Thursday, 2 August 2007

VIDEO: Ruffwear Web Master dog harness

There's no reason to leave your dog at home when heading for the hills. However normal dog collars may not be the best option when scrambling over rocks as the dog could slip the collar or slip and be left hanging from its collar.

To make a dog's life on the hill safer and more comfortable Ruffwear produce the Web Master dog harness. This was designed in conjuction with search and rescue dog teams and so it is ideal for mountain travellers. The harness fits around the dog and is secured with quick release buckles. Padding makes the harness comfortable, while a tough haul loop allows the dog to be lifted over stiles, rock steps or kept safe in the event of a slip.

This video will give you a feel for it and you can read more about taking your dogs on the hills on page 44 of the September issue of Trail.

For more information check out the Ruffwear web site

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Wednesday, 1 August 2007

VIDEO: INOV8 Race Pro rucksack

Not content with kitting out fell runners and adventure race teams with running shoes, Inov8 have added a range of ultralight rucksack's to their product range. The range is designed for travelling fast and travelling light and comes in a range of sizes from 12 to 30 litres. All the sacks feature Inov8's revolutionary hydration system, that stows the water bladder horizontally around the waist rather than vertically up the pack. The result is that running with a pack and hydration system may never have been so good.

This video will give you a feel for it. You can read the full review on page 16 of the September issue of Trail.

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NEWS: Proshell promises weight loss

Gore's new ProShell fabric not only promises improved condensation control, but according to Mountain Equipment, there is also a weight saving to be enjoyed!

Mountain Equipment have sliced 50grams of the weights of their classic mountain jackets such as the Changabang, Kongur and Ogre by switching to Gore ProShell from Gore XCR. In the search for the lightest waterproof in the World, the use of Proshell is clearly going to raise the bar on what we all call average weight for a waterproof. Furthermore every gram counts when you want to lighten the load on your back.

The offical release for Gore Proshell will be in September 2007, however Mountain Equipment have jumped the gun and their Gore Proshell jackets are already available in some stores ... even though their web site still lists the old Gore XCR versions of the classic jackets and makes no mention of the new Proshell versions!

Look out for more news of Proshell in Trail as we have had them since the Spring!

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NEWS: Lafuma Eco Award

Who is the most ethical brand in the outdoor market? Well according to the Ispo Sport & Style show in Munich, Lafuma hold the title and won the Ispo Performance Award for Eco-responsibility.

The Ispo Award was won by Lafuma during the Ispo show that took place between June 29th to July 1st. The award highlighted the Lafuma's Eco 40 backpack. According to Lafuma this rucksack is the first eco-design backpack to appear in the market. The top priority in its design is environmental protection. The materials and manufacturing processes were selected on account of their low environmental impact. Lafuma developed a special recycled polyethylene fabric and a new waterproofing technique that causes less pollution. According to Lafuma, the end result is a lightweight backpack delivering comparable performance to conventional products, at a competitive price.

This is the second prize awarded to the Eco 40 backpack this year as it also. won the 2007 Etoile de l'Observeur du Design award, organized by France's Agency for the Promotion of Industrial Design (APCI), with a special mention from the Agency for Environment and Energy Management (Ademe).

As green issues, become the leading marketing issues of the day, this will no doubt be the start of a new wave of eco products and at last it is not just Patagonia that are winning all the eco awards.

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Tuesday, 31 July 2007

NEWS: Event not a wind of change

Event's much awaited windproof softshell fabric has not brought the wind of change to the market that the brand had hoped. Rab are using the fabric in their Kailash jacket, which will be released this Autumn for £150. However sales of the flagship garment have been low and only the blue version of the jacket has been sold into a very small number of stores. Event are looking into designing a lighter version of the fabric for Autumn/Winter 2008.

Trail have had their bodies inside the Rab Kailash Event windproof since the spring and we'll be bringing a full review shortly. The jacket is fairly close fitting and warm and you should find that the windproofing and breathability on at least on par with other windproofs like Gore Windstopper and possibly better.

The jacket hits the stores in September - although by the sounds of it, they are going to be few and far between.

For further information visit Event fabric web site

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NEWS: TEVA trash shoes

You can be green and be seen in cool gear now that just about every outdoor brand is raising their green credentials.

Autumn/Winter 2007 sees Teva going green and giving trash a chance with its new ‘Curbside Collection’. All footwear in the collection features post consumer canvas lining and a post consumer recycled rubber outsole. Using post consumer materials such as plastic bottles and used car tyres Teva have set out to be ethical.

Is this a step in the right direction or a chance for Teva to hike up their green marketing?

For further information visit Teva web site

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NEWS: World exclusive review of World's lightest tent

It's official. The lightest two person tent in the world is the Terra Nova Laser Photon. This is the suped up version of the Terra Nova Laser Competition, that held the Guiness World Record in 2006 for being the 'lightest tent in the World'. As far as we know there is only one sample of this tent in the Europe and we have had it in our sweaty palms! We had it just for a week, before it was sent back and shown at the OutDoor 2007 trade show in Germany.

The Photon shaves 110grams of the weight of the Laser Competition. The weight saving comes from a lighter groundsheet fabric, a tweak in the design to reduce weighty seems, a lighter main pole and a set of titanium pegs that tip the scales at 1gram per peg!

Is this tent ideal for your average backpacker? I suspect not, but then it is not designed to be. I found the thin wire pegs were easily lost and also that they tended to ping out more easily than more substantial pegs. Like the Laser Competition, this tent is not as stable as heavier tents either and while it is rated as being spacious enough for two, you'd need to enjoy sharing body sweat! But if weight saving is on the agenda, then the Photon could be ideal.

If you are heading for the OMM event, then you are in luck as Terra Nova have ensured a small stock of the tents are available from the end of August 2007 (ready for the OMM), from Field and Trek and Up and Running

Read the Trail review of the Terra Nova Laser Photon in the September issue of Trail

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