Bench Atlass Insulator Jacket (RRP EUR134.95): Sometimes you need a jacket that offers warmth and shower resistance without being bulky or heavy. The sporty Atlass Insulator Women’s Jacket has a sleek design and good quality. Its a great shape for women and is superbly lightweight while still offering considerable warmth. It has a high collar with a chin guard but lacks a drawstring on the hood for on especially chilly days. Nonetheless its water-resistant and wind proof material and light Primaloft® lining mean it’s a good winter jacket, and good value for money. It is also stylish for everyday use, with zipper and lining in contrasting colour and two side pockets with zippers, as well as an extra hidden pocket and an interior pocket suitable for cash, phone or ipod, which comes in handy when travelling. We even tested this jacket on the slopes in Austria and Germany in late February and early March, and found it to be up to the task, though as anticipated, something more hardy would be required in bitter weather conditions.
Jack Wolfskin Bike & Hike 22 Rucksack (RRP EUR65.00): We feel that this ACS system rucksack hybrid represents a successful fusion of bike pack and hiking daypack as it delivers excellent ventilation for both of these activities. The teardrop pack geometry is specifically designed for dual use, and the capacity (22 litres) is sized for extended day trips carrying standard weatherproof kit, ideal for both biking and shorter hikes. The rucksack’s features include attachments for a helmet and cycle light, an integral rain cover and a pouch and tube duct for an on-board hydration system. The high-vis reflective detailing improves visibility in road traffic or low light conditions. Its weight is in the region of 980g and additional details include a side pocket, mesh pocket and bungee cord system plus handy features like a key hook, LED clip and safety whistle. Overall it’s a great daypack for outdoor activity for spring through to autumn with a range of handy features.
Mountain Designs Expedition 70L Roller Bag (RRP AUD169.95): This is a very versatile piece of luggage for a range of trips. If you’re after a heavy duty duffle for your travels that is waterproof, but aren’t so keen on heaving it onto your shoulders once it’s packed full, this roller is a good choice. Built in tough tarpaulin and 1000D nylon, the bag is very durable and will protect your gear in wet weather, though as the seams are not sealed it is not 100% waterproof. The retractable handle is strong and easy to use and the inline skate wheels are replaceable, so overall it should have a long life. The bag also features simple shoulder straps and multiple grab handles for portability. The interior of the main and roomy compartment has a number of pockets to stash items that require easy access.
SIGG Thermo (RRP: USD29.99-39.99): The new Thermo collection at SIGG includes four sizes of bottles ranging from 0.3L to 1L, and come in three stylish colours: teal, classic white, and smoked pearl. Their minimalist design is characteristic of SIGG. We like the tall and thin style as they fit well into packs or side pockets. The two smaller sizes are equipped with a tea filter, while the two larger have adjoining cups that serve as lids. SIGG Thermo bottles are of course made of high-end odour and taste neutral stainless steel and are BPA and Phthalates Free. With double walled vacuum insulation, they claim to keep beverages hot for up to eight hours and when we tested this, while our drinks were warm enough they was no longer piping hot. Nonetheless the Thermo performs well and crucially, we experienced no leaking into our packs at all. Perfect for hiking, commuting or long journeys.