Author Topic: New and need advice on kit!  (Read 519 times)

Axlcat

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New and need advice on kit!
« on: 10:10:46, 06/11/20 »
Hello. Rediscovered my love of walking in the summer / autumn after a serious health diagnosis and so far have got away without much kit other than boots. Want to carry on in winter and confused about what to buy in terms of a jacket / fleece / layering


Only really doing Yorkshire Dales type hikes But want to be warm and dry. So can you recommend a ladies waterproof / fleece / 3 in 1 please? Iím lost! Recommendations on brand and what to look for very welcome. Budget for a fleece and waterproof about 150-200 so not a huge amount.

ninthace

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Re: New and need advice on kit!
« Reply #1 on: 12:23:51, 06/11/20 »
Welcome from Devon.


You will probably get several recommendations  - it is a popular topic if you search the Gear section.  Just for clarity, do you want to walk in all weathers or just in fine weather with the risk of rain. Are we talking full day or short walks? Do you want to know about over trousers too?
Solvitur Ambulando

Axlcat

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Re: New and need advice on kit!
« Reply #2 on: 12:46:42, 06/11/20 »
Thank you for your reply. All day walking - have been comfortably going out for 10-12 miles at this point. I donít think Iíd be setting off in a torrential downpour but I donít want to be stopped by bad weather. I guess mixed weather really?! Yes I reckon Iíll need trousers too.

kinkyboots

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Re: New and need advice on kit!
« Reply #3 on: 13:13:04, 06/11/20 »
Let's start with the easy stuff. Forget the 3 in 1 jackets as an option and they rarely perform the supposed 3 functions well.

Look at Lidl and Aldi for the occasional sales of Merino baselayers (often under skiing sales rather than the outdoors type stuff)

A cheap fleece is nearly always just as good as an expensive branded one. Have a look on ebay at the Regatta brand. I would personally always choose a full zip rather than a quarter zip version for ease of putting on and taking off and you can probably pick up a lightweight (100gsm) and a midweight (200gsm) one for under £10 each. Having both weights gives you warmth options depending on weather conditions.

Waterproof overtrousers can be picked up from ~£20 upwards - look for side zips which allow them to be put on and taken off easily over boots and to be partially open to vent. Berghaus Deluge are occasionally available in sales on amazon from ~£25 and are used by many members on here.

Jackets is the difficult one but it is where the majority of your money ought to be spent. Choose Goretex if possible but you may need to be prepared to increase your budget a bit. Google best waterproof jackets for women and see where that takes you. When you find something that takes your fancy shop around on the internet for the best prices and always check eBay for the bargains that are occasionally available. Mountain Equipment, Paramo and Keela are brands worth checking out.
« Last Edit: 13:16:51, 06/11/20 by kinkyboots »

Mel

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Re: New and need advice on kit!
« Reply #4 on: 13:24:46, 06/11/20 »
I use a layering system which works very well for me in all seasons and all weather on general hill walks, with an occasional mountain thrown in:
 
Baselayer (cheapo anything from Aldi, sports direct, M&S etc.)  Donít think Iíve paid over £7 for any of them.  Itís the material itís made from thatís the key, not the brand name, Iíve found. 
 
Fleecy mid-layer (cheapo anything from Aldi, M&S, Debenhams, M&Co, etc.) Donít think Iíve paid over £20 for any of them.
 
Insulated (padded) jacket (not waterproof, at best shower resistant, anything will do). This also serves as a windproof when not raining but chilly.  I paid £25 for my current one.
 
Waterproof outer shell (this also acts as a windproof over a fleece when the insulated jacket would be overkill).  I paid about £150 (I think Ė had vouchers and blue light discount and haggled).  It has proved its worth as a breathable, windproof and waterproof.  Money well spent in my opinion.  Itís currently on sale too.
 
Previous waterproof shells Iíve had have been the laminated boil in the bag kind and, yeah, they keep the rain out but also keep the sweat in, so you feel cold and clammy from the sweat.
 
I wear thermal leggings (currently M&S ones) under ordinary walking trousers, with waterproof over-trousers when the wind-chill is bitter. 
 

gunwharfman

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Re: New and need advice on kit!
« Reply #5 on: 14:37:23, 06/11/20 »
All great advice, don't do what I did at the very beginning, I believed the marketing and spent £250 on a waterproof jacket. In hindsight a wrong move! Start off as people have suggested, then move onwards and upwards if you want to.

