This is just a first look at some new gear I got for my birthday.
(Note: Although I've played with or used this kit, I havent been out on the hill with any of it yet).
The Berghaus Spectrum Fleece.
The thing that has impressed me the most is the zip.. Sad, I know but it's nice to find a zip that doesn't catch, gliding easily open and closed. It also has a small baffle behind it too to trap that extra bit of warmth. The jacked is a nice shade of bright blue with darker blue under the arms and side.
I've been out and about in this and it's looking great.
North Face Classic micro fleece.
Small, light and 1/3 zip. Very, very warm and it fits well too. Not a jacket like the above berghaus, but a great everday jumper or additional layering option.
Alpkit Numo sleep mat
This was a bit of a controvertial choice. I've been looking for a new sleep mat for some time. I wanted something lighter that packs smaller than the Vango trek mat i've been using. I looked at the Thermarest Neoair, Pacific outdoor ether (several variants) the Alpkit Aero and Numo and a few others.
I can't afford the Neoair. A few people pointed me to some bargins, but i missed some and others were for the short length. (I wanted a regular size). Also it had to be easily found as someone else was buying it as a gift, so saying "watch ebay and these sites and buy one when it's less than..." wasn't an option.
The Ether Elite looked like a good buy, but sold out.
I have 2 self inflating mats, so the Aero was out.
The Alpkit Numo fit the bill nicely. It's small and light when packed (nearly a kilo lighter than the vango mat!) and it blows up to a good thickness. I have tried it out and it is very comfortable. The only things Alpkit could improve would be that when it's being inflated/deflated the baffles at the end block a bit and means that a slow and steady approach pays dividends (it takes 11 big breaths for me to inflate this mat). Lastly the valve is in the traditional top corner of the mat. It'd be better in the middle of the top, allowing air out better when the mat is being folded and rolled.
I also got some drybags, which are although boring are good to have. I used the larger one (35l) for carting clothing around in the torrential rain today when i picked up my son from school.