Picture Civic 3mm 2mm Wetsuit Review

It seems like everyone is starting to do their part when it comes to cleaning our aquatic playgrounds; everything from reducing agricultural pollutants in our waters to reducing plastic waste. But how many of us have stopped to think; how eco-friendly is the wetsuit I’m wearing, in the water, when participating in my favourite water sport?

Picture Organic Clothing has taken the plunge into the wetsuit market, with the same company policy: ‘sustainable development and conservation of the environment’. Consequently we have seen the emergence of wetsuits made from NaturalPrene – 85% natural rubber and 15% synthetic chlorine free rubber.  So what are these eco-friendly wetsuits like? Well I took one water skiing and wakeboarding at Tallington Lakes, and body-boarding/surfing in Cornwall to try – and the odd open water swim.

The Civic 3mm 2mm Zip-Free Wetsuit

The Civic is a NaturalPrene wetsuit that gives you the same range of motion as a top end competitor’s wetsuit; thanks to the integrated micro particles that enable the NaturalPrene to stretch four times its original size. However it’s not all fancy technology, but simple thinking, that allows for this full range of motion. Inspired motion patterns, based on triathlon specific wetsuits, and no seams underneath the arms or around the shoulders means these wetsuits are great for paddling into waves or stretching around that turn buoy.

picture organic clothing civic 3mm 2mm wetsuit

Glued and blind stitched seams, with solvent free water based glue, and a fully recycled polyester lining; make these wetsuits comfortable and ultra-quick drying. The additional DryNow fibre lining, in critical areas, is ultra-wicking and will keep your body’s core warm.

The zip-free entry design means your cold fingers do not have to struggle with a zipper; which along with the fully waterproof collar, including a glideskin neck seal, will ensure minimal water intake. If you are a surfer, or just take hard hits wakeboarding like myself, then the double NaturalPrene comfort zones protect your ribs perfectly.

The Dolphin 2mm Zip-Free Wetsuit

It’s also worth checking out the Dolphin 2mm wetsuit, which is from the Picture Organics Clothing’s LimeStone range, and is made from 70% limestone neoprene and 30% recycled polyester. The neoprene is derived from the limestone and then mixed with 5% of recycled rubber from old tyres. In a nut shell you have a wetsuit made of rocks and tyres.

Consequently Picture Organic Clothing has been able to dramatically save their carbon footprint, in the manufacture of good quality wetsuits. Instead of giving us the figures in a scientific number, that better minds that my own can’t comprehend, they give us an easy understandable representation: the emissions saved are the same as driving 56,000 kilometres in a car.

So high quality wetsuits, that perform in the water, following a 100% eco-friendly policy – done!

Come check out the range of men’s and women’s Picture wetsuits at Tallington Lakes Pro Shop and we can fit you for your ‘eco-friendly wetsuit’ so you can stay in the water longer!

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Carv Digital Ski Instructor Review

If I’m honest, I reached a plateau in my skiing some years ago; I kind of accepted that I’d reached the limits of my body. I wasn’t too unhappy with this as I felt that my skiing was quite good, at least for my age. But wouldn’t it be nice to get just a little bit better? Which is why I was attracted to Carv Digital Ski Instructor.

I’ve been skiing for almost 40 years – and, no, unlike my 14-year old son, I didn’t start at the age of 3! Perhaps I should have, as he’s now far better than me. I look at my son’s skiing with unashamed jealousy and wonder why I can’t be as good as him. Well, I’m not the kind of dad who simply rolls over and lets the younger generation through! No sir, I’ll try anything to regain my dignity and rightful place in the family hierarchy!

Carv Digital Ski Instructor

I think I’m right in saying that our sets were from the first full-scale production run for the product. I say ‘we’ because my son was so impressed by the concept that he also had to have a set – bah, there goes my secret weapon. At £250 a set, it wasn’t exactly an easy decision to commit to, especially as there were no independent reviews out there. But the concept was just so enticing (as was the desire to improve my skiing).

