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K Wren "K Wren" (Welsh borders)
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Sprayway Womens Rana Crew Grey/Thistle 12
Sprayway Womens Rana Crew Grey/Thistle 12
Offered by Outdoor Action Ltd
Price: £28.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Very warm baselayer tops with no itchiness and a warm, stretchy rib-finish, 26 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sprayway Womens Rana Crew (Misc.)
I've long been a devotee of merino wool as a baselayer and wear it from about September to April enjoying its warmth in cooler weather and wicking properties in milder temperatures.

Normally I've worn Icebreaker to date but these caught my eye as being somewhat cheaper - and I have been so delighted by their quality that I've now ordered three in addition to my original purchase. Yes - they are very good!

The tops have a rib finish rather than the smoother finish of the Icebreaker Oasis range and actually feel warmer in cool temperatures - perhaps the rib increases the surface area? It certainly seems to perform well.

The merino wool is soft against my skin and causes no itching or irritation. They can be machine-washed at 40°C and dry quickly naturally (overnight on a clothes airer), and there is no shrinkage at all.

I'm a UK size 12 with a 34" chest and ordered the size 12. This fits well but possibly a 10 would also fit due to the stretchiness provided by the rib construction.

A very good buy and will last for years. Recommended.


Honeywell Air Purifier True HEPA Allergen Remover HPA100WE
Honeywell Air Purifier True HEPA Allergen Remover HPA100WE
Price: £132.07

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes a noticeable improvement to air quality, 25 April 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 4:37 Mins

We have been using this air purifier in our home-office and bedroom for the last 3-4 weeks and noticed an improvement in air quality, particularly as we live in a rural area surrounded by pollen, smoke, animal fur and dander plus other irritants - and have a house-rabbit whom my long-suffering husband is allergic to.

With three settings for germs, general and allergens, it runs quietly in the background and is barely noticeable during the day. At night, the 'general' and 'allergens' settings with the higher fan speed, can be a little distracting and the fast 'turbo boost' mode, while clearing the air quickly of odours and allergens, is rather noisy. My husband grew who can sleep through anything grew used to the purifier in its general and allergen modes after a few nights but it kept me awake. However, the 'germ' setting is very quiet with noise equivalent to a low-power desk fan. It's difficult to describe noise levels so I have recorded them in my video to demonstrate them.

Settings are selected via a touch-sensitive pad on the top of the unit and selected options are indicated by an illuminated blue LED lamp, the intensity of which can be reduced or switched off completely for night-time use in a dark room. The timer can also be set to switch it off automatically after 2, 4 or 8 hours running time.

The carbon filter should be changed every 3 months and the HEPA filter replaced annually and lamps on the top of the unit act as reminders. I haven't yet sourced replacements for these so cannot comment on their pricing.

The unit is well made, filters are easily accessed and the unit has carrying lugs to each side for easy carrying and moving it from room to room - the home/office during the daytime and bedtime at night. It's a compact unit and doesn't look out of place in any room around the house.

I would recommend it for the noticeable improvement in air quality, ability to absorb odours and definitely for anyone with troublesome allergies which affect breathing.


Vango Serenity Single Sleeping Bag - Nutmeg
Vango Serenity Single Sleeping Bag - Nutmeg
Offered by Blacks
Price: £50.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm, comfortable and generously sized., 25 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am a year-round camper who camps in a tent, cabin and campervan - and like to be comfortable at night.

Often I find sleeping bags quite constrictive and claustrophobic. Measuring 185cm long plus a 25cm pillow extension and being 90cm wide, this bag feels lightweight and roomy with space to move around and change position without becoming entangled in the bag.

Quality-wise it is very good, made from a soft microfibre which feels soft and comfortable against the skin- and a huge improvement on the sticky, sweaty nylon found lining most sleeping bags. The left-sided nylon zip extends around the feet and can be opened from either end, ie shoulders or feet for ultimate ventilation. However, because it will be bulky to wash and tumble dry I would still advise using a liner although, unfortunately, these are likely to be narrower than the bag thus losing some of its benefits.

