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January 2018 Issue
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Gear News, January 2018

Marmot's Featherless Hoody costs $400 and is equal to a 700-fill power down jacket.
The latest in gear news, trends and innovation

A Featherless hoody 

Marmot’s Featherless Hoody has an interesting name: if it doesn’t have feathers, why bring attention to that?

Presumably, the reason is that this hoody ($399.95/476g (m), 380g (w)) is not only as ‘light as a feather’ but also has a new loose-fill 3M Thinsulate insulation in place of down. Marmot claims this synthetic material will match the warmth of traditional 700-fill power down insulation, whilst also being more water resistant.

The jacket has elasticised binding on its hood, drawcord hem and cuffs, zippered hand pockets, an inside pocket, all contained in a functional design with full mobility Angel-Wing sleeves.

Aarn’s Mobile Intention

Balanced travel

Aarn’s latest 55-litre travel pack, the Mobile Intention ($299, 1550g), continues the ‘Balance Bag’ design. It’s made from 350D and 210D ripstop nylon and a key feature is the ability to use the (optional) balance bags as carry-on luggage. They’re compact enough to slip under airplane seats, yet large enough to take a laptop, with pockets for mobile phones and specially-designed bags for cameras.


Kiwi Camping’s affordable Tawa bag

Backpacking bags

Here’s a couple of affordable sleeping bags specially designed for backpacking.

Kiwi Camping’s Rimu ($199/1.5kg) and Tawa ($129/2.5kg) bags are both synthetic filled, offset-constructed,  mummy-shaped bags with 210T diamond ripstop shells. They have Silvertherm linings which reflect heat back into the bags.

The Tawa (pictured) is larger and has a higher fill weight than the Rimu and is rated as the higher performing bag of the two (-10C versus -5C).

Both bags have shaped hoods, a draft strip and they come with compression cram bags.

Lifetime mug and flask

These stainless steel Doppio mugs ($31.90) and Microlite 500 Flip flasks ($54.95/500ml/227g) are made for backpacking and tramping.

The double-walled mug has a press-fit lid with a spill-proof rotating stopper. It comes in two sizes – 192ml and 237ml.

The vacuum-insulated flask (pictured), with thin 2mm walls, has a locking push-button lid and is said to keep drinks hot for eight hours and cold for 16 hours.

Both will probably outlast your subscription to Wilderness.

Dr Sock

Who has a PhD? Probably quite a few readers of Wilderness actually. But, who dare apply that moniker to a sock? Well, maybe the Americans nowadays are used to comments a little over-the-top, because Smartwool, a 23-year old American company, now owned by Timberland, has a new technical sock that it’s called the PhD Outdoor Mountaineer ($70).

Smartwool says the PhD is its most technical mountaineering sock ever, with extreme durability and fit comfort. There is high density cushioning at heel and toe, mesh and flex zones, flat knit at the leg to accommodate low volume mountaineering boots and wool from NZ merinos to keep feet warm and dry.