Thursday, 4 October 2007

NEWS: Balanced chest pouch

Keeping access to cameras while backpacking has always been a problem with choices varying from chest mountain pouches that bounce around to hip belt mounted pouches that make it difficult to squeeze through cracks when scrambling. The innovative syncpack™ frontpack system could solve all these problems, as it is a chest mountain system that remains stable.

The patent-pending syncpack frame has innovative telescoping members that slide dynamically to match the bending movements of your torso, without compromising stability or weight transfer to the hips. The sliding frame members allow your upper body to move independently of the weight-bearing central frame structure, for complete freedom of movement during the full range of outdoor activities from hiking and skiing to tying your shoes.

The syncpack quick-release connectors strap onto the hip belt and shoulder straps of your backpack so you can attach and remove the frontpack in a "snap". The pouch makes a heavy load feel dramatically lighter and more comfortable as the patent-pending syncpack frame counterbalances the backward pull of your backpack and restores your natural upright body posture. The syncpack system reduces the strain on your shoulders, back, and abdominal muscles so you can go farther, go faster, and feel better at the end of the day. Best of all the system provides on-the-move access to frequently used gear. You don't need to stop and take off your backpack to reach your camera, map, sunscreen, snack, water, etc.

Currently the Sync Pack is only available in the US, but hopefully a UK importer will look into bringing it across the pond.

For more information go to Sync Pack web site

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Wednesday, 3 October 2007

NEWS: The Greenest And Most Ethical Technical Product Line

Surf brand Finisterre is launching the greenest and most ethical technical product line in the world.

The range consists of an exclusive bio-mimetic waterproof fabric, that is more breathable and more comfortable than any other waterproof on the market, according to Finisterre. It is made from recycled polyester, with lightweight ribbed insulation, coupled with a polycotton jacket impregnated with beeswax. The clothing provides weatherproof protection all year around with a fitted and casual style.

Finisterre has been invited to present their findings and achievements at two major global events this coming year, the Rite-Group Conference ( and Good Profit Event ( The events will be rallying some of the largest business and individuals in the global arena like M&S, Timberland, Nike and Patagonia, as well as a keynote speech by Al Gore (An Inconvenient Truth and Ex-Vice President of America). “We’re the only brand presenting at these global events whose bitten the bullet and decided to pull out of China, apply the most stringent environmental and sustainable decisions into our product line”, said Ernest Capbert, Finisterre marketing director.

The bio-mimetic waterproof fabric is featured in the Limited Edition Storm Track at £250.00

How long will it be until outdoor brands following this surfing brand's lead and ride the wave of interest in more ethical outdoor gear?

For more information go to Finisterreuk web site

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NEWS:World's first bicycle iPod speaker

Tired of the sound of the wind whistling through your ears when mountain biking? Then you could strap the wireless iPod dock to your bike so you can listen to your music while you ride. Working with the iPod or iPod nano, it's a wireless speaker, using the Kleer Audio transmission that claims to be 10 times more energy efficient than Bluetooth.

The Cy.Fi speaker is about the size of a deck of cards and mounts on your handlebars. It spreads its stereo sound so you don't have to wear earphones that might prevent you from hearing cars that are creeping up beside you. You can even use one iPod to broadcast its signal to everyone in your riding group as it has a transmitter range of 30feet. You could of course also use the speaker as a lightweight sound system and attached it to just about anything.

Is this a good development that walkers will welcome in the countryside? Does the thought of hearing a group of mountain bikers with music pumping out clash with your dream of finding tranquility in the countryside while walking along a quite bridleway?

Available sometime in 2008 and it'll cost you $149 - not available in the UK - yet!

For more information go to My Cy Fi web site

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Tuesday, 2 October 2007

NEWS: Petzl Signal £10

Touting the headline "See me before I see you", the Petzl Signal red safety light is designed to complement the Petzl e+LITE head torch. The Signal is designed to be seen from 1000 metres, with 180 degrees of lightbeam. The Signal can be set to blink or burn on full beam mode. It weighs just 22grams, including batteries and is water resistant to 1 metre depth. The Signal can be attached to the elastic head band of a standard headtorch, or clipped to a helmet, arm or rucksack.

Could be a useful safety aid in the hills as it should allow a rescue team to find you far more easily.

The Petzl Signal goes on sale January 2008

For more information go to Lyon Equipment web site

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Sunday, 30 September 2007

NEWS: Scarpa heated footbeds

Frozen out of winter walking by the fear of cold feat? Well the chill could be over, as Scarpa is launching the Grizu heated footbed system that heats up the front part of the foot and raising the temperature inside the boot to an extremely comfortable 38° C. The microprocessor inside the insole regulates the output based on the outside temperature making sure the foot is never too cold or hot.

Inside the Heating Support Footbed there is a lithium battery, a flexible resistor and a highly sensitive temperature sensor. Also included is a battery charger with a double outlet so the right and left insoles can be charged individually. A remote control is also included so that the insoles can be switched on and off from outside the boot.

The Grizu can be inserted into any boot or shoe with a removable insole. The Heating Support Footbed even functions in humid conditions. If they are submerged in water the electric circuit automatically protects itself and once dried out will carry on working. The polymer Lithium batteries use similar technology to mobile phones and stay charged for up to 7 hours.

The Grizu could be ideal anyone with poor circulation or those prone to cold feet in the winter and retails for £140.00 and go on sale this winter.

For more information go to Scarpa web site

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NEWS: Vaude Versametric backsystem

Vaude's Versametric backsystem was designed for carrying heavyloads over long distances. The back system features a polycarbonate frame so that the back is stiff and supportive to reduce the energy use of the user. This frame is preshaped to follow the contours of the spine and pelvis. The backsystem consists of a pendulum hipbelt that pivots in the same place as your back twists, again to reduce energy use by the user. The result is that the load is distributed onto the pelvis without lateral pressure caused by a normal hipelt. The back length can also be adjusted on the move.

The new Versametric backsystem will be featured in a range of rucksacks with capacities from 60 to 70 litres. The Versametric Proof 65+10 also benefits from Ultra Seam Technology, which makes the seams the waterproof.

The new Versametric backsystem will be released in Spring 2008.

For more information go to Vaude web site

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