Carv is exactly what it says: it’s a digital ski instructor. It monitors your skiing performance turn-by-turn and talks to you as you’re skiing (of course, you can switch this off). Unlike a human instructor, who will tell you afterwards that you’ve done it all wrong, Carv tells you in real-time, so you can, on the next turn, change what you’re doing and get it right. Carv works with you on separate parts of your skiing: balance, angle, pressure, etc, but it doesn’t overload you with advice and information.

Carv comes in 3 parts: the insole (the core of the product), the tracker (essentially a battery and a communication device to connect to your smart phone), and an App. Let’s take a look first at the insole.

Carv Insole

This is the clever part of Carv. The insole is packed full of sensors that monitor various parameters of your skiing: edge angle, balance, pressure, G-force, and others.

carv insole
The insole is packed full of sensors that monitor various parameters of your skiing: edge angle, balance, pressure, G-force, and others.

Because it’s sized to your ski boot, if you had a crazy idea of sharing it with someone else they’d have to have a similar Mondo size boot. The insole doesn’t appear to have been designed to be moved regularly from one person’s boot to another –the setup video mentions to take care not to bend the insole excessively when fitting it, suggesting that it might not like being moved between boots frequently.

The insole fits between the boot shell and the liner. Before I took delivery, I was a bit worried about this as my son’s ski boots are fitted for racing and are therefore very tight. I was concerned about the insole raising the foot up and therefore squeezing the top of the foot against the boot. Well, that wasn’t an issue; the insole is amazingly thin, so thin that you don’t know it’s there. If you have moulded insoles (as I do) then don’t worry, they won’t conflict.

carv insole thickness
Well, that wasn’t an issue; the insole is amazingly thin, so thin that you don’t know it’s there.

Carv Tracker

The insole connects to the tracker (one for each boot) via a hard-wired cable to the insole. The cable needs to be disconnected from the tracker to allow it to be recharged. We recharged the batteries every evening so didn’t really road test its endurance. Suffice it to say that it wasn’t a quick charging process, so to avoid losing power when skiing I’d recommend recharging them daily.

carv tracker
The insole connects to the tracker (one for each boot) via a hard-wired cable to the insole.

Carv App

The brains of Carv is the App. We were using iPhones, but there is an Android version. The App provides you with lots of functionality, from drills, to challenges, to monitors, to free sessions. I started with the drills, but quickly (in my dreams) progressed to the free sessions.

I found the drills and challenges a mix of annoying and inspiration. The annoying bit for me was the Super Mario type sounds that resulted from achieving the goals, and not achieving these. But, this pales into insignificance when compared to the improvements to be had in skiing ability. It genuinely does up your game to another level – and beyond. I was able to work on those things that had held me back for years – remember my plateau comment? – and seriously improve my skiing. In fact, I’d honestly say Carv exceeded my expectations.

carv application
The annoying bit for me was the Super Mario type sounds that resulted from achieving the goals, and not achieving these. But, this pales into insignificance when compared to the improvements to be had in skiing ability.

Carv analyses your skiing and awards you a skiing IQ from each of your runs. This IQ is averaged and can be uploaded onto a leaderboard so you can see how good, or bad, you really are. It was very pleasing to see my IQ progress steadily as I worked through the drills and challenges. It was less pleasing to see my son improve faster and move into the top 25, leaving me down in the 80s!

I can see the Carv team continuing to develop the functionality as they learn more about the product. I just hope they don’t get it to the stage where it tells you that maybe you’d be better off trying some other sport – I’ll leave that to my son!

So, who is Carv suitable for. Well, I’d rule out beginners, novices and those improving to intermediate. You need to have become ‘one with your skis’ for Carv to be a benefit; besides, when you’re learning it’s so much fun in a class sharing each other’s experiences – Carv would simply get in the way, and it doesn’t laugh when you fall over. So, I’d suggest Carv is suitable for intermediate/advanced, and even expert. My son is using them to improve his racing skills to great effect.

Overall, Carv is for the dedicated and capable skier and it really is as good as their website claims.

