Rupert Parker checks out the best outdoor new travel gear that will keep you warm and dry.
It’s always tricky when you’re trying to work out what to pack, particularly if you want to keep the weight down. However much I check the weather forecast, note the temperature at the destination, I often end up taking too much. The secret really is to have a variety of tops which will cater for any situation, come rain or shine. Rab makes some of the best new travel gear on the market so here’s a sample of some of their newest offerings for 2033/23:
Although the Conduit range of base layers is designed for mountain ascents, I find this perfect for warmer climes when there might be a chill in the evening. Made with 92% recycled Thermic™ G fleece, it balances breathability and quick-wicking with warmth and insulation. Pull it on over a tee-shirt and it feels soft on the skin on your arms, with the stretch taking up the slack.
A half-length zip at the front allows for easy temperature control and the double layer collar keeps the wind off your neck. There are underarm panels for freedom of movement and the 8% Elastane ensures complete mobility. I also like the fact that it’s very light so you don’t notice it in your bag.
Fabric 92% Thermic™ G (160gsm) Grid backer recycled polyester fleece, 8% Elastane
Another piece of New Travel Gear designed for the mountains; this is the ideal outer layering jacket to keep the rain out. It’s lightweight and waterproof with extraordinary stretch and breathability. It cleverly combines the performance and protection of a traditional hard shell with the comfort, stretch and feel of a softshell.
It doesn’t lack for features – the hood has a fleecy chin guard and a flexible polymer peak. The two zipped side pockets are ideal to keep documents safe and dry and also for storing gloves and hats. Cuffs are adjustable and there are drawcords at the waist and neck. It packs down small, easily fitting into the hood for easy transportation.
Fabric Recycled polyester knit face 3L with PU membrane and recycled polyester backer.
Infinity Microlight Jacket
Now for those really cold days, this down jacket combines insulation with wind and weather resistance. The outer fabric is super lightweight Gore-Tex which copes with snow and rain, yet still allows breathability. It’s stuffed with 100% recycled down which has been body mapped to optimise warmth and breathability where you need it.
The down-filled hood has a stiffened peak for complete protection and the jacket has a full-length zip with storm flap. There’s a concealed chest pocket, two zipped hands and the cuffs are elasticated to ensure a tight fit with gloves. It’s also highly compressible and packs into its own supplied stuff sack.
Fabric 13D Gore-Tex Infinium™ Windstopper® and 700 fill-power recycled down with Nikwax hydrophobic finish.
Lowe Alpine Escape Flight 36 Cabin Backpack
I’m always on the lookout for the perfect carry on backpack and this latest version from Lowe Alpine is perfect for a city break or weekend away. It opens up to reveal a main compartment with compression straps and a mesh divider in the lid. Outside there’s a quick-grab valuables pocket, a stretch-mesh side pocket and a padded 15-inch laptop sleeve.
It works as a rucksack with a harness, connected by a sternum strap, for backpacking. Or you can stow those away and add the detachable shoulder strap and it becomes more like a suitcase. Two padded handles and side compression straps make it easy to carry. Dimensions fit airline carry-on requirements, although it’s too big for Ryanair and EasyJet.
Fabric 210D Wave RS fabric with 600D reinforcements
Dimensions: 55 x 33 x 23cm
Here are a couple of products of New Travel Gear from other manufacturers that are well worth a look:
Hotter Thor Ii Gtx Shoes
These nubuck leather walking shoes are stylish enough for business but tough enough for any outdoor adventure. Patented GORE-TEX® product technology is hidden within the fabric of the shoe to keep water out while allowing moisture to escape, resulting in dry, fresh feet. A hidden balance bar provides excellent lateral support.
They say that the shoe wraps around the foot for an ultra-supportive, ultra-secure feel. It does this with an enhanced underfoot stability (great for low arches) called Freesole. Plus the smart removable dual density OrthoLite® insole offers increased support in the heel and arch area. Forget the jargon, I found them comfortable both for those long business receptions where you’re always standing up, or for miles of hill walking.
Fabric Leather, textile and polyurethane
Boardies® X Liberty Ss22 Swimwear
Nor for the cold, these are for when the sun is shining, and you can’t wait to jump into the water. Boardies® has teamed up with Liberty to create a limited-edition collection of swim shorts using their rich archive of vibrant prints. This is definitely the way to look stylish on the beach.
Surprisingly they’re made from Repreve recycled plastic water bottles and other sustainable materials. They have a soft mesh lining and are quick drying. There are two side pockets and one back pocket with Velcro closure. Each pair comes with a matching Liberty x Boardies® bag and you get can get them in matching father’s and kid’s sizes.
Fabric: Repreve recycled plastic water bottles
Tell Me More About New Travel Gear For Whatever The Weather
As always, sizes differ so it makes sense to try before you buy, if possible. You can often get discounted prices on the web, but then you’re taking a chance that the items will fit. If in doubt, err on the larger size.