Rated at 10-tog, it is suitable for use through a British spring, summer and autumn for outdoor camping, using a suitable insulating campermat if tent-camping and sleeping on the ground. I particularly like the design of the bag for insulation: There are two lightweight layers to the bag to both the top and bottom and this helps trap air for insulation and ensure there are no cold spots.

I really like the bag, find it comfortable and quite luxurious while also being warm for camping in temperatures down to about 4°C overnight (actually rated at 2°C) and it is ideal for car, caravan, boat and campervan camping. However, due to its pack size it would be too bulky for backpacking or cycle camping.

If you like a lightweight, roomy and warm bag to snuggle down in, then this is one definitely worth considering and offers good value for money too.


Tower T24004 Air Convector Oven with Adjustable Thermostat, 800 W, 33 L
Tower T24004 Air Convector Oven with Adjustable Thermostat, 800 W, 33 L
Offered by Electrical Emporium
Price: £99.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, versatile mini-oven with excellent air-fryer function, 20 April 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 7:45 Mins

Ever since Tefal launched its mini oven in the mid-1980's I've been a dedicated convert to mini ovens and haven't used a full-size cooker since.

I've used many brands over the last 35 years - and this Tower Air Convector Oven impressed me from its very first use.

It is a little different to most of the mini ovens on the market due to its air convector unit at the top of the oven which acts as a powerful fan pushing hot air around the oven. Some mini ovens have a small 5cm'ish fan at the side to add a little 'convection' cooking but this Tower model is in a different league and produces fast, even cooking whether used for baking lamb chops, fish fingers or a loaf of bread. Also, unlike many other mini oven, it has the benefit of both an upper and lower heating element which can be used independently and each has its own temperature selection dial (both should be set within 50°C of each other). Some ovens have just one so, despite having several setting on their selection dial, in reality all food is oven-baked via the upper or lower heating element. This Tower cooker is superior and offers genuine and specific cooking modes and a switched interior lamp allows you to check your food without opening the door:

* Grill - using the top heating element
* Oven - using the top and bottom heating elements
* Lower element only
* Rotisserie - pole is supplied
* Air fryer - using the supplied basket beneath the fan and heating element
* Defrost

I have looked longingly at Air Fryers for years so was attracted by the air fryer mode on this cooker. A mesh bottomed basket is supplied which fits into a supplied metal pan on a designated wire rack. These slot directly beneath the upper heating element and fan which blasts hot air over the food to be cooked, in my case supermarket oven fries, and cooks them to perfection. It can take a few attempts to judge the timings and my first attempt were slightly over-cooked when the upper element temperature was set to 220°C (as per cooking instructions) but reducing it to 210°C produced perfect results with crisp fries and not a spot of oil when the fries were placed on kitchen roll making them a delicious and guilt-free healthy treat. The basket will easily hold 1-2 portions, perfect for a couple or smaller household.

The cooker is supplied with a fairly standard baking tray suitable for cooking food and catching drips from the rotisserie (I like it with a silicone cooking mat which makes washing very easy), a wire rack for cooking dry foods eg baked potatoes or a loaf, rotisserie spit for chicken and kebabs plus a handle for removing the spit without needing to insert your hands into the oven, a mesh-based basket and pan for use with the air fryer. A very basic instruction manual is included which includes cooking tips and times but, oddly, fails to outline the cooking modes shown on the dial. They're fairly intuitive but an older person unused to interpreting icons would probably prefer to see them described on paper in the instruction manual.

Having used the cooker for bread, meat, chops, frozen fish, oven fries I have been delighted by its performance in heating up fast (about 5 minutes), cooking food evenly and thoroughly without drying it out then the timer switching off with a ping at the end of the cooking cycle. It sits neatly on our kitchen worktop, looks modern and is now in daily use replacing an earlier mini oven. It would be ideal for a single person or couple for quick and easy cooking, perfect for a smaller kitchen, great for students and is portable so it can also be used in a boat or campervan (just check any campsites supply at least a 7Amp electric hook-up).

If registered with Tower following purchase, the guarantee is extended to 3 years giving complete confidence in the oven and, if it were to fail outside the guarantee period, it is one I would happily replace at full price because I feel it is such a good product.

