Zombie for breakfast

I realise that my post titles usually bear little relation to whatever words I’ve assembled underneath, but here it’s entirely factual. Holly’s excited for a film called Paranorman that’s coming out, the trailer’s been attached to everything she’s seen in the cinema for ages. It’s a kids horror thing which I think we will steer her past, but she already knows the characters from the trailer and wanted a zombie. She doesn’t know what a zombie is of course other than they’re green and that dad does “the voice” every time she says zombie.
So, before we went to fit pipes yesterday morning, Joycee made her a zombie. Holly drew the face, I supplied the gloves, the pants were a last minute addition to make it a super-zombie.
I’m both impressed and a little scared by it.


As we sat in the canteen waiting for the new bit of pipework we’d just finished to fill up I flicked through a Sunday paper glossy supplement. Lots of pages of stick thin burds making faces at the camera either in a professional or accidental capacity, but the adverts are what caught my eye. A home furnishing crowd called Dwell were touting their wares over  a whole page and one item had me holding the page closer to my dirty reading glasses to see if my initial “Ooh, that’s horrific” was justified.

Do you need something different in your living room, do you need to embrace and express diverse areas of your persona and interests such as a love of furry animals and eternal damnation? Well, for you, Dwell have Hellraiser the Hare. Skinned by Pinhead himself, this undead gentle creature of the countryside will soon become a talking point for family and visitors alike. And, just in case you’re worried that the skinless wretch will suffer as he oozes onto your mantelpiece this winter, Dwell have thoughtfully supplied your Hare from Hell a finely woven tweed scarf to keep the chill off him as his lidless eyes burn into you nightly as you watch the TV.

£89 too. Bloody hell. Literally.

Photie from google, liberties taken etc.

Weekend Warrior

Flashing lights with no one to see them. Low pressure warnings with no one to adjust them. Dirty dishes in the canteen with no one to wash them. Tea machines flashing welcome when everyone has gone home. Rooms are in darkness, doors are all locked, security have their feet up and even the normally circling and screeching gulls are resting quietly on the roof.
Are factories sad at weekends? Are contractors working out-of-hours bringing a little joy or spoiling the peace and quiet?
Ach, a bit of both no doubt.

Haglöfs 2012 Winter Kit Review #2 – Essens Down Jacket

I few years back down gear with tiny baffles was suddenly everywhere and there was an equal amount of naysaying and enthusiasm. The concept has lasted long enough to shrug off the fad tag and it’s now an accepted style of down gear.
Haglöfs have the new mini-baffled Essens Down Jacket , which at 300g for my pre production size large is very light and packable, but is it warm?

The answer is that it is warm, but there’s been careful thought put into the Essens so that it is warm. The baffles are small, but the  down  still has room to loft inside, addressing the main suspicion that small baffles flatten down killing its insulative properties. Exactly how warm? Impossible to say, I’ve used it in its own for the past six months and with a down vest as a booster at winter camp and I’ve been fine and dandy, it’s usable insulation, not just a pretty face for walking through Aviemore or throwing on back at the car.

The amount of insulation makes it usable when you’re active and on the move, something I’ve done with the Essens and other insulation in recent winters, as it’s either colder or I’m getting old. With is in mind the jacket has some extra features which you can see above and below. The arms have Powerstretch gussets from your pit to your shoulder blade which helps with free movement and also helps to keep the down baffles lofted when you move your arms as the movement is taken up by the stretch fabric first.
Talking of lofting, it does fatten up pretty well when unpacked and especially when worn. It layers well over midlayers and under (or over if it’s light enough) a shell which kinda cements its place as a winter midlayer/general insulation jacket.

The collar’s a decent height and and baffle runs behind the lightweight zip right up to your chin. The hem and cuffs are lycra bound and the two hand warmer pockets have lycra entries which seal the pocket flat when not in use and grip your hands too for maximum coziness. The pocket bags are behind the down you you’re heating your hands on your belly which is the quickest way to go if like me you’re fueled on pies and Irn Bru.
There’s a chest pocket as well, you can see the line of the vertical zip next to the logo on the top two photies it’s a handy size and the zip is a skinny lightweight affair that runs nice and smooth. Despite it’s hidden position, it hasn’t snagged the fabric once.
Other little details are a rear hanging loop and glove-gripable zip pullers.

