Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Kitchens, Pertex and Strathyre

Its been a little quiet here lately and there is good reason. For those who have not undergone a kitchen refit themselves yet, my advice is this: Get a man in. A man whose job it is to fit kitchens for money. In fact get more than one. Get one to specialise in each of the annoying areas of the kitchen that will no doubt present itself as a problem and that way, you don’t have to deal with it when it does! Its pretty much done now though so on to more interesting things…..

Just because the kitchen takes over my life for a while doesn’t mean I can’t treat myself to some panels of Pertex Equilibrium, cunningly disguised and presented as a mid-layer smock! I’ve been on the hunt for something to replace my Berghaus micro fleece that I’ve been using as a mid-layer. I pondered every type and style of ‘soft-shell’ and finally lost the will to live. I’ll say a bit more about this in a separate post as it may help others but my plan is buy a few and through process of elimination work out which one to keep.  The first round is between the Rab Vapour Rise Smock and the Montane Scarab. Both are Pertex Equilibrium and offer very similar spec. Not as light as I’d prefer but a good place to begin. Depending on the outcome I may return both and move on to other offerings but for now these meet my criteria on paper. The Rab top arrived yesterday amidst kitchen construction mayhem – A circular saw in one hand and the parcel in the other it was a test of my metal to carry on working. Initial impressions are good, it feels soft and comfortable and the fit is pretty much perfect in small. The hood seems well made and the stitching in general (despite many owner reviews) is fine. More on this when the Scarab arrives later today and I’ve had a chance to compare.

What with the kitchen and other social commitments I’ve not spent a night on a hill lately, but all is not lost as Charl and I are off to the Scottish Highlands. We’re headed for Strathyre Forest for a long weekend and I cannot wait. Charl even bought some New Balance trail shoes so (to my surprise) we might even get a walk in!

Aside from all of this there are stirrings in the force and all I’ll say at the moment is that I may have found the basis my first epic backpacking trip. Its not a TGO crossing but its a start……

5 comments:

Martin Rye said...

Lots walks to be had there Marcus. Many a fine hill not far from there. Have a good trip.

Nigel Gray said...

I too am suffering from the softshell shuffle! Been looking for ages but not taken the plunge. Interesting to see how you get on with the Rab Vapour Rise. It gets rave reviews but I'm a sucker for technical looking stuff - it felt a little like 'track-suit' material and was concerned how much abuse it would stand.

Amazes me how few softshells stores seem to actually stock. May be its the time of year. Keep us updated how you get on.

The Dude Abides said...

Hi Nigel,

I took it to the highlands this weekend and it got is fair share of use considering that we only got a short walk in.

I've got a review coming up on here, comparing the Scarab and the Vapour Rise so that might be of interest to some.

What I will say now though is that I'm quite impressed. It fits really well, as does the hood, it clearly resists water and just works. I know what you mean about the fabric and I guess only time will tell as to how hard wearing it is. I took it into the forest on Saturday where I was a little concerned that the branches from the pines would snag but it was fine. I'd have been more concerned about my Montane Featherlite to be honest.

More info in the review shortly...

Nigel Gray said...

Aye, I'll keep an eye out for your review. How was the trip up north?

The Dude Abides said...

It was really good thanks Nigel and not as far away as I first thought. Will definitely be going back up that way again soon. Glen Lyon was a particular highlight, it was just stunning and felt very remote. Might have to do a long weekend backpack up there at some stage.