As the year draws to an end, we’ve been reflecting on our favourite pieces of kit that we’ve loved using throughout 2017, from some classics to new arrivals. We’ve all got them, that favourite down jacket you’ve been living in for the past four months, or the stove you can’t take out of your car incase of the spontaneous need for an emergency brew.
That’s when we got to thinking, there’s loads of great gear out there that suits all kinds of people in all kinds of scenarios, whatever the adventure is. So to help you find that special someone their next favourite piece of kit, we’ve done a round up of just some of our favourites, from staff and Alpkiteers combined. Here’s what we can’t live without:
Although the Morphosis jacket is relatively new, garment tech Gabe has been using it non-stop through its development stages and still can’t get enough of it. Here’s what he had to say:
"In the last year my Morphosis has been on my back for more shenanigans that I care to mention. I've worn it walking into Coire-An-Sneachda, climbing big granite walls in Squamish, pottering around boulders here in the Peak District and frolicking around wet slate quarries in Snowdonia. In every situation it's excelled; it's just a really great bit of kit. The outer fabric is durable, it's stretchy, it's windproof and I'm always astonished how well it keeps off the odd shower or two. It's so comfortable and breathable there are few situations that it wouldn't be useful. Just get one, whether for yourself or a loved one, you won't regret it.”
Gabe in the Morphosis jacket after we asked him how many stars he would give it.
Customer support hero Elly has had a busy year of bouldering, and after some thorough testing of the Project, doesn’t plan a trip without it:
“My pick for this year has got to be the Project Pad. It's perfect for days at the crag and thick enough to absorb big falls. I love the wraparound closure, keeping my shoes, jackets and snacks safe (most importantly snacks!). I also love how big the landing area is! In fact, it fits perfectly in the back of my car and makes a great sleeping mat for car camping nights if I don't fancy the drive home.”
It might not be the easiest thing to wrap, but the Project pad would be a welcome gift for any climber.
A happy Elly on the approach
Next up is Alpkiteer Anna Wells, a rock climber, ice climber and all round mountain hero. Being based in the Scottish Highlands, Anna has been putting several pieces of kit through some seriously strenuous training. And the winner? The Apogee insulated jacket:
“This has quickly become my number one go-to-jacket! I love the bright colour and simplicity, and it performs exceptionally well. It is roomy enough to fit a good amount of layers underneath, but smart fitting enough to look great as a casual about-town jacket too. The pockets are nice and big with a comfortably fitting hood.This jacket has kept me warm skiing in minus-ten sunshine, and winter climbing in gruelling Scottish winter. The fact it is synthetic means I can worry less if it gets a bit wet.
I highly recommend the Apogee jacket as a comfortable, versatile and very attractive jacket.”
Here’s Anna putting the Apogee through some real Scottish winter training
Aleks Kashefi is another of our trusty Alpkiteers, also known as Barefoot Aleks, he’s taken on some incredibly tough challenges such as running the length of Europe, with no shoes. He’s been looking back on his adventures and come up with a clear favourite and recommendation for a gift this Christmas, the Akita fleece jacket:
"My favourite bit of Alpkit kit is my Akita top. I’ve worn this top day in and day out through winter and autumn and even though it has had a rough ride, it’s still going strong. It’s comfortable and warm but lightweight enough to use on runs of any length and when I combine wit with my Arro, makes for incredible defence against cold winter winds. The other aspect of it is that I’ve worn it on my last adventure so in a way it holds lots of memories, good times and bad.”
Here’s Aleks stumbling along a rocky shore line in his Akita top and running sandals
Finally here’s my favourite bit of kit, the Brukit Wolf. It’s no secret that Alpkit is primarily fuelled by coffee crazed outdoorsy folk, and that’s just me all over. Being on the road with all the Alpkit events means there’s often early mornings (earlier than usual anyway) and an active day ahead, and the Brukit sorts me out with my daily dose of caffeine in an instant. I can cook my porridge in the morning, noodles at lunch and whatever else I have left for the end of the evening before hitting the road again to head home. In three words - ‘an absolute lifesaver’ - and a perfect gift for anyone this Christmas.
Come wind, rain or shine, the Brukit Wolf has never let me down.
So whether you’re looking to find that perfect gift for someone special this Christmas, or simply wanting to treat yourself in the festive season, there’s some really great choices here at Alpkit. And to top it off, you can still order before 2pm Friday to guarantee delivery before Christmas! Just see our Christmas Postage piece for details.
Whatever you decide to go with, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!