For their trip to the Cairngorms, Iain Geddes and Mark Round were supplied with a range of products courtesy of Blacks and Oase Outdoors. Here they give their thoughts on the kit’s performance.
Robens Typhon Tent £330 robens.de
The two-berth Typhon offers a lightweight design combined with good protection against the elements.
Having pitched the tent at Moffat Club Site en-route to the Cairngorms, the torrential downpour and strong winds offered a robust test to see how the tent would perform. The storm guard and twist clip hook system proved effective not only in pitching the tent in less than ten minutes but also against the elements once inside. This is thanks largely to the durable flysheet fabric and tapered shape, plus rainproof panels. The flysheet is made of HydroTex XTL with sealed seems and a 2,000mm hydrostatic head. There’s also a small storage area, great for placing shoes or backpacks.
Berghaus Caudale fleece £45 berghaus.com
This thin fleece layer features the Berghaus AT Micro technology allowing it to be both breathable while trapping air, thus retaining body heat. The fleece fabric is made from 100 per cent polyester micro-denier yarns and performed admirably after I got changed following the river tubing. I found it not only retained my body heat but the zip on the arm proved handy for storing a small notepad to log details of the trip.
Marmot Windridge SS Base layer T-shirt £25 marmot.de
This T-shirt faced a brutal introduction to life in Scotland, as I was wearing this while pitching my tent at Moffat Club Site. Before I could grab a jacket, it had faced a battering of rain but thanks to its quick-drying fabric and mesh panels for breathability, I was able to take it off and allow it to dry ready for use again. It is also smart enough to wear out for a meal once pitched and I liked the added benefit of knowing it had an Ultraviolet Protection Factor of 50.
Montane Terra pants £55 montane.co.uk
These tough four-season trousers proved one of the most important pieces of kit on the trip.
The wind- and water-resistant fabric meant the trousers could offer both warmth and protection from the elements. The quarter length side zips allowed ventilation but also the opportunity to throw on over shorts and shoes if the weather changed, which it did constantly. The zipped hand pockets also kept my phone nice and dry and I also found the press stud ankle adjustment handy as this allowed for a tight fit against the Scarpa walking boots to prevent heat loss.
SealSkinz All Season Gloves £30 sealskinz.com
With a thermal grading of three out of five, these gloves offered more than enough warmth against the wind and rain in Scotland. The supple and durable goatskin leather palm meant the gloves not only fitted extremely well but offered protection against foliage en-route to take a look at the starting point of the river tubing adventure. A great bit of kit and the close-fitting design ensured the warmth was captured inside the glove.
Scarpa Baltoro GTX walking boot £110 scarpa.co.uk
Arguably the most comfortable walking boot I’ve ever worn, these boots performed with distinction throughout the duration of the trip.
Having crossed various types of terrain ranging from mud and rocks to fast-flowing streams, they did a wonderful job of keeping my feet warm and dry. The sole offered plenty of grip regardless of the slippery ground underfoot and I also found the design of the boot both rugged and stylish.
66° North Snaefell jacket (black) £280 66north.com
This jacket offered plenty of protection from both wind and rain having found itself in the first downpour of the trip at Moffat Club Site.
Tested in Iceland during its design process, it boasted excellent heat retention qualities with both a lightweight and breathable fabric.
The adjustable hood features a stiffened peak to help protect against the wind direction. There’s also the option of opening the hand warmer pockets to allow air to pass through the mesh and bring the overall temperature inside the jacket down. Once I’d popped this jacket on after leaving the river, I warmed up in no time and found its design subtle and smart.