The latest in outdoor gear news, trends and innovation
Hiking shoes with purpose
Salewa’s Speed Ascent shoes ($229; 720g) can be used for lightweight hiking and trail running over snow, unformed tracks and technical rocky ground.
It has, what Salewa calls, ‘Take-Off Technology’ which facilitates the foot’s natural rolling motion during ascents and descents. This construction slightly raises toes to allow for a springier, or faster, step on the flat and better foot position on ascents and descent.
The Speed Ascent is built light, but also tough, with a medium patterned Vibram outsole, an overlapping tongue, two-row lacing and removable mutli-fit footbed. Various fabrics are used, including a breathable mesh lining and stretchable mesh and microfibre suede upper.
Easy wear headlamps
UCO says you’ll forget you’re wearing a headlamp as their latest models are so light, slim and the head strap is so comfortable.
Whatever, the latest UCO comfort-fit headlamps do tend to support the claims with a neoprene strap, no hard edges and thin lamp and battery construction. Both the A-45 ($59.99; 45g) and A-120 ($84.95; 104g) have dial-adjustable, water resistant lights on hinging mounts. Both have red LEDs for night vision.The A-45 produces 11 lumens and the A-120 120 lumens.
Light weight tramping tent
Here’s a tramping tent that weighs 1.4kg. Not bad for a 2-3 person, three-season model that will also stow a tramping pack out of the weather.
Vaude’s Power Lizard SUL ($999.99) has a trapezoid floor, two poles at varying heights and a vestibule providing weather protection and a place for the backpack.
Vaude claims the tent is easy to pitch and boasts high wind stability,
Hard core jacket
Designed for mountaineering and alpine and rock climbing, The North Face’s Summit Series Fuseform Originator jacket ($450; 300g) continues the company’s single-piece construction garments.
This means constructing the jacket in one piece yet using multiple fabrics – in this case 2.5 layer HyVent nylon ripstop bolstered with Cordura in high wear areas – and extremely smart patterns to form a garment with minimum seams. The end result is a tough, very light, waterproof and breathable shell that fits tightly and can be squeezed down to fit in the fullest pack.
The Originator is harness, pack and helmet compatible – the hood has a laminated brim and single cord adjustment – handwarmer and internal chest pockets, waterproof zips and cinch cord.
Survival multi tool
How many tools can be squeezed into a multi-tool before it becomes a multi-multi tool? Leatherman’s latest Signal (price/weight??) has 19 tools. Such items as pliers, bottle/can opener, saw, hammer, combo knife, bit driver, wire cutters and diamond-coated file. It even has a fire-starting ferro rod and an emergency whistle, levered in amongst traditional features.
The USA-made Signal has been designed in conjunction with survival experts and is claimed to contain all the tools needed for those expected – and unexpected – situations.