Apex Aerobic

Apex Stretch Fabric is a high performance stretch textile with exceptional strength, durability and weatherproofness. The nylon/spandex blend combines abrasion resistance and extended range of motion for long lasting wear and comfort. This fabric has also been treated with a DWR for water and stain repellency. We also engineer the fabrics in this series for limited wind penetration - enough to limit wind chill with plenty of breath ability during highly aerobic activities.

Last Updated: 07/09/2010


Berghaus own high performance shell fabric that gives durable waterproofing during recreational outdoor use. Available in different face fabrics, two Ripstop nylons for added tear and abrasion resistance and Polyester for a comfortable drape and handle.

Last Updated: 12/11/2015


AQ2 is a Berghaus breathable waterproof fabric that offers a moisture vapour transmission rate (MVTR) of 8,000g/m2/24hrs, meaning that moisture vapour can easily escape through the fabric enhancing overall enjoyment of the outdoors. AQ2 provides a hydrostatic head of 10,000mm H20 column.

Last Updated: 18/02/2011

Aid Climbing

Aid Climbing involves climbing by inserting climbing hardware into weaknesses in the rock and pulling on them.  The hardware can be standard climbing gear that can be removed by hand or that needs to be hammered in and hammered to be removed.  It is different to 'free' climbing where you use your body to ascend the rock and hardware is used only in the event of a fall.

Last Updated: 12/11/2015

Active Shell

Garments engineered with Gore-Tex Active Shell are built for extreme breathability and provide durable waterproof and windproof protection for optimum comfort, guaranteed. Featuring a lighter weight, streamlined 3 layer construction, this completely new class of waterproof garments delivers extreme breathability and excellent next to skin comfort.

Gear Junkie Best in Show Outdoor Retailer Winter 2011

Last Updated: 18/02/2013

Arid System

Sterling Rope spent years researching and testing various solutions and treatment processes. They developed a process, using their own proprietary coating, that greatly improves dry treatment of rope. Studies have shown that wet ropes are more difficult to handle and their dynamic performance is drastically reduced. Dry treated ropes provide an additional safety factor for alpinists, especially on ice, mixed ground and in winter. Protecting the rope from water absorption eliminates weight increase, risk of freezing in cold weather, and slows the wearing of the rope considerably,

Sterling’s Arid system ensures a more effective and durable water resistance, while improving handling, resistance to friction, dirt, and durability. This extra treatment is in addition to the DryCore system which Sterling Rope uses on every rope as standard.

Last Updated: 13/06/2012

Analogy Waterproof

Nikwax developed Analogy Waterproof after extensive research into the protection used by mammals and birds in the wild. It uses a Pump Liner to mimic the action of animal fur – pushing liquid water outwards to protect you from rain, condensation and perspiration, while protecting your insulation. This is combined with a Directional microfibre outer to deflect wind and rain.

Unlike traditional waterproof fabrics Analogy Waterproof is very flexible, soft and silent. Its water repellency can easily be renewed with Nikwax aftercare products for the lifetime of the garment. Perhaps most importantly of all the Pump Liner system works just as effectively in very humid and very cold conditions.

Last Updated: 30/10/2012

A-Z Adventure Atlas

A-Z are best known for their 1:19,000 maps of town centres. They now produce a range of Adventure Atlases with 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey mapping data in their classic book format. This makes browsing easier and extends the life of the maps as the fold lines are traditionally the first areas to be damaged.

The Adventure Atlases use the classic OS map size (around which hundreds of jacket pockets and packs have been designed). Accessing another part of the map is quick and easier in difficult weather conditions. Like the classic inner city A-Z maps, an index in the back lists: towns, villages, hamlets, locations, natural features, nature reserves, car parks and youth hostels. They also feature a slightly higher quality paper than standard OS maps but weigh the same.

Last Updated: 09/11/2012


AquaGuard zippers were designed by global fasteners giant YKK to be highly water resistant. They use a polyurethane sheet laminated to the back of a coil zipper to prevent the ingress of water. The reverse coil design protects the fragile individual coils by putting them on the inside of the garment or pack.

They are used extensively in the outdoor industry to replace bulky and heavy single and double storm flaps (flaps of waterproof fabric which could be secured over a traditional zipper) with a smooth and simple finish.

Last Updated: 04/02/2013


Riri's Aquazip zippers are a highly water repellent zipper design that uses a polyurethane film to create a barrier to water. This film is applied to the woven tape before the durable plastic teeth are injection moulded onto it to minimise wear points. Finally the whole zipper is given a water resistant treatment.

Unlike other polyurethane laminate zipper designs, the slider only makes contact with the teeth and not the polyurethane coated tape so that the tape remains intact and water resistance does not decrease over time. This also means that Aquazips run more easily than many water resistant designs.

Last Updated: 12/11/2012

AirShield Elite

Mountain Hardwear's AirShield Elite takes wind-protection fabrics to a new level of breathability. Unlike traditional windproof fabrics AirShield Elite doesn't require body heat to trigger its breathability, it starts dissipating moisture the minute you put it on.

This new fabric was developed in conjunction with the makers of eVent and aims to top even their breathability standards.

Last Updated: 14/11/2012


Lowe Alpine's patented AdaptiveFit hip belt uses a split design to adapt to your unique shape. There is no need to adjust the AdapativeFit hipbelt it will adjust automatically to fit you pefectly as soon as you tighten it.

First pull the hip belt forward and downwards by holding the padded section, this will loosen the web, fasten the hipbelt round your hips and then tighten the web at the front. The hipbelt will now feel firm and snug around your hips.

Last Updated: 28/11/2012


Lowe Alpine's AirZone back system minimises the contact areas for maximum breathability whilst maintaining an anatomical profile that fits perfectly on your back. It offers the best of both worlds: comfort for load carrying and cooling for when you are working hard.

Unlike similar designs, the gap between the back system and the pack is no so large that it adversely affects the pack capacity.

This pack features the Lowe Alpine AirZone back system which puts almost no pressure directly on the spine. It is primarily made of mesh for maximum breathability and the lower back and shoulder section are comfortably padded.

This particular model also features an AdaptiveFit hipbelt for improved ergonomics and increased comfort.

Last Updated: 05/12/2012


Osprey's AddOns system lets you increase the storage capacity of your pack, child carrier or luggage with a range of accessories. With a simple to use toggle style system, AddOns such as the Daylite daypack can be securely attached in no time at all. This increases the versatility of your Osprey pack and keeps everything more organised.

Last Updated: 25/01/2013


Scarpa's new ActivFit technology combines a new last with a new sockliner to give their most comfortable and accurate out-of-the-box fit yet. The BD last has a modern design with improvements in three key areas, which incorporates a slightly higher volume allowing increased levels of cushioning to be built into the boot. It goes without saying that it also gives excellent hold on your foot.

The new sock liner has been designed to complement the last, and is made from a combination of breathable fabric, Viscolfex memory foam and a moulded insulating layer. These materials work together to provide instant comfort, which will last.

Last Updated: 18/02/2013

ABS plastic

ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is a common thermoplastic which is easy to injection mould and has some very useful properties. It is very light, durable and has high impact resistance which have meant that ABS is used for everything from musical instruments, to motorcycle panels to Lego bricks.

It is also commonly used as the outer layer of 'hybrid' climbing helmets, which combine a hard shell with soft expanded polystyrene foam. This gives a helmet long term durability, allowing it to resist everyday light knocks without compromising the energy absorbing foam on the inside. It also means that even if it receives a serious impact (where all the foam has been compressed) the outer shell may still be largely intact, providing some continued protection until the user can return to safety.

Last Updated: 19/04/2013


Aerogels are the world's lightest solid materials, and can almost eliminate heat transfer by conduction and convection. They are made by replacing the liquid component of a gel with a gas. Incredibly warm and light, these remarkable materials are now being used to insulate the warmest mountaineering boots.

Last Updated: 03/06/2014


AeroFoam+ is a new lightweight midsole material from Scott with improved cushioning, durability and protection. It has a lower compression set than other foams (based on a comparison over 10,000 loading cycles.

Last Updated: 25/02/2015

Active Foot

Hoka's unique Active Foot Frame geometry allows your foot to sink deeply into the midsole to provide integrated stability that adapts to a range of foot shapes and running styles.

Last Updated: 08/04/2015



Bisphenol A or BPA is an organic compound used to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. This was used for a long time to make water bottles however recent fears over possible toxic effects have seen its use greatly reduced and it is now declared a toxic substance in Canada and banned from use in baby bottles in the EU.

Fortunately there are now many safe alternatives to BPA, including the material Tritan used by Nalgene in their classic bottles. Look for products described as being BPA-free.

Last Updated: 12/11/2015


bluesign is a voluntary initiative which evaluates textiles based on five criteria: resource productivity, consumer safety, air emission, water emission and occupational health and safety. Based in Switzerland, they use independent auditors to cover the entire production process from raw materials to finished product.

There are many elements to the bluesign standard, but if a fabric or facility has been certified then you can be sure that it causes no unnecessary environmental or human damage and is contributing towards a sustainable textile industry.

Last Updated: 13/02/2013

Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature

The Boardman Tasker Charitable Trust was established to promote literature by providing an annual award to authors of literary works, the central theme of which is concerned with mountains. The prize of £3,000 commemorates the lives of Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker and is given to the author or co-authors of an original work which has made an outstanding contribution to mountain literature.

A list of all the winners that we stock can be seen here.

Last Updated: 10/06/2013

Banff Mountain Festival

The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival celebrates mountain literature and film, bringing together film makers, writers, publishers, editors, photographers, athletes, adventurers; and - of course - readers. The Book Competition is an internationally recognised literary competition that will celebrate its 20th year in 2013.

A list of all the winners that we stock can be seen here.

Last Updated: 10/01/2013

Boreal Zenith

Boreal Zenith is the culmination of decades of sticky rubber development. It is the stickiest rubber on the market, finding the perfect mix of edging, durability and the remarkable ability to maintain its performance at different temperatures. This is especially important in the UK where, for example, many hard gritstone routes are climbed in below zero temperatures which most climbing rubbers are not tested at.

Last Updated: 09/07/2012

Bernadette McDonald

Bernadette McDonald is a Canadian author who has written a number of non-fiction books, primarily on mountaineering history and biography. She has also edited a number of books, has been a director of the Banff Festival and won the 2011 Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature with Freedom Climbers.

Freedom Climbers

Freedom Climbers
(Vertebrate Publishing, 2012)

Freedom Climbers tells the story of the extraordinary Polish adventurers who emerged from under the blanket of oppression following the Second World War to become the world’s leading Himalayan climbers.

Tomaz Humar

Tomaz Humar(Arrow Books, 2009)

In August, 2005, Tomaz Humar was trapped on a narrow ledge at 5900 metres on the formidable Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat. He had been attempting a new route, directly up the middle of the highest mountain face in the world - solo. After six days he was out of food, almost out of fuel and frequently buried by avalanches. Three helicopters were poised for a brief break in the weather to pluck him off the mountain.

Brotherhood of the Rope

Brotherhood of the Rope: the Biography of Charles Houston
(Bâton Wicks, 2007)

It was a failed summit attempt and a failed rescue in the Himalaya that brought Charles Houston, M.D., fame and adulation in the mountaineering world. His leadership of the K2 expedition of 1953 is still celebrated as the embodiment of all that is right and good in the mountains. The disaster which followed the retreat from close to the summit remains one of the most dramatic escapes in mountaineering history.

Last Updated: 21/07/2015

British Mountain Map

The award winning British Mountain Map series is produced by Harvey to the specifications of the British Mountaineering Council. They are designed to be the ultimate maps for walkers and climbers and cover the most popular mountain destinations in the UK.

Unlike OS maps they feature a 1:40,000 scale, which allows an excellent compromise between covering large areas on a single sheet and offering enough detail for complex navigation. This is further aided by colour shaded contours and detailed crag information.

They are printed on polyethylene, which is durable, tear-resistant and waterproof, meaning they are less then half the weight of a traditional laminated map. Extra information varies by map but may include: geological data from the British Geological Survey, 1:20,000 enlargements of important areas, mountain incident and first aid advice, navigation tips and useful local phone numbers.

