Outdoor Gear Blog - CheapTents

CheapTents Outdoor Gear Blog

…not just tents…a camping equipment blog too!

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Have you looked out of the window today? It’s Friday and it’s raining again!

the river that was a stream

A river bursts its banks in the Lake District. Source: Flickr by twak

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A Windy Hike on Arthurs Seat, Edinburgh

A Windy Hike on Arthurs Seat, Edinburgh. Source: Flickr by joe.lipson

Standing in our shop last week I had an epiphany whilst examining two different windshirts, a thought came into my mind which stunned me that wind proof clothing is even more versatile than I thought! Now in my defence I know Waterproof Jackets are 100% windproof, but what I was thinking about was the other windproof and wind resistant products that are on the market. The kind of clothing designed especially for summer or active use, as you don’t really want to wear your waterproof on a lovely bright BREEZY day do you? Or a fleece that as soon as the wind gusts is as much protection as a chocolate fireguard?

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Update: We no longer stock the Arctic Parka and instead recommend The North Face Suzanne Tri Climate Jacket, the Jack Wolfskin Nova Scotia Jacket or the Didricksons Women’s Angelina Parka.

As with many The North Face Jackets, the Arctic Parka is a best seller, normally selling out within days of arrival at our shop. To find out why the Ladies Arctic Parka is such a huge seller we asked Sarah to take it for a test, just as she did with the North Face Womens Resolve Jacket a few weeks ago.

Women's Arctic Parka Jacket from The North Face

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Update: We are no longer stocking the Women’s Resolve Jacket and instead recommend the Stormcloud Jacket from Berghaus.

The North Face are famous for quality and style, whether it’s a duffle bag or a waterproof jacket, the North Face can always be counted upon to be awesome. Today we are taking a look at one of the best sellers in our range, The North Face Womens Resolve Waterproof Jacket .

This review is written by my partner Sarah, who did a field test for this review.

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Update: We are not currently selling the Altas jacket, instead we have The North Face Zenith Triclimate Jacket, which is similar.

The North Face brand is one which is known for producing supremely high quality and innovative products. Today we are taking a look at a waterproof jacket which has been part of their collection for a few years, the Atlas Triclimate Jacket.

The Atlas Triclimate Jacket claims to be a versatile 3-in-1 jacket providing optimal cold and wet weather protection. So as part of this review we’ll be examining just how versatile this jacket is and whether it really does offer such great protection as it claims, we’re not sceptics but we like quality to be proven.

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Mountain Equipment Kongur Gore Tex Jacket

The award winning and much loved ME Kongur at £252 is a lot of money, so why wouldn't you want to protect it?

Breathable waterproof fabrics such as Gore Tex, eVent and Gelanots are highly technical and can be expensive. So it is not surprising that there are numerous products on the market that claim to protect and prolong the life of waterproof clothing. Is it necessary to use these fabric care products or will my waterproofs be ok as long as I simply look after them?

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In this series about bicycle touring, we have looked at the types of cycle tour and sleeping and shelter issues. In this article the question of clothing is examined.

The Mountain Equipment Mistral like the Salomon Fast Wing Hoodie is versatile, lightweight, windproof and stowable.

The Mountain Equipment Mistral like the Salomon Fast Wing Hoodie is versatile, lightweight, windproof and stowable.

Clothing

The order of the day is versatility. Versatile clothes are essential when space and weight are important, Zip-Off Trousers are ideal when travelling light as they can be worn as a pant or shorts. Wicking items can be easily layered, washed and dried.

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Sleep at night on your cycle tour, with some handy tips Tour by Greg Williams

Sleep at night on your cycle tour, with these handy hints
Image by Greg Williams

Bicycle Touring is an exciting, healthy way to spend your free time, either on your own, with friends or even your family! In my previous article An Introduction to Bicyle Touring the main forms of touring were defined. For most Cycle Tours the gear needed will essentially the same, although it will depend upon how much each individual cyclist is prepared to carry, what they view as essential items, what level of comfort is required, what terrain and distance the tour will cover and whether there are any support vehicles to carry equipment.

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After my recent post on bamboo fabrics Graham left a comment stating that bamboo might not be as environmentally friendly a fabric as I had first thought. Had I been greenwashed? Is bamboo eco friendly? Well after some research I discovered the answer is yes and no.

The process of producing the raw bamboo does have a low environmental impact. However when it comes to processing the bamboo into a fabric there can be a significant ecological impact. Basically there are 2 ways in which bamboo can be turned into a fabric, mechanically or chemically.

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Nowadays everyone is becoming more environmentally aware, trying to be carbon neutral, buying organic, and minimising their impact on the environment. Outdoor gear manufacturers have been quick to jump on the bandwagon and are  offering  outdoor clothing made with eco friendly fabrics. What I want to know is what exactly are these green fabrics, how do they preform and are they actually any good for the environment?

Bamboo Clothing

Bamboo growing - Source : steve webel flickr

Bamboo growing - Source : steve webel flickr

What is Bamboo fiber?

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