Note: the product description states the cooker is 800W. It isn't - it is actually a much more powerful and high-performing 1600W.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 1, 2017 2:49 PM BST


Burt's Bees Balms 100 Percent Natural Gift Set, Pack of 4
Burt's Bees Balms 100 Percent Natural Gift Set, Pack of 4
Price: £10.79

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious-tasting, highly-moisturising, colourless lip balms, 20 April 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As an outdoorsy-person all year round, I am very prone to chapped lips so use lip salve daily, including Burts Bees, but this is the first multipack and includes flavours I haven't previously used.

* Strawberry: while wearing this, I could not only taste strawberry but also smell it for nearly an hour after application. Definitely one for the summer.
* Peppermint: this has a very fresh peppermint tang which tingles slightly on the lips.
* Vanilla bean: a very light taste and fragrance reminiscent of vanilla ice cream.
* Coconut and pear: this has to be my favourite. It not only tastes good but the dominant fresh coconut scent lingers and reminds me of summer walks alongside fresh gorse. Absolutely delicious and one I also have to keep sniffing.

The lip salve is easy to apply, highly moisturising without feeling greasy and all are colourless so suitable also for men and children. Each tube lasts me several months so they're also economic in use. I will definitely be ordering these again.

Definitely recommended and good value too in this 4-pack.
Comment Comment | Permalink


North Highlands of Scotland Guide Book
North Highlands of Scotland Guide Book
by Charles Tait
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant: highly informative, comprehensive - the only book you'll need to enjoy the Northern Scottish Highlands, 19 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Wow! This book offers all I hoped for plus a lot more.

Without any clues as the to content or layout of the contents (which I have attempted to rectify with my photos), I ordered this somewhat blindly but am absolutely delighted by how detailed and comprehensive it is including sections on:

* Caithness
* East Sutherland
* Easter Ross
* Black Isle
* Wester Ross
* West Sutherland
* North Sutherland
* Reference section (limited travel information, local services, ferry company contacts, some accommodation...)

In addition to providing a highly readable and fairly detailed overview of each town/village/settlement within each area, the book is absolutely packed with colour photos illustrating almost everything there is to see throughout the entire Scottish Highlands mainland, along with map sections and graphics. It all combines to make the book the best, most comprehensive and best photographed guidebook to the Highlands I have seen or used - and I say this as a freelance travel writer myself. If you are looking for a comprehensive book covering all of the Highlands in photographic and readable editorial detail in just the right balance, then this is THE book to buy.

Very highly recommended.
Comment Comment | Permalink


Multimat Comfort XL Sleep Mat
Multimat Comfort XL Sleep Mat
Offered by OutdoorGear Outdoor Experts
Price: £19.95

5.0 out of 5 stars The best camper mat I've used - no ground chill penetrates through this, even when camping on frozen ground, 15 April 2017
I ordered this for year-round cycle-camping and touring. Having used other mats in the past, both closed-cell foam mats and self-inflating mats, I've found that when used on on cold damp or wet grass, during the night the cold penetrates through, particularly on the self-inflating mats. This mat, however, remains snug and warm beneath me whatever the weather and ground temperature, thus making it ideal for all night use.

At 190x57cm, it is about 10cm longer than most other mats, 7cm wider and its 365g weight is up to 100g heavier than other backpacking mats. However, the extra 7cm width and length make every gram of this 100g worth the extra pedaling effort because the mat offers valuable extra room, if only for your arms at your side rather than resting them on the cold tent floor. After a day of cycling or walking, I want to be comfortable and enjoy a good night's sleep - and this mat is the best guarantee of being warm, cosy and comfortable.

It is 5-season rated and can be trusted to not allow any chills to penetrate through from cold, damp or even frozen ground and can be used for camping all year round.

Definitely recommended and I would choose no other.


