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February 2015 Issue
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Gear News, February 2015

Nautica Rainbreaker

Stretchy, fashionable waterproofs

Marine-base clothing,even that with more than a nod towards fashion, should be weatherproof enough to keep landlubbers dry, whether being worn in the backblocks or to the local cafe.

So, the latest Nautica jackets in their Rainbreaker series ($329) for men and women are claimed as having a durable, breathable (nylon) exterior, polyester lining and taped seams which together provide ‘strong reinforcement from wind and rain’. This jacket is also said to stretch as the body moves.

It has a hood, zippered waist pockets, hem cinch cord and adjustable cuffs.

Supportive gear

Skins A400

Skins A400

Mostly, supportive, compression clothing is worn by people training or competing in various events – such as trail and endurance running. But, shorts and tops could just as well be worn by trampers on arduous trips to help keep muscles stable and aligned.

Claims for the latest Skins A400 range (starting at $119 for shorts and $149 for a short sleeve top) include increased muscle activation and stability for the lower back, glutes, groin, quads and hamstrings.

A400 clothing has more comfortable seams, new bonded hems and wider waistbands than before. They could be worth a look before your next epic.




Refreshened old timer

The North Face Terra 65

The North Face Terra 65

The North Face’s redoubtable load carrier, the Terra 65, has been completely updated with a slimmer, lighter, more user-friendly design that’ll still handle 64-66l loads.

The top loading and side-access pack has a refined, multi-adjustable harness system, with padded shoulders, load spreading, mesh-lined hipbelt and mesh back panel all claimed to provide load control, ventilation and ‘all-day comfort’.

There’s a main side zip, improved sleeping bag compartment access and seven pockets. Fabrics are 600D/1200D polyester and 420D nylon ripstop. Weight 1980-2007g.


War zone footwear

Lowa Z-seriesIt’s easy to miss that soldiers seen dashing around Afghanistan, Syria and other current world trouble-spots are likely wearing boots not dissimilar to those trampers wear in the backcountry. It’s highly likely in fact that they’re from the same manufacturer.

Lowa’s latest Z-series boots for example, have a military development background that required tough footwear with performance close to a board lasted boot (more rigid) yet with characteristics akin to more flexible slip lasted boots. They’re lightweight but capable of supporting hefty backpacks over varied terrain.

So, the Z-8S GTX ($549, 1400g/pr) is, in Lowa’s words, a hybrid, being around 75 per cent closer to the military ‘high liability’ footwear, whilst being able to do everything required of the less intense ‘boots patrol’ category. Uppers are 2mm split leather and Cordura, with a Gore-Tex lining. There’s speed lacing, a nylon stabiliser and Lowa Cross Duty outsole. Only available at Hunting and Fishing stores.


Lowe Alpine Zephyr

Lowe Alpine Zephyr

Light as a breeze

Lowe Alpine’s Zephyr packs feature the fully adjustable Axiom Light back system and are constructed from lightweight materials to keep their weight sub-2000g.

The pack costs $379.95 and comes in two sizes for men – 55:65 and 65:75 – and ND55:65 for women. The smaller packs weigh 1850g while the 65:75 weighs slightly more at 1890g.

Features include side and top entry, hipbelt pockets, walking pole grippers, large stretch front and side pockets, raincover and stowable ice axe loops.