What are the things manufacturers sell you walking gear on? In my opinion after using all sorts of clothing, there are many things that are irrelevant or not really required. I am fed up with carrying clothing that weighs a ton, jackets that have useless flappy hoods, map pockets that you don’t need and vents that are neither use nor ornament - anyone who has a Gore Tex jacket will know what I am talking about!
My expensive 3 layer Gore Tex has lay unused in the back of a cupboard for 5 years. I have been a big Paramo fan since then but the usual problem with their stuff is that it often ends up being too warm for the conditions but it is better than Gore Tex as it never makes you cold when you are wet on the inside of the jacket as well as outside.
Even that gets a bit weighty when you carry it around so over the last 12 months or so, any new gear I have bought has had to be light and compact when carrying it around. First was the bag, downsized to a stripped down 25 litre OMM. As I got a smaller bag, I have to get gear small enough to fit in it. That is okay for the summer, but what about winter? My latest investment, tested on the Greenburn Round for the first time was a Hafglofs LIM Barrier jacket (LIM = Less Is More!). It is a primaloft synthetic down filled jacket which is wind and water resistant, weighs about the same as two feathers and a piece of cotton and packs down to the size of a fag packet. It is a simple design with one chest pocket and no hood – I never use a hood anyway, preferring to use my trusty LA Mountain cap.
First impressions were that it was really good, doing the same job as a bulky fleece jacket. It did get too warm at one point, the answer to that was to simply take it off – no need for zip, vents, hoods or other such paraphernalia. Coupled with a Rab Generator Vest (also primaloft and highly packable), a Paclite shell for heavy rain, a Paramo fleece, gloves and hat I reckon I am pretty well sorted for most conditions without the bulk that I previously carried around. Anyone else fancy getting stripped down?