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March 2016 Issue
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Gear news, March 2016

MSR's Guardian Purifier

Guardian of the waterways

MSR’s latest purifier, the Guardian Purifier, costs an eye-watering $699. It is by the far the most expensive purifier for general outdoor use, but before you pull out your hanky to swipe away the tears, let’s do some maths.

The Guardian uses a 0.2 micron hollow fibre filter capable of clearing the filthiest water of grit, bacteria and viruses. It has a minimum 10,000-litre lifespan, meaning each litre costs just seven cents – not bad for absolute peace of mind.

The Guardian’s filter is also self-cleaning – so no back flushing or scrubbing required. And because it filters 2.5 litres a minute, you can get an entire day’s worth of fluid ready to drink in just 90 seconds – or easily hydrate large groups. And this seems to be where MSR is targeting the purifier. Its own calculations show the Guardian having a 10-year lifespan, based on it being used for an average of 60 days a year, by four people requiring four litres per day.

Layering series from TNF


The limited edition version of TNF’s ThermoBall jacket

The North Face will soon be releasing a limited edition layering line-up to its Summit Series collection.

The L-series was created after TNF asked its mountaineering and climbing athletes what the perfect kit consists of. The answer: six layers – hence the collection is comprised of layers L1 through L6. Only L2 through L6 will be available in New Zealand.

Summit L2 to L4 are mid-layers, including a Polartec fleece, 800-fill down jacket and ThermoBall synthetic jacket. Summit L5 is TNF’s most advanced shell outerwear; one-piece construction, minimal seams and made from DryVent three-layer fabric. The final layer is the L6 jacket; a snug-as-a-bug 800-fill down belay jacket.

All styles come in men’s and women’s fit and will be available in limited quantity in TNF’s own stores during March and April.

Wearable tool


The Tread bracelet from Leatherman

The Tread bracelet from Leatherman

A multi-tool is no good if you forget to bring it. Leave it at home when your stove needs some urgent maintenance and you’ll be cooking over an open fire. Leatherman reckons they may have solved that little problem with the Tread ($349); a multi-tool you can wear on your wrist. It looks very much like a bracelet, only one a guy would be happy to wear.

With 10 links containing 29 tools, the Tread can be customised with the links you need most. It’s travel-friendly and the tools include a cutting hook, bottle opener, carbide glass breaker and a range of hex drives and screwdrivers. It weighs 168g and is 3cm wide.

From station to you

The Point 6 Mixed Stripe Light Crew

The Point 6 Mixed Stripe Light Crew

When Peter and Patty Duke, the couple who created the Smartwool brand, sold up to Vanity Fair Group, they were barred from getting in on the sock business for a number of years. Once the restraint of trade clause expired, they quickly set about starting up a new sock brand: Point 6.

The entire range, which covers the full gamut of outdoor activities, is made exclusively from New Zealand merino wool from a select group of South Island high country stations. Those same stations have been appointed by the Dukes to distribute the socks in New Zealand.

Depending on style, Point 6 socks typically feature around 60-63 per cent wool, 32-37 per cent nylon and five per cent spandex, and retail for between $35 and $55.

So green it’s blue

Bluesign-approved Torrentshell jacket

Bluesign-approved Torrentshell jacket

Patagonia is a brand that takes environmentalism and the working conditions of the staff in its factories seriously. Garments are typically made from recycled or environmentally-approved materials. Visit the brand’s website and you can read brief bios of the companies involved in manufacturing each product. So it’s no surprise the popular Torrentshell jacket ($199.99) – a staple of the Patagonia line-up for several years – is now made from ‘bluesign approved’ recycled nylon fabric.

Bluesign-approved basically means all chemicals, processes, materials, and products used in the manufacture of a product are safe for the environment, workers, and the end customer. It is assessed by the Swiss company Bluesigns Technologies.

Other than that, the 2.5-layer Torrentshell is essentially the same, offering a two-way adjustable hood, microfleece-lined neck, zippered handwarmer pockets and weighing 343g.