Snowdrops! Sunshine, kind of! To celebrate spring attempting to rock up to the party here are my latest favourites for beach days and active travel, from cosy knits to adventure-proofing your phone.
OLD HARRY KNITS, from £55
Meet Old Harry, who want to swaddle you in beautifully warm lambswool knits. This small British brand are the proud makers of your new favourite jumper, in thick soft wool (£85) or lighter cotton (£65) and designed to be worn forever. Named for the iconic rocks at Studland Bay and inspired by blustery cliffs and tales of derring-do on the high seas, these are the kind of pullovers I imagine the Famous Five slinging on after a long day catching smugglers and getting sugar highs from ginger beer.
ROYAL ROBBINS TRAVEL CLOTHING, from £50
Where are you headed this year? Greek islands, South American beaches, the Cornish coast? My no-brainer go-anywhere answer to packing light are neutral staples from Royal Robbins, made by climbers for intrepid travellers. Their genius 100% cotton clothing is crease free, quick drying, smart and easy to wear anywhere, from a swish island hotel to the depths of the Bolivian jungle (I know because I’ve done both). This lightweight breezy dress (from £60) and cool mesh tunic shirt (£50) will go anywhere that you do.
KEEN WANDERER BOOTS, £119.99
My new favourite hiking boots have taken me over Snowdon’s ridges, down scree slopes and accidentally through a few marshes with zero fuss. Instantly comfortable, good-looking and reliably waterproof, Keen’s European-made Wanderer boots are the perfect rugged all-rounder for hiking and exploring – warm and weatherproof in winter but breathable enough to wear on bright spring days.
PATAGONIA BLACK HOLE DUFFEL, from £80
A duffel of Mary Poppins-esque characteristics is an essential bit of kit to have ready for impromptu weekend shenanigans. Patagonia’s tough, water repellent Black Hole carryall holds a surprising amount of gear – chuck climbing ropes and helmets or wetsuits and rashies in and you’re good to go. They come in 45, 60 and 90 litre sizes and comfortable straps magically transform them into rucksacks if you’re carting around your gear around. Plus, you get to feel the warm fuzzies by buying from Patagonia – they promote fair labour practises in their supply chain.
GEAR4 JUMPSUIT PHONE CASE, £29.99
My phone lives a precarious life, stuffed into my cycling jersey pocket, falling off horses, going dangerously near cliff edges and taking the occasional snowstorm selfie. I protect it with my squishy Jumpsuit case. It’s slim, good-looking, and pleasingly soft to touch – until you drop your phone on concrete, that is, when military-grade shock absorbers magically stiffen up and take all the impact. Nice one, GEAR4.