With warmer weather on the way, we round up some of the season’s best new products for hikers and mountaineers…
AKU Alterra Lite Mid GTX
These lightweight mid boots from AKU offer versatility and flexibility for wearing on medium to difficult terrain and are a great all-rounder for heading out into the hills. The upper is made from a combination of suede along with AKU’s own Air8000 fabric for superior breathability. The wrap-around design of the boot provides support and stability which is key for ankles on stony paths. The Gore-Tex waterproof lining keeps feet comfortable and dry, and the brand’s own Tenuta outsole guarantees excellent grip, even on wet ground. The EVA midsole and Ortholite footbed provide much-needed cushioning and the reinforced toe section gives extra protection. The women’s version has been designed with the female plantar anatomy in mind. Sizes: men’s 6-13 and women’s 3-9.
More info: www.aku.it/en/
Lowe Alpine Airzone Active 22
The AirZone Active is a lightweight, ventilated unisex daypack for advanced comfort on strenuous hikes. It uses an AirZone LT suspended mesh carry system with anti-barrel plates and fast-wicking hip fins, for maximum air circulation, even under heavy load. Built with a lightweight spring steel frame for efficient load transfer, it also offers a quick-stash front pocket, double TipGripper walking pole attachments, top tensioners, a sternum strap with whistle and a rain cover inside the base. Although these features are designed with hill walking and mountain hiking in mind, the new hydration-compatible AirZone Active backpack is equally effective for work and travel. In addition to stretch mesh side pockets, user-friendly everyday necessities include a key clip, a light loop, a zipped security pocket and a refined new commute-ready aesthetic.
More info: www.rab.equipment/uk/lowe-alpine-backpacks
Sierra Designs Night Cap
Based on the bestselling Cloud, the new Night Cap is a fully recycled synthetic sleeping bag, with a unique patent pending zipperless design. Available in men and women’s designs, it features an integrated cosy blanket for all the comforts of home in the outdoors, and insulated shoulder pockets keep the blanket wrapped in place and seal in warmth. The Night Cap also incorporates the patented self-sealing foot vent and a pad sleeve, allowing increased ventilation for hot sleepers and movability for wiggle worms, side, and stomach sleepers. The Night Cap is an ideal 3-season sleeping bag with an ISO Limit 20˚F / -6˚C and the men’s regular weighing just over a kilo. Kind to the planet and kind to your pocket too!
More info: www.absolute-snow.co.uk/
Paramo Women’s Velez Jacket
This spring sees the launch of Páramo’s new women’s Velez jacket, which joins the current men’s version that has undergone some design tweaks. The Velez is a lightweight, low-bulk and well-ventilated jacket that’s constructed from Nikwax Analogy fabrics, providing superior weather protection and comes complete with a mesh pump liner that allows for more air to flow through the jacket, so ideal for wearing in warmer temperatures and during intense activities. The design of the jacket makes it pack, harness and helmet compatible with all adjustments easy to operate with a single gloved hand. The wired peak hood can be easily stowed away when not in use.
More info: www.paramo-clothing.com
Keen Ridge Flex Waterproof Hiking Boots
Keen’s new Ridge Flex boots incorporate the company’s innovative KEEN.BELLOWS.FLEX technology. When the foot is in motion, there’s a critical moment when the foot compresses and we roll onto our toes. This area of the forefoot also happens to be where boots can fail after years of heavy use. By adding an accordion-like bellows to that friction point, KEEN.BELLOWS FLEX moves with you. It flexes easier and lasts longer. The Ridge Flex comes in mid and low versions, and in several different colourways for both men and women. Their rugged build, waterproof performance and grippy sole makes them ideal for extended hikes on mountain trails.
More info: www.keenfootwear.com
Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 Jacket
Rab’s lightweight Kinetic Alpine 2.0 Jacket is so comfortable, it’s easy to forget you’re wearing a waterproof. It uses Stretch Knit Proflex fabric with a breathable waterproof membrane and a fast-wicking backer to shift moisture fast during high-energy ascents. It also uses Stretch Nylon Woven Proflex panels in the hip, arm, shoulders and hood to cope with the abrasion and exposure of tough, technical climbs. Designed with a closer fit than a traditional shell, its flexible dual-fabric construction is combined with a range of high-spec features. For all-day dryness, comfort and mobility, they include a helmet-compatible hood, water-resistant AquaGuard zips and easy adjustment at the hood, hem and cuffs. This is the ultimate ‘hard’ softshell for committed alpine adventure.
