It has been quite some time ago since I have reviewed any waterproof jackets, and during this fall, I have been testing my latest waterproof jacket, the Spark by Rab.
In the past I have been using The North Face Venture HyVent 2.5l jacket and the Millet Goretex jacket (review will follow up soon), but due to the fact the Millet has lost significant factor of the waterproofness, I wanted to be dry for the winter mountaineering activities, and therefore I got the Rab Spark jacket.
Headlamps are essential items for the mountaineering gear list, and a good headlamp is a must for winter mountaineering activities. Even well-planned hikes can end up taking much more time than anticipated (due to bad weather, injuries, blocked trails etc.) and to ensure that you don’t end up being stuck in nature in pitch-black darkness, it is crucial that you bring a headlamp in your backpack. A headlamp also gives you possibility for planning a trip in the dark, taking a run after sunset or simply getting an early before-sunrise start of your hiking trip.
In the market there are many different options and actually, sometimes is a bit tough to select the best possible headlamp. A mountaineering/hiking headlamp should work for a reasonable amount of time without having the batteries recharged/replaced. In addition, a headlamp for hiking, backpacking or mountaineering should provide good brightness and beam distance. Furthermore, as mountaineering/hiking is not limited to dry weather, a hiking headlamp should be waterproof or at least water-resistant. Water resistance is typically measured by the IEC standard 60529 which includes ratings from IPX1 to IPX8.
My personal evolution, i.e. the gradual development of my mountaineering activities, always leads me to search and test the most appropriate gear in order to perform better and most of all in full safety.
As described on my previous gear review post, the 5.10 Anasazi VCS, although very famous amongst the climbing scene, were not fitting me well. Therefore, I have searched for an alternative, which came out of Decathlon.
Decathlon is a French sporting goods retailer. With over 1,500 stores in 49 countries, it is the largest sporting goods retailer in the world. Amongst many brands, Decathlon, also offers a line dedicated for rock climbing, alpinism and winter mountaineering.
I have been involved in the various mountaineering activities for few years now and climbing is a major part of it. Part of climbing, is sport climbing and is a great way to practice for difficult mountaineering ascents. Like in any other sport and/or outdoor activity, the proper gear and correct use of it can provide extra advantages to the user.
My first climbing shoe was the La Sportiva Tarantula, and although is a good climbing shoe for beginners, is not of high performance. Having used the La Sportiva Tarantulafor quite some time, I then got in my hands a more advanced climbing shoe by Five Ten, the Anasazi VCS.
Every new winter season, I try to upgrade some of my old mountaineering gear and change my old gear to new models. Mountaineering gear can be rather expensive and therefore I do such upgrades gradually. Recently, I have updated my helmet and I got the new Mammut Wall Rider helmet, but I have also got a new ice axe, the new Petzl Quark.
Like always, prior of purchasing a new item, I do an extensive market research. For the new ice axe, I had specific needs and wishes. I wanted the new ice axe to be a multipurpose ice axe that I could use it for general mountaineering, but also on more technical terrains, such as on couloirs and more mix climbing activities.
It has been more that 6 months that I have been researching for a new helmet that I would be using for my outdoor adventures. I have been looking at all different kind of helmets and of course from various brands. My requirements for a new helmet were rather specific and the activities I would be using it are mainly alpine climbs, winter mountaineering and climbing activities. Therefore, I wanted to have a rather lightweight helmet that would be comfortable to wear all day long. My final choice was to purchase the Mammut Wall Rider.
It is not secret that I have a preference for high quality – great performance gear and when it comes to footwear I always want to have the best possible shoes. This is the case for my first pair of climbing shoes, the La Sportiva Tarantula.
Prior of deciding which climbing shoes I wanted to use for my climbing, I have searched on various brands, but once again, I ended up buying a product from La Sportiva.
It’s spring time and the winter mountaineering activities already gave place to other kind of outdoor adventures such as Long Distance Hiking and Rock Climbing. In this post, I will review a protection product that is used both for Winter Mountaineering activities and for Climbing.
The Wild Country rock with its curved sides is a Wild Country original and revolutionised how we protect routes.
Still the backbone of any good rack, the current incarnation is considerably more advanced than its predecessor and significantly lighter as well. Keeping the original groundbreaking curve, rocks now come with thinner, lighter sidewalls, a lateral side taper, anodised heads for quick selection and an extended range – with fourteen sizes in all.
The North Face Venture jacket for men has been around a fair while and is one of the most popular rain jackets. I’ve been using the TNF Venture jacket for some time now and bellow you will ready my thoughts on this jacket after more than 3 years of use.
The North Face Venture is a basic rain jacket model falling in and around the 100 euro/dollar price mark, it is affordable and functional and comes with most of the various features I would look for in a decent rain jacket.
Winter season is over quite some time now, though I have decided to purchase a new jacket for the upcoming winter mountaineering season here in Greece, but also for my upcoming travels in other countries. Once again, I have been searching for the best possible option in order to fulfil my needs and personal taste. My research included also the major outdoor brands such as Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, The North Face, Rab, Mountain Equipment, Montbell etc., though once again I have ended up buying one more product from the upcoming Polish brand, Cumulus.