Thursday, 26 September 2013


This is not about lightweight gear - it's about Classic gear

Extreme Pathfinder K2

Many years ago I bought an Extreme Pathfinder K2 top.

To this day I have yet to find any similar top that will beat it for comfort and value.

Extremeoutdoorclothing has now ceased as a business. It was just one man, Keith Howes,

who was very passionate about the gear he made.

The Pathfinder is a pullover top made with Karisma and Tactel (a heavier Pertex)

It is windproof, very breathable, and virtually waterproof .

It has heavy duty pit zips that go from under the arm to the bottom and it can be unzipped both ways.

It is reversable, but, I've only ever worn it with the Tactel on the outside.

It has two zipped hand warmer pockets inside - accessable only from the inside.

It also has a zipped kangaroo pocket, covered by a flap

This top is simply superb for cold conditions - think Buffalo, but, lighter.

The Pathfinder was made to measure.

I think it cost around £70.

This is classic gear.

Extreme Explorer

This is another classic piece of gear.

I looked recently at an ME Touchstone jacket. A good quality fleece with good materials. It

costs around £100.

But, ME used to use Karisma. And Karisma was ace fleece material.

I think it went off the radar when the softshell concept was more heavily pushed. There has

been softshell for ages - Buffalo, Montane, Driclime, etc., But fashion won over function


The Explorer is made to measure.

It has thumb loops, it has a good hood, it has a two way zip, it has 4 zipped pockets on the

outside and two mesh pockets on the inside. It will cope with wind well (depending on conditions, I wear a Montane slipstream vest to block all wind from my body)

The arms and shoulders are reinforced with Tactel. There is a waist draw and a hem draw.

Made to measure, it fits just so. I think it cost around £65.

This too is a classic piece of gear.

What's the point?

I look at all the new gear that's touted and can't help thinking: there really is nothing that

new any more.

Cleaver marketing will shift gear, but, get classic gear and it will work and last a lifetime.

Who cares if it doesn't comply with fashion. Function over fashion is the better way to go IMHO.

Sadly, Extremeoutdoorclothing is no more.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

I love the MLD Trailstar and like the MLD Cricket. But.......

..........................................I really wanted a shelter that was light, with an inner and which 

didn't weigh much. 

The Trailstar excelled at being light and storm-worthy, but none of the 

inners, such as Bearpaw or Oookworks were big enough for me.

 I'm against being stuffed into a tiny space when there is so much room under the Trailstar. 

My best way forward was to use a bivy bag and this combination has worked very well for me. 

Before I saw sense and got my Trailstar, I played with tarps and tarp setups for years.

These worked to a degree, but nothing holds a candle to the Trailstar. I got mine in 2010.

Looking at the Cricket Tent (which came out later) I am reminded of one of my more

sucessful tarp set ups:

My only hesitation in getting a Cricket Tent was - would I fit in it?

I'm glad I didn't go for the Cricket as the issue with an inner would be the same.

I decided to continue with the Trailstar and it has served me well.

So I kept on wanting.

A year later:

Now, imagine if the best bits of the MLD Trailstar and the MLD Cricket incorporated in one design - in cuben with a cuben floored inner. Imagine that it will be big enough for someone at 6'2". Imagine that the total weight will be around 630 grms (excluding stakes). I have seen the light prototype and am in line for the finished shelter early in 2015. 

This teaser is all for now. 

Suffice to say I will have much more on this unique shelter in the New Year.

Below is the MLD Cricket.