|Vaude Power Tokee UL|
And so as the winter months fast approach, some new gear has landed on my doorstep for testing over the coming period. Some of which will prove to be very handy.
Needless to say, I won’t submit any review for each product for quite some time. I like to give each bit of gear at least 3 months of heavy use – which is reasonably easy given how long and often I’m out and about.
Anyway, first up is Vaude’s Power Tokee UL tent.
On my scales it comes in a total of 847g’s all in. Not bad, eh? Pegs are more akin to toothpicks, mind – so I’ll likely ditch most and use my own as per usual. It’s roomy enough inside for one person though the porch is a bit small and restrictive. There’s not much room to cook and venting possibilities leave a lot to be desired. You can’t even tie back the main door to give that wide view of the world, either.
So, I’ve taken some spare dyneema guyline and made a loop and tie to remedy this minor irk.
Otherwise, it pitches quick and easy and seems no less or more stable than a Terra Nova Laser Competition, in my opinion. We’ll see how it gets on, eh?
|Handy push/pull/twist valve on Vaude Norrsken mattress|
Next up is the Norrsken mattress which has a comfort limit of -17c. It’s slightly narrower than the Exped mats I’m used to but no less comfy either.
As for warmth? Well, I’ll soon find out about that but on the specs front there’s some Primaloft infinity synthetic insulation laminated inside each chamber. What I do like so far, is the tubes are overlapping – a la shingle construction – to prevent heat loss.
It does require the user to blow the mattress up which doesn’t take long (though this is a size ‘short’). The nozzle is pretty cool, too. No faffing about here.
You pull gently on the nozzle, blow, then press it back in to seal and twist slightly to lock. So, none of that huffing and puffing and then slipping your filthy fingers into your mouth in a race to seal the nozzle closed.
Mattress weighs 500g on the dot just as advertised, too.
|Vaude Bivi 1 – roomy and with easy access, unlike most bivouacs|
A Vaude Bivi 1 has arrived, also. Something I’ve taken a liking to already. Namely due to side entry (though there’s no mesh alternative door) and nice headroom once laid down inside.
Even so, as with most bivouacs the depth is a little too short to accommodate you, a sleeping bag and a thick inflated air mattress – ie, the Norrsken.
You’ll likely end up unwittingly compressing any loft in your sleeping bag against the bivvy. Something I touched upon recently when reviewing the Rab Ridge Raider.
Given the season ahead, I’ll probably opt for a self-inflating mattress when using this bivvy – which comes in at a total weight of 950g’s on my scales.
And then a couple of bits from Merrell, too.
|At home on the hills|
Merrell Chameleon Evo Mid Syn GTX boots, which at a size 10.5 come in at under a kilo and have done around 50 miles already in the past week.
So, far they’ve proven to be comfy, kept my feet dry and not too hot either. Grip has been good, too.
|The “Derbyshire Hoff” I’ve been nicknamed
by Jamie at Trekking Britain!
I’ve been trying out a Merrell Intercept synthetic jacket, too. Weighs 480gs for a size large, has two external hand pockets, small interior security pocket, and no hood.
It’s water resistant and so far apart from looking like a smart and fashionable jacket – it’s proven to be quite warm, too. Not something for heavy winter use, mind. But when out walking it’s been OK.
It has a large pocket within where you can stuff the jacket away and transform the garment into a camping pillow, too!