Thanks Andy

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Protest Women’s Lole Softshell Snow Pants Review

As soon as I saw the Protest Lole softshell ski pants I fell in love. I admit it took a while to convince myself to buy them but I’m so glad I did! A week in Alpe D’Huez showed that not only are these trousers incredibly stylish but also warm and comfortable.

The petunia colour and slim fit make these a favourite for my winter wardrobe, and the stretch material made them extremely flexible while still being snug. Not only are they breathable but also waterproof which made for a perfect piece of ski gear.

protest lole softshell snow pants
The petunia colour and slim fit make these a favourite for my winter wardrobe, and the stretch material made them extremely flexible while still being snug.

There are multiple pockets which I could use for my sun cream and lift pass, with a Velcro adjustable waistband which came in handy after a big lunch on the mountainside! The knees and heels are made with reinforced material which made sure they were durable and the material, although unusual, I really liked as opposed to the usual waterproof material.

Skiing around for a week made me fall in love with these trousers and I would definitely recommend them to anyone who loves to look stylish while being sporty!

Thanks Charlotte (Ski Instructor)

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Salomon S/Lab Shift Ski Binding Review

There has been a lot of press about the new S/Lab Shift ski binding from Salomon. After nearly a decade of R&D Salomon has produced a ski binding that can deliver downhill performance with touring capability. A ski binding that gives today’s freeride skiers a chance to “earn their turns” by touring uphill and then charging ‘big lines’ on the descent!

Salomon can tell you all about the ski bindings here; and, as previously mentioned, the freeride peak hunting athletes’ are screaming “Holy Shift”. But what does a novice, rookie, greenhorn, virgin ski tourer think of the Shift ski bindings? Well read on.

Having never ski toured before I was both excited and apprehensive when Shep, Salomon’s friendly ski tour guide, introduced me to ski touring. First the safety kit, including a transceiver which was very reassuring. And then the 99mm underfoot QST skis with S/Lab Shift bindings, and skins. All I will say is; “if you are into Transformers you’ll love these bindings”. A ‘click here’ and a ‘click there’; and you transform a touring binding into an alpine binding, and visa versa – “simples”.

snow covered trees
 It was cold, windy, and in cloud; which gave my first experience of Sweden a rather ‘monochromatic’ outlook.

So with the skins attached and the bindings in touring mode, I managed to locate my boots securely. It takes a bit of practice, but I would have experienced that with any ‘pin binding’ – and you soon get the ‘knack’! We set off, nothing too adventurous  at the side of the piste, but enough to understand the technique of going uphill with skis – without the aid of a button or chair lift. Needless to say it was more tiring, but it was also more rewarding – I now understand the term “earn your turns”.

It was now time to, ‘click here’ and ‘click there’, and transform the bindings into alpine mode. This I am familiar with, and they felt as good as the bindings I have had on any of my piste/all-mountain skis!

The whole experience was great, and I managed to impress Shep enough to allow me to join a more adventurous trip the following day.

 Again it was cold, windy, and in cloud; which gave my first experience of Sweden a rather ‘monochromatic’ outlook. We skinned up much steeper terrain, with a customary ‘zig-zag’, and once again the bindings performed brilliantly in touring mode. Once again the pleasure of being away-from-the-crowds, that ski touring gives you, was delightful. But as Sir Isaac Newton eloquently said; “what goes up must come down”!

tree line skiing
I felt sorry for the trees, as we descended the powder fresh tree line. A twig here, a branch there; we became close friends.

If you have read my review of the Salomon XDR skis, you will know I’m not the most proficient off-piste skier; so with a ‘click here’ and a ‘click there’ I was ready to venture “outside my comfort zone”!

I felt sorry for the trees, as we descended the powder fresh tree line. A twig here, a branch there; we became close friends. Too close sometimes; but the bindings, in alpine mode, released with great aplomb! At the bottom it occurred to me, that while my colleagues made light-work of the tree line, it was I that was fully testing the bindings – as I ‘crashed’ my way down!