The fabric is 41gsm recycled polyester, so it’s got a good balance between lightness and durability, which I can attest to as it’s been scraped off rocks, trees, crampons, titanium sporks etc The DWR is pretty good too, light showers, spills and tent condensation haven’t ruined it yet and as it isn’t getting washed very often, or indeed ever so far, the DWR should last for a while. 
The cut is short and neat, there’s no fat on here at all, it’s trimmed to the bare minimum with compromising usability.

The Essens is a nice bit of kit, I’ll be packing it again until winter where some heavier weight new arrivals I’m expecting will no doubt displace it, and that’s an important point. It’s light, but don’t expect the same performance as a four inch thick down duvet just because you’ve spent a lot of money and want to save weight, it doesn’t work like that.  Factor the Essens into a winter system like I do and it’s excellent, outside of winter it’s ace on it’s own.

And yeah, how good does purple kit look in the snow?

Gaze into the fist of Dredd

Dredd is out today, yet another slice of childhood hangs in the balance. Reviews are good, Carl Urban was a genius choice to play Dredd, the look is a little darker and dirtier than the original 2000AD vision to fit with modern expectations no doubt, but I am optimistic having seen the trailers. Excited.

Note to self: Even if the movie’s good don’t buy a t-shirt.

Haglöfs 2012 Winter Kit Review #1 – Bungy Zip Hood

I’ve had some Haglöfs kit samples for this winter on test since the start of the year, the news season’s hitting the shops about now so its time for a write-up. Parts 2-4 are coming up over the next few days, but first up is Haglöfs Bungy Zip Hood. Let’s see if I can be objective about outdoor gear that’s purple.

The Bungy name isn’t new, Haglöfs had a Bungy range before, a selection of very form-fitted Polartec Powerstretch tops and bottoms. The name disappeared for a while and came back with a slightly different sort of kit, still technical but with a cut that didn’t need a superhero physique to make it work. 
The Zip Hood is the top of the range with the most features and the most protection, making it a contender for your winter midlayer of choice. The start of it all is the fabric, Polartec Powerstrech Pro, Pro meaning it’s the good stuff with the nylon in the outer face for strength, and having shredded the shoulders of cheaper Polartec Powerstretch after 40 miles under a pack, I started paying attention to some of the info they give you, it isn’t all bullshit.
The outer surface is very smooth and the inner is soft and fleecy, lovely against the skin. The smooth outer gives it abrasion resistance, it doesn’t bind on a shell layer and it has some wind and water resistance. It’s stretchy, but not too much so, it retains its shape. It dries quickly, when wet it’s still warm and it pulls sweat off you like a terry towelling wristband on an 80’s jogger. Powerstretch really does hit a fabric sweetspot.

Which is all very well, but you have to sew it into something person shaped and the Bungy Hood is very person shaped. The cut is neat, not tight and certainly not relaxed, it’s just right on me for feeling snug but not compressed. I know it’s all relative, but if you know the fit of Haglöfs on your own body, hopefully you’ll know what I mean.
The body length is good, it reaches well below a rucksack hipbelt and the arms are in no danger of leaved your wrists exposed, one because the articulation is great and second the extended cuffs have neat thumbloops built in which shield a good bit of your hand when used.
The hood made me think at first, it’s quite big, and I thought it was going to be a pain under a shell, but the fabric saves the day again, not binding to the shell hood and contouring around your head pretty well even when the drawcord is loose. The drawcord pulls in the excess fabric around your face when you want to sea round yourself and keep the cold out and after a few uses the cord channel wrinkles evenly across your brow, addressing my other worry about clumps of fabric pressing against my (huge) forehead.
I now like the hood, you can get a beanie under it, it lies flat and out of your way when down and it’s relaxed fit is great for camp living and you can get a cup or spoon to your mouth without pouting your bottom lip over a bit of lycra binding. In saying that, I like tight hoods too, but, it’s nice to have options, and the Bungy hood does seal your chin in if needs be.

There’s three pockets on the Bungy, two lower mesh handwarmers which you can see with one of the drawcord adjusters below which are pretty big with zipped access which just clears a pack hipbelt. There’s a little stretchy chest pocket too, handy for wee stuff and convenient for printing a logo onto.
There’s other detailing worthy of mention. The full length zip has a storm flap and zipper garage at your chin, the neck seam is taped to protect it and keep it in shape, tghere’s a hang loop at the back of the neck, the zip-pulls are all big and chunky and easy to use with gloves and the hood drawcord cord locks have no moving parts so are easy to do and undo with gloves.