More info: www.rab.equipment
Leki Sherpa XTG poles
Heading out on a demanding trek? Then LEKI’s Sherpa XTG poles are for you. With an AERGON Thermo Extended Grip, which is lightweight and offers a comfortable grasp, this robust three-piece pole is ideal for challenging hikes. The top of the Aergon handle features an edgeless external shape (for various gripping options) and large supporting surface. The Thermo grip extension, which works its way down the shaft, allows the shaft to be gripped when traversing or covering short steep sections, rather than adjusting the pole length. This makes the Sherpa XTG poles ideal for tricky terrain. The Speed Lock 2 system offers secure and extremely fast pole length adjustment between 110cm and 145cm even if you’re wearing gloves, and the Trekking Basket 2.0 is effective against sinking when the ground is softer underfoot.
More info: www.leki.com
Darn Tough Stripe socks
Ten years ago, Darn Tough created the Stripe sock, a well-rounded trail hiking staple in the Darn Tough collection. Today, Darn
Tough celebrate a decade of durability, comfort and Merino Wool warmth with a new design, the Decade Stripe. Who knows, these socks might just last you the next decade (they will). Additional features of the Decade Stripe Micro Crew Midweight Hiking Sock include: Performance Fit – no slipping, no bunching and no blisters; Fine Gauge Knitting – unprecedented durability and Darn Tough’s unique “put it on, forget it’s on” feel; Fast Action Wicking – pulls moisture away from skin; All Weather Performance – cool in the summer, warm in the winter; Naturally Antimicrobial – repels bacteria and odour; Guaranteed for Life – no strings, no conditions, for life; Merino Wool – fast drying, breathable and odour resistant for all-day comfort, and finally True Seamless – undetectable seam fusion for an ultra-smooth, invisible feel. What more do you need from your socks?
More info: www.trekitt.co.uk
From £1.66 per month
Get involved in the UK’s largest mountaineering membership. If you love the mountains, grab yourself BMC Membership and receive:
– Four issues of Summit magazine a year
– 15% discounts in Cotswold Outdoor / Snow + Rock
– Access to many retail and travel discounts
– Access to Mountain Training registration
– Access to specialised BMC Travel Insurance policies
– £15 million Combined Liability insurance cover
As a member of the British Mountaineering Council you’ll join a community of over 80,000 members and help us protect our crags and mountains, campaign for improved access and environmental sustainability, and help us be a powerful voice for all climbers, hillwalkers and mountaineers.
More info: www.thebmc.co.uk/membership
Sierra Designs Cloud 800
The award-winning Cloud 800 model is aimed at the fast-moving outdoor enthusiast, reduces weight in a number of innovative ways and is suitable for 3- season camping and backpacking trips. Constructed with an ultra-light 15D nylon ripstop shell and liner and 800-fillpower DriDown insulation which maintains thermal efficiency even when damp, the Cloud 800 offers an ultra- comfortable lightweight mummy bag with superior warmth. It features the patented self-sealing foot vent and a pad sleeve, allowing the circulation of air and easy movement in the bag. The clever patent pending zipperless design lets you get in and out of the sleeping bag with ease and the oversized quilt closure lets you wrap the sleeping bag around to keep you warm or push it out if you are too hot.
More info: www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk
Hanwag Makra Combi GTX
The ideal partner for challenging summer scrambles, the bestselling Hanwag Makra Combi GTX feature a lightweight yet technical construction that offers excellent stability across challenging terrain. Made in Europe using a prized, cemented construction that can be easily resoled when needed, the Makra Combi GTX are cobbled on Hanwag’s Alpine Wide last. This means the boots retain a close and precise fit, yet offer a little extra room around the foot for increased comfort and a reduced risk of pressure points on longer days out. Underfoot, the boots’ innovative Vibram Pepe sole incorporates an aggressive honeycomb construction that offers excellent grip with reduced weight. A raised rand around the base of the boots protects them from loose rocks and scree.
More info: www.hanwag.com
Fjällräven Abisko Lite Trekking Jacket
Inspired by the functionality of their award-winning Keb Jacket, yet optimised for warmer spring weather, Fjällräven’s new Abisko Lite Trekking Jacket is perfect for technical summer treks. Featuring a hybrid construction of G-1000 Lite Eco and breathable, 4-way stretch, it’s perfect for mild yet mixed conditions when you still need a little protection from the elements. Designed to partner the ever-popular Abisko Lite Trekking Trousers, the new jacket is packed full of smart features including an adjustable hood, two-way front zip and minimal seams around the hip to remove the risk of chafing when wearing a hip belt. Carefully positioned underarm vents with a diagonal zip are easy to open while you’re wearing the jacket, and the pockets have been located out the way of your backpack’s belt too. As with all G-1000 products, the jacket can be waxed with Greenland Wax to boost its durability and weather resistance.
More info: www.fjallraven.com