So what does a virgin ski tourer think of the Salomon S/Lab Shift ski bindings? Rather amazing actually! Here’s a binding that will perform in both alpine and touring mode; and will enable you to ‘earn your turns’ however extreme they may be!

Chad Blanc

Photographs Nigel Shepherd

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Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130 Ski Boot And Atomic Backland 95 Ski Review

There’s a ‘shift’ to ski touring (free touring), and it’s growing in popularity! So if you’re skiing frontside on the resort pistes or finding that un-tracked snow on the backside of the mountain,  the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD is the perfect all round boot. It’s comfortable, lightweight and gives you the performance you want. The same can be said of the Atomic Backland skis, lightweight and performance!

Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130

Before I left for Colorado; I was impressed with the customisation of the boot. The Hawx Ultra has a narrow last, and my foot is defiantly not narrow. However, thanks to the expert fitting of the Memory Fit 3D Platinum Light Liner, these  are the comfiest boots I had ever worn; and light! They only weigh  1420g (size 26.5  boot). The lace up liners are a great addition because you can put the linear on before putting the boot on; which is a great help in the cold car parks of the Colorado Rockies.

New to the touring scene I was interested to see how I would get on with the pin bindings compared to a traditional alpine bindings.  Safe to say any doubts I had were quickly put to bed. The pre-cut skins were also an easy fit (and removal), thanks to a new tip fitting.

atomic backland skis
The carbon backbone of the ski gives it the stiffness and performance you want making those powder turns!

My guide (brother) had been up in the mountains for a month skiing and touring every day; so I was expecting to be absolutely beasted when we pulled off the highway at Shrine Pass, Vail (3380M). The extreme light weight of the Hawx Ultra XTD and the Backland 95 skis (1370g  size 177cm ski) meant, that although I was behind, my pride was still intact – which is always key when trying to keep up with your brother. After two hours of going up my legs were feeling surprisingly better than I first expected; mostly due to the boots and skis rather than my superior fitness levels. The hike mode on the Hawx Ultra allows the boot to articulate further than my legs possibly can.

Atomic Backland 95 Skis

After an avalanche check it was time to charge down the untracked snow on the Atomic Backland 95 skis that took me uphill so well. They were just as good on the downhill. The carbon backbone of the ski gives it the stiffness and performance you want making those powder turns!

The best part about this set up is that it gives you uncharted access. Find yourself a touring buddy and go wherever the snow takes you. For me personally there isn’t much better than being out in the mountains with just yourself and your touring buddy; away from all the noise and lift ques in resort. 

The next day, with somewhat tired legs, we took the lifts to ski frontside. This is where I had my doubts about pin bindings. Skiing in America for the first time, it was my first experience of someone pulling my skis out of the gondola for me. I was met by an American guy who was extremely excited about how light my skis and bindings were. First run down and all those doubts about the bindings and skis were gone; putting in harder carving turns each time. The pin binding work just as well on piste; and it was noticeable how many people were skiing on pin bindings!

The next wave of skiing is defiantly coming in quick, so keep an eye out for our freetouring gear!

 

 

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Atomic Redster X7 Skis Review

I was lucky enough to have been offered a set of the Atomic Redster X7 skis with XT12 bindings, for a recent ski trip, so jumped at the chance to take them away.

Atomic have arguably produced some of the best race/piste skis on the market over the years. Although I’m nowhere near the same level; knowing that current World and Olympic Slalom Champion Mikaela Shiffrin and current Men’s World Champion Marcel Hirscher opt for the Redsters, I was very excited to try them out.

Various reviewers have catagorised the Atomic Redster X7 as an all mountain to top end piste ski. Atomic describe the Redster range as the perfect blend of Giant Slalom carving turns and Slalom short radius turns. So as a keen skier myself I was interested to see where I would ‘place’ them!

