The Winter Adventure Hot List
THE FOOTWEAR: On
You may know On for its highly cushioned running shoes. You should also know that it’s hiking versions are just as comfortable. The new Cloudtrax really does feel like you’re walking on clouds thanks to a dual-layer midsole and unique technology that offers cushioning on every heel strike. The shoes then lock firm to provide shock absorption and forward propulsion, all while keeping you on the right track with an impressive multi-traction grip. They’re water repellent and breathable, too.
THE ADVENTURE SPECIALIST: Rat Race
Fancy a bucket-list adventure in the not too distant? Rat Race is the name to know. The UK’s largest provider of global adventure challenges gives you the chance to take on once-in-a-lifetime routes in jaw-dropping locations. Journey across the Namibian desert to reach the most famous shipwreck on Earth; tackle the Trans Andean Coast to Coast cycling adventure from the Pacific to the Atlantic; make a 100-mile journey across a frozen lake in Outer Mongolia; or test body and mind in the Panama Coast to Coast challenge, which is claimed to be tougher than the Marathon Des Sables.
THE SAFETY KIT: Hindsight
Whether you’re cycling to work or heading further afield, HindSight’s clever glasses have got your back. Using semi-transparent mirrors to give a continuous view of the road behind you, Hindsight’s glasses are available to pre-order now for delivery in the spring. Founded by a physicist and developed with input from Team GB Olympic track cyclist Callum Skinner, the glasses are a stylish alternative to bike-mounted mirrors.
THE WATERPROOF BLANKET: Matador
A great companion for hikes, park days and festivals, Matador’s waterproof blanket provides water-resistant seating for up to four adults. Made from a durable and puncture-resistant fabric, the blanket easily folds up to the size of a wallet to stash in your bag; and on a windy day, you can stake down the corners or use its clever sand pockets on softer ground. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you’ll soon wonder how you lived without this versatile product.
THE HEADTORCH: Silva
The long, dark nights of winter make a reliable headtorch a must, whether you’re wrapping up a day on the mountain or training for your next 10k. And it pays to look for a headtorch with a decent brightness – the higher the lumen rating, the greater the torch’s beam distance and width. Swedish brand Silva’s Terra Scout H is made for outdoor adventure – as well as delivering 350 lumen performance, it comes with rechargeable batteries and has a 90% reduced carbon footprint thanks to a soft hemp headband.
THE E-BIKE: Specialized
Specialized’s Turbo Vado is as fun to ride on gravel as it is over long distances on tarmac. Whether you want it for weekend cycles, commuting or exploring new routes, the wide tyres and plush suspension guarantee a comfortable ride, even on the roughest roads. A built-in Garmin Radar device detects vehicles up to 140m behind you, tracking their location on an integrated display, while in-built anti-theft tricks, such as a lockable and removable battery, will put your mind at ease. With up to 90 miles of range, a rack that can hold up to 27kg, and integrated lights and mudguards, the Turbo Vado has you covered.
THE SPORTS WATCH: Suunto
The Suunto 9 Peak Pro is a trusty companion for longer adventures. Covering directions, elevations, air pressure, temperature and more, this top-end watch has an easy-to-use interface and offers speedy charging – count on a full charge in just one hour. Made with sapphire glass, stainless steel and titanium, it’s built to withstand the toughest conditions and is waterproof down to -100m, meaning you’re covered for whatever sport you choose (there are 97 sport modes to choose from).
THE CAMPING KIT: The James Brand
Created in Portland, Oregon by a group of designers and adventurers, The James Brand is the name to know for premium pocket knives and tools. For general use around the campsite, a compact knife like the Elko is a must. A well-priced option, it has clever, thought-out features like bevelled edges so it won’t wear through your jeans, and an easy-to-open notch. For tougher tasks, the Carter and Folsom knives are practically sized and beautifully crafted options with a utilitarian feel. Meanwhile, the brightly coloured Palmer Stanley knives are perfect for any fan of the outdoors.
THE WET WEATHER COMPANION: Troy
In wet conditions, the right kit is essential to regulate body temperature and wick away moisture. British brand Troy’s wax jacket offers protection from the elements without weighing you down. Made from 100% cotton milled in the UK with a robust dry wax finish, waterproof zips, adjustable hood and adaptable wrist fastenings to keep rain from running into the sleeves, no detail has been forgotten. Troy delivers on the sustainability front too – the founders have spent years sourcing the finest craftsmen in the British Isles and pieces are made to order to reduce waste.
THE STYLISH OPTION: Vssl
If you’re a fan of Yeti’s coolboxes, check out Vssl. Designed in Canada and tested in extreme environments across the globe, Vssl makes unique camp and survival kits and flasks with a similar aesthetic. Its hero product – the Camp Supplies tube – is a durable aluminium tube that contains survival tins, each filled with a selection of purpose-built gear: first-aid supplies, fishing tackle, water purification tablets and waterproof matches. The kit also includes a powerful torch with four settings, including an SOS mode. If you’d rather customise your own kit, start with a Vssl Cache, an empty kit that you can fill with your personal essentials.
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