Hati shares her gear upgrades and her three new items of waterproof clothing for actually enjoying the cold and the wet in preparation for her Hill and Moorland Leader assessment.
Being more of a runner and climber I’ve always been embarrassingly minimalist when it comes to waterproofs, but last year I spent more time out in the rain and snow than ever before as I consolidated for my Hill and Mooland Leader Assessment (in a very wet and windy December!?).
With this transition came extensive sogginess and the realisation that my waterproof clothing wasn’t quite what I needed it to be. Upgrades were necessary! Here are a few upgrades that helped me enjoy getting out in the cold and the wet.
ME Tupilak waterproof jacket
I’ve always sworn by my Alpkit Balance waterproof jacket: it’s mighty packable and keeps off the showers. However working outdoors takes its toll on a jacket and, although it’s brilliant jacket, my Balance wasn’t proving to be quite so rugged and durable as I now needed.
The ME Tupilak women’s waterproof jacket is a whole other story. It may be described as stripped-back and minimalist, but that refers more to its features than its fabric. The Tupilak uses Gore-Tex Pro which is said to be more durable and breathable than regular Gore-Tex. I’ve never felt drier and warmer inside a jacket, which is what I’m after in a hard shell waterproof, and at 80D it certainly feels pretty rugged. Restrictions mean that I’ve only tested it in the Peak District so far, but I feel confident that it will be able to handle far more abrasive places.
The Tupilak features a helmet compatible hood and large chest Napoleon pockets that sit above your harness, so it’s ideal if you want to climb in it too. However, if you’re looking for a jacket for hillwalking only the hood may feel a bit ridiculous, even when cinched in. A good hillwalker’s equivalent would be the ME Manaslu (women’s) or Lhotse (mens). These two are far more tailored to hillwalking with a smaller hood, pit zips and a mix of 40D/80D fabric that breathe a bit better.
At £380 the Tupilak is a sizeable investment but if working outdoors has taught me anything, it’s the value of staying dry!
Alpkit Nautilus waterproof over trousers
I tend to wear the Alpkit Parallax waterproof over trousers for cycling and running because they’re so light and packable that you’ve no excuse not to pop them in your bag. But again I was after something more durable for work and for hill walking, with a view to use in the mountains when it’s safe to visit. I also wanted full-length zips for my boots.
Although thus far I’ve only tested them in the Peak District, the Alpkit Nautilus have kept my legs happy and dry. The zips aren’t full-length but leave you with plenty of space for incoming big boots when you take them on and off. I particularly like the slimmer fitting leg as you don’t get any flappy excess fabric when the wind picks up, and the fabric itself is super durable without being restrictive.
One of my favourite things about the Nautilus over trousers is that they come in short, regular and long leg lengths. As a long-legged person who struggles to find over trousers to accommodate, this was particularly welcome! The price isn’t so bad either, at £119.99* the Nautilus are cheaper than a lot of comparable options.
*At the time of writing, these are on sale at £89.99
Alpkit Gabbro waterproof winter gloves
I have terrible circulation and it doesn’t take much for my fingers to get all numb and useless, not ideal if you’re working outdoors! For this reason I opted for Alpkit’s most second most serious looking glove (the first most serious being a gauntlet).
I could go on about the features, but what I really love about the Gabbro is that they keep my hands warm and dry. The pile lining is really cosy, and the soft outer fabric means you can still actually use your hands when you’re wearing them. At £54.99* they’re a little more affordable that comparable options too.
*At the time of writing these are on sale at £44.99.