MULTI Comfort XL Sleeping Mat, Red, One Size
MULTI Comfort XL Sleeping Mat, Red, One Size
Offered by Millets Outdoor
Price: £28.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best camper mat I've used - no ground chill penetrates through this, even when camping on frozen ground, 15 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered this for year-round cycle-camping and touring. Having used other mats in the past, both closed-cell foam mats and self-inflating mats, I've found that when used on on cold damp or wet grass, during the night the cold penetrates through, particularly on the self-inflating mats. This mat, however, remains snug and warm beneath me whatever the weather and ground temperature, thus making it ideal for all night use.

At 190x57cm, it is about 10cm longer than most other mats, 7cm wider and its 365g weight is up to 100g heavier than other backpacking mats. However, the extra 7cm width and length make every gram of this 100g worth the extra pedaling effort because the mat offers valuable extra room, if only for your arms at your side rather than resting them on the cold tent floor. After a day of cycling or walking, I want to be comfortable and enjoy a good night's sleep - and this mat is the best guarantee of being warm, cosy and comfortable.

It is 5-season rated and can be trusted to not allow any chills to penetrate through from cold, damp or even frozen ground and can be used for camping all year round.

Definitely recommended and I would choose no other.


Motorola MBP48 5 inch Video Baby Monitor
Motorola MBP48 5 inch Video Baby Monitor
Price: £124.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent image and audio. Good wireless monitor for baby, elderly, infirm, pets or even home security, 14 April 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 5:13 Mins

This replaces a much older Motorola baby monitor which has been in daily use and performed faultlessly for the last decade, not only for baby-monitoring but a whole multitude of alternative uses and is now providing a viewing facility for our pet accommodation at the foot of the garden instead.

It is a very well designed, easy to use, effective and reliable baby monitor which works wirelessly between two rooms in the house and beyond. With its battery back-up incase of powercut or for portability, it is possible to pop into the garden or nip out to the letterbox across the lane and still gain perfect reception including a bright clear image of the monitored baby, complete with fully adjustable audio volume to detect any crying or other noises. Communication is 2-way via the built-in microphone - just press the 'mic' icon on the parent and you can talk into the monitor and your voice be heard by the monitored baby, or alternatively a lullaby, heartbeart or other soothing sound can be played from the parent/monitor unit (see video demonstration).

The 5" digital video monitor is the best I've used on a baby monitor and produces clear images - colour by day and infra-red mono in complete darkness for 24/hour monitorin, although there is a little lag when observing a kicking baby in complete darkness. There are further options to remotely zoom in/out and remotely pan the camera unit up/down/right/left (via holding a zoomed image) to ensure the camera remains focused closely on a baby even if they move with no need to enter the room and disturb a sleeping baby. Despite its good build quality, the stand is a little flimsy and there is no way to adjust the angle of the monitor for ease of viewing. The camera unit is much more versatile and can be positioned at almost any angle, hung on a wall, fitted to a cot or even on the ceiling. The camera has 2m of mains cable and the monitor unit a very useful 2.7m but will also run from its internal battery. A bleep will sound if it goes out of range or when the battery power level falls.

Although perfect for baby monitoring as intended, this monitor also has many other uses ranging from monitoring young children playing in another room, a pet, elderly or infirm family member knowing they can call you for assistance if needed or even as a security device for monitoring callers to the home. Also, because it isn't PIR activated like many security devices, this can be placed inside a window to monitor callers to the home. We've used it inside our front window to monitor anyone who enters our driveway so we have advance warning or callers but can also keep a lookout for prowlers, especially in the daytime when the daylight images behind glass are bright and clear, but less so after dark because the camera can pick up reflections from the glass.

A recommended purchase - but do be careful not to accidentally knock the monitor stand.


Hycote Citroen Polar White Touch Up Brushes, 12.5ml
Hycote Citroen Polar White Touch Up Brushes, 12.5ml
Offered by Motorcount Ltd.
Price: £4.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for dabbing on stone chips and small scratches, 11 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered this for use on my Citroen Berlingo which had developed a small rust patch. After treating the rust with Kurust, painting over it with a few dabs of this Hycote paint has disguised it.

The application brush is very fine making it ideal for dabbing onto stone chips or along a scratch or any small rust patches up to about 1cm square. For larger areas, spray paint will probably produce better results.


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