Friday, 24 August 2007

NEWS: Anquet mapping software upgrade

Anquet is releasing a new version of their digital mapping software tonight!

Anquet version 6.2 takes into account feedback from people using the Download Service. The software is compatible with Windows Vista, 2000 or XP. Improvements include letting you know the maps are being downloaded rather than appearing to freeze as it did before. It’s now much faster to access the download service and download multiple maps too. Anquet now queues your map downloads for you, so there’s no need to download one map at a time. You can also now keep using Anquet while your maps are downloading. The result is an improved download experience. In Trail tests, the slow download was a real issue, so this update is very welcome.

Anquet v6.2 also improves the tools for ‘cutting your own map’. New shading tools in the Map Manager show the map data you already own and the map coverage available. Now you’re able to easily extend your map data without fear of buying the same area twice. For map types where complete coverage of Great Britain is not available such as aerial photography, you will now be able to see the coverage available shaded on the map, and cut round those areas.

Other improvements in the new software release include easier management of My Maps. The My Maps tab now contains a filter to allow you to see certain types of maps, such as free maps available, or maps that you have purchased more intuitively. Again this was an area that Trail testers found irritating, so once again this sounds like a promising step forward.

You can download the latest version of Anquet at
Anquet are also running a sale during the bank holiday weekend, with 20% being slashed off all Anquet digital maps, so long as you have the coupon code: SUM20. The sale starts tonight (Friday) and finishes on Tuesday 28th August at 12 midnight! To claim the 20% discount of all Anquet maps here’s what to do….

Anquet Download Service
Upgrade to Anquet v6.2 so that the coupon can be entered at the checkout. Once you’ve added all your maps to your basket press the new ‘Add Coupon’ button and enter SUM20 to get the 20% discount.

Anquet CD’s
Visit the Anquet web shop at Once you’ve added the Anquet CD’s you’d like to your basket proceed to the checkout and you’ll be given an opportunity to enter a coupon code. Enter SUM20 and get 20% discount.

For more information go to Anquet web site

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Thursday, 23 August 2007

NEWS: Vaude tent upgrade

Vaude tents have beefed up stability and venting for the 2008 season. The new Power Frame uses thinner poles with cross ties to enhance stability through the use of a triangulated design of the tensioning ties. The image above left show how the current Space III tent would flex under 80km/h winds, while the image above right, shows how the new Power Space III tent is able to withstand 80km/h winds.

Vaude have also improved ventilation around the base of many of their tents by creating an air vent around the foot of the flysheet that allows air in without letting the rain in. As can be seen from the image below, the ground vent is made from mesh and so allows airfllow. However the mesh also keeps horizontally driven rain out by blocking raindrops and in the manufacturer's terms, 'exploding' the rain drops! The manufacturers suggest that the mesh will keep bugs out too, although they obviously have not battled against a highland midge.

Trail will be doing our own tests on the Power Space III as soon as we can get one. The new products go instore in Spring 2008.

For more information go to Vaude UK web site

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Tuesday, 21 August 2007

REVIEW: Gregory Z30 rucksack £80

The Gregory Z30 is part of the brand's Fast and Light range, designed to strike a balance between weight and durability without sacrificing performance. It has the new Jetstream air sprung back system with a capacity of around 30 litres, so it should be ideal for day trips as well as superlight overnights. Trail reviewed a bunch of these sacks in the August issue, but here's one that missed the test, yet is well worth a closer look.

It's good:
The Gregory Z30 benefits from a new Jetstream airsprung back system, which means it doesn't stick to your back like a wet flannel in hot weather. However it still fits reasonably close to your back so it remains stable when walking. I even used this for scrambling and found it great. As the back system is not too curved, it does not impede packing, unlike some other pre-curved back systems. You get a massive hip belt, which is unusual for this size of sack, but the result is a good close fit that is comfortable and not too hot and sweaty.
The main compartment of the sack is fairly conventional with a capacity of 30 litres according to the manufacturers. There is a zip around opening, which works well. A compression panel on the front is ideal for stashing a jacket too. You get a zipped front pocket that is large enough for OS maps, a OS map sized lid pocket, plus mesh wand pockets, that are deep enough to hold a waterbottle. Poles can be stashed on the sides quite easily too thanks to a pair of compression straps and those deep wand pockets. It is hydration system compatible and generally ideal for walkers.

But: Not everyone will like the zip around opening and I would prefer a single buckled conventional lid. Some may prefer side pockets, rather than a front pocket. So not a great deal to complain about here and it is really down to personal preferences when you are looking for drawbacks to this design. At 1200g there are lighter sacks if you want to travel light.

Verdict: Excellent well ventilated rucksack that is ideal for valley, hill and mountain walkers and it is fine for scrambling too.

Vital stats
Manufacturers capacity 30 litres
Fabric 210 D nylon
Features Jet Stream DTS suspension well ventilated sprung back system, lid pocket, front pocket, compression straps, zipped main opening, top tensioning straps, ice axe loops, hydration system compatible
Weight 1200g
Made in Far East

Reviewed by Graham Thompson

For more information go to Gregory web site

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