A review of the best equipment I’ve used in 2019. All the items have been well tested in variety of tough conditions.
Mountain Equipment Tupilak 45
I’ve owned a lot of packs over the years and the Mountain Equipment Tupilak is definitely one of my all time favourites. It fits all the criteria that I’ve always looked for in a pack. A simple fixed length back, light in weight and compression straps. That’s about it, that’s pretty much all you need. The Tupilak is fairly modular and I’ve stripped mine right down to the bare essentials, it’s basically now just a big hole to pile gear into with a lid to cover everything up. Perfect.
Rab Nebula Pro Jacket
I spend quite of my working life hanging around in cold, damp and windy places. Assessing on the Rock Climbing Instructor award in particular involves spending a lot of time at the top of windy crags watching and assessing candidates. I needed a jacket that had synthetic insulation that withstood the damp and dried quickly. The hood needed to fit over a helmet and I wanted a two way zip so I could belay in it while wearing it over a harness. The Rab Nebula Pro fits all these criteria. Also it is sized slightly big so it goes on over the top of multiple layers including if necessary a waterproof. It’s also light enough to carry as a possible emergency layer in the hills and mountains. It is in my pack every day I go out to work.
Sportiva Boulder X Mid Boots
I bought these to use as a scrambling boot but they are so comfy and versatile I’ve ended up using them for most of my days out working this year. They have climbed gritstone rock climbs, I’ve worm them trekking in the Himalayas, on Mountain Leader and Hill and Moorland leader courses and grade 3 scrambles in North Wales.
Petzl Sama Harness
I was looking for a new harness and Ben in the Foundry Climbing centre shop directed me to the Petzl Sama harness. Simple and comfortable with no superfluous features. It fits me very well with a variety of clothing combinations. The white tie in points and belay loop make tying or clipping in very easy and obvious.
Black Diamond Kingpin Gloves
My favourite all round gloves were a pair of Decathlon all leather alpine gloves given to me by Ed Chard of Jagged Globe. I used them for one Scottish winter season then I lost them and then they were discontinued so I never managed to get another pair. These are the closest replacement I’ve found. Just leather with a fleece lining, simple but effective. Warm enough for all but the coldest days, dexterous and durable. They have been in my pack all year.