My initial thoughts of the skis were very positive; on the first ‘red run’ of the morning. Atomic’s power woodcore, full sidewall and 100% traditional camber, had the skis edging beautifully. When I flexed the skis into the turn they responded, with their full sidewall and woodcore, snapping me back and into the next turn. I took advantage of this, whilst the slopes were empty, and enjoyed several runs with the skis push harder and harder. I understood what Atomic are claiming with the “blend” as the skis seemed to generate more speed the harder I pushed them.

atomic rester x7 piste skis
When my ‘millionaires’ slope time starting to come to an end I decided to go in search of a busier chopped up piste.

When my ‘millionaires’ slope time starting to come to an end I decided to go in search of a busier chopped up piste, one that you might find at the end of the day, to see how they would handle the lumps and bumps. I wasn’t sure what to expect here, but due to the slope being busy, I tried a few parallel turns. The skis were very aggressive over the bumps and seemed to snap back at me the more pressure I put through them. I didn’t see this as a negative towards the skis because they are sold as a top end ski, that are designed to be aggressive. It did get me thinking, though, that fatigued legs at the end of a long day may struggle to absorb these bumps on the last runs down to the bar.

Overall, I would sum these skis up as an awesome bit of kit. To any potential buyers I would strongly recommend really thinking about where you ski most on the mountain. If your looking for an all mountain ski that is forgiving and can go all over, even into the powder, then these are not the skis for you. However, if you prefer to ski hard on fresh packed corduroy pistes with a ski that is going to push your edge angles, and generate speed, then these skis are fantastic. I found myself having to back off several times, not due to the ski quivering or loosing grip, but for a reason that any skier doesn’t really like to admit to!

Check out our selection of Atomic, and other skis: piste, all-mountain, touring and more.

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BASI 4 European Mountain Safety – A Candidates Perspective

Having completed the British Association of Snowsport Instructors (BASI) 3 European Mountain Safety (EMS) assessment, a few years ago and the Level 4 training last year in Courcheval, I thought it would be a good idea to complete the BASI 4 European Mountain Safety.

Ski touring and off piste skiing are what I enjoy most about snow sports. The mountains have always held a fascination for me and the physical effort involved along with the skills needed to safely travel in them are key to this.

Areches – The Venue

I arrived in Areches (1,000m) a few days before the course started so I could get my bearings. However, with the huge amount of snow that fell followed by rain and a category 5 avalanche forecast, this was limited. The ski resort itself was closed for two-days! Areche-Beaufort is a very small resort which is split between Areches and Le Planay (1,170m); which is in the Haute-Savoie and was part of Italy in medieval times. The locals are very proud of their heritage and make some amazing cheeses. The area is well known for its wildlife which includes Ibex, Chamois, Lynx, Ermine, Bearded Vultures, Golden Eagles and Wolves which come over the mountains from Italy. The village is home to roughly 3,000 people who live there year round and the majority are involved in farming of some sort or other. The resort’s big plus, compared to other places I have skied, is the amount of easily accessible backcountry skiing which is not glaciated. They have a race, the Pierre Menta, each year in April and in the summer, which sees thousands of teams skiing/running up the mountains and cols. It is truly is an all-year round resort. For those new to touring there are several skinning tracks which run close to the piste and are marked and graded. They offer very cheap single lift passes for those wishing to ski off piste or are heading further afield but want to make use of the up lift. The Ecole du Ski Français (ESF) offer instructor led day and half day tours. The instructor I met was Pierre-Eve and his mad collie which didn’t stop running all day. Other sports shops offer guided trips over more challenging terrain and privately guided trips.

ski touring skinning up
The gradient was at an easy angle and we were all very keen to impress, so the ascent didn’t take too long!