I’ve worn the Bungy a lot, it’s warm which does make it a cool weather hill jacket and I’ve slept in it too where it was annonymous and comfy as I waited for my tent to be blown away in a blizzard.
It’s very wearable, it doesn’t feel too technical, it’s not demanding you strike a pose and have a 1000yd stare when you wear it. It’s a mountain jacket that works on your mountains, not just the ones in the advert, it’s been as at home on the Kilpatricks as it’s been on a snow covered Ben Nevis.
I’ve always loved my fleece hoodies and the Bungy takes me back as much as it takes me forward with comparisons to and memories of the Karrimor Alpiniste and the early 90’s Montane Alpine jacket as well as Haglöfs own genius Triton. Powerstretch is the right choice of fabric,  it can look softshell square in the eye when the weather is changeable and brings its own qualities too, better stretch and good warmth with moisture management to match it.

The “dragon” purple is just gravy, I think it looks amazing with the splashes of contrasting green, and dull is also available if you don’t want your kit to make you feel glad.
The weight in production spec is listed as 405g, but my sample is closer to 500g in a large, which I’m still entirely happy with, but I suspect there will have been tweaks in the shop version, indeed the other kit I’m following this with all has different weights in production spec, both up and down.

Bottom line, great jacket, expect to keep seeing it on here as the nights draw in and the temperature drops.

Screaming for Vengeance

It’s anniversary reissue central right now. This is another cracker, Judas Priest’s best album Screaming for Vengeance. It’s 30 years since I bought my original vinyl of this album from John Menzies in the Clydebank Shopping Centre, complete with a fold out poster of the cover art, four times the size of the album, and a lyric inner sleeve which are the two things you always wanted from an album, stick a merchandise leaflet in there and it was Christmas come early.

There’s no messing with the original album here, the songs are the same as the remastered series from the 90’s, including the pointless, misplaced and shite extra song from the Turbo sessions that they tacked on at the same time. Bonus Track my arse.
It’s a brilliant album, and a constant on my iPod. The Hellion intro into Electric Eye has to be one of the best album openers ever, best live set opener too for that matter. The whole album rises and falls, changes mood and pace and is heavy metal to its core. Proper metal too, with invention, subtlety as well as ferocious delivery, not the one dimensional parody of spoofs and possibly even Priest themselves since Halfords return.

The extras are the reason I bought this album, once again. On the CD there’s a bunch of live tracks from ’82 which are decent enough. I saw Priest in ’81 and ’83 at the Glasgow Apollo and they were outstanding, any live stuff from this era is worth a listen. But the DVD is where it’s at, it’s the whole of Priest’s set from the US Festival in California in ’83. This festival was legendary, three days of music where the metal day in the middle had the biggest audience of something around 350,000. The bands on the day included Ozzy, Van Halen and the Scorpions. A good time for metal.
Priest look young and relaxed, sound good and play a blinder. The ’83 tour programme was full of photies taken from this gig and last night was the first time I’ve ever seen the whole gig. I’m pleased, it’s worth the price of this special edition.

The cover’s had a revamp to distinguish it from the original below which is a classic piece of airbrushed art from Doug Johnson, a man who has no website to link to which is frustrating given his body of work. It was bold having something so bright at the time I think, metal is supposed to be dark, but this cover was bright, bold and confident and that’s what metal was to be from then on as it rode a rising wave of popularity, Priest’s support band the next year were Quiet Riot who were #1 in the US charts with Metal Health.

Good days, happy memories and the soundtrack to my youth sounds as good to my weathered ears as it did back then.

SmartWool TML Mid Sportknit Full-Zip

Now, this is late, very late. But there are reasons for this, which I shall explain. I looked at the Smartwool range, ordered a technical hoody for test as my winter midlayer and some time later a black cardigan appeared. Humph I said, it fitted okay, but in my regular Smartwool medium it was a little neater than the hoody of the same size, the collar was a little low, the arms a little short, so I put it to the side to use next time as the hoody I was after was out of stock for winter so it was this or nothing.

I was going out and couldn’t find a jumper that I liked that wasn’t already lying crumpled on the floor, so I pulled the tags off the cardigan, zipped it up, through on my jacket and headed out. It’s been nearly a year since I did that and the cardigan has either been on me, in the wash or on the the top of the pile ready to go ever since.

