Review of North Face Pamir Etip Gloves

Grubby pair of North Face Pamir Etips

Navigating maps, taking and sharing photos, tweeting, listening to audiobooks and checking in with loved ones – I use my smart phone a huge amount when enjoying the outdoors. Phones are getting better – with rugged phones like the Motorola Defy (or a standard phone in an Aquapac), they can survive the elements more and with power solutions like the PowerMonkey Extreme, battery life for multi-day trips is becoming possible. Screen technology has also progressed away from the single tap resistive screens (remember those styluses?) towards multi touch capactive screens. This however creates a problem for outdoor use – capactive screens need contact with skin which means cold hands in bad weather! The North Face Pamir Etip gloves (slogan: “Get cold weather phone friendly function without removing gloves”) aim to solve this problem and I have spent the last three months trying them out.

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Head torches, night walking and a review of Petzl Tikkina 2

The first proper head torch I bought was the Petzl MYO XP (I am excluding the cheap chain store head torches I went through that have poor performance and terrible battery life). My (former) neighbour, @documentally, had got himself a Petzl MYO RXP (his first look video is quite amusing) and, whilst the programming element seemed largely pointless, it seemed a good torch.

The MYO XP offers up to 150 lumens (in boost mode – shining up to 97 meters), has three lighting levels, a flashing mode, a diffuser and I found battery life to be good. It does however have some drawbacks – it weights in at 170g (including batteries), it is quite expensive (mine cost £58.50), the buttons are very fiddly (I really struggle to switch it on in a dark tent) and light gets reflected straight into your eyes when the diffuser is up (I never noticed this until @groovy_nut pointed it out – now it is like having the sun burning directly into my eyes. She has a fix involving matt black enamel paint).

The Petzl TIKKINA on the other hand is £19.99, offers a maximum of 23 lumens (shining up to 23 meters), weighs 80g (including 3 AAA batteries) and has two lighting levels (maximum and economic). The torch has a big push button switch – you press it once for maximum beam, a second time for economic beam, and a third time to switch it off. It comes in a variety of garish colours – french rose, electric blue, lime green and orange. I was initially not very fond of lime green (the colour of mine) – but having a bright colour certainly makes it easier to find in my pack than my dark ‘ninja black’ MYO XP.

But with 6.5 times less brightness, is the TIKKINA going to be any use? There is only one way to find out!

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Review: Men’s 100 Khyber 1/4 Zip Fleece Top

Men's 100 Khyber 1/4 Zip Fleece Top

>I have had this Men’s 100 Khyber 1/4 Zip fleece top for almost three months now. I have worn it on hills and in fields, on hot days and showery days, whilst on campsites and in pubs – I have even worn it watching TV! North Face describe it as “soft, lightweight, breathable and stylish” and do you know what – it is all those things. I like it!

[Disclosure – this fleece was provided by Webtogs for me to keep and to give my own personal opinions on it and they have no influence on these views and no editorial control. Webtogs have a whole range of fleece tops available on their site]
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Review: Keen Men’s Targhee II Walking Shoes [updated]

Taking a break!

Hiking boots or walking shoes? Until recently I would have said hiking boots – I have a pair of much loved Brasher Supalite II GTX boots, which I wear on most hikes.  I also have an old pair of North Face waterproof shoes (now less waterproof) but, while they were convenient for dog walks, I found my ankles were left aching when I used them for longer distances. So what has changed? Well, I was recently sent a pair of Keen Targee II walking shoes to review by Webtogs, and over the last 100 miles I have learnt to love them!
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