Patagonia and Osprey Hill Training

17th November 2014 by

We were lucky enough to get out on the hill with Patagonia and Osprey to test out some of their kit.

Here at the Epicentre we have a great range of gear and as much as we would like to, we can’t own it all ourselves so it’s a great opportunity when brands come to us and offer a load of kit to mess about with out on the fells.
By working closely with our brands we are able to build a working partnership that allows us to bring the best advice and experience to our customers.
So, with that in mind, we set out after work with a shed load of jackets, trousers and packs. As with all best laid plans, the weather did not cooperate. This autumn was the driest and one of the warmest, on record; our chosen evening was no exception. Ideal conditions for testing the latest waterproof and fleecy offerings from Patagonia then!
Undeterred we set off up Stickle Ghyll, in some cases literally; up the ghyll, with Jack’s Rake our chosen objective.

Scrambling can often be one of the most challenging tests for gear; full body contact with the rock, water running down the route, usually wearing a rucksack and often in less than ideal conditions.
For an after-work hit with time to spare in the pub, a quick Langdale scramble seemed the ideal option. Jack’s Rake (if you’ve never had the pleasure) is an absolute classic of the area; a sustained, exposed and logical line through some very impressive rock. It cuts a diagonal line straight up the face of Pavey Ark and delivers the scrambler to one of the best view points in the southern Lakes. Never hard, with a short and easily solved crux, this is an ideal introductory scramble though it’s to be underestimated due to its exposed and polished nature.

And so to the gear.
Obviously we’re not going to slate the kit because that’s not great business sense but we will try to be objective

Pete used the following:
Osprey Talon 18 – “I would buy this pack! Possibly the best lightweight daypack on the market. Perfect fit, simple features and no excess faff.”
Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover – “Good emergency layer, packs down tiny and does the job when the weather turns chilly. Ideal for summer emergency use or as an all day winter mid-layer. Wore it all evening and made a handy pillow while camping.”
James had:
Osprey Mutant 28 – “A neat, streamlined pack with some cool design features. As a climbing/ scrambling pack its low profile kept out of my way while moving. I like simple packs and for me personally, this had a little too much going on. Having said that, I imagine with time, I would get to know and use more of the features.”
Michelle had:
Osprey Sirrus 26 – “I chose this pack for the ventilation as it was a rather hot day, in the middle of the Indian summer we were experiencing! Even with the arc in the back system it was easy to pack, with plenty of room and I felt the load was well balanced. Only downside for me is that the one size back length for women (WS/WM) did not fit me very well, evidently I have a very small back! I found that the shoulder straps ended up a little bit too high and tended to move around a little bit. Another small observation is that the main lid pocket entrance sits quite close to the yoke and I struggled to access the pocket while I had the pack on. Otherwise, a nice looking pack with all the features you’d need for a day’s hike, particularly when it’s hot.”

Simple Guide pants – “A nice lightweight and stretchy pants, hardly noticed I had them on which says something considering how hot and humid it was! A great balance between breathability and wind resistance, I didn’t feel the wind as we were faffing about on top of Jack’s Rake posing for photos.”
Adze Jacket – “Only deployed at the pub over our post-scramble dinner. I didn’t need to put anything else on all night; I only had on an Icebreaker tee underneath. Everyone else was rocking out in matching Nano Puff pullovers but I felt warm enough in just the Adze.  The fleece grid lining also feels nice next to skin.”
Martin employed the following:
Osprey Talon 11 – “The Talon Series of packs from Osprey have met the needs of serious ramblers and hill walkers for over 10 years. In a time when so many outdoor equipment manufacturers are tailoring their products for the more profitable mass-market sector, the Talon Series remain true to its purpose. Every element is carefully considered. Each feature has a specific raison d’être. With no extraneous materials or aspects, the Talon 11 is a fast and lightweight daypack that sheds the grams without sacrificing strength or performance. The Talon 11 was created for those who want a light and durable pack that is pared down to be as simple as possible. One of my favourite features is the stow-on-the-go system which allowed for rapid storage and retrieval of my beloved trekking poles. Another great thing about the Talon 11 is a cunning bungee system to allow for the attachment of a bike helmet

Al had:
Osprey Mutant 28 – “Nifty!” He is a man of few words.
Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover – Bright orange and warm…I liked it.
David was sporting:
Talon 22 – For a quick scurry up into the fells the Talon 22 was a great choice of pack. It is perfectly sized; both in terms of volume to fit all the necessities and with the easy adjust AirScape™ back system it felt great on my back.

Nick had:
Osprey Mutant 28 – Cool pack with lots of features, very light and carried weight well.
Patagonia Nan Puff Pull-over – A great layer for fell-top stops and cooler evenings. I bet this would make a good (if a bit warm) mid-layer when it got colder, though it wouldn’t be as breathable as some.

All in all a good evening out!

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