The only difference for me is I wear a rain skirt (£10 from Amazon) I don't like waterproof trousers. Too much of a faff for me putting them on and off.

Axlcat

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Re: New and need advice on kit!
« Reply #6 on: 15:02:00, 06/11/20 »
Thank you so much to those that have replied. Some really helpful suggestions - so glad I didnít blindly go and buy something I really didnít need! Layers seem to be the way and that seems to be easy to do cheaply, with the money reserved for a good waterproof. Any specific recommendations for good waterproofs welcome - happy to spend about £150. Thais again for taking the time to respond to a novice!

kinkyboots

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Re: New and need advice on kit!
« Reply #7 on: 16:29:51, 06/11/20 »
Slightly above your £150 budget limit, not particularly lightweight but a totally bombproof jacket is the Keela Ladies Munro Jacket. No pretty colours but beggars can't be choosers and the bottom line is it's about keeping warm and dry and staying that way in all weathers and not what it looks like on the hill where nobody notices or cares anyway.

https://www.walkoutdoors.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=6804

https://www.outdooraction.co.uk/outdoor-clothing-womens-clothing-waterproof-jackets/keela/keela-ladies-munro-waterproof-jacket-pd-16621.php

I think your budget restricts you to the Mountain Equipment Garwhal Jacket unless somebody else can link to other possibilities.

https://www.e-outdoor.co.uk/p/mountain_equipment_womens_garwhal_waterproof_jacket/

https://www.climbers-shop.com/11106722/products/mountain-equipment-womens-garwhal-jacket--black.aspx

https://www.hillanddaleoutdoors.co.uk/mountain-equipment-womens-garwhal-gtx-paclite-jacket-ink-blue/#220=4016

The Paramo bargains listed on eBay tend to be mostly in the larger and smaller sizes but there are exceptions. Do a search for the Paramo Alta Ladies or Paramo Alta Womens.

If you're not in a mad rush and prepared to bide your time there may be other bargains available in the Christmas/New Year Sales although given the Covid situation I'm beginning to doubt there will be any real bargains this year but there may be a few closing down stock clearance sales. As I mentioned previously it's always worth regularly checking eBay for bargains.

Sevenup

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Re: New and need advice on kit!
« Reply #8 on: 18:54:27, 06/11/20 »
Worth looking at Craghoppers who, as well as improving their range, are offering Ďbundleí price discounts. Check too at Alpkit. They do Ďstarter bundlesí that are fairly good at discounted prices. I have also bought a lot of Rohan trousers in their sales in past years. Very good kit for my walking purposes.

gunwharfman

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Re: New and need advice on kit!
« Reply #9 on: 10:23:34, 09/11/20 »
I know its just my personal observation and my personal experience but during the last two or three weeks there has been plenty of rain but I noticed yet again that how little it did actually rain on my head. A few times when I would judge it to be heavy, (but of short duration) a few times when it was light (tended to last longer) but a lot of times when it looked like rain but never did. I only mention this because I feel that what to buy and what to spend can, for some anyway, can be a difficult financial decision balance to make.

I'm obviously thinking of my own experience, spending out £250 for a waterproof jacket which has never fulfilled its claimed benefits, whereas my £45 Rab windproof has exceeded all of my expectations.

NeilC

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Re: New and need advice on kit!
« Reply #10 on: 15:53:05, 09/11/20 »



You've been given great advice so far so not much to add.


It's worth checking out Paramo especially for their trousers. It's a bit of a Marmite brand for many, especially for jackets but seems to me to work especially well in trousers. The Paramo Analogy system isn't like Goretex. It's not a hard waterproof shell but rather a windproof and water resistant outer with a "pump liner" which pushes water to the surface.


What works so well in the trousers format is that you can wear them against against your skin with no need for waterproof over-trousers. They're lightly insulating and will generally see off all normal levels of rain, whilst being nicely breathable. They're quiet so you lose that zip zip sound of walking in over trousers and they don't need taking on and off over boots as rain stops or starts. Not so good when setting on wet grass mind. Anyway, worth a look if you can pick them up cheap on ebay