Four outdoor items put through their paces by The Journey team
Jack Wolfskin Langdale Fleece
Part of a new eco-friendly collaboration between Jack Wolfskin and the National Trust, this fleece has been made from 15 recycled PET plastic bottles. We’re no scientists, but that sounds mighty impressive to us, not least because the end product is super-cosy – a light, easily packable garment with a short zip at the top. It’s part of a collection that also features t-shirts, trousers and jackets for men and women, the latter using the first 100% recycled waterproof membrane.
+ Made from recycled materials
+ Under £50
+ Great as an extra summer layer
+ Some may prefer a full-length zip
Matador Pocket Blanket
Nothing ruins a packed lunch more than getting the seat of your trousers soggy – but who wants to cart around a hefty picnic blanket on a walk? This is a clever easy-pack blanket folding down to a lightweight, palm-sized pouch and unfurling to a fabric rectangle measuring – by our measurements – 98.5cm by 159 cm. It’s water and puncture resistant, and there are small pegs and sand pockets (for weighing it down) in each corner. Good for family groups.
+ Easy to fold
+ Well designed
+ Under £30
– Less warmth than standard blanket
Salomon Outline Jacket
Sometimes you need a jacket that you can grab and go: something you can wear in the hills, around town or on a family day out. This shell is a cracking option, being light enough to shove in a backpack but tough enough to combat wind and rain. Having tested it during a very blustery May, I can confirm it snubs its nose at the vagaries of the British outdoors. Features include two well-sized pockets, elasticated cuffs and a water-repellent zipper.
+ Very comfortable
+ Light and versatile
+ Windproof and waterproof
– Hard to fault, but could benefit from drawstring hood
Good walking boots can be heavy – and a bulky item to pack if you’re not wearing them – giving this lightweight hiking shoe obvious selling points from the off. Each shoe weighs only around 400g but a robust sole helps it feels sturdy and stable when laced. It’s been designed for moving through the mountains at speed, and a combination of breathable mesh lining and waterproof membrane makes it a fine option for summer hiking. Handled very well on the trail.
+ Pleasingly lightweight
+ Waterproof but breathable
+ Feels durable when worn
– Ankle support could be stronger