Wednesday, 1 July 2009

“The less you notice it, the better we have succeeded.”

Recently I have noticed that I've been starting to purchase a few items here and there from Haglofs, mainly from the "intense series". For a while here Haglofs kit was hard to get your sticky mitts on but distribution is getting better. The other reason I didn't often bother much with looking at kit from Haglofs was the high cost for garments that look as if they are a bit lacking in the 'features' department.

I've come to realise however from my own experience out in the mountains and listening to wiser and more experienced types, such as this friendly lunatic with an obsession with all things purple ;o), that simple, well thought out designs, unadorned with gimmicks actually work better in practice. Generally you also have the added bonus of them then automatically becoming lighter and more reliable as a result which most people would agree is a good thing.

I don't want the latest whizzbang softshell, I want a simple functional windproof over a well fitted base layer. I then have the option of popping a simple microfleece in between in the depths of winter. I don't want a 600 gram waterproof jacket with a multitude of pockets (does anyone actually use map pockets or is it just me who dislikes them?) and pit zips when I can have one for less than half that weight with clean lines, a hood that works well and the odd pocket that isn't under my pack straps. I don't want trekking poles with anti shock gizmos to add weight and steal my energy. If I'm slamming the poles down with such force that it's uncomfortable then I really need to look at my method of use. I've even recently (although there was some initial resistance) given up on my water bladder and gone back to bottles as they are less of a kerfuffle.

There are of course the odd exceptions to these rules when manufacturers get feature laden products absolutely spot on. I'm thinking of the likes of packs from OMM and X-socks which appear to have more technology in them than every combined NASA program since 1958. Mostly though, these are products that have been around for a long time and have been improved upon with each revision.

When I decide I need (need usually just translates to want!) to add to my gear pile I now find myself looking first at simplicity of design or usability in the field, then I weigh up considerations like weight versus durability, always trying to think carefully about how durable it actually has to be. Then at the end comes the all important price and colour selection, generally brighter is better I find.

I know that deep down all you boring stealth campers with your green tents secretly wish you had gone for the more extroverted red version ;o).....besides they turn out better in photies!


  1. A bell has just gone off in my head when reading this... i knew there was something wrong with my waterproof jacket! Pockets that you can't get into because of pack straps, pit zips that are never really opened and I swear it gets wet on the inside some days. Not good.
    Might get another... not just now though, I'll wait, weigh up the options, save some pennies and decide.

  2. I'm currently having a jacket dilemma myself. My Rab Super Dru is on it's last legs and I cant decide what to replace it with.

    I'm leaning towards a couple of offerings from you...guessed it Haglofs!

  3. It is a tough choice !
    I am swaying in between Haglofs and Montane at the moment.
    Of course PTC would tell me to buy both of course !

  4. I think I'll get an Oz but I'm tempted to wait for the Ozo if my Rab will last out. I'm beginning to think the lack of wired brim isn't as big a deal as I've been making it. Anyway it seem easily modded if required.

    Then of course theres the option of a Lim Ozone for winter...

  5. Any tips for girls where the colour option is NOT magenta pink or ocean green (or is it blue/green/turquoise - eek!), anyway...?


    I like the lemongrass colour.

    Red, the purple's bright enough!

    Black, Citro or fire?

    Charcoal, if you find this in budgie greenn please, please let me know.

    Cherry, light blue, fluoro

    Berry, red, black

    Blue, red, black

    There'll be more stuff out there probably...

  7. Aaaah.. way too much choice there!.. but some nice jackets. hhhmmmm something to think about.


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