It’s been a while since I did one of these, due to my ever-busy calendar and general dis-organisedness (I’m sure that’s a word) I managed to miss the Spring/summer 2014 stuff, but I had a jaunt up to Perth the other week to see Gus in his new improved larger dungeon of delights so lets look at what to expect later in the year.
This is the Haglofs Fall/Winter 2014 range. Well kinda. I’ve mixed in some of the Spring/Summer 14 stuff too, given that we missed it first time round and it’s relevant cos it’s in the shops now. Buckle up, there are some real crackers in here…
We’ll start with the Mountain range, designed to go high and hard and first up is the Roc Spirit, which comes in 3-layer Gore Pro. It’s 40Denier polyamide face fabric, with 70D reinforcement in all the right places: the shoulders, forearms, waist and hood. They’ve made a clever cut to eliminate seams on the shoulders, sides and sleeves to minimise chafing and wear points. There’s a wired-peak helmet hood, pit zips and harness friendly pockets, along with reach high arms and shaped gusseted cuffs. All in all, a serious mountain jacket. Blokes pictured below in luminous yellow and the ladies Q version in blue under that. I’ve got one of these to try out, so I’ll post up a full review once I’ve given it a thrashing.
Next is the Roc Fiction, a Gore softshell offering, made with 70D fabric for durability. Very similar features to the Spirit but in softshell; the minimised seaming approach, along with a helmet hood, high pockets, reach high arms and gusseted cuffs. If you like your softshells, this is looking like a good hard-wearing option. Blokes in dark blue and the Q version in the cyan.
If you’re heading somewhere cooler, the Roc Ice is standard issue 3 layer Gore, with 30D face so it’s soft and light, the inside is stuffed with Quadfusion+ insulation, which is warm even in damp conditions. Same rules apply with seam placement, there’s a wired helmet hood and handwarmer pockets, along with a big pocket up on the chest and internal mesh pockets to stop your fizzy pop freezing. The pit zips have mesh backers and there’s no insulation there, so you get good movement and moisture management, the lower shot explains all. I’m a big fan of insulated shells in the winter and this looks tasty.
Onto legs and good news for hobbits, the Roc Hard bib is now available in short leg. These are completely bomber and the removable knee pads are smart, great for uncoordinated guys like me when ice climbing.
There’s also the Roc pant, in 3 layer Gore Pro, with 40D Polyamide face and 70D reinforcement at the knees and seat. Full side zips, drop seat and a fly (hoorah). The knees are articulated and the lower leg has Keprotec kick patches.
The Skarn winter hood is a winterised version of the classic Skarn, which comes in Haglofs own membrane-less Flexable softshell. As a material, I love it. When I got my first Viper jacket I was hooked, everyone should own at least one Flexable softshell, it’s a great balance between breathability, stretch and weather resistance. This chappy sports a helmet hoot, gusseted cuffs and articulated joints. Looks good for late season scrambling and climbing. The companion Skarn Winter pant is below, in the same material with Keprotec reinforced kick patches, articulated knees, internal gaiters and an integrated belt. I reckon these might be a very fine set of winter breeks.
In insulation, the Sector (or monkey jacket as I like to call it) has had an update. It’s made with Polartec Thermal Pro so you get great warmth to weight ratio, but there’s some sneaky Powerstretch reinforcement in there too for longevity and stretch. Mens in monkey colour and blue and the Ladies Q versions below.
For down insulation, the Essens vest and hood are a wonder combination of Pertex Quantum and 800 fill power down (all ethically sourced and traceable, which is standard for Haglofs) 50g in the vest and 91g in the hood for a size large. They squash down to tennis ball size and are very warm for the weight, perfect for throwing in your pack when you’re not sure how cold it’ll be. The Magi (on the right in blue) is the bigger brother, in Pertex Quantum and Microlight, with additional synthetic insulation on the shoulders along with the down. There’s 340g of 800 fill power down in there, which is more than some sleeping bags. Super toasty and ideal for winter camps.
The Barrier Pro Hood is also Pertex Quantum, but filled with Quadfusion+ synthetic insulation. That combo makes it cheap, light and warm even in damp conditions. This could be ideal for 3 season camp insulation.
The Triton is a midlayer piece, made from Powerstretch Pro with a Thermal Pro torso section. That means durability and stretch in the arms and shoulders where you need it, along with warmth in the core for a minimal weight. The hood fits under a helmet and the wee holes help with venting breath.Seams are flatlocked and offset and there are thumbloops to keep it in place when you’re reaching high for those axe placements.
Onto the Trekking range and we have the Ares jacket which has an old skool huntin/shootin/fishin feel to it, but it’s 2.5 layer Paclite with a 70D face, so it’s sturdy but light and more technical than it looks. The hood is a rollaway and the pockets are big, so plenty room for your shotgun shells. The colours make me despair, but there’s a huge market for green and broon and if you’re stalking a deer, I can see why luminous yellow might not be the best choice. The ladies do get a nice berry colour.
