Exposure to so much gear in recent years has made me realise what you don’t need as much as what you do need. I was climbing Munros in cotton t-shirts and army surplus into the 90’s and was quite happy with it. A wet army parka isn’t so different from a damp Paramo jacket until you try and dry it out and my old nylon cagoule has just morphed into an expensive windshirt now.
Are we really better off spending so much money on gear? Maybe we are, modern gear makes my time easier and more comfortable, but it doesn’t make it any more possible to be outdoors. You might want it, but do you need it?
With all that in mind there’s a couple of current test pieces that have a cheeky appeal to me. The first is a Frankly base layer t-shirt in Neobi fabric which is a mix of merino and cotton. Aye, cotton base layer, brilliant.
I’ve had this a while and know where I’m at with it, so a review is incoming but I love the middle finger it’s sticking up at current convention whatever else happens.
Second, in the wee bag is an Ultra Light Down Parka from UNIQLO. It is certainly light, is it warm? We’ll see at camp in a day or two. UNIQLO are doing a media assault this month and when the gave me a shout I couldn’t resist taking a sample. It’s 90/10 down with a nylon shell, so it should be a decent performer, the baffling design has some thought to it, but it’s a casual jacket, so will it be no good on a hill?
Don’t believe the hype, reverse psychology or devil’s advocate. Or none of the above.