model to see if it's more reliable.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2016 9:32 AM BST


AKU Unisex Adults' NEF GTX Low Trekking and Walking Shoes Grey Size: 10.5 UK
AKU Unisex Adults' NEF GTX Low Trekking and Walking Shoes Grey Size: 10.5 UK

4.0 out of 5 stars Good shoe, 27 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
edit: Review is based on the price I paid, which was £90. Price seems to have gone up now.

They seem well-made, are comfortable, have a handy leather loop for pulling on, and are Gore-tex so should be waterproof. They're good-looking, but I've a feeling the suede might get stained and stop looking quite so neat once it gets a little rain or moisture on it.

The cut feels very low around the ankle. I'd have liked a bit more support and protection here on a trekking shoe.

I have some doubts over the ruggedness and durability. The grip pattern on the sole is shallow and sparse, so it looks like it will wear out quickly.

These don't seem really suitable for hiking; I'll probably just wear as a casual shoe. Although, I only just got them so haven't been able to put them to a serious test.

I ordered two pairs, one size 10.5 and one size 11. I received size 10 and 10.5, which are US size 10.5 and 11. So they messed up the sizes - but fortunately for me the 10.5 fits well.


Panoply Froment Elara01 Fall Arrest Safety Screw Karabiner - 17mm Opening
Panoply Froment Elara01 Fall Arrest Safety Screw Karabiner - 17mm Opening
Offered by WorkwearWorld
Price: £5.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Good carabiner, 27 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Seem sturdy, and do the job of hanging a hammock easily. I paid £4 each in summer 2015, thought the price seems to have risen since then.


Merrell Annex, Men's Lace-Up Track and Field Shoes - Tortoise Shell, 10.5 UK
Merrell Annex, Men's Lace-Up Track and Field Shoes - Tortoise Shell, 10.5 UK
Price: £61.46

2.0 out of 5 stars Bad fit, 27 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These just fitted badly. There is a weird lump that digs into the inside of your arch - and not in a comfy, supportive way. It's like they've just designed the shoe in the wrong shape. Have never felt this in any other shoe. Also, the heel tends to slip down while walking. The tongue isn't attached to the sides of the shoe as it is on many other shoes. There's no loop at the back for pulling them on.

As you can probably tell, I didn't like these, so I returned them. Hooray for Amazon free returns!


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