The Barrier jacket is Pertex Classic Eco with Quadfusion insulation. If you don’t need the uprated spec of the Barrier Pro I mentioned earlier, this is a very affordable wee insulation piece and they sell them by the van load. I counted 12 on one of my commutes into work last winter. Mens, then ladies below which also shows the vest variant.
We also have the Barrier pant and knee pant, which are designed as quick pull on insulation for the legs. It seems odd, why would you want insulated shorts? Well, Gus reckons the knee pant is great for just pulling over your muddy bike shorts andjumping the car to head home after an evening on the trails. I can see how that would work. I reckon they might also offer some lightweight camp insulation for those autumn nights when down trousers are overkill.
The Gecko Hood is another Flexable softshell, this time with a fleece backer. Expect stretch and wind resistance with good breathability and some warmth. Mens, then ladies Q versions below.
The Astro is a good wee staple microfleece and it comes in both pull-on and jacket formats. Ladies first, then chaps. The orange colour is called Danger. That’s me sold.
The Swook Hood has a knitted finish to it,with a high loft lining, so it feels soft and warm. The hood is lined with microfleece too, which is a nice touch. It looks like a fleece hoody you’d wear to the pub, but the standard of finish is high; the seams are flatlocked and offset to avoid chafing when wearing a pack and the waistcord is one hand adjustable. The ladies below also show the Swook jacket if you’re not a fan of hoods. Below that is the Pile Hood, which is a classic Polartec pile fleece, but with the same attention to features.
I’ll be honest, the Trekking range always used to be a bit of a comedown for me. We’d go from the ultra techy, supercoloured joy of the Mountain or Intense ranges onto some long cut, forest green jackets with loads of pockets. No longer, for in the Trekking range lies a source of wonder and delight, known as the L.I.M series.
L.I.M stands for Less Is More, and the ideology behind it is to have products that are simplifed in terms of design and features, to be as functional, light and packable as possible. That’s right up my street. As far as I’m concerned, they’ve hit gold here.
The LIM III jacket is stripped down goodness. It’s Paclite, with 20D face. The hood is fully adjustable, the seams are minimal, there’s a single chest pocket, elasticated cuffs with a thumbloop and a drop tail. It rolls up and packs into it’s own arm. Simple, light, packable, genius.
The LIM Parka is similar, but longer cut and made with 30D face. Haglofs describe it as the ultimate packable jacket. They may have a point. Also purple and orange together. Extra points there I think.
The LIM Active jacket is 3 Layer Gore Active, made with 30D face. There’s a fully adjustable hood, with a peak. Pockets are mounted at mid height and are mesh backed to be used to vent the jacket. The cuffs are gusseted with velcro adjustment and there’s a drop tail. It has all the technical features you need in a light little package and what seems like decent durability.
The LIM Barrier Pro is a minimalist version of the one we looked at earlier. The outer is 7D polyamide, so it’s very light, stuffed with Quadfusion+ for insulation. Super packable quick drying warmth for a tiny weight penalty. Yes please. The one of the left is Gus’s own, which is a very good indicator that it’s worth checking out.
This was the standout piece for me: the LIM Essens. I already had a very high opinion of the Essens, but this is even better. 7D ripstop Polyamide outer, with 71g of 800 fill power down. This sample has different colour inner fabric which makes the down much more visible. I like it, but the production models will have matching fabric inside and out. I’ve got one of these in for test and I’m very happy about that, I might just be in love.
The LIM Power Dry hood is also worth talking about. It’s Polartec PowerDry made in a grid structure to give maximum moisture management while retaining heat. You can see through it on the pic below, it’s super thin but the grid makes it warm to the touch. You need to seek one out to fondle to get the idea. I’ll report back once I’ve given mine a workout.
The LIM Tee is a polyester baselayer, lava treated to be less stinky and with no shoulder seams so it doesn’t rub under a pack. Most importantly, it comes in Irn Bru colours. Sold!
LIM also has a footwear range. The alignment with ASICs continues and that’s showing through. The LIM Low comes in both Gore and non-Gore variants, with a 5mm drop with loads of mesh for moisture control and an outsole that has rubber mixed with rice husks for better grip in the wet. There’s also a Mid in both Gore and non-Gore, which I really like the look of. Light and grippy is the combination of champions and then you’ve got those colours. As Millie would say, awesomesauce.
We’ll wrap up with a quick word on packs. The LIM Susa 20L is getting a new 40L big brother. My back is too long for these packs, but I’m told a longer back version is coming.
So that’s your lot for the moment. I’ll endeavour to sort my calendar out to keep you in the loop more regularly in future. Lots of highlights here, but the LIM series in particular is lighting my fire. I have a bunch of kit in for review so keep an eye out for that as I get round to using and abusing it.