The Holy