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Tried and tested: outdoor items

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

La Sportiva Cyklon with Boa FIt

The pleasingly named Cyklon trail running shoe is a fascinating collaboration between La Sportiva and BOA. Skiers and cyclists will recognise BOA’s circular dial that draws in laces. With La Sportiva, BOA has deployed the technology on a pair of shoes. Now, this is a system that could scream gimmick, but after spending a wet summer running in them, be assured it’s not. For me, there are three main advantages. Firstly, the micro-adjustment it affords for a precise fit. Secondly, there’s very little give, so they’ll stay secured. Finally, they can be adjusted for up and downhills.

By Daniel Neilson​

+ Stable, secure shoes

+ Impressive lacing (obviously)

+ Great traction

– La Sportiva often come out small

Black and yellow shoe

Finisterre Etobicoke Insulated Jacket

Using a fabric made from regenerated plastics – therefore offering durability without plundering a finite resource – this stylish new insulated jacket serves as a great alternative to a traditional down layer. It makes use of FEI, Finisterre’s own synthetic insulation, which retains 75% of its warmth when wet compared to down and gives ample warmth without being too bulky. It’s lightweight, so easy to pack, and the slightly retro design was a hit with this reviewer. A further plus: it’s as comfortable to wear to the shops as it is on the slopes.

By Tom Rhys ​

+ Warm synthetic insulation

+ Good-looking lightweight jacket

+ Recycled materials

– None

Yellow insulated jacket

Sherpa Machuva Beanie

Sherpa’s hats are hand-knitted in villages in Nepal, directly benefiting the women who make them, which not only means they’re exceptionally warm (sub-zero Snowdonia? Not a problem) but ethical as well. The newest of its many hat designs is the Machuva, a reassuringly chunky unisex beanie with subtle branding, a cableknit upper section and a ribbed lower section. It stood up well in our test, and although it might not be an especially technical piece of kit, it’s eminently practical, looks good and – most importantly of all – keeps your head toasty.

By Francine Morgan

+ Very warm

+ Made in Himalayan climate

+ Supports Nepalese workers

– Thicker than some walking hats

Cream beanie hat

Fjällräven Tree-Kånken

Did you know Fjällräven was an official ‘Purveyor to the Royal Court of Sweden’? It says plenty about the quality of this 50-year-old brand which, in true Scandinavian style, is also working to stay one step ahead of the sustainability curve. This new backpack – the latest addition to its time-honoured Kånken range – is a case in point, making use of an innovative tree-based fabric called Pine Weave (in essence, wood-pulp from Swedish forests). The pack itself not only looks good but feels sturdy, robust, and beautifully put together. Everything, in short, that you’d expect.

By Louisa Williams ​

+ Very well made

+ Eco-friendly material

+ Comes in four colours

– Pricier than some rival packs

Yellow backpack with white logo

Did you know?

All YHA members receive discounts at gear stores including Cotswold Outdoor, GO Outdoors, Snow+Rock, Runners Need and Cycle Surgery.

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