Friday, 30 November 2007


If you thought the Garmin Forerunner GPS Watch was good then you'll love this as it looks like it could be even better, as it also features a map display.
Westech Korea has just launched its Pyxis GPS watch at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2007. This comes complete with databases of different exercise routines such as marathons, hikes and walks. You'll be able to view these courses from your wrist and plan a schedule in advance. This GPS watch displays various information like elapsed time, speed, distance and consumed calories while you exercise. You can even save the nitty gritty details on each lap (maximum of 2,000 entries).
The big story here is the map though. However, it is going to pretty small and so hardly an ideal answer to mountain navigation in the rain when a droplet of water could drown the view of a cliff.

No idea on how much it will cost though or when it will appear on our shores.

For more information go to web site

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Wednesday, 28 November 2007

NEWS: Vango Force 10 Ultralite tents

The Force 10 series of tents by by Vango continues to grow in 2008 with the introduction of the Force 10 Ultralite series, which comprises of four designs, each with its own unique features and benefits.

The whole of the Force 10 range has been updated for 2008 which some new models being added to the range. The Vitesse (SRP £99) shown above is an ultra lightweight shelter for the extreme racer or an emergency shelter. With a minimum pack size, this two person tent has a trail weight of just under 1kg. For extra convenience or when you really need protection on the go the Vitesse can be pitched with walking poles or suspended from trees, canoe paddles or whatever else is around thanks to its hanging loop.

The new two person Vapour weighs only 1.1kg (£180)or just 800g (£150)for the lightweight version. A variable airflow vent designed to increase stability in high winds combines with TBS Pro system is designed to allow this tent to survive in serious weather. When the weather turns and you need to get undercover swiftly the single skin outer is quick and easy to set up, providing rapid protection against the elements.

The ultralite “twin skin” Helium one person weighs in at just 0.9kg and is £170. It's big brother is the 1.2kg 2 person model at£200.

The new Nitro offers the best balance available between performance, stability and weight. This versatile tent starts at a trail weight of just 1.75kg. Available in one (SRP £180), two (SRP £220) or two plus (SRP £270) capacity.

For more information go to Vango Force Ten web site

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NEWS: Hi-Tec Ion Mask Waterproof treatment

Tired of having to reproof gear? Hi-Tec have announced the release of Ion-mask™ technology, a treatment that works at the molecular level, binding invisibly to the surfaces of products, giving them an extraordinary ability to repel most liquids. Ion-mask™ was originally developed for the military to protect soldiers from chemical attack. The benefits include minimal consumption and negligible waste, and according to Hi-Tec the ion-mask™ treatment represents a quantum leap in footwear technology according to Hi-Tec.

Using patented plasma technology the Ion-mask™ process coats 3 dimensional objects with an invisible polymer mask that repels oil and water, without affecting the look or feel of the shoe.The plasma process enables polymers to infuse to the shoes/boots on a sub-microscopic scale. This means that every single fibre is given a layer of water repellent polymer only molecules thick.

Only tiny quantities of chemicals are needed, with minimal waste, so the Ion-mask™ process is also highly efficient compared with traditional methods such as dip application (DWR's) or membrane technologies. Equally the process is activated at room temperature making it one of the most climate friendly footwear technologies available.

Ion-mask™ also helps to keep footwear clean, a quick wipe and the dirt simply falls away. Furthermore the Ion-mask™ process means the fibres on even open weave materials become repellent and therefore non-absorbent. Coating every fibre, not just the outer layer, means the entire shoe (inside and out) is treated. This eliminates the need for a waterproof membrane or 'booty construction' so the shoe is as breathable before the process as after. Better still the process is far more durability than conventional treatments, while breathability remains unchanged compared with untreated materials.

The Ion-mask™ treated shoe is also lighter, by around 35 grams for mid-cut UK8, than its membrane equivalent. In fact, unlike a membrane construction, the treated shoe will not gain weight when used in wet conditions as the material no longer retains water.

The new technology will not be available until Autumn Winter 2008, however it does look set to change the performance of footwear in a major way and could see the end of having to regularly treat footwear to maintain water repellancy.

Trail has a pair of the treated footwear and will provide more information here as soon as they have had a good test.

For more information go to Hi-Tec web site

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