The kit we’ve been putting through its paces
1) OMM Mountain Raid 1.6 £190 theomm.com
For most mountain marathons you need to be self-sufficient and unless you’ve decided to lug a gas barbecue along, your sleeping bag will be your heaviest item. So you want to go light, but not so light that you’re forced with the horrifying dilemma of cuddling up to your running partner (no one’s very attractive after a day on the OMM Elite course) or freezing to death. OMM’s Mountain Raid 1.6 is desirably light at 450g, and it’s insulated with PrimaLoft Gold, so it’ll retain warmth if it gets wet.
However, for various reasons, OMM don’t submit their bags to standard temperature benchmarks. They say it’s aimed at “experienced users”, i.e. those who are comfortable going without some comfort. But how warm is it? I used it at the Great Lakeland 3 Day mountain marathon in a pretty soggy early May. I wouldn’t have been warm enough in it wearing just a T-shirt.
But I chucked on my down jacket, too, and I slept like a log. And for summer adventures it’s perfect.
Damian Hall, contributor
2) Hoy Vulpine Valldemossa Race Jersey £34.99 evanscycles.com
This jersey, for example, has an eye-popping red zip and a Hoy V print on the rear pocket. The two outside rear pockets are angled for easier access on the fly, and the short stretch of grippers do a good job of keeping the hem in place.
Perhaps surprisingly, given its cocreator, this is a more relaxed than race-cut jersey, ideal for Sunday club runs and sportive rides, and the fabric has a snug softness to it. It’s currently available
for half price at £34.99, which makes it a steal.
Jonathan Manning, contributing editor
3) Goodyear Atlantic £46 goodyearfootwear.com
Bargain boots tend to come with a “buyer beware” warning, but so far these Goodyear boots have proved good companions for easy outdoor wear. They’re light and flexible, which makes them comfortable for mucking about on campsites or strolling across fields for a Sunday pub lunch, but they lack the stiffness and support required for stability on rocky, uneven terrain, which is a shame because the grip is particularly good.
Jonathan Manning, contributing editor
4) On Cloudcruiser £125 on-running.com
You know when you read in magazines like this, that perfect runs are all about floating along, as if you’re on a cloud. Can you recall such an occasion… really? Well, the On Cloudcruiser certainly promises such delights and you know what, it also goes a long way to delivering such dreams of comfort. This is a light – competitively so – shoe that sits on a broad base of what’s best described as air.
In cartoons shoes have springs (pods in this instance), and while these won’t provide superhuman-like powers, you will enjoy the soft, responsive feel they have. The manufacturers tell us they’re designed to tackle the foe that is concrete: and yes, this is a shoe that does that.
Science nerds will love the three-dimensional mesh and the hollow pods on the sole of the shoe, others will simply love the feel.
5) Fugoo Tough Bluetooth Active £82.60 FUGOO.com
Outdoor fitness sessions are on the rise – but many of these bootcamps and military fitness workouts involve suffering in relative silence. Well, the Fugoo + Tough Go Anywhere Speaker appears to be the answer to that call for that all-important motivational music backing track for any outdoor training sessions. It’s an ultra-rugged, shockproof speaker – though thankfully really lightweight at around 16oz – with Bluetooth function and a 40-hour battery life.
It’ll strap to a bike or kayak – providing studio quality backing tracks – and we found no amount of moisture, mud or dropping on the ground seems to dull the sound. The FUGOO Bluetooth speaker line is available at Amazon UK at prices starting from £149.99.
Check our dedicated Training Section to make sure you’re getting the most out of your gear.
Rob Kemp, contributor