'The 1:40,000 scale used by British Mountain Maps is excellent for hill walking. These maps provide clear, detailed information.' Sir Chris Bonington

'British Mountain Maps are fit for purpose with great cartography, full of relevant information and include a a geological map. Imagine a completely waterproof map that is lighter than paper and will remain reliable in any conditions. This is it.' Mark Vallance, founder of Wild Country (and Outside)

'British Mountain Maps are a joy to use. The detail and accuracy make them my first choice when I am researching a route or just out on the hills for fun.' Peter Macfarlane, outdoor writer and photographer

Last Updated: 09/11/2012



The bioRe® quality label is used by Mammut to ensure responsible clothing manufacturing standards for some of their garments. All garments will have a traceable code so you can see exactly where your product came from. bioRe® stands for:

  1. Organic: produced according to organic criteria
  2. Quality: high-quality materials and workmanship
  3. Ecological: no use of harmful substances or heavy metals
  4. Transparency: control over all production stages throughout the entire value chain
  5. Fairness: humane production conditions throughout the entire value chain.


Last Updated: 14/05/2014



Coolmax is made from a specially engineered fibre from INVISTA which transports perspiration away from the skin towards the waterproof, breathable membrane. The uniquely shaped fibres provide great breathability, even when wet, helping you to stay dry in all conditions.

In moisture management and breathability tests versus competition, Coolmax is proven to have the fastest drying rate, the quickest and most efficient movement of moisture away from the skin and the best breathability. Even cotton, which absorbs and retains 14 times more moisture than polypropylene, does not wick moisture away from the skin like Coolmax.

Last Updated: 30/10/2012


Capilene is the clothing company Patagonia's name for its polyester material with a hydrophilic surface finish. Capilene's core remains hydrophobic (water repellent). It is used in thermal underwear and in stretch versions where it has been blended with Lycra. It has since then been added into most of their product line. Compared to cotton, the warmth it provides at an equal thickness is much greater.

Last Updated: 09/02/2012


Coreloft is a siliconised synthetic fibre used to insulate clothing. It is made up of short monofilament 'staples' which are crimped into two dimensional shapes so that they occupy more space and insulate more. Crucially there are also very long continuous monofilament fibres, unlike other synthetic insulation. This combination means that Coreloft is softer and more resilient than equivalent Primaloft fibres.

Last Updated: 30/10/2012

Common Threads

The Common Threads programme is a partnership between Patagonia and their customers to make, buy and use clothes more sustainably, with the ultimate aim to close the loop on the product life cycle - to make old clothes into new and keep them from ever reaching the landfill.

If you have clothes which you would like to recycle which qualify for the scheme, then you can return them to us in store or post them to us.

Last Updated: 31/10/2012


Cordura is a brand which produces a huge number of fabrics in varying weights. They are best known in the outdoor industry for their fabrics such as Cordura Ballistic which has an exceptionally high durability for its weight.

High dernier Cordura fabrics are used where absolute strength and wear resistance is required, such as the base of a pack or bouldering mat. Some very lightweight Cordura fabrics have a silicon coating which makes it highly water resistant and is used to produce ultralight accessories.

Last Updated: 12/11/2012


This binding is very quick to use once set up and features a stainless steel front bail and a nylon lever, with micro adjustment, at the rear. It requires that boots have welts both front and rear.

It also features a safety strap which wraps around the ankle so that if the crampon is somehow forced off the boot it will not be lost. On older models this strap is also attached to the front bail by a steel strap for extra security.

Last Updated: 05/12/2011


Citriodiol is nature’s most effective insect repellent. It is derived from Eucalyptus citriodora oil by a process which mimics what happens in the tree with age. It repels the vast majority of biting insects and scientific testing has been performed on midges, mosquitoes, sandflies, ticks, stable flies, blackflies, deer keds and land leeches.

Extensive testing has shown that Citriodiol has a low toxicity, is not a sensitiser, has no phototoxic potential, is non-mutagenic, passes the chromosome aberration test making it safe for young children and those who may by sensitive to the chemicals found in other products.

Last Updated: 06/06/2012


With Mammut’s COATINGfinish process, PTFE is used to reduce friction within the fibers and improves their ability to glide against each other allowing each fibre to contribute its maximum to the ropes overall strength. This means that the load is more equally distributed and this enables Mammut to produce lighter and stronger ropes. The COATINGfinish also provides the maximum possible protection against water and dirt, and results in extremely good handling characteristics.

This treatment is always applied in addition to Mammut's superDRY treatment which protects the sheath and core from water and dirt. This increases the durability of the rope under harsh conditions, as well as improving handling characteristics over the life of the rope.

Last Updated: 13/06/2012


The Coffeebrewer is a revolutionary invention from Grower's Cup offering coffee lovers a new alternative to the traditional coffee machine and the coffee plunger/French Press.

The Coffeebrewer is basically a hybrid between a filter dripmaker and a French Press. The design of The Coffeebrewer enables a perfect extraction as the volume of the pouch allows the hot water to interact with the coffee grounds and extract the aroma. The filter is designed to preserve all natural oils and flavours in the coffee. Therefore – a richer taste!

The filter will effectively separate the grounds from the brewed coffee. When you have served the first 1½ cup of coffee you will stop the brewing process. This means that It will not go bitter over time like in a French Press.

Last Updated: 30/10/2012


Dark coloured fabrics tend to heat up more in direct sunlight that lighter coloured fabrics, this is something that most of us are aware of. Unfortunately many pieces of outdoor clothing and equipment are traditionally black in colour, as it hides dirt better. This means that when wearing waterproof trousers your thighs are producing heat from the inside and the sun is heating the fabric from the outside, which leads to discomfort and may require a stop to vent zips.

The unique coldblack treatment reflects both visible and invisible sun rays no matter what the colour of the fabric. This not only keeps the fabric cool, but blocks UV rays providing a minimum UPF of 30. All components of the finish are also bluesign approved, meaning they haven't been independently audited to ensure they have as low an environmental impact as possible.

Design Preis SchweizOutdoor Industry Award 2007 - SilverSwiss Technology AwardPopular Science magazine - Best of What's New 2008

Last Updated: 06/12/2012

CRADLE technology

The North Face developed this proprietary technology to provide additional comfort and stability in its most technical footwear, from trail running shoes to mountaineering boots.

The CRADLE midsole is engineered to naturally absorb impact, stabilise the foot and promote a biomechanically correct stride by supporting the perimeter of the heel and ensuring the underlying fatty tissues are anatomically positioned. CRADLE achieves the perfect balance of stability, cushioning and comfort to inspire confidence for any foot on any terrain.

  • TPU CRADLE heel stability technology (with vertical anti-compression post to prevent crampon slipping on some models)
  • TPU shank provides optimum support and protection through the midfoot
  • Toe area stiffener
  • BASF agile PU body providing great durability and resistance from compression
  • Combination polypropylene and fiberflass lasting board

Last Updated: 16/01/2013


Cocona technology permanently incorporates natural active particles into a variety of materials. In the outdoor industry these particles are used to enhance the performance of technical fabrics, such as those used in high quality base layers.

The main benefits of using Cocona in a fabric are improvements to: evaporative cooling, odor management and UV protection. In addition Cocona uses activated carbon derived from recycled coconut shells and naturally occurring minerals.

Last Updated: 18/02/2013


Black Diamond Cohaesive technology

Cohaesive™ is an innovative system of cord management, embedded directly into select Gore-Tex jackets for quick and easy adjustments. Cohaesive hardware is bonded directly to the jacket's fabric, making it incredibly durable and easy to use.

Last Updated: 21/10/2015


Gore-Tex Logo

A new technology from Gore-Tex, C-Knit Backer Technology is a waterproof/breathable laminate fabric that utilises an extremely fine circular knit (C-knit) backer with a degree of stretch built in to it.

This results in an exceptionally soft, supple and comfortable waterproof fabric, that fits somewhere in between Gore's Active Shell and Pro fabrics in terms of breathability.

Gore-Tex C-Knit

Last Updated: 11/11/2015



DWR stands for 'Durable Water Repellent'.  This is a coating added to a fabric in the factory to make it water resistant.  It helps stop jackets 'wetting out' and is used on garments which have breathable membranes and those which do not.  In garments with breathable membranes 'wetting out' seriously reduced the breathability of the garment and so DWR treatment is an important part of the waterproofing proccess.  DWR wears off over time and will need to be re applied with the appropriate Nikwax product.

Last Updated: 10/10/2012


Boreal was the first company in the world to use a breathable, waterproof membrane in outdoor footwear. From all of this experience came Dry-Line, an innovative waterproof lining system that was developed over several years in a joint project by Boreal and Akzo-Nobel.

Last Updated: 27/10/2011


Dri-release fabric is exclusive to Mammut, it offers an excellent compromise between the feel of natural cotton and the technical properties of synthetic fibres. Despite feeling soft and comfortable it dries four times faster than cotton and faster than nylon, polyester and even CoolMax Extreme. Its drying and wicking properties are a result of the structure of the fabric so they will not wash out. It is also treated with Freshguard, which is antibacterial and reduces odour and offers protection from UV rays.

Last Updated: 31/01/2012


Dyneema is a brand of UHMWPE (Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) fibre which is gel spun to allow it to be easily incorporated into hundreds of applications. Dyneema fibres have a strength to weight ratio around 40% higher than aramid, which is used for many slings and cord, and 10-100 times higher than steel.

It has a number of advantages over nylon which is the traditional material of choice for climbing slings including good resistance to photo degradation from UV light and low weight. It does however deal less well with prolonged abrasion against rock than nylon.

Other companies produce UHMWPE under the names Spectra and Dynex, they are all essentially the same thing.

American Alpine Institute - Guide's Choice

Last Updated: 22/11/2012


DEET has been available for more than 50 years in the U.S. and has been studied more extensively than any other repellent ingredient. It is the most widely used active ingredient in repellents worldwide and is unequalled when it comes to keeping mosquitoes, ticks, and other bugs away.

It is important to apply DEET to all unprotected areas of skin. The active ingredient in DEET is effective against both biting insects and ticks and is the most effective against (malaria) mosquitoes and horse flies, effective against ticks and leeches and reasonably effective against black flies and midges.

Concentration gives you some idea of how long you can expect a product to provide protection. The higher the concentration, the longer the bugs will stay away. Care Plus advises a DEET percentage between 30% and 50%. An insect repellent with a DEET percentage under 30% is not sufficiently effective and a percentage over 50% has no added value.

Be warned, DEET is highly toxic and a very effective solvent, and will dissolve many kinds of plastics, including a lot of synthetic clothing. A safer and almost as effective alternative is the newly developed picaridin.

Last Updated: 16/06/2015


Only Sterling Rope products have a unique feature called DryCore. What is DryCore and why is it so important? DryCore is Sterling Rope's innovative and proprietary way of treating the core yarns so as to reduce yarn-on-yarn abrasion and moisture absorption.

The core provides the strength and power of your rope. If your rope gets wet, it loses critical strength and elongation will increase. In fact, tests have shown that a wet rope can lose up to 30% of its strength. In tests conducted at Sterling Rope, wet ropes constructed with DryCore had less increase in elongation than standard ropes and maintained their strength characteristics while ropes without DryCore did not.

Last Updated: 13/06/2012

Dry Shield

Edlerid's proprietary Dry Shield finish protects ropes from water, dust and dirt. This prolongs their working life and also prevents them from absorbing water which reduces their strength. It makes ropes much more versatile and suitable for winter and alpine use.

Last Updated: 13/06/2012

Double Sports Braid

Edelrid's Sports Line of ropes are constructed with a double braid sheath which gives them a particularly tight and smooth sheath which is very abrasion resistant. This makes them very durable and ideal for those who like to abuse their ropes.

Last Updated: 13/06/2012


Scholler's Dryskin is their highest performing softshell fabric, which is designed for the most active sports. It uses a double fabric construction to achieve unheard of levels of breathability and protection, with synthetic fibres on the outside and a range of possible function fibres underneath for rapid moisture transport.

