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November 2016 Issue
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Gear News, November 2016

The North Face Eragon Jacket
TNF’s nearly-seamless windcheater 

The North Face continues to add to its FuseForm apparel line. The Eragon ($240) is described as a ‘packable, ultralight (140g) wind-resistant jacket that doesn’t sacrifice weight for durability’. On paper, that sounds likely:  FuseForm garments are made from a single piece of fabric so there are fewer seams and the fabric has thicker, more durable threads blended with lighter, lower-density fibres in high-wear areas.

With an alpine fit and helmet-compatible hood, its main audience is climbers. It does have a DWR finish to hold off some wet, but it won’t keep you dry in a downpour.

Summer bag from Domex
The 2-3 season Domex Escape

The 2-3 season Domex Escape

Domex has added a two-three season sleeping bag to its line-up. The 650-loft goose-down fill Escape comes in a full rectangular shape to maximise volume around the feet, full-length side and bottom zips so it can be used like a duvet, overlapping zips to prevent warm air escaping, a ‘Silktouch’ lining and DWR finish. It’s one of Domex’s first bags to be tested to the EN standard, with a comfort rating of 5℃ and a lower limit of 0℃. It does weigh a fairly hefty 1400g, but at just $399, it could be a good buy for summer camping.

Not too hot, not too cool
Macpac Litespeed tops absorb sweat, then draw it away

Macpac Litespeed tops absorb sweat, then draw it away

Just in time for summer tramping, Macpac has released a line of short and long sleeve tees.

The Litespeed garments, in men’s and women’s styles, are made from Polartec Delta fabric – a technical fabric knitted in such a way that absorbs sweat, holds it next to the skin and then draws it away to evaporate. It’s a process called ‘evaporative cooling’ and is said to leave the wearer not too hot, nor too cool.

Another, more familiar feature is the flatlocked seams which won’t chafe.

Blinding, connected light
Control the light output with the Petzl app

Control the light output with the Petzl app

Everything is connected to something these days. Even headlamps.

The 750-lumen Petzl Nao+ ($329.95) and 300-lumen Reactik+ ($189) headtorches now come with Bluetooth, so if you’re out in the wops and wondering exactly how much battery power you have left, or want to adjust the light level to suit the ambience, you can just pull out your smartphone and open the MyPetzl Light app.

The app can also be loaded with preset profiles or those personalised by the user for easy on-the-go adjustments to the light output.

Hmm, pudding

absolute-wildernessIf you feel you deserve something extra special on your next tramp, a little reward for all the hard graft required to reach the hut, then what could be better than Absolute Wilderness’s blackcurrant chia pudding ($14.95)?

It’s a coconut chia dessert made with locally (Nelson) grown blackcurrants and organic Heilala vanilla. Best of all, literally anyone can eat it – it’s vegan friendly and gluten- and dairy-free.