No Lighter… column this month, there’s been a revamp and the Knowledge section has been replaced by the er, Mountain Genius section, and my column is oot. An early version of the last unprinted one is below.
My Used & Abused on the Inov8 Roclite 288’s is in there and that’s it from me this issue.
Claire Maxted’s got a nice review of trail shoes, all good models too.
One thing that struck me was the Beinn Dorain route from Dan Bailey, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen the summit track, every time I’ve been up there it’s been winter and under snow cover. Looks nice in summer.
Lightweight gear follows different threads of evolution depending on what users need. Backpackers are looking for the ultimate lowest weight, but to achieve this, the gear can become very basic, often just enough to carry a load or keep the rain off. If you’re sticking to the trail it’s fine, but on steep or rough open ground, or in the worst of weather, its limitations and comfort limits can be found quite quickly
Gear for alpine ascents is usually stripped-down and purely functional, meaning be default that it’s also light. Alpine style packs such as ************ work for climbing as well as for lightweight backpacking and daywalks. Waterproof shells like ************ show their alpine roots by being simple, robust and user friendly, carrying only the features you actually need.
Adventure racing has had a huge influence on lightweight gear, and it’s here that weight, functionality, durability and performance often hits a sweet spot. The result is gear that works exceptionally well for any lightweight outdoor pursuits
The idea of adventure or fell racing kit normally conjures up visions of skinny folk in black tights with big watches, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There’s plenty of crossover gear that works and still looks good too. The only issue is usually cost, the best fabrics and cutting edge design don’t come without a little pain in your wallet Terra Nova’s Laser packs have taken everyone by surprise, they’re the lightest out there and super functional, with capacity enough for a weekend in the hills. OMM have used their years of experience to make the AdventureLight 20, a year-round daypack and racers favourite at 420g. Haglofs Kazoo’s are tights but not tights, slightly looser cut in fantastic softshell stretch fabric for comfort without embarrassment.