Dryskin is breathable, wind and water repellent, hard wearing, durable, fast drying and has permanent elasticity, moisture transport and a high level of comfort. In short the perfect softshell fabric.

American Alpine Institute - Guide's Choice

Last Updated: 22/11/2012

dual tether hem drawcords

Mountain Equipment use dual tether hem drawcords on all of their hardshells and softshells. These were introduced in 2005 after receiving feedback from a Scottish winter climber who had a nasty experience half way up a pitch. While high stepping he managed to catch a crampon point in the small loop of elastic in the hem adjustment draw cord. Getting more pumped by the second, he tried to break it but found that the elastic just stretched and stayed in place.

Fortunately a nasty fall was averted, but this simple design lives on and not only makes adjustments easier and more precise but also makes climbing safer.

Last Updated: 12/11/2012

Dry.Q Elite

Mountain Hardwear's Dry.Q Elite is the first waterproof breathable fabric to start breathing the minute you start using it. Unlike traditional waterproof fabrics it doesn't require humidity to trigger its breathability. No waiting, no clamminess, just waterproof and windproof protection.

This new fabric was developed in conjunction with the makers of eVent and aims to top even their breathability standards.

Gear Junkie Best in Show Outdoor Retailer Winter 2011

Last Updated: 15/11/2012

Dry.Q Core

Mountain Hardwear's Dry.Q Core™ is a versatile, long-lasting waterprrof and breathable solution for everything from lightweight climbing jackets to day-to-day rainwear.

Dry.Q Core has an abrasion resistant exterior fabric and fully taped seams for complete waterproofness.

Gear Junkie Best in Show Outdoor Retailer Winter 2011

Last Updated: 14/05/2014

Down Codex

The award-winning Down Codex project was launched by Mountain Equipment in 2009 to provide a transparent and ethical sourcing process for their down. All their down now has to meet their rules and commitments, be sourced from suppliers who understand and abide by these rules and be independently tested and traceable to its source.

The process is very thorough and a first for the industry, but the key principles are:

  • No live plucking or live harvesting
  • No force feeding during the fattening process before slaughter
  • Birds have access to free range conditions, with fresh water and natural food
  • No solvents used to clean down
  • All down tested for cleanliness, composition and fill power by IDFL
  • All down measured using international Lorch cylinder method

As a consumer, the Down Codex allows you to see exactly where the down in your product came from by entering its unique code at the official website. It will supply you with a map of the down's origin and access to the full audit and independent testing for that specific batch, you can see an example here.

Outdoor magazine - Editor's Choice Summer 2012OutDoor Show - Industry Award 2011

Last Updated: 29/10/2014

Dry.Q Evap

Mountain Hardwear DryQ Evap Logo

Dry.Q Evap is Mountain Hardwear's most breathable waterproof fabric. Moisture is transported through a network of channels quickly by an interior-surface wicking technology, so it evaporates really quickly. The result is improved breathability and greater levels of comfort

Last Updated: 14/05/2014

Dry.Q Active

Mountain Hardwear Dry.Q Active Logo

Dry.Q Active™ combines the waterproof protection of a hard shell with the stretch and moisture management of a running top. Mountain Hardwear have carefully layered and combined performance materials in new ways to make a fabric that is lightweight, highly breathable, supple and stretchy.

Last Updated: 14/05/2014

DAC Featherlite NSL

Last Updated: 23/03/2015



Short for Ethylene-vinyl Acetate, EVA is a soft a flexible polymer which has many uses in the outdoor industry. It's shock absorbing properties combined with it being easy to mould and temperature resistant mean that it features in the midsoles of most footwear. It can also be varied in density very easily, so that a very lightweight EVA is a perfect synthetic substitute for cork in walking pole handles.

Last Updated: 29/11/2011

EN 13537

This standard was created to give a measure of a sleeping bag's warmth over several different tests. The majority of sleeping bags sold in Europe now feature this standard. Although four tests are conducted, typically the figures are only given for three of which only two should be looked at seriously: Comfort and Lower Limit. The Extreme figure is given for worst case scenario survival situations.

  • Comfort: the temperature at which a standard woman can expect to sleep comfortably in a relaxed position
  • Lower Limit: the temperature at which a standard man can sleep for 8 hours in a curled position without waking
  • Extreme: the minimum temperature at which a standard woman can remain for 6 hours without risk of death from hypothermia
Last Updated: 01/03/2012


Osprey's ErgoPull system make it easier than ever to adjust the waistbelt on a pack. By running the webbing through an additional loop mechanical advantage is increased. This also has the effect of changing the direction you pull in. It is much easier to pull in towards the middle of your body than to pull out towards your hips.

Last Updated: 25/01/2013

Eiger Extreme

Mammut launched the Eiger Extreme range in 2011 to showcase the very best clothing and equipment that could be made. The Swiss brand is already associated with quality and attention to details, but these products have truly been designed without compromise. For example using the same waterproof membranes as the competition is not enough, they must be laminated to the lightest and most durable face fabric. The limited palette of bold and bright colours aren't ashamed to draw attention to the quality of the pieces.

Outside are one of only a select number of retailers to stock Eiger Extreme products in the UK.

Last Updated: 07/08/2014

Extended Comfort Footwear

This guaranteed waterproof Gore-Tex technology is specifically designed for footwear. It uses a breathable PTFC sock-like lining sandwiched between several Gore-approved fabrics to create a barrier to incoming moisture. Where it differs from Gore-Tex Performance Comfort Footwear is that is offers much higher levels of breathability with the inevitable tradeoff of a reduction in insulation, making it much better for high output or warm weather activities.

Last Updated: 09/10/2012


Originally launched in 1986, the EXTREM range represents the best of Berghaus design. Developed using insights from their sponsored althletes and guides and using the best materials available, each EXTREM piece uses innovative design and techniques. Used by the like of Sir Chris Bonnington and Leo Houlding, the range is has been trusted by serious mountaineers for over 20 years.

Outside are one of only a select number of retailers to stock EXTREM products in the UK.

Last Updated: 30/10/2012

Extreme PreCurve

Mountain Hardwear's Extreme PreCurve is a three-dimensional, natural hand-curved glove design that reduces bulk while optimising dexterity and fit. New keystone finger patterning fits closer to the hand, eliminating bunching and creating more sensitivity and dexterity.

This is ideal for gloves which will be used with ice axes, where it can save valuable time and make climbing substantially easier and more comfortable.

Last Updated: 15/02/2013


Patagonia seek to build the best product and cause no unnecessary harm. As it applies to making products, they work hard to source materials and use processes that are less harmful to the Earth without compromising quality. At Patagonia quality is not only how well a product performs and holds up, but also how it's made.

The following are classified as E-fibers, which are more responsible alternatives to traditional materials: organic cotton, hemp, non-chlorine treated wool, recycled polyester, recycled nylon and Tencel lyocell.

Patagonia's recycled polyester is made using scraps from the cutting room floor and even old Capilene. Their recycled nylon is reprocessed from post-industrial fibers and yarn.

Last Updated: 01/03/2013


Lycra is the brand under which Invista markets spandex in the US, the UK and many other countries (it is also known as elastane and various other names). Spandex fibre was first developed in 1958 as a replacement for natural rubber in corsetry, where its elastic qualities were desirable. Its name is an anagram for 'expands' and it certainly does that, stretching to 7 times its initial length.

Spandex fibres are never used on their own but blended with other fibres to give fabrics stretchy properties. As little as 2% can make a huge difference to the feel of a fabric, adding comfort, fit, shape retention, durability and freedom of movement.

Last Updated: 13/02/2013



Fleece is a synthetic fabric that is warm, stretchy, quick drying and made from Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or other synthetic fibres.  First made at the Malden Mills in 1979 as 'Polar Fleece'.  Outside Gear Article: Fleece

Last Updated: 30/10/2012


FS-Quattro is Boreal's standard performance rubber and is used on almost all their shoes. Boreal revolutionised the world of climbing in the 80s with the introduction of the first truly sticky rubber. This continued with the Fusion rubber series (1, 2 and 3), each stickier and more durable than the last. FS-Quattro is the latest in that pedigree and offers unmatched tear and abrasion resistance as well as consistent performance across a wide range of temperatures.

Last Updated: 09/07/2012

Frame Construction

Petzl use a proprietary system to create a cradle which spreads load across the entire width of your harness, while using an open mesh to promote breathability throughout. This combines strength with comfort in a very lightweight package.

Last Updated: 08/10/2012

Flex Index

Mammut use their Flex Index system to give an idea of the level of rigidity provided by footwear. It extends the existing boot/crampon compatibility system (B1, B2, B3) downwards from A9 to A4 to cover everything from lightweight trail running shoes to technical mountaineering boots.

Activity Sole Damping Crampon Compatability
A4 Urban/Trail Running Soft & highly flexible Good  
A5 Multifunctional Soft & very flexible Very good  
A6 Light Hiking/Approach Soft & flexible Good  
A7 Hiking/Approach Semi-rigid Active  
A8 Technical Hiking Rigid Active  
A9/B1 Backpacking Reasonably stiff flexing   Light use with strap-on crampon
B2 Mountaineering Stiff flexing   All day use with clip-on heel crampon
B3 Technical Mountaineering Fully rigid   Rigid or articulated fully clip-on crampon
Last Updated: 09/10/2012


Exped's multi award winning FlatValve technology is a significant step forward in sleeping mat technology. Instead of seam edge welding the valve in place the whole valve is welded directly into the fabric. This, combined with the fact that the valve itself is soft and flexible, means that the valve is flush to the mat and less likely to be damaged.

In addition the FlatValve features a one-way flap which prevents the mat from re-inflating itself when it is being rolled up for storage. This flap also means that you do not lose air from the mat as you attempt to seal it.

OutDoor Industry Award 2009

Last Updated: 15/02/2013

Fair Wear Foundation

The Fair Wear Foundation is an independent, non-profit organisation that works with companies and factories to improve labour conditions for garment workers. Currently there are 80 member companies, based in seven European countries, which represent over 120 brands.

There are many aspects to being a member of the Fair Wear Foundation, however some of the basic principles are expressed in their 8 labour standards:

  • Employment is freely chosen
  • There is no discrimination in employment
  • No exploitation of child labour
  • Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
  • Payment of a living wage
  • No excessive working hours
  • Safe and healthy working conditions
  • Legally-binding employment relationship

There is no certification process which claims to cover all of these at every factory that a manufacturer may use, rather there are ongoing reports which are published at fairwear.org for anyone to look at.

The following brands that we stock are members of the Fair Wear Foundation: Deuter, Häglofs, Mammut and Mountain Equipment

Last Updated: 08/07/2013

fill power

Fill power is a measurement used to quantify the ability of down to resist compression, known as its loft. The higher the fill power, the more space the down occupies and the more effective it is as an insulator. Higher fill power down is hard to source and therefore expensive, it does however offer significant weight savings for gram-counting alpinists.

In the outdoor industry fill powers tend to start at around 650 and currently go up to 850 (900 does exist but is rare and mostly needs to be 'handplucked' from live birds). The down's origin is also sometimes given, most 'European' down comes from Hungary and the Ukraine and tends to be better quality that Chinese sourced down. The species may also be given but is not strictly speaking informative. The best goose down will outperform the best duck down, but good duck down will outperform poor goose down.

In addition to the fill power figure, there is sometimes a percentage quoted, eg '85% down' or '85/15 down'. This refers to the ratio of pure down to small feathers used. Higher feather percentages tend to be found on less technical products where down is padded out with feathers which cost less and offer more rigidity to compensate for the lower loft, however almost all products contain some feathers to increase the durability of the down.

International Down and Feather BureauIn the past a number of different competing systems were used to measure fill power. Today almost all outdoor manufacturers use the International Down and Feather Bureau's testing method (sometimes known as the US method). This involves pre-conditioning the down being tested with steam, which gives the best consistency for test results. It is then placed in a cylinder and stirred to maximise its loft, before its volume is measured in cubic inches after being compressed by an ounce weight to give the fill power.

Last Updated: 01/03/2013

Fair Labor Association

The Fair Labor Association believes that all goods should be produced fairly and ethically, and brings together three key groups: business, civil society organisations, and colleges and universities to find sustainable solutions to systemic labor issues.