It’s got mountain features, thumbloops that give good hand coverage as seen above, and the from the elbow to the cuff the fabric is a heavier weight to help it keep shape and extend its life. The shouders have a heavy ribbed knit to protect the fabric from rucksack abrasion, this knit continues through the collar to give it standing up power too.
Also here are a nice big zipper garage to guarantee a scrape-free chin.

The two zipped handwarmer pockets have light mesh pocket bags, and the big zipper you can see below is the locking type, if the puller is lying flat, the zip’s locked.
The fit is lean, but movement is unhindered as the fabric although a heavy merino mix, there’s 4% nylon and 1& elastane in there too, has good stretch too it, helped by the vertically ribbed side panels you can see in the top photie which have real stretch to them. The closest comparison I can think of is a microfleece top with powerstretch panels, same idea, same result.
All this makes it very comfy to wear, and I’ve worn this constantly. It’s been washed dozens of times, not always with care either. The photies here I took this morning after it came of the drying line (I’m waiting for the cavity wall insulation guys to arrive) and you can see some light bobbling, a few slightly hairy edges and some fluff stuck to it, and that’s it, it still looks great. The black makes it perfect for casual wear, the grey highlights are subtle and it doesn’t clash with all my purple shoes.

So why have I never reviewed it? Mainly because it never made it anywhere near a mountain, and that’s because I was always wearing it the day before  and it had stuff in the pockets or it was in the wash, and then my attitude changed to where I wasn’t taking it to the mountains in case I put a hole in it meaning I couldn’t wear it as my regular top. Which is daft really because the cardigan has proved itself tough as hell.
Merino is a great fabric for general use, its single drawback of slow moisture management isn’t a factor, stick this on over a merino t-shirt and you are in a permanent zone of joyful equilibrium as you drive about, visit cafes, play guitar etc

The TML Mid Sportknit Full-Zip isn’t on Smartwool’s website right now so I can’t link to it, hopefully the heavier weight gear will be back on there for winter. Talking of that, the weight? Heavy, don’t know how heavy exactly, I never weighed it and my scales are in the workshop, and I don’t care anyway because I’m sitting here wearing the thing. Awesome.


There’s someone at the door.

We were out of time, I had four minutes to sing a six minute song so we skipped the intro and I went for a take. I screamed so hard on the third verse that everything went black and white and I got the loading screen in front of my eyes. The stars cleared enough for me me to get the last chorus before I sat down and bobbed gently on the tide.
We had an hour and fifteen minutes to record the whole song where we eventually went back and used take 1 on the drums and then I had to rattle out the rest of it one take straight after another. Four guitar tracks, one bass and one vocal. I was burst after it and I can’t remember doing any of it, I have no idea what it sounds like or what I played and I’m not sure I want to. Rarely have I felt so out of control while recording as I tried and failed to catch up with my grand and well rehearsed plans for the song.
Maybe there’s enough, maybe we can fix it in the mix, I just don’t know.

Inov-8 Trailroc 255

I got a shout from Inov-8 about the new range, which in a few weeks I should be showing on here in more detail as we’re sorting out a visit, but for now I’ve got the Trailroc 255’s in for test.

I thought I knew what to expect from a pair of Inov-8s, there’s always been certain constants in the trail shoes I’ve had, certainly in the last, but the Trailrocs feel very different on my feet.
The shoe has a lot going on, when I do an update I’ll go into more detail, but the basics are it’s “two arrow” cushioning on here, which is pretty minimal, they’re low to the ground but there’s enough under your foot for comfy backpacking. There’s a 6mm differential, the rise from forefoot to heel, which the highest of the three Trailroc variants, the 235 has 0mm and the 245 having 3mm. You really can dial yourself in these days, the options are many.

The upper is mesh reinforced with some synthetic overlay. The heel has some protection from the same plastic and there’s a big flexible rand around most of the shoe. The sole is well studded and has three compounds in there, so it’ll be interesting to see how wear rate and grip balance out. There’s no heel counter and the whole sole is lovely and flexible. 

The shape is what’s really got me on board though, these have the widest forefoot of any Inov-8’s I’ve tried, wide and rounded with room for toes to spread comfortably after many miles. I’m hoping.
In fact, these fit me better than most other Inov-8s in general, the heel cup feels taller and more, er, cupping for want of a better expression.

