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


Ortlieb backpack

Atrack ST 34L Waterproof Backpack

The Ortlieb Atrack looks unlike any other backpack or waterproof bag – and works unlike any other. Ortlieb, pioneers in waterproof packs, have created a pack that opens like a Gladstone bag, but can be carried as effectively and comfortably as any true backpack. There are adjustable shoulder straps either side of the main waterproof zip. The bag opens wide to reveal a cavernous space, with four pockets inside. It comes in 25-litre, 45-litre and women’s specific versions too.

Cat Scully

Very comfortable to carry
Fully waterproof
Women’s model available
Quite pricey


Sherpa Makalu Jacket

Makalu Jacket

Ethical brand Sherpa Adventure Gear – which helps fund education for Nepalese children – is about more than just philanthropy, a point emphasised by this new, highly technical three-layer shell. The jacket is very much the real deal, being seam-sealed, breathable, waterproof (it shrugged off a heavy November downpour in the hills) and extremely comfortable, thanks to Sherpa’s Himaltec Laminate fabric. It’s a stylish wear, too, and a helmet-compatible hood adds to its adventure appeal. Available in men’s and women’s styles, both in five different colours.  

Ben Lerwill    

Looks and feels
High quality
Technical design
Multiple zips, including under arms
Hard to fault


Ayacucho Men’s Mount Everest Jacket

Men’s Mount Everest Jacket

Here’s an insulation jacket with a difference: more than 35% of its materials are made from renewable, plant-based fibre. You wouldn’t guess this pleasing quirk from wearing it, though – it feels comfortable, substantial
and, most importantly, warm. The jacket makes no use of down, but retains enough body-heat to serve as an outer layer on a dry day, and would make a good mid-layer in cold, wet conditions. It packs down well, looks good,
and the brand itself supports a number of sustainable projects, so thumbs-up all round.  

Joseph Kane

Well priced
Warm and light
Ethical brand
One colour choice

Jack Wolfskin

Jack Wolfskin Cascade Hike Texapore Low trainer

Cascade Hike Texapore Low

What’s the perfect multifunctional shoe for an outdoor nut? Essentially you want something rugged enough for the trail, relaxed enough for the pub and well-made enough to endure long, active days. Step forward Jack Wolfskin’s new Cascade Hike Texapore Low, which feels cushioned but reassuringly robust once it’s laced up. The sole’s grippy, the heel’s wide and the shoe incorporates the brand’s own Texapore material, which is waterproof and breathable. It comes in three colours, the others more sober than the red/white shown here.  

Tom Rhys

Sturdy and waterproof
Can be worn around town
Brighter models not to all tastes

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