The mission of the Fair Labor Association is to combine the efforts of  to promote and protect workers’ rights and to improve working conditions globally through adherence to international standards.

The following brands that we stock are members of the Fair Labor Association: Adidas, Columbia, Patagonia, prAna and The North Face

Last Updated: 18/04/2013


Cirrus is a new synthetic insulation, powered by 3M Thinsulate Featherless, that very closely mimics the performance and look of down. 3M Thinsulate Featherless offers an equivalent warmth-to-weight ratio to 600-fill down, and it will still keep you warm even in the wet.

Last Updated: 11/08/2015



Gore-Tex is a unique tissue paper thin microporous membrane, which contains over 9 million pores per square inch. Each pore is 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet, yet some 700 times bigger than a moisture vapour molecule. This gives the fabric excellent levels of waterproofness and breathability.

The outer face of the Gore-Tex fabric is coated with a hydrophobic DWR (Durable Water Repellency) treatment which encourages surface water to bead up and run off. This improves the wet weather performance of the garment and promotes breathability by preventing wetting-out of the outer face.

Last Updated: 08/07/2013


Gelanots make a range of waterproof fabrics which are unusual in that they do not provide breahtability through millions of tiny pores in the membrane. Instead a knitted face fabric is laminated to a PU hydrophillic membrane which has a similar effect. They are soft and stretchy and do not make the same plastic 'rustle' as many other waterproof fabrics.

Last Updated: 26/10/2011

Ghost Whisperer fabric

Ghost Whisperer is a fabric so unique there’s only one mill in the world that can weave it. Mountain Hardwear developed this super-lightweight fabric as part of the Ueli Steck Project, a collaboration with speed alpinist Ueli Steck to reinvent climbing apparel and equipment for the next generation of ultrafast alpinists.

The Ghost Whisperer fabric’s super-tight weave is naturally downproof, windproof and water repellent. While some claim to offer lighter fabrics, the Ghost Whisperer is the world’s only true 7 denier by 10 denier fabric, using single 7d and 10d yarns rather than pairs of strands.

Last Updated: 05/12/2012

Ghost Whisperer

Ghost Whisperer is a unique fabric - there’s only one mill in the world that can weave it. Mountain Hardwear developed this super-lightweight fabric as part of their Ueli Steck Project, a collaboration with speed alpinist Ueli Steck to reinvent climbing apparel and equipment for the next generation of ultrafast alpinists. The Ghost Whisperer fabric’s super-tight weave is naturally downproof, windproof and water repellent. While some claim to offer lighter fabrics, the Ghost Whisperer is the world’s only true 7 denier by 10 denier fabric, using single 7d and 10d yarns rather than pairs of strands.

Last Updated: 08/04/2014


Hydrostatic Head

A fabrics resistance to water pressure equivalent to a column height of water (eg 25,000mm) Used to test the waterproofness of materials used in tents,  jackets and outer trousers. Other factors such as wind, contact with vegetation, pressure of a rucksack on the back etc. can all increase the pressure and thus force water through.

For a tent outer to be legally considered waterproof it needs a minimum Hydrostatic Head of 1500mm, a waterproof jacket will need a HH considerably higher to allow for the pressure on the skin. 

Last Updated: 08/07/2013

H2No Performance Standard

H2No Performance Standard is Patagonia's proprietary waterproof breathable fabric. Products made from it undergo the most rigorous testing in the industry. Killer Wash is Patagonia’s proprietary wet flex test that simulates years of use in drenching conditions.

The standard for waterproof shell garments is 20,000mm before, and 10,000mm after their Killer Wash test (per JIS L 1092 B). Whether it’s a bomber alpine shell or a pared-down rainwear piece, the same rules apply.

It comes in three varieties, all of which feature a water-repellent outer shell fabric and a waterproof membrane:

  • 3 layer H2No is used in the most technical garments and has an interior scrim fabric
  • 2.5 layer H2No has a raised pattern on the membrane to keep it from being damaged, this saves weight and is more compressible
  • 2 layer H2No uses an internal mesh or wicking hanging fabric liner for increased durability and next-to-skin comfort

Last Updated: 22/01/2013


HyVent is The North Face's own brand waterproof, breathable technology utilizing a polyurethane (PU) coating that consists of a tri-component mutli-layer formula for waterproof protection, moisture permeability and durability.

This technology has been lab tested in The North Face Quality Assurance lab to ensure the best possible durability and function while also maintaining a comfortable level of breathability. The minimum level of breathability achieved using HyVent is: 600 g/m²/24 hours on the Moisture Vapor Transfer Rate scale.

Last Updated: 30/10/2012


Hypalon is a flexible elastomer which is extremely durable and is often used in high wear areas or to make strong attachment systems. DuPont have unfortunately stopped producing Hypalon.

Last Updated: 30/10/2012


Polartec's Hardface technology is a treatment which can be added to almost any fabric and provides additional benefits without affecting the functions of the original fabric. This surface-fusion polymer application dramatically increases abrasion and snag resistance, enhances water repellency and creates a smooth surface for layering.

It also increases the lifespan of garments, allowing you to wash them more often without affecting the face of the fabric. Primarily used on fleeces this treatment turns vastly extends the range of conditions that any given product can be used in.

Last Updated: 30/10/2012


The  HeadLocker is a patented design from Lowe Alpine for securing ice axes to packs, no matter how extreme the curve of the shaft. It offers an incredibly simple, yet extremely secure, system which is no trouble at all to use with gloved hands. effectively it is similar to a classic toggle and loop design, in this case the HeadLocker toggle is fed through the holes at the top of the ice axes.

It is built into the main closure strap for the pack lid so that as you tighten the closed strap the ice axes are pulled tight against the pack eliminating any movement. Unlike other systems which rely on bungee cord, cordlocks, fragile plastic hooks, etc the HeadLocker is made of aluminium alloy and will never break under normal use.

Last Updated: 06/12/2012


The Arc'teryx HemLock system is used to keep your hardshell from sliding up and out of your harness when making extended reaches. A lightweight foam tube sits in a sleeve which runs around the hem of the jacket making the bottom of the jacket too wide to slip past a tightened harness waist belt.

The sleeve features an open exit to allow you to remove the foam should you not need it.

Last Updated: 14/12/2012

Haglöfs Intense

For Spring 2013 Haglöfs have launched their Intense collection to cater for the new breed of fast and light enthusiasts. It is a head-to-toe range including clothing, packs, footwear and accessories. As well as the functionality and durability you would expect from Haglöfs everything the same design principles: light, quick drying and cut for high energy activities like trail running and mountain biking.

The attention to detail and choice of fabrics marks Intense as being some of the best products available in their respective categories. The unmistakably bold monochrome colour scheme is carried right through the range and though it may not be to everyone's taste, it certainly will keep you visible and safe.

Outside are one of only a select number of retailers to stock Intense products in the UK.

The Haglöfs Intense Challenge app for iPhone and iPad lets you pit yourself against Olympic gold medallist Marcus Hellner at various sports.

Last Updated: 13/03/2013

hot forged

Hot forging is a method used to form stock metal into complex shapes. For many years aluminium alloys have been the material of choice for climbing equipment as they are lighter and much easier to manipulate than comparable steels. For decades karabiners and many other products were made using a technique called cold forging, which isn't possible with steel. This essentially involves squashing 'cold' (room temperature) pieces of stock aluminium alloy with a mould, known as a die, under very large pressures until it takes the form of the mould.

Recently manufacturers have started to move towards hot forging which involves heating the alloy in a furnace before forging it. This makes it much more malleable and allows substantially more complex and subtle shapes to be moulded under higher pressures. Both of these techniques are known as drop forging, when huge a huge hammer is 'dropped' onto the material to create the pressure.

The major benefit for the end user is that equipment can be formed using the bare minimum amount of metal required, rather than using more primitive shapes, making it lighter (and in some cases stronger aswell). It also makes the application of heat treatments after the forging much easier to control, increasing consistency and, by extension, safety.

Last Updated: 08/07/2013


Berghaus Hydrodown Logo

Hydrodown™ is Berghaus' revolutionary new take on natures greatest insulator.

By treating goose down with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating, Berghaus created a material that resists rain longer, dries quicker, and retains its insulation even when it's damp. And just like untreated down, it has an amazing warmth-to weight ratio which no synthetic alternative has come close to matching. 

Last Updated: 28/10/2013


Impact Force

An impact force is a high force or shock applied over a short time period, as in a climber loading a rope in a fall. The force a product can withstand is usually displayed in KN.

Last Updated: 28/02/2011

Insulated Comfort Footwear

Insulated Comfort Footwear is a Gore-Tex technology which replaces the old Duratherm membrane technology. It combines the synthetic fibre insulation used in winter footwear with a standard Gore PTFC breathable waterproof membrane through a lamination process.

This is then attached to protective and outer fabrics as with other Gore membranes. This reduces weight and bulk, making footwear feel more nimble but without affecting their thermal properties, which is especially desirable in alpine and mountaineering boots.

Last Updated: 26/11/2012


Osprey's unique InsideOut compression system lets you customise the way the side compression straps work. You can run the compression under the stretch side pockets so that can be used for quick access to useful items. Or if you are travelling light with a less full pack you can run the compression over the stretch side pockets to keep your pack clean and trim.

Last Updated: 25/01/2013


Products with an IPX4 rating should be considered 'splashproof'. They will withstand water splashing against it, from any direction, at a pressure of 80-100 kN/m2 and a rate of 10 litres/min for a duration of at least 5 minutes. 

Last Updated: 23/10/2014


Products with an IPX6 rating are almost totally waterproof. They have been tested to withstand water projected from all angles through a 12.5mm nozzle at a flow rate of 100 litres/min at a pressure of 100kN/m2 from a distance of 3 metres for 3 minutes.

Last Updated: 23/10/2014


Products with an IPX7 rating are considered waterproof. They havebeen tested to withstand immersion in water to a depth of 1m for 30 minutes.

Last Updated: 23/10/2014


Joe Simpson

Joe Simpson is the author of several best-selling books, of which the first, Touching the Void, won both the NCR Book Award (now the Samuel Johnson Prize) and the Boardman Tasker Award and made into the 2003 BAFTA award winning film of the same name. Joe is now perhaps the best known writer of mountain literature in the UK and has since published other award winning books and written novels and an extended essay.

The Sound of Gravity
(Vintage Books/Jonathan Cape, 2011)

A harrowing, dramatic and powerful tale of love, loss and redemption as that haunting split-second memory changes the course of a lifetime. Trapped high on a stormbound mountain face in the icy depths of winter, the stricken young man fights for his life. Half a lifetime later, haunted by grief and guilt, Patrick is freed from his self-imposed vigil when at last the mountain releases his secret.

The Beckoning Silence
(Vintage Books/Jonathan Cape, 2002)

Having suffered the loss of many climbing friends in accidents, Simpson calls into question the exhilarating, death-defying activity to which he has devoted his whole life. Never more alive than when most at risk, he has come to see an attempt on the Eiger, with its hooded, mile-high North Face, as the culmination of his climbing career.

Dark Shadows Falling
(Vintage Books/Jonathan Cape, 1997)

Now that Everest has become the playground of the rich, where commercial operators offer guided tours to the top up fixed ropes amidst the detritus and unburied corpses of previous less fortunate climbers, Simpson wonders if the noble, caring instincts that once characterised mountaineering have been irrevocably displaced - as in other facets of today's society.

Storms of Silence
(Vintage Books/Jonathan Cape, 1996)

In this book Joe Simpson wrestles with the perplexing nature of aggression and violence - their eruption in himself, in others, in society, in nature, and their evil consequences in cruelty, warfare and genocide. His love of Himalayan life contrasts with the ruthless Chinese destruction of the Tibetan culture and people.

This Game of Ghosts
(Vintage Books/Jonathan Cape, 1993)

Forced to test his nerve he struggled on crutches to 20,000 feet on Pumori, only to hear the news of the death of yet one more friend in the mountains. In an attempt to find a catharsis for his confused emotions, he wrote this memoir of the signposts that have directed him since childhood to measure fear and embrace the unknown.