It’s early days, but I’ve got high hopes and we’ll see what happens.

KISS Destroyer Resurrected

I’m never very sure about bands re-recording their own classic tunes. Live albums are great, but new studio versions are invariably soulless and mechanical, better modern production, slicker and more careful playing and a singer who is obviously much older. We originally heard youth, pressure, hunger and debt, we should leave it at that and hear something new.
KISS did an album of reversions and it’s rubbish, I Love it Loud played in a light hearted fashion? Gimme a break. However, with Destroyer what’s happened is a bit different, rather than redoing it, original producer Bob Ezrin’s gone back to the masters and had a second go at the album mixing and and the results are unexpected.

Destroyer is KISS’ best album, I’m taking no argument on that. Creatures of the Night is a belter, Alive! and Alive II are awesome, but in the studio KISS usually lacked, songs, ability and production. Destroyer was different, the songs were fantastic, wrestled into shape by Ezrin and the playing was also fantastic. It’s long been said that KISS don’t play much of the album but Ezrin says they do apart from the keyboards and piano which he did himself and some guitar from Dick Wagner. You can hear Wagner’s playing, especially obvious is the solo on Sweet Pain, he has a fantastic style, it’s all over Alice Cooper’s work up to 83’s DaDa and he was Ezrin’s go-to man when band’s weren’t making the the cut due to ability of drug abuse.
The production was slick, the album has a sound all of its own but also one that is unmistakably Ezrin, something you can hear in Alice Cooper’s early albums and on Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Their best album too. Oh yes. I wonder if KISS were too young to meet Ezrin halfway when they were recording the album? His influence shaped the album and KISS never sounded like that again, or indeed as good.

So what did Ezrin do with the masters? I think he made a KISS album out of it. I’ll explain that. You expect modern big budget production to be smooth, but what Ezrin has done is pull out the essence of the band from the ’76 production and let it shine brighter. The guitars have a rougher edge, a bit like you hear on the Alive albums and on Rock and Roll Over, the bass is up in the mix and edgy sounding and I swear Peter Criss is hitting the drums harder.
It’s a lovely job, it really is. The whole album sounds fresh, alive and even a bit louder. It’s not perfect though, the join between Detroit Rock City and King of the Night Time World is quite different and doesn’t sound quite right to me, it’s a mix of a car crash and guitars, but Ezrin explains why in the notes, the masters were 16 track and you can only separate those elements so far when working on it without having to make something new. To give you a clue about that, the songs you hear me doing on here have 48 or more tracks in the masters, how times change.
There’s a few big changes, one is the Dick Wagner solo in Sweet Pain, it’s still there, but the Ace Frehley solo and lead licks are there too in another version of the song. It’s rougher sounding, it’s played by a man full of vodka, but hearing it you wonder why Ezrin felt the need to use Wagner on it in the first place. Beth gets the whole original vocal from Peter Criss, it sounds different, it’s a drier production here and his voice has a lot of character in it which wasn’t so obvious before.
The other change is a mistake fix, maybe not a mistake as such, it was obviously a 50/50 call and over the years they’d wished they’d gone the other way. They hint at it in the liner notes but don’t give it away, I’m not giving it away either (partly in case I’m wrong), but if you know the album it’s really obvious. Check the vocals side one, track one. Or it could be the odd time skip in Flaming Youth. Hmm.

In short Destroyer Resurrected is brilliant, not better than the original, just different. It’s big sounding, it’s got more bottom end than the original and cuts deepr at the top too. The songs are breathing deep and shouting loud.
As a package it’s neat, a nice big booklet in the CD with the original unused artwork (above, original below) with the band wearing their costumes from the Alive! era where Ace’s face looks abit odd. The disc is printed like it’s Casablanca vinyl too, unnecessary but nice.
Highly recommended.


Okay, it is a glitch on Flaming Youth, don’y buy it until version 2.0 gets released. Universal are replacing discs already bought. Bummer.

Eggs… Eeeggs… Eeeeeeeeeggss!!!

I was excited, the girl was excited then terrified and I missed about half of the dialogue. Still, the new companion made an unexpected first appearance as Dalek Girl, the regular daleks weren’t rubbish and ineffective, just a bit playfully cruel and manipulative.
I’ll play it back and see what I missed. But, I’m thinking it was good, I like this resetting the Doctor to being a man of mystery, Moffat’s fixing Doctor Who as much as he’s producing it.
Eggs… Eeeggs… Eeeeeeeeeggss… Exterminate!!!!!

Bloody hell, I’m like a wean all over again.


EDZ Merino Baselayer, 200g Zip Neck Top

It’s nice when something different stuff comes in for test and I must admit that EDZ had previously slipped under my radar. They’re based in Cumbria, selling direct from their own store and a few specialist stockists and have a range which is pretty focused including amongst other stuff, base layers and light shells including a couple in the under-used EPIC water resistant fabric.
I’ve had a couple of baselayers on long term test and first for review is my well worn 200g merino zip neck.

Fit is everything in a baselayer, too loose and the fabric won’t perform, too tight and anyone but an athlete will feel self conscious in daylight. EDZ have taken a sensible route and made the fit slim but not tight with a good length on the body and arms for an average punter. This middle ground cut means it’s great on its own as it looks fine and it layers well too as there’s not a lot of excess fabric.
The top is paneled with a raglan sleeve and all the seams are flatlocked, but the stitching still retains a good bit of stretch to match that of the fabric. The sleeves have good articulation built in at the shoulders and at the other end the cuffs pull up over my elbows no bother.
Other details that make the difference are the neck construction, the inner seam where the collar is sewn on has tape over it. This might seem like a frivolity but it helps the neck keep its shape after many washes, protects the neck seam from wear and also stops the stitching under it plucking at the hairs on the back of your neck. It happens, I’ve had the pulled hair spots to prove it. 
The collar itself is a good height to bounce off sun and wind, and the zip although not covered on the inside or at the top is smooth enough against the skin and chin, but bear in mind my rapidy whitening growth covering that latter area which deflects all attackers. The zip’s what you could call a  third-length affair, the zipper reaches below most rucksack chest straps on me, so it’s a good length for venting.

One very welcome detail is the drop- tail you can see below. The front tucks in well on me and the rear goes right down and definitely adds a little insulation when the winter wind blows at your nether regions. It means that the top stays tucked in which I like in winter and also should mean that the top will still work for a variety of back lengths for a given size.

It’s merino which means a few things, it defies your personal stink attack upon it for an extended period and it remains comfortable when damp. The variety used here is 200gsm which is a do-it-all weight working in winter and in summer when it’s not too hot. The fabric has a soft feel in the hand and a good stretch to it and it returns to shape after washing very well. When I first pull the top on there’s a little prickliness against the skin which quickly disappears, this is something that I get from various merino tops to varying degrees which I assume is something to do with the merino or the fabric construction. It’s also the same thing that a lot of folk say is the reason they can’t wear merino, I wonder if it’s a personal thing or if a lot of folk would find the sensation fades away given alittle time? Anyway, I digress.

It’s a very wearable top, it looks good, there’s a little more blue in it than the photies show, it doesn’t look overly sporty either which is nice for outdoor days with the family or whatever where you you’d feel a fool heavily kitted up. But, it’s good in the mountains and I’ve had this layered under allsorts in all sorts of weather, I’ve slept in it, fitted pipe in it, cycled in it and lounged in it quite happily when I got home as I was quite happy and too damned tired to take it off anyway.
It’s wearing well, seems to be tough, no holes at the belt buckle spot yet which is always nice. I know synthetics are catching or are equal to merino in a lot of ways now, but there’s something about a merino top that’s still got that indefinable Ahhhh.

EDZ Onezie coming soon.


It’s not polite to point

I was dismayed to discover that my compass is gubbed. The window has cracked and some of the magnetic liquid has leaked out leaving the clock hands inside catching the big bubble and pointing at the wrong time.

I’ve had this Silva Type 4/54 for years and years and it’s been on every trip that’s been on this blog as well as those that haven’t since the 90’s probably. It’s big, but great with gloves, clear to read with scales a-gogo to use with maps a-plenty. That’s enough with the hyphens.
I don’t have another compass, so it’s time to have a look at what’s out there. Silva, Suunto, Recta, the choice is, well, rather uninteresting really. I still want a large baseplate, the pink lanyard will stay (dead easy to find in my pack lid) but apart from that I don’t care, it’s just such a dull bit of kit. And yet vital, how annoying.