Magazine article Geographical

Inspect-a-Gadget

Magazine article Geographical

Inspect-a-Gadget

Article excerpt

Clever, hi-tech, compact and multi-functional are just a few of the words that can be used to describe July's state-of-the-art gear selection

Garmin eTrex Vista, personal navigator 299 [pounds sterling]

With 24 megabytes of memory, a barometric altimeter electronic compass, and a small but rugged casing, this is specifically designed for outdoor activities. And you don't have to be a rocket scientist to operate this clever gizmo, even if rocket scientists made the satellites upon which it relies. Maps of all parts of the world can be uploaded from a CD-ROM; it lets you know exactly where you are, where you're going, and even where the nearest campsite is.

Petzl Zipka E44P torch, 3 AAA batteries supplied, 64g, 30 [pounds sterling]

Though small, the Zipka's clear LEDs really dazzle. With maximum output lasting 12 hours, but functioning for a further 150 hours, batteries need replacing around once a year, the LEDs never. However, the novel idea here is a roll-up strap system. With the retractable cord you can attach the torch to almost anything: the wrist, a rucksack, even your head. Geographical has five funky Petzl Zipkas to give away. Send a postcard marked `Zipka torch' with your name and address to the usual editorial address. The senders of the first five cards drawn after 1 August will each receive one.

Rohan Convertible Backpackers, 59 [pounds sterling], 520g, mens

The novelty may be that these trousers become shorts, but there's more to them than that. These are `technical trousers' and use the clothing equivalent of Formula One technology--strong Supplex fabric provides wind protection and a sun block of 40-plus; Dynamic Moisture Control enhances coolness, while `flapped' zips and a seamless waist and flanks avoid chafing.

Teva Trail Wraptor, warm putty, 80 [pounds sterling], mens/ladies

Sandals have come a long way in the last ten years and the Trail Wraptor shows just how much they have evolved. There seems to be a sandal for every activity; this `high performance running sandal', which is also available in brown, has a shock-absorbant heel for `air-conditioned' jogging.

Lowepro, S&F Rover Light, 99,1559g [pounds sterling]

From Lowepro's Street and Field range, this excellent daysack and camera bag, is indeed suited to both places. With a waistbelt, padding, and load adjustment straps, it is practical for trekking, while its design and size mean it is also ideal for urban use. It has three outer pockets, net pouches, a main compartment (with plastic transparent pocket), and a secure, padded section for camera and lenses (with detachable inner).

Regatta `Ally' thermal fleece, 20 [pounds sterling], ladies

Warm, smart and sleeveless, this body warmer has an adjustable pull-cord hem and lower zipped pockets. As well as the limestone colour pictured, it is available in laurel dark green and ice blue.

Photographer Louise Murray always takes these items on her travels, most recently to Cuba, South Africa, Papua New Guinea, Egypt and Madagascar. She uses most of them under the water, and takes one with water to cure a hangover

1 Reed Chill Cheater wetsuit, top 60 [pounds sterling], standard trousers 65,555g [pounds sterling] (size large)

Imagine a matt black two-piece suit, 1mm thick, as stretchy as lycra, which looks like it has been sprayed on and there you have a Chill Cheater. …

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