BASI 4 European Mountain Safety

The assessment started on the Tuesday evening with a short briefing about what to expect and what we needed to carry. Each morning we discussed the avalanche and weather forecast to test our knowledge and understanding relating to the areas we would be working in. We then set out to ski the resort and to check out our map reading, group control and route choice both up and down hill. As the day was so nice we took in the biggest local hill ‘Le Grand Mont’ (2,686m). The gradient was at an easy angle and we were all very keen to impress, so the ascent didn’t take too long! The views were jaw dropping in all directions with uninterrupted views north to Mont Blanc. The ski down was also great fun as the snow was so good. We did have to remember that we were being assessed and make sure we looked after the group, taking them down the best lines. Returning towards the piste we stopped to set up ski belays and then lower and belay back up our partners to demonstrate we were safe. A bit more skiing followed and the first day was behind us. That evening we had a theory paper which covered various areas including avalanche, weather, mountain knowledge, emergency procedures, flora & fauna, equipment, etc. We also had to complete a route plan for the following day with bearings, timings, distances and features to look out for. 

view of the mountains
The views were jaw dropping in all directions with uninterrupted views!

We woke the following day to blue skies and so could do our planned route. We took it in turns to lead and everyone had to keep track of our location as you could be asked at any point to show our location and to prove it. The ski in was very enjoyable through trees to start, then open fields, and mountain meadows later. Dropping over a ridge in to a bowl allowed us the chance to stretch our ski legs for a short distance before putting skins back on our skis and heading up to the Col de Roche Plane (2,094m), over 1,000m of ascent. Heading back down started really well and we all enjoyed the snow, however, this was not to last as the snow, which had been great up to this point, changed to become nearly un-skiable. The descent became slower and it was with huge relief that we eventually arrived back on the road, a short walk from Areches. With nothing planned for the evening we all went for a well earned pizza and a couple of beers before heading off to bed and to pack kit for our final day and our results!

Another glorious day greeted us and with only a few skills to be tested we were all looking forward to finishing. More off piste skiing, avalanche and weather quiz, and the dreaded transceiver search followed. The search was for two transceivers which had been buried to simulate an avalanche; which had to be found within eight minutes. Nerves play a big part in this, because so much depends on you passing. We all took our turn and even though some of the transceivers misbehaved we all completed in under the time allowed. 

With all the testing completed all that was left was to find out the results. I am glad to say we all completed the assessment successfully which was a great relief. It was great to meet new people who were doing the assessment for different reasons. Tim, Rupert and Alister were great company; and each offered the others support when they needed it. And thanks to Willie, our assessor, for his encouragement and good humour throughout. 

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Why I Chose Faction CT 2.0 Skis

With help from their amazingly talented team of athletes, including Candide Thovex, Faction are  renowned for making world class skis. Their recent edits and full length films, especially ‘This Is Home’, really show the diversity they have in their skiers and the skis they make.

The Candide range of four different skis cover all bases for any type of shredding on the mountain. Whether you like sending huge straight airs off cat tracks, bouncing through powder in the backcountry or ripping around the piste or park, Faction have got it covered. The four CT skis vary in size and flex but share an attraction of being fun, playful and ‘rippable’ skis in differing terrain. Obviously the dream would be to have all four skis in the quiver but when the budget is tight it’s decision time! 

faction ct 2.0 skis
I chose the CT 2.0 because I was looking for a new playful ski that will enable me to learn butters, be light in the air for trying new spins and still be comfortable on crud and cruising home in the powder.

I chose the CT 2.0 because I was looking for a new playful ski that will enable me to learn butters, be light in the air for trying new spins and still be comfortable on crud and cruising home in the powder. The poplar/beech core is light, strong and responsive making it a great ski for extra pop and control in the air, not forgetting being buttery soft. With their carbon reinforcement underfoot, the impact of heavy landings is spread, whilst hard packed, cruddy terrain is dampened. The symmetrical shape of the 2.0 has made it easier to link and flow between turns whilst skiing switch and gives confidence for landing backwards. While this ski is ‘freestyle at heart’ it’s flat camber and tip and tail rocker mean it maintains a good edge on piste and still floats over powder effortlessly, making it a great all-round ski.

Overall the 2.0 is a lightweight, soft but strong ski with enough underfoot to be fun all over the mountain. Combine this with its slick, simplistic design and you have a very sexy ski. 

Louise (Ski Ambassador)

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Drysure Boot Dryers Review

Coming into my first extended period of skiing (a season’s vacation in Vail CO); checking all my gear was up-to-scratch was a massive part of my so called ‘pre flight checks’: new powder skis, new outer shells, base layers, mid layers, helmet and all the other usual bits a week at a time skier needs. It wasn’t until my mother made the point about my boots smelling rancid after a week’s skiing, that I thought “I could be in for a smelly few months”! With the plan to get as many days on the mountains both alpine skiing and touring; it was a problem I was keen to solve.

 Having worked at Tallington Lakes as a boot fitter, I am not keen on using the normal boot dryers. Heating the boot even very lightly without my foot being in the boot to hold the foam in place seems a bit counter productive to the extensive moulding processes that is offered at the Pro Shop; in my opinion. So when I was introduced to the Drysure Boot Dryers, I was intrigued. The appeal of not adding heat to dry the boots perked my interest; and secondly the versatility of them, being able to throw them in a bag on hut trips and have dry boots in the morning after the previous days hiking is a nice concept. After using them for almost 50 days on the mountains I can’t believe how well they have worked at drying my boots over night, at room temperature, and most importantly the odour reduction of my boots. My boots smell fresher after 50 days skiing with Drysure than a week’s skiing with conventional drying.

Drysure works by absorbing the sweat and moisture into the Desiccant Silica Gel inside the boot dryers. This helps to, firstly, dry the boots but also, because the sweat is absorbed, bacteria doesn’t have chance to grow which is the cause of the rancid smell. The rancid smell does not come from the sweat itself, it actually comes from the bacteria breaking down the proteins in sweat. No bacterium also means cleaner and healthy boots, and feet because foot fungi are eliminated.

drysure boot dryer
Drysure works by absorbing the sweat and moisture; therefore cleaner and healthy boots, and feet!

The dryers are easy to maintain. After 10 or so used you can easily remove the silica pouches from the hard shell and place them on a radiator, or in front of the fire, to dry the Silica Gel pellets inside and recharge the effectiveness of the dryers.

For a relatively inexpensive item, that will easily fit in your boots whilst travelling, I will never fly anywhere without my Drysure Boot Dryers again. The versatility of being able to take them on hut or camp trips, and the effectiveness of the technology,  means that wet, smelly boots are pretty much a thing of the past; much to the appreciation of my mother!

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Salomon Drifter Mid-Layer Jacket Review

I work outdoors at a Watersports Centre, and I am an avid hill walker in my spare time, so I was interested to see if the Salomon Drifter mid-layer jacket would be a welcome addition to my assortment of gear.

The  Drifter mid-layer is really light weight, weighing in at just 500g, and packs down really small, thanks to the Primaloft 60g insulation, consequently you can carry it anywhere.

The mid layer has a pretty cool reversible function which allows you to wear it inside out. This particular colour reverses from an Acid Green to a Purple. The two sides have very different uses: one is more windproof, whilst the other is more breathable, so you can regulate your temperature to the conditions. Or treat it as two jackets!

salomon drifter mid-layer jacket
This particular colour reverses from an Acid Green to a Purple. The two sides have very different uses: one is more windproof, whilst the other is more breathable, so you can regulate your temperature to the conditions.

This mid layer jacket is also snow/water proof with Salomon’s AdvancedSkin Shield technology, and Pertex water repellent finish, which means you can wear it as an outer layer. I have found the jacket does not fare well to harsh rain conditions as the water does eventually seep through, but in light drizzle there are no problems.

The jacket was ideal for hill walking, and nipping down some caverns, in the peaks; because it is light and thanks to its breathability I did not overheat! It fits well and is consistent with all other Salomon clothing sizes.

Although I have other jackets for outdoor use the Salomon Drifter mid layer jacket has become my preference every time; especially at work, on those windy cold days at the centre, where the  AdvancedSkin Warm and Primaloft has helped keep me comfortably warm.  There is a ladies specific version too!

Thanks Craig (Watersports Centre Manager)

 

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