Touching the Void
(Vintage Books/Jonathan Cape, 1988)

Joe Simpson presents a gripping tale of adventure on the very edge of survival. This story has become one of the all-time classic epics of mountaineering and the book has reached far beyond the world of climbers. It is an inspirational story of humanity in the extreme. Mixing humour and drama, Joe tells of his experiences in the Peruvian Andes with total honesty and lets the intense excitement of the story grip the reader.

Last Updated: 13/11/2012



Keprotec was originally developed for motorcycle racing, its high-tensile aramide fibres provide exceptional levels of protection from abrasion. Although almost impossible to tear, abrade or melt in everyday use it is too stiff to use as the base fabric in outdoor clothing. However it is used extensively for crampon patches on trousers or packs, as even sharpened steel points struggle to penetrate it.

Keprotec is the most durable fabric that schoeller produce in their Protection range and can be combined with a number of high end fabric components depending on its desired end use such as Cordura and Kevlar.

Designpreis Der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 2012 NominationDesign Plus Award

Last Updated: 06/12/2012

Kendal Mountain Festival

The Kendal Mountain Festival is one of the largest events of its kind in the world and was also one of the first. It features everything from film and literary competitions to art and photography events, workshops, sporting events and much more. It has attracted professionals and visitors from across the UK and the world since 2000.

The two stand out events are the Film Competition in which there are over 50 films (from over 200 entries) screened competing for 13 categories and the Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature, the most prestigious English language prize of its kind.

Last Updated: 23/11/2012

Kicker Valve

Ultimate Direction's Kicker Valve is a simple but effective design which has become a favourite on the ultra running scene in the USA, but is ideal for any runner who wants to stay hydrated.

Most importantly the one-piece valve does not leak, something which can easily ruin your concentration if not your race time. What makes the ultrasonically welded silicone Kicker Valve stand out though is that it is easy to control how much you are drinking. Many drinks bottles give an experience similar to pouring a glass of water straight into your mouth, or worse, require you to maintain suction.

The Kicker part of the valve refers to the method of closing it quickly and securely while running. When not in use the whole valve can be pushed down in the bottle for security, then all it takes it a quick tug to pull the valve out and start drinking. If you will be using it again shortly, then the valve can be 'kicked' 40° to one side with a gentle push. This stops the flow of water but can be reversed just as easily.

Last Updated: 16/05/2013



A measure of the power of light perceived by the human eye.  Different manufacturers measure lumens in different ways and it is always worth referring directly to the manufacturers website to determine how they measure light output for thier head lamps.

Last Updated: 18/02/2011


Lorica was developed as an alternative to natural leather, made from synthetic microfiber. The products used in it’s manufacturing are non-toxic and the end product is non-allergenic and does not irritate. It is used in technical footwear in areas where the comfort of leather and low stretch properties of synthetic fabric are required, such as with technical rock climbing shoes

Last Updated: 30/10/2012

Loft Pockets

Klymit's Inertia X pads are not given an R Value (the accepted measure of thermal insulation for sleeping mats). Instead of simply creating a barrier between the bag and the ground, they make more efficient use of the insulation already in your sleeping bag.

Instead of your bag's insulation being squashed flat against a pad (which then has to make up for the loss of insulation), the Loft Pockets allow it to loft into the cut-outs, using it to its full potential. In warmer conditions this also allows air to reach more of the bag increasing breathability.

Last Updated: 21/02/2012


Lyocell is the generic name for the proprietary fabric, Tencel, which is owned by Lenzing. It offers many of the benefits of modern synthetic fabrics but is a better ecological footprint.

It has excellent moisture management properties and is suitable for the most sensitive skin  thanks to its super smooth fibres. Unlike synthetic fabrics which typically smell after use, Lyocell has much reduced bacterial growth.

Its advanced construction techniques mean that Lyocell fibres can be arranged in any number of textures from silky to peached.

ISPO Eco Responsability Award

Last Updated: 18/02/2013

Lezanova leather

Lezanova technology was developed by Japanese chemical company Daikin, and originally marketed at the furniture industry. It effectively renders leather waterproof, virtually 100% stain resistant (even to oil stains) and it even resists wrinkling and shrinkage when washed. It uses tiny molecules which are one tenth the size of Teflon molecules to completely permeate leathers and give them these desirable properties. Unlike surface treatments, these properties will be maintained for the life of the leather and are not rendered useless if scratched.

When applied to high quality supple leathers, Lezanova technology creates a virtually indestructible material which is waterproof and soft making it ideal for use in gloves.

Last Updated: 06/11/2012


Osprey's unique LidLock system lets you attach a helmet to your pack securely and with minimum fuss. The oversized toggle will fit through the vents of the vast majority of cycling helmets as well as some climbing helmets and its smooth edges will not damage fragile polystyrene foam. Elasticated cord then holds the helmet in place without blocking access to main pocket.

Last Updated: 25/01/2013


Lycra is the brand under which Invista markets spandex in the US, the UK and many other countries (it is also known as elastane and various other names). Spandex fibre was first developed in 1958 as a replacement for natural rubber in corsetry, where its elastic qualities were desirable. Its name is an anagram for 'expands' and it certainly does that, stretching to 7 times its initial length.

Spandex fibres are never used on their own but blended with other fibres to give fabrics stretchy properties. As little as 2% can make a huge difference to the feel of a fabric, adding comfort, fit, shape retention, durability and freedom of movement.

Last Updated: 13/02/2013

Liquid Rubber

Mammut's Liquid Rubber technology offers the durability of a rubber rand with a nominal increase in weight. Traditionally rubber rands need to be substantial enough to be able to wrap around the toe of a shoe without tearing and they are glued in place. This adds extra cost and weight which simply isn't necessary for many fast and light footwear models.

The material used in Mammut's Liquid Rubber is applied when wet directly to the fabric around the toe and offers significantly increased protection. The odd accidental scuff against a rock will no longer tear any of the threads at the front of the shoe.

Last Updated: 18/02/2013



Merino wool offers alternative advantages to synthetic fabric base layers. Whilst synthetic fabrics do dry faster than Merino, they also tend to feel clammy before you've even started exercising. Merino is highly breathable so moisture vapour escapes easily.

Though Merino does dry slower than synthetic fabrics it does still dry relatively quickly because it is so thin. Also as with synthetics it still keeps you warm even if it does become saturated. Finally Merino does not get as smelly as synthetic base layers which is something to bear in mind if you are going to be using your base layer several days in a row.

Last Updated: 01/03/2013

Maillon Rapide

Maillon Rapide is French for 'quick link' and is used to describe a family of simple screwgate karabiners which are characterised by their large hexagonal barrel. They come in a variety of shapes, materials and sizes, each with their own specific use. The name is something of a misnomer as they take significantly longer to open and close than a modern screwgate and for total safety require a spanner to lock them.

For the most part climbers are only concerned with the standard oval shape, which offers high strength at a low cost. They are used to connect chains to bolts on lower-offs on sport climbs and also found attached to abseil tat on trees and threads used to abseil off trad routes. Some climbers will also often carry one as an emergency karabiner in case they need to lower off a route unexpectedly and do not want to leave a normal screwgate karabiner which can cost as much as double.*

*Please be advised that as Maillon Rapides are designed to be used in industry, they have a working load rating which is much lower than their breaking load rating. Do not exceed the working load in normal use, as you may not be able to undo your Maillon Rapide or you may even endanger yourself.

Last Updated: 19/11/2012

Micro Velour

Micro Velour is the term used by many manufactureres to describe the soft fleece backing that is on the inside of thier garments.  This finish is not like having a proper fleece lining but just ads a softer feel and some insulation to a garment.

Last Updated: 18/02/2011


Microfleece is a generic name given to fabrics made of very fine polyester fleece, which are extremely soft and tend to be very thin. It is typically used in small patches for lining handwarmer pockets and goggle pockets and also making light weight fleece tops.

Last Updated: 30/11/2011

Motion Control

This patented technology from Mammut uses an anatomically shaped heel cap which prevents the foot from twisting outwards by means of a reinforced interior. It is either fully integrated into the uppers of the shoe or semi visible on light weight models.

Last Updated: 18/02/2013


Berghaus launched MtnHaus in 2011 as new premium collection created by a bespoke design and development team. This team of elite designers work with the Berghaus sponsored athletes to produce the very best equipment possible and have been given as much time as they require to make sure they deliver.

Outside are one of only a select number of retailers to stock MtnHaus products in the UK.

Last Updated: 30/10/2012


Magnetron Technology uses two magnetic arms in the gate and a steel insert in the carabiner's keylock nose to create an ultra-secure, self-clearing and redundant locking mechanism that can be easily used with either hand.

Amazingly it adds virtually no weight to existing screwgate karabiner designs. This new way of closing karabiners was developed by Black Diamond and remains a proprietary technology.

  • Magnetic attraction to a steel insert in the carabiner nose keeps two independent arms securely locked
  • Locking arms must be individually depressed before the gate can be opened
  • Once open, opposing magnetic fields repel the arms to ensure smooth and reliable gate operation
  • Symmetrical design allows for easy one-handed operation (right or left)

Last Updated: 25/10/2012

Multi-Fit Footbed

Like all great ideas Salewa's Multi Fit Footbed is surprisingly simple: it is an anatomical footbed which is split into two pieces. Like all good quality footbeds, they provide comfort and support but where they differ is that they can be used to customise the internal volume of the shoe.

If you find using both footbeds gives too snug a fit for normal use, then the yellow portion can be removed and the black portion used on its own. This is good news for those who find that they are often between sizes, but also allows for some other interesting uses.

Make sure to keep both pieces though, as the yellow section can be used to increase performance on technical terrain or help restore some shape when your shoe is coming to the end of its life and is slacker than you would like.

Last Updated: 30/05/2013


Meta-Rocker midsole geometry and sculpted outsole radius creates a unique fulcrum effect that encourages a continuous positve roll from heel-strike to toe-off.

Last Updated: 08/04/2015



The New-Matic binding system is an evolution of the Cramp-O-Matic which give a much more versatile crampon as it fits boots which only have a rear welt. It is also useful if the front welts on your boots have worn out or if overboots are being used.

The black section of the cradle is made from DuPont's Zytel, an extremely strong and flexible plastic. The yellow inserts are softer and help the cradle to mould and stick to the boot. Although Zytel is extremely strong it cannot last forever and should be checked for wear and replaced if necessary, as you would the soles on your boots.

Last Updated: 05/12/2011

New Classic

This binding system can be used on almost any boots and is very intuitive and easy to use. Instead of steel wires or rigid clips, both ends have a plastic cage, made from very strong and flexible DuPont Zytel.

These can adapt to almost any shape and once fitted only a very simple buckle needs to be threaded to secure them.

Last Updated: 05/12/2011

National Outdoor Book Awards

The National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA) is the outdoor world's largest book award program. It is a non-profit, educational program whose purpose is to recognise and encourage outstanding writing and publishing. Each November, the NOBA Foundation announces the winners of the ten categories making up the program, including Literature, History, Instructional and Outdoor Classic. The winners are chosen by a panel of judges consisting of educators, academics, book reviewers, authors, editors and outdoor columnists from throughout America.

A list of all of the winners which we stock can be seen here.

Last Updated: 30/10/2012

National Trail

National Trails are long distance routes for walking, cycling and horse riding through the finest landscapes in England and Wales. In Scotland the equivalent trails are called long distance routes. Altogether, in England and Wales, there are about 2,500 miles (4,000km) of National Trail.

They have all been created by linking existing local footpaths, bridleways and minor roads and by developing new ones where there were gaps. There are 15 Trails in England and Wales (when complete 2 of these will be suitable for use by horse riders and cyclists along their entire length) and 4 in Scotland.

Aurum Press produce a series of official guidebooks to the National Trails:

Cleveland Way North Yorkshire 177 km 110 miles
Cotswold Way South West England 163 km 102 miles
Glyndŵr's Way Mid Wales 217 km 135 miles
Hadrian's Wall North England 135 km 84 miles
North Downs Way South East England 246 km 153 miles
Offa's Dyke Path England/Wales Border 285 km 177 miles
Peddars Way/North Norfolk Coast Path Eastern England 150 km 93 miles
Pembrokeshire Coast Path South West Wales 299 km 186 miles
Pennine Bridleway North of England 209 km 130 miles
Pennine Way North of England 429 km 268 miles
The Ridgeway Southern/Central England 139 km 87 miles
South Downs Way Southern England 160 km 100 miles
South West Coast Path (1) (2) (3) (4)
South West England 1014 km 630 miles
Thames Path Southern/Central England 294 km 184 miles
Yorkshire Wolds Way North and East Yorkshire 127 km 79 miles
Last Updated: 11/12/2012


Polartec's NeoShell is a new multi-award winning waterproof fabric technology, which aims to offer the very highest levels of breathability. The main difference to traditional membranes is its very open molecular structure which allows air to circulate constantly. Other membranes are much more closed and require a high humidity and heat to build up inside the fabric before moisture starts to diffuse outward.

Modern softshell fabrics trade waterproofness for greater breathability by making use of convection: a constant exchange of air allows more moisture vapor to escape. Now, Polartec NeoShell delivers the best of both worlds.

Fall Line magazine - Innovation of the Year 2011-2012Gear Junkie Best in Show Outdoor Retailer Winter 2011Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild - Derryck Draper AwardAmerican Alpine Institute - Guide's ChoiceR&D magazine - Materials Sciences 100 Award 2012TGO The Great Outdoors Awards - Camping Innovation of the Year (Highly Commended) 2012

Last Updated: 03/12/2012


N80p-X face fabric has been designed to provide the highest possible levels of performance when used with Gore-Tex Pro Shell membranes and is only used on their top of the range hardshells. Arc'teryx worked with GORE to design this exclusive fabric which is made from high quality 80 dernier nylon yarn with a false twist texture in a plain weave construction.

As well as making it extremely durable, the dense plain weave structure adds another layer of defense to the DWR, effectively blocking water from being absorbed. Its increased abrasion resistance also leads to less frayed fibres, which promote water absorption. The more a face fabric wets out the less effective the waterproof membrane underneath becomes, so N80p-X even offers improved breathability in extreme conditions.

Last Updated: 14/12/2012

NTS Micro 150

Smartwool's NTS (Next to Skin) fabrics are used exclusively in their merino wool Baselayer collection. They move as naturally as you do with no chafing or binding, letting you get on with whatever you are doing in complete comfort. They cover a wide range of conditions and levels of activity and all of them provide the many benefits of natural merino wool.

Last Updated: 04/02/2013


Schoeller NanoSphere Logo

NanoSphere® is a finishing treatment from Schoeller® that uses nano-technology to replicate the non-stick and self-cleaning properties observed on certain plants and insects. Run a savoy cabbage leaf under the tap and you'll see what we mean. Fine nano-particles form a rough 'hilly' structure that water, dirt etc. can't adhere to.

Scoeller NanoSphere up close

Classic Surface (left), NanoSphere® surface (right)

Water drops or particles of dirt lie only on the peaks of the nano particles, and therefore have a smaller contact area. Adhesion is significantly reduced, water runs off, dirt is repelled or can simply be rinsed off.

NanoSphere® is highly abrasion resistant and withstands frequent washing and cleaning. NanoSphere® is PFOA and PFOS free, instead it is based on future-oriented C6 fluorochemicals which are currently (2014) considered safe.

Last Updated: 07/05/2014

No-Edge technology

Last Updated: 27/10/2015



The OutDry waterproof membrane system is very different to other systems. To make products like gloves and shoes with traditional membranes, complex 2D shapes need to be cut, sewn or bonded together to make a 3D approximation of the correct shape, possibly seam sealed and fixed into place.

OutDry membranes are bonded directly to the external fabric of the product using a patented lamination process, which, for example, bypasses the need to sew waterproof booties and then fix them into footwear.

It requires no seam sealing, which is costly, creates wear points and reduces breathability. Every seam which needs sealing reduces the amount of membrane available to transfer moisture. With OutDry the fabric and membrane are a single unit, which work together.

Volvo Sports Design Eco Design Awards - Outdoor Equipment Award 2008

Last Updated: 03/12/2012


'Words and pictures from the outdoors' neatly sums up what the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild is all about. They are the only UK-based association of media professionals working largely or entirely on outdoor subjects. Each year the Guild makes literary and photographic awards to its members in recognition of their work during the previous twelve months.

A list of all the winners which we stock can be seen here.

Last Updated: 30/10/2012


Every year over 100,000 pairs of outdoor and sport shoes are sold with OrthoLite insoles. They make a huge range of high quality performance insoles which offer far more comfort than the stock insoles found in new shoes.

They are made from open-cell foam which allows air to circulate, preventing overheating and promoting moisture management. The cushioning is extremely durable and will retain 95% of its thickness over time. They are also very lightweight and washable and they even feature recycled rubber content.

Last Updated: 25/01/2013


Oeko-Tex (the International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile Ecology) is an organisation based in Switzerland which has produced a number of standards to ensure confidence in textiles for manufacturers and consumers. All testing for the standards is conducted by a network of 15 independent labs across the world.

There are currently three levels of certification. Oeko-Tex Standard 100 covers the use of harmful substances in textiles, Oeko-Tex Standard 1000 covers damaging production facilities and Oeko-Tex Standard 100+ is the ultimate level of certification requiring that a product meets both of the other standards.

Last Updated: 13/02/2013


PrimaLoft One

Primaloft One logo

PrimaLoft One is the highest performing insulation on the market for warmth, water resistance, softness and compressibility. It is an ultra-fine microfiber insulation that is as warm, soft and lightweight, and is warmer wet or dry than all other insulations.

Ultra-fine fibers form tiny air pockets that trap body heat and keep the cold out. The result is immediate warmth without the bulk. The microfibers are engineered for permanent water resistance and create tight surface tension that resists moisture penetration, resulting in an insulation that dries faster than goose down. Ultra-fine fibers mimic the compressibility of goose down and are breathable, allowing moisture vapor to be transported through the fibers and away from the skin.

Last Updated: 22/10/2012

Performance Shell

Gore Tex Performance Shell is the general purpose waterproof breathable fabric that Gore produce.  Designed for a wide range of outdoor activity it is available in 2 and 3 layer construction.  2 layer construction offers a supple and light feel whilst the 3 layer construction is for more rugged garments.

Last Updated: 26/10/2011

Pro Shell

Gore Tex Pro Shell is the optimum solution for outdoor professionals and serious enthusiasts from Gore.  It is the most rugged, breathable and durable waterproof and windproof fabric that Gore makes and is available in 2 and 3 layer construction for a supple and quiet fabric that is light weight or in the 3 layers case for extra rugged use.

Last Updated: 26/10/2011

PrimaLoft Sport

PrimaLoft Sport is the perfect combination of high performance insulation and value. This technology combines ultra-fine and multi-diameter fibers for specific performance characteristics. The specially treated ultra-fine fibers help to form a water resistant insulating structure, while the multi-diameter fibers help to build loft.

Last Updated: 18/02/2011

PrimaLoft Eco

Primaloft Eco logo

PrimaLoft Eco is earth-friendly insulation created for performance and comfort. Eco insulation technology combines 50% recycled material with PrimaLoft virgin fibers to create a high loft, thermally efficient insulation. PrimaLoft Eco is lightweight and water resistant with superior softness to keep you dry and comfortable. It’s global warming the right way!

Last Updated: 30/10/2012

pit zips

Pit zips are a generic name for any zipper which runs under the armpits of a jacket. They are used to expose to the air the area of your torso which your body uses to dump excess heat and with it, moisture.

Although modern waterproof fabrics feature technologically advanced membranes which allow moisture inside to escape in a way that wasn't possible even 20 years ago, they still have their limits.

When you are working hard pit zips offer an instant hit of breathability without compromising on weather protection or slowing you down while you take off your jacket and pack it. Being positioned on the underside of the arm means that they can even be used in rainy conditions.

Last Updated: 14/12/2012


A Piezo igniter is a type of ignition that is used in portable camping stoves and some lighters.  It consists of a small, spring loaded hammer which hits a crystal of quartz when a button is pressed.  The crystal creates a high voltage when it is deformed and the spark produced ignites the gas.  No actual electrical connection is required.

Last Updated: 18/02/2011

Pro Pulse

The Vibram Pro Pulse sole unit was developed with Scarpa to achieve outstanding performance. The distinctive wave design and the characteristics of the latest generation double density polyurethane facilitate the swing and shock-absorbing phases while walking.



  • Generates propulsive force
  • Maintains stability at the upper level despite continual changes in posture


  • Absorbs the shock of ground impact at every step
  • Conserves energy during the above functions in order to minimise muscular effort


  • Vibram compound with studs of various thicknesses
  • Outsole designed to guarantee excellent performance during climbing
  • Climbing zone on the front part, with studs at the centre and heel to make it easier to tackle different kinds of terrain
Last Updated: 17/05/2012


Picaridin is relatively unknown by the general public, however it has been endorsed by several authoritative international institutions.

The American Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises both DEET and Picardin as effective ingredients against the malaria mosquito and the West Nile virus. As no vaccine is available for either malaria or the West Nile virus effective protection is extremely important.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) considers Picaridin to be the best choice of insect repellent for protection against malaria, and believes it to be effective and safe as well as having desirable cosmetic characteristics.

Last Updated: 06/06/2012

Pro Shield

This premium proprietary treatment is applied exclusively to the ropes in Edelrid's Pro Line. It allows them to create extremely strong ropes which stay dry and dirt-free. It is always applied in addition to Edelrid's Dry Shield treatment.

Last Updated: 13/06/2012

Power Dry

Polartec's Power Dry is a fleece style fabric which has been designed to be the ultimate cool weather base layer. It features a patented bi-component knit construction which employs different yarns on the two sides. On the skin side a high number of 'touch points' absorb sweat away from the body, on the other side a high surface area knit spreads the moisture out allowing it to evaporate at least twice as fast as cotton.

Unlike dense fleece, Power Dry is highly breathable and is comfortable to wear next to your skin. It is so effective that it has been adopted by all of the top technical outerwear manufacturers.

Last Updated: 10/07/2015

Performance Comfort Footwear

This guaranteed waterproof Gore-Tex technology is specifically designed for footwear and uses a sealed PTFC sock-like insert to create a breathable membrane. Where it differs from Gore-Tex Extended Comfort Footwear is that it offers moderate insulation making it suitable for a wider range of activities and temperatures.

Last Updated: 09/10/2012


Perwanger have been producing leather in the South Tyrol since 1780. They are still family owned and continue to innovate and produce extremely high quality leathers which have a rich history of use in alpine footwear. The raw material for their product comes from cattle hide in the Alps which accumulates during meat production.

Last Updated: 30/10/2012

Polartec Alpha®

Polartec Alpha® is the latest evolution of synthetic insulation, offering lightweight warmth and breathability.  Because Polartec Alpha insulation is highly durable and more stable than other synthetic insulation products, more open-construction woven face and back fabrics can be selected to create an air permeable package.  This small amount of airflow rapidly draws moisture away from the body and allows Polartec Alpha to be worn in a wider range of activities compared to classic "vapor barrier" style insulation.

Technical Highlights
Provides warmth without the weight and bulk of traditional insulating fabrics
Breathable to provide comfort in all activities: does not restrict the movement of moisture vapor
Dries quickly to minimize heat loss
Insulates even when wet
Versatile; appropriate for a broad range of activities as a mid- or outer-layer
Wind resistant
Machine washable


Last Updated: 01/10/2013


Pittards logo

Pittards' leather is the finest in the world. Pittards has been manufacturing leather in the UK since 1826. They have a reputation around the world for producing fine gloving, fashion and shoe leather and are at the cutting edge of new leather innovations which have enabled sports wear brands, to offer improved products to customers.

Last Updated: 22/10/2012

Pathfinder Guide

Pathfinder Guides are Britain's best loved walking guides. Made with durable covers, they are the perfect companion for countryside walks throughout Britain. Each title features circular walks with easy-to-follow route descriptions, large-scale Ordnance Survey route maps and GPS waypoints.

All the routes are tried and tested by seasoned walkers. They range from extended strolls to exhilarating hikes, so there is something for everyone. With over 70 titles in the series, they offer essential information for walkers throughout the country.

Last Updated: 04/02/2013


Polygiene is an active odour control technology based on silver salt, a highly effective, naturally occurring anti-bacterial agent. It stops odour-causing bacteria from settling into any material. Without bacterial growth, there’s no need to worry about odor. Engineered to provide fresh-all-day confidence, Polygiene is perfect for people who demand natural odor protection that lasts as long as the garment itself – wash after wash after wash.

Polygiene is bluesign approved and on the Oeko-Tex list of approved products. It is eco-friendly and uses extremely low concentrations of silver salt made from recycled silver. Plus with odor- free clothing, you do less laundry, which is good for the environment.

Last Updated: 06/11/2012

Pertex Shield+

Pertex Shield+ is the next generation of Pertex Shield, a fusion of technically advanced face fabrics with polyurethane film laminates, with a focus on softness and light weight. It offers high levels of wind and water protection with excellent breathability to create the ultimate lightweight, waterproof performance fabric for fast moving outdoor athletes and activities such as alpine climbing, cycling, adventure racing and skiing.

Pertex Shield+ has a hydrostatic head of 20,000mm, twice as high as the original Pertex Shield, and is completely windproof.

Last Updated: 09/11/2012

Pertex Quantum GL

Quantum GL is the most advanced fabric Pertex have ever made and is a natural evolution of their award-winning Quantum fabric. Precisely woven using incredibly fine 10 denier or less yarns, this family of fabrics are nanolight at less than 25g/m², a full 20% lighter than the original Quantum.

Despite its minimal weight, it is soft, completely windproof and cannot be punctured by down. It also has the smallest packing volume of any Pertex fabric.

Last Updated: 11/02/2013


Pontetorto has been producing high quality fabrics in Italy since 1954 and were the first mill in Europe to develop a range of fleece fabrics for activewear in 1984. The factory is covered with solar panels which generate 95% of the energy required to produce the 8 million metres of fabric that leaves the factory every year. Pontetorto have strong environmental goals and their fabrics are certified to the Oeto-Tex 100 standard.

Pontetorto produce a large range of technical fabrics in their Sportsystem range from lightweight fleece, to soft shell and merino wool blends.


Last Updated: 12/11/2012

Pertex Equilibrium

Equilibrium is a highly breathable open weave unlaminated softshell style fabric from the fabric experts at Pertex. It is substantially more durable than the feather light Quantum fabrics but retains the classic dernier gradient Pertex design to move moisture away from the skin.

When combined with a DWR treatment Equilibrium keeps showers off and blocks all but the heaviest winds. It has a more open structure than film like windproof fabrics making it much more breathable but with a slight compromise.

Last Updated: 11/02/2013

Power Wool

Polartec Power Wool is a new fabric that combines the insulating, anti-bacterial, moisture-management properties of merino wool with the durability of synthetics. Power Wool is completely different to most blended fibres, the construction of this bi-component fabric places the merino wool on the inside, close to the skin, where it can wick moisture away and give you that soft comfortable feel that you only get from merino. The outer layer is made from synthetic fibres, giving you abrasion resistance to protect the delicate merino, help reduce shrinkage during washing and also allows moisture to evaporate.

Last Updated: 10/07/2015



While Mountain Hardwear's OutDry technology keeps gloves dry and light, it can’t prevent the exterior fabrics like leather panels from wetting out. Q.Shield with ion-mask technology solves this problem amazingly well by fusing the power to repel water like a force-field directly into fabrics.

It works so well that you can treat a tissue with Q.Shield, put it in a glass of water and it will come out dry. The treatment is permanent so it will continue to perform for the lifetime of the glove.

Last Updated: 14/11/2012


Rolling Concept

This patented Mammut technology uses a specially designed sole unit with customised support and cushioning to support the natural rolling motion of the foot. This not only helps to prevent fatigue but also reduces the likelihood of unwanted lateral twisting.

Last Updated: 30/10/2012



The term softshell was coined to describe a new type of fabrics which were significantly different to hardshell fabrics. In a classic layering system the hardshell is the top layer, designed to protect you from the elements. They are made of a fabric which features a waterproof membrane, a physical barrier to wind and water.

Unfortunately the very thing that makes hardshells desirable, their protection, also means that they have some disadvantages. Fabrics with a plastic membrane sandwiched between two textiles can be stiff and noisy making movement awkward. Despite huge advances in technology in recent years, waterproof membranes still trap moisture (ie sweat vapour) inside clothing which is uncomfortable and can lead to rapid cooling.

Softshell fabrics were developed as a compromise, offering less protection but more comfort. This is based on the premise that for most people, most of the time the protection offered by a hardshell is not required. The term covers a huge range of fabrics and applications from technical alpine pieces designed for ice climbing, to lightweight stretchy pullovers to be worn when very active.

Last Updated: 07/12/2012


Schoeller fabric is a very high quality softshell fabric that is designed in Switzerland and offers excellent breathability, dry times and ruggedness due to the inclusion of cordura in the fabric.

Last Updated: 26/10/2011

Static elongation

This is a UIAA test to see how much a rope will stretch when an 80kg weight is hung on one meter of rope.  The rope is then given a percentage figure of how much it will stretch.  Useful if you are going to be jumaring or if you want a particularly stretchy rope to absorb long falls.

Last Updated: 18/02/2011


The Sympatex membrane is a 5 µm thick waterproof membrane that is laminated on a textile base, providing apparel and shoes with protection against moisture. The hydrophilic (water-attracting) elements of the Sympatex membrane absorb moisture (transpiration) in the form of vapour from the body and transport it from the inside to the outside. What is special about this process is that the Sympatex membrane adapts to the increasing level of exercise, offering dynamic breathability.

Last Updated: 12/11/2012

Speed Lock

The Leki Speed Lock system is a fast an intuitive locking system for walking poles. To release a pole section for adjustment simply pull on the ergonomic cam lever to open and push to close once the adjustment is finished. It is the only system of its kind to be certified by TÜV, the German independant safety testing organisation. As well as being safe, Speed Lock is also practical and can easily be operated in rain, ice and snow and with gloved hands.

Last Updated: 30/10/2012


Mammut's proprietary superDRY treatment provides both core and sheath with lasting, maximum protection against water and dirt, thereby increasing the durability of the rope under harsh conditions, as well as improving handling characteristics over the life of the rope.

Last Updated: 13/06/2012

Stealth Onyxx

This is Five Ten's new standard in high-friction rubber and is the workhorse of the Stealth range. Onyxx has unbeatable hardness for precision edging, stickiness for friction, and exceptional durability.

For a list of all Five Ten's shoes which feature Stealth Onyxx click here.

Last Updated: 09/07/2012

Stealth C4

Stealth C4 was Five Ten's original high performance rubber. The world’s hardest rock climbs were made possible with Stealth C4 and it’s still the favorite of many top climbers providing high friction and excellent edging. It is used on both rock shoes and some technical approach shoes.

For a list of all Five Ten's shoes which feature Stealth C4 click here.

Last Updated: 09/07/2012

Stealth HF

Many modern rock climbs and boulder problems involve over-hanging rock. Five Ten designed Stealth HF (High Friction) rubber to enable climbers to pull in with their feet on the steepest of routes. HF is super sticky and conforms to the smallest edges and crystals and is especially suited to models with extremely downturned toes.

For a list of all Five Ten's shoes which feature Stealth HF click here.

Last Updated: 09/07/2012

Stealth Mystique

A brutally tough rubber from Five Ten, designed to be lighter weight with twice the endurance of previous rubbers. Exotic ingredients get off-the-chart marks on the PICO abrasion resistance test.

For a list of all Five Ten's shoes which feature Stealth Mystique click here.

Last Updated: 09/07/2012


SuperFabric produce a range of fabrics which are exceptionally durable. They are easily recognised by the 'armour plates', which look like tiny beads and provide a flexible barrier which gives all the benefits of rock hard ceramics with the convenience of softshell fabric. It is used where its absolute durability is required and its flexibility is welcomed such as on crampon kick patches.

Last Updated: 30/10/2012


Teko's Summit Series classic-construction socks provide an active outdoor fit that allows freedom of movement yet stays put on your foot. This ensures comfort on heavier weight socks for mountain activities which are typically thicker and more restrictive.

Teko Summit Series

Last Updated: 16/10/2012

Super Alpine HC Hood

For many the design of a hood can make or break a jacket. Representing the current state-of-the-art, Moutain Equipment's Super Alpine HC Hood has been developed over a two-year period in conjunction with some of today’s leading alpinists.

This fully adjustable design has been engineered to work with the latest generation climbing helmets better than any other giving the mountaineer or alpinist total protection and total freedom. The drawcords can be operated with one hand but are not sewn inside the fabric where they can become almost impossible to operate.

The hood moves with you as you turn your head and silicon strips on the inside help to keep everything in place when wearing a helmet.

Last Updated: 12/11/2012

Stratum Storage System

Mountain Equipment are known for their attention to detail and mountain-inspired design. With the Stratum Storage System they have once again tweaked something ordinary to make it better.

By carefully looking at how each pocket layer is inserted into one of their jackets, their garment technicians have been able to increase the volume of the main storage pockets by as much as 25%. That’s a lot of useful extra space for storing bulky laminated maps, gloves or accessories.

The Stratum Storage System is only found on the more serious hardshells where three or four large chest pockets are required.

Last Updated: 12/11/2012

Samuel Johnson Prize

The Samuel Johnson Prize is one of the most prestigious prizes for non-fiction writing. It covers almost any cultural, historical, political or biographical work as long as it has been published in the UK in English. The winner receives £25,000, a donation from an anonymous philanthropist.

The prize picks up where the NCR Book Award left off in 1998.

A list of all the winners that we stock can be seen here.

Last Updated: 13/11/2012


Osprey's unique Stow-on-the-Go system lets you quickly stash walking poles. It is so easy to use that it can be done while walking. This means that you are much more likely to use your poles when you need them, instead of being put off by having to stop and take off your pack every time you encounter a change in gradient.

Last Updated: 25/01/2013


Lycra is the brand under which Invista markets spandex in the US, the UK and many other countries (it is also known as elastane and various other names). Spandex fibre was first developed in 1958 as a replacement for natural rubber in corsetry, where its elastic qualities were desirable. Its name is an anagram for 'expands' and it certainly does that, stretching to 7 times its initial length.

Spandex fibres are never used on their own but blended with other fibres to give fabrics stretchy properties. As little as 2% can make a huge difference to the feel of a fabric, adding comfort, fit, shape retention, durability and freedom of movement.

Last Updated: 13/02/2013


S.Café is a technical composite fabric that features recycled coffee grounds within the fibres. Although it is possible to absorb caffeine through the skin, the coffee grounds in S.Café fabrics are not there to provide you with a performance enhancing caffeine buzz, instead the empty grounds naturally absorb odour, keeping your clothes smelling fresher for longer.

Last Updated: 17/02/2015

Scott eRide

A unique rocker shape in the sole, developed by Scott, that promotes a faster, more efficient running style. The heel shape allows the foot to roll forward, converting impact energy into forward motion by propelling you onto the forefoot as quickly as possible, increasing efficiency and reducing strain on tired muscles. 

Last Updated: 25/02/2015



A hard silver-grey metal used in strong, light, corrosion-resistant alloys. Used for very light weight products such as pots and cutlery for when the weight of your overall pack really matters.

Last Updated: 07/09/2010


Thermoplastic polyurethane is a resin with many desirable qualities such as elasticity and resistance to abrasion, which make it a common material in outdoor footwear. It first found its way into shoes as a lightweight and low cost alternative to rubbers and as technology advanced it was found that it could be easily moulded into complex shapes and given new properties.

Unlike similar plastics, TPU has outstanding low temperature performance and a high strength so it is used extensively in high performance mountaineering boots.

Last Updated: 12/11/2012


Eastman's Tritan copolyester is a BPA free material that’s tough enough to take on the dishwasher. Not only is Tritan manufactured without bisphenol-A (BPA), it also incredibly strong and has heat-resistance qualities that ensure sports bottles and kitchenware can be manufactured in brilliant colors safe in the knowledge that repeated trips through the dishwasher won’t dim their luster. Tritan also requires less heat to produce than similar plastics, giving it a smaller carbon footprint.

Last Updated: 30/10/2012

Thermo Shield

Edelrid's proprietary heat treatment ensures that rope fibres are kept supple and give perfect handling. All Edelrid dynamic ropes have Thermo Shield treated fibres.

Last Updated: 13/06/2012

Thermal Pro

Thermal Pro fabrics are the warmest standard fleece fabrics that Polartec produce and they offer industry leading warmth-to-weight ratios. As you would expect from a highly technical fleece they are also quick to dry and very breathable. Additionally they are also very practical and the polyester fibres are durable enough to be machine washed.

With Thermal Pro, Polartec have perfected the art of making complex three dimensional textures with their fabric, trapping pockets of insulating air. It is available in a wide range of weights, textures and patterns, some of enhance visual appeal by replicating traditional designs such as tweed and corduroy while others further increase the performance.

Polartec's Thermal Pro High Loft fabrics takes fleece to the next level, offering even better warmth to weight ratios and compressibility than Thermal Pro. They are the most technically advanced of Polartec's fleece fabrics, achieving the utmost versatility and performance under extreme conditions.

Last Updated: 01/03/2013


Tecnopile was the first fleece fabric to be produced in a European factory in 1984. Today it is part of a range of technical fabrics in Pontetorto's Sportsystem, and there are now several variations.

It is still made in Italy and fully certified as a bluesign approved fabric and meets the Oeto-Tex 100 standard.

Last Updated: 12/11/2012


Tecnostretch is a high performance fabric from Pontetorto's Sportsystem line of fabrics. It is ideal as a base layer or midlayer being soft, stretchy and having high wicking properties.

It has a durable component yarn used in the face to extend its life while the polyester on the inside both insulates and wicks. Elastane fibres give it a bodyhugging fit.

Like all Pontetorto fabrics, it is made in Italy and fully certified as a bluesign approved fabric and meets the Oeto-Tex 100 standard.

Last Updated: 12/11/2012


TIZIP produce a range of waterproof zippers which are designed and manufactured in Germany. Their products are used where they function is tested to the extreme, they are used extensively in the wetsuit and drysuit sector and on premium waterproof packs.

The model which appears most in the outdoor sector is the SilverSeal which is made from a strong plastic coil zipper on a high strength fabric. Lips above and below the zipper's coils compress when closed to make a perfect seal. The whole unit is very abrasion resistant as the weakest link is protected inside and it can withstand short term sharp bending and twisting without separating.

The SilverSeal is often found on mountaineering boots with integrated gaiters, for waterproofing and ease of use with gloves.

Last Updated: 03/12/2012


Thinsulate is a brand of synthetic insulation developed by 3M, which first appeared in the 1970s. It is very widely used in clothing and accessories in all sectors of the market and even bedding, however in the technical outdoor industry it is found most often in footwear.

It is durable, flexible, very warm and only absorbs 1% of its weight in water, making it ideal for winter boots. There are different varieties of Thinsulate and each is measured in a weight in grams. These figures represent the weight of 1m² of material, so the higher the weight the more insulating it is.

Last Updated: 06/12/2012

Talon Clip

Ruffwear's new Talon Clip is a massive improvement over existing dog leash clip designs. It is made from aluminium alloy for lightweight strength and its design means that it cannot unclip itself or become deformed by an over eager dog. An integrated swivel connection keeps the leash tangle-free at all times.

Importantly it is also ergonomically designed making attaching and removing the Talon Clip simple and easy without compromising its security. An extra benefit of the design is that is can be operated with one hand, leaving your other hand free to keep your dog close.

Last Updated: 13/03/2013

Thermal.Q Elite

Mountain Hardwear Thermal.Q Elite

Thermal.Q Elite is Mountain Hardwear's own premium synthetic insulation, and it's been designed to closely mimic the structure of natural down. Thick fibres create a firm 3D structure to maintain the thickness, while finer fibres fill in the gaps and trap air. 

Last Updated: 14/05/2014

Tri-Dex Technology

Arc'teryx Tri-Dex™ Technology is an innovative construction process that utilizes complex three-lobed patterns. Each finger is individually patterned to replicate its unique shape and direction of articulation, allowing a true anatomical fit and incredible dexterity.

Arcteryx Tri-Dex Technology 

Last Updated: 29/07/2014


In this patent-pending application, Therm-a-Rest vary the location and number of ThermaCapture™ layers within each NeoAir mattress to meet specific warmth targets. Combined with Triangular Core Matrix construction, a single ThermaCapture™ layer can boost warmth by up to 50% and creates the unmatched warmth-to-weight ratios offered by a NeoAir mattress.
Last Updated: 09/03/2015


Thermoball is a new synthetic insulation material developed by Primaloft in conjunction with The North Face. Small clusters of Primaloft closely mimic down, trapping more heat than a standard continuous filament insulation. 

In effect, you get the same warmth-to-weight as 600 fill-power down, but with minimal loss of heat in the wet.

Last Updated: 30/10/2015



UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and is the degree to which a garment shields you from the sun, much like sun tan lotion.  Sun protection is achieved through varying yarn selection, fabric construction and the outer colour used on a garment.  There are different protocols for testing UPF with the Australian/New Zealand AATCC protocols being the most widely respected.

Last Updated: 18/02/2011


The International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation is the leading international representative body for climbers and works to promote thier interests including safty standards in climbing gear. The UIAA Safety Commission works closely with the industry to develop standards to minimise accidents caused by equipment failure.

A certified piece of mountaineering and climbing equipment carries a UIAA Safety Label, which indicates the equipment’s compliance with the UIAA standards. The UIAA first started to test ropes in 1960 and now has standards for 20 different categories of safety equipment, including helmets, harnesses and crampons.

Last Updated: 12/11/2012

Universal pattern

The Rite in the Rain Universal pattern is designed for general use but the extra markings can be used to draw straight lines for charts, graphs or anything else you might need. Feint vertical dotted lines form squares with the horizontal lines. Click the graphic for a high resolution image.

Last Updated: 23/10/2012

Ueli Steck Project

Ueli Steck is one of the world's leading alpinists and has found success in everything from climbing 8a routes on the Eiger to high altitude mountaineering. He is perhaps best known for his speed ascents, including the north face of the Eiger in less than 3 hours and the Matterhorn in less than 2. He has also won a Piolet d'Or and summited Everest without oxygen.

To develop the next generation of alpine gear, Ueli Steck teamed up with Mountain Hardwear designers to create the ultimate speed-mountaineering kit: a system of clothing and equipment that’s not just lighter than anything available today, but designed with a simplicity and efficiency of function tailored to Steck’s style.

The full expedition clothing system weighs half of what similar competitor's systems weigh.

The entire range won a Best in Show award from Gear Junkie at the largest outdoor retail show in the US.

Outside are one of only a select number of retailers to stock Ueli Steck Project products in the UK.

Last Updated: 15/11/2012



Vitale Bramani developed the first Vibram rubber outsoles after the deaths of six of his friends in the Alps. In 1937 the first units were patented and launched. Today the yellow logo is found on everything from rock climbing shoes to high altitude mountaineering boots. Vibram remains the most recognised and respected manufacturer of outdoor footwear outsoles in the world and is renowned for the stickiness and durability of its products.

Last Updated: 12/11/2012


Velcro has been holding things together for well over 50 years and today is found on everything from softshell jackets to climbing harnesses to tents. The design came about after Georges de Mestral noticed cockleburs sticking to his trousers and his dog during a walk. Velcro simulates this idea to create fabrics which stick together: one with thousands of tiny hooks and one with thousands of tiny loops.

The word has become a generic term for any fastening which works on the Velcro principle, whose patent expired in the 70's. Alternatives are often called 'hook and loop' or 'touch' fasteners, but some manufacturers choose to spend more to buy official Velcro branded products for their lines.

Last Updated: 14/12/2012


AquaGuard VISLON zippers combine two of the most advanced technologies from global fasteners giant YKK to create a highly water resistant and highly durable zipper. Like on all VISLON zippers, tough plastic teeth are used which cannot be bent out of shape. They use a polyurethane sheet laminated to the back of a coil zipper to prevent the ingress of water. The reverse coil design protects the fragile individual coils by putting them on the inside of the garment or pack.

They are top of the range zippers and currently only found on highly technical shell clothing for mountaineering, where the smooth clutter-free finish and high performance is very desirable. They replace bulky and heavy single and double storm flaps (flaps of waterproof fabric which could be secured over a traditional zipper) with a clean and effective design.

Last Updated: 04/02/2013


Rather than using complex chemical treatments and lamination techniques, Rab's award winning Vapour-rise technology takes a classic idea and updates it with modern fabrics. Garments made from 'pile and Pertex' have been around for a long time, but they tended to be heavy and best suited to very cold weather.

Rab brought this softshell technology up to date by combining a lightweight Pertex Equilibrium as a durable outer barrier with a fine wicking microfleece inner to create extremely breathable garments that work across a wide range of weather conditions. Like all softshell it is not designed to be 100% waterproof but a DWR treatment and exceptional moisture transfer properties more than make up for this compromise.

Last Updated: 18/02/2013



Gore created Windstopper to offer very high levels of breathability but without compromising weatherproofing too much. Special membranes are laminated to a wide range of functional fabrics selected according to the final product's intended use to create softshell fabrics which are among the most water resistant available.

As well as being completely windproof, Windstopper will protect from all but the worst of the rain making it ideal for changeable conditions. It is used on many different products from mountaineering trousers to casual jackets to hats and gloves.

Last Updated: 30/10/2012

Welded seams

Welded seams reduce bulk, weight and material used in the production of clothing because there is less stitching involved and in the case of waterproof products it reduces the chances of water getting into the jacket through stitching.

Last Updated: 18/02/2011

Warp Strength Technology

In weaving terms warp is the set of horizontal yarns through which something called weft is woven vertically. In making clothing the weft always had to be less strong than the warp because it didn't have to be stretched. This applies to webbing manufacture as well with the horizontal warp being the main load bearing part of the material and the weft holding this together vertically. Arcteryx harnesses have the weft removed from its webbing making it far thinner, lighter and more flexible but still plenty strong.

Last Updated: 18/04/2012

Wind Pro

Polartec's Wind Pro fabrics are extremely breathable yet provide 4 times more wind resistance than traditional fleece. This is the new 'super fleece' that spans an incredibly wide range of conditions; performs as both outerwear and insulation; and offers exceptional durability. This is a versatile fabric that can be worn all year long for a variety of activities, from watching football to ice climbing.

Last Updated: 06/11/2012


XS Grip2

Vibram's XS Grip² represents the next step in the natural evolution of Grip rubber. Launched three years after Vibram's XS Grip and 22 years after the original Grip, the new rubber continues to push the boundaries.

Improving on the compound used by many bouldering and difficulty world championship winners over the last 3 years was not easy. It delivers measurably improved grip with adequate firmness for moderate edging, while maintaining consistent performance in all temperatures.

Last Updated: 04/03/2013

XS Edge

Vibram's XS Edge was launched 22 years after the original Grip rubber and was designed for the new breed of sport climber, who climbs route after route on the most marginal of edges.

Developed for maximum support, Vibram's XS Edge compound allows you to focus your weight on the tiniest of holds. Thanks to improved plastic deformation resistance, Vibram XS Edge keeps its shape through hours of repeated abuse, whether in hot or cold weather.

Last Updated: 12/11/2012



YKK is a Japanese group of manufacturing companies and is the world's largest zipper manufacturer with a reputation for reliable and durable build quality in their zips. It was founded in 1934 by Mr Yoshida and known as Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha.

Today YKK produces zippers for everything from handbags to wetsuits as well as many other fasteners. They are at the forefront of innovation in fastener design and will generally last longer than similar non-branded designs.

Last Updated: 12/11/2012


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