The Journey: spring 19

Tried and tested

Four outdoor items put through their paces by The Journey team.

Icebreaker

200 Oasis Base Layer set
icebreaker.com

“Warmth from Nature” reads the packaging for these 100% pure merino wool top and leggings, alongside the lofty claim of being the world’s best base layers. Expectations were therefore high – and were met. The assets of merino wool as a base layer are well known, being breathable, lightweight, naturally antimicrobial (that is, less prone to getting smelly) and, of course, warm. This set was comfortable, soft and kept me at a consistent temperature. Louisa Williams

The verdict: The word “reassuring” comes to mind. They help you feel ready for time outdoors.

LifeStraw

Water Bottle
lifestraw.com

We’ve all been there. You’re in the hills, wondering whether drinking the water in front of you will hydrate you or harm you. LifeStraw’s technology takes away any uncertainty, regardless of whether you’re in the Lakes or Liberia. Essentially you fill up – from a stream, a tap, a lake, wherever – and the filters get rid of 99.9% of any nastiness. Each straw is good for 4,000 litres of fills, making it a no-brainer of an investment, particularly in these days of plastic awareness. Ben Lerwill

The verdict: Can hardly be praised enough. The straws have been distributed widely in developing countries.

KEEN

Karraig Mid Waterproof
keenfootwear.com

The European-made Karraig from Keen is the first pair of boots from the manufacturer to be expressly designed for the UK. What does this mean? Well firstly, the sole has a superb grip, even on wet mud and grass, a significant improvement on previous models. They are spongy underfoot and have a wide toe box. New on these also is a lacing system that pulls directly on the heel making for a great fit all around. The leather upper has proven very durable too, helped by a rubber toe cap. Daniel Neilson

The verdict: An exceptionally comfortable but tough waterproof boot designed for British hills. We’re sure they’ll last and last.  

Osprey

Rook 50
ospreyeurope.com

Pulling on an Osprey backpack can be as reassuring as handling a Swiss army knife. You know someone’s given the design and durability some serious thought. This new 50-litre model – intended for multi-day trips, so well suited to hostel-to-hostel hiking – is a case in point, sitting comfortably on the shoulders and feeling resilient from the off. The adjustable, ventilated back makes it a cut above your average pack, and it also comes with all the extra features you’d hope for, from an integrated raincover to a sleeping-bag compartment. Ben Lerwill

The verdict: A light, modern backpack with ample straps and pockets. A great all-round piece of kit.



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