My pick of the best new outdoors kit

Things I love from the world of outdoors gear. Because I get excited by words like ‘neoprene’ and phrases like ‘sweat-wicking action’.

Frame Artist

1. Columbia Omni-Freeze Zero Tee:
Super techie tee, essential for those ‘my top is cooler than your top’ death stares as someone slighter faster attempts to overtake you. This isn’t just a tshirt, my jogging-inclined friend, this is a ‘powerful Omni-Freeze® ZERO cooling agent’ which reacts with sweat to keep you cooler for longer. And it has UPF50 AND it’s comfy AND it’s antibacterial. Sadly, you still have to do all the physical stuff.
£35 from Blacks.

2. Scarpa Helix climbing shoes:
My new bouldering babies from my favourite climbing shoes brand, Scarpa. Choosing bouldering shoes is a hugely personal thing, as they must fit your feet as snugly as possibly without restricting movement, so that you can toe the tiniest holds confidently. Head to Ellis Brigham and the nice sales people will be very patient whilst you try loads on and climb on the furniture. I’ve got narrow feet, so the Helix’s laces and snug-fitting heel offer me great support.
£59.99 from Ellis Brigham.

3. Easy Camp Antic Tent:
I love a good popup tent, especially one as cheerful as this bright pixellated beauty. It sleeps two comfortably (or four if you’re all keen for a spooning session) and once you’ve got the folding mastered, it can be assembled and dissembled in about five minutes. Easy to spot in a sea of festie tents and especially useful for quick getaways on hungover festival Mondays, when all you want to do is GO HOME RIGHT NOW and shower for a year.
£49.99 from Surfdome.

4. Aintree Raincoat:
A powder blue mid-length raincoat is not for the shy. If, however, you like your rainwear bold and beautiful enough that you’ll stand out like a cornflower beacon in the heaviest of downpours, then the Aintree raincoat will do you nicely. It’s from my favourite purveyors of all things waterproof, Target Dry, and there’s a pretty floral lining to make you happy inside.
£59.95 from Target Dry.

5. Karrimor Global Venture 55+15 Travel Pack:
I’m taking this baby with me to Vietnam this summer for an adventure. This pack is da business as it’s easy on the back, has lots of interesting pockets (plus a magic removable mini backpack for day trips) and a huge main compartment that opens like a suitcase, so you won’t spend half a day rummaging desperately at the bottom of your backpack for clean pants. If you’re after something bigger for long-term travelling, Sports Direct have a fantastic selection of suitcases and luggage.
£79.99 from Sports Direct.

6. Salomon Speedcross Women’s Racing Shoes:
I love the whole range of Salomon Speedcross 3 trail shoes available at E-Outdoor, but these super-sexy 80s style trail shoes with neon go-faster stripes are my favourites. They’ll keep you stylish and supported through mud, puddles and snow, and I’m hoping their cushioney soles and hardcore grip will see me through my next Mudrunner obstacle 10k without needing to lie down and cry a bit.
£77 from E-Outdoor.

9. Sicily bikini:
I had my first taste of surfing without a wetsuit in Tel Aviv a few weeks ago, and it would have been a perfect thing if it weren’t for my bikini, which decided to bail at the first sight of waves. It’s hard to simultaneously carve and clutch your escaping bikini top to your chest, which is why I’m investing in a gorgeous Sensi bikini, as all their lovely styles are cut to stay in place during water sports. Match this pretty native Indian Sicily top with Lynelle bottoms and you can hang ten without flashing innocent beach-goers.
£33 top and £29 bottoms from Sensi Bikinis.

7. The North Face P8 Jacket:
Because it’s not that warm and summery outside, is it. I’m hooked on North Face jackets, and this lovely P8 breathable shell is the colour of raspberries – so at least you’ll look bright and cheerful when the weather’s being grey and un-sunshiny. Find lots of other lovely North Face jackets at e-outoor – perfect for covering up on chillier evenings around the campfire.
£85 from E-Outdoor.

And a little treat:

9. Tent Dress:
Okay, so it isn’t really techie outdoors gear, in fact, it’s a decadently delicate dress more suited to gentle promenades than hardcore sport. But it’s a dress with TENTS ON by beautiful Spanish label Nice Things. Their summer collection makes me think of picnic baskets, shell collecting and the smell of suncream.
£102 from Nice Things.



  1. Helen
    August 25, 2013 / 2:23 pm

    Hiya, have you got a picture of a model wearing the Aintree coat at all? I’m trying to find a picture of the coat without the cape, but so far have come up with nothing!!

  2. sian
    August 27, 2013 / 9:23 am

    Hi Helen, I have a few of me in the somewhere but I think the cape is on. I’ll scout them out and if not I can probably take another for you.

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