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Tried and tested: spring outdoor items

Outdoor items put through their paces by The Journey team.

Darn Tough Hiking Sock

Obviously, we’ve not tried every sock in the world, but we can be reasonably confident that Darn Tough make some of the best socks ever made. I’ve never had a pair that lasts so long, that are so comfortable and that have completely eliminated blisters. Yep, these are amazing socks. This is down to several factors: the very fine gauge knit, the fabric (in the case of these Darn Tough Decade Stripe Micro Crew Cushion Socks, that’s 58% merino wool blended with 40% nylon and Lycra Spandex). Plus, they offer a Guaranteed for Life return. That’s confidence.

Daniel Neilson

+ Very well made

+ Lifetime guarantee

+ Comfortable

– Nothing at all

Outdoor gear socks

Yeti is a purveyor of bulletproof outdoor gear. The company started off making coolers, that quickly became the highest standard available. Since beginning in 2006, the company has expanded into drinkware and bags. Yeti gear is exceptional if you really need to keep things very hot or very cold: their bottles, mugs (and rather lovely wine tumblers) are very effective. This Rambler 12oz (£25) is the perfect mug for coffee or hot chocolate on the mountain. The double wall vacuum is the most long-lasting I’ve come across but key is the new Hot Shot Cap that is easy to use and 100% leakproof.

Daniel Neilson

+ Leakproof

+ Extremely durable

+ Loads of size options

– Pricey (but worth it)

Outdoor gear socks

Montane Featherlite Smock

Over the last few years, Montane has firmly solidified its position as an endurance sports brand. Its ethos of ‘Further, Faster’ manifests itself in very lightweight and breathable clothing and accessories. The Montane Featherlite Smock is a great example of a simple piece of clothing that just works at every step. It weighs just 110g, is light enough to fit in the pocket of your shorts, and the Pertex Quantum Eco fabric (100% recycled) holds off the wind while allowing any moisture to escape. There’s a small chest pocket and, as is our preference for wind shells, no hood.

John Scully

+ Very light

+ 100% recycled fabric

+ Packable

– A little short

Montane Featherlite Smock

Cirrus Hut Slipper

Ideal for hostelling, camping and bothying — and any other travel situation where you need to keep your feet cosy but can’t realistically pack your moccasins — these hut slippers are a great option for those times when you’ve squeezed out of muddy boots and still need a bit of comfort. The synthetic, down-like insulation and the soft outer material are both recycled, and they combine to create something that’s ultra-lightweight and compressible, but at the same time toasty-warm and surprisingly sturdy of sole. If you’re more accustomed to clumpy, high-street slippers, you’re in for a treat.

Louise Williams

+ Warm

+ Recycled materials

+ Lightweight and easy to pack

– Pricier than regular slippers

Rab slippers

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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Written by The Journey Team

The Journey is YHA's magazine. With each edition, our team of writers and editors bring you inspiration for your adventures. Enjoy features, interviews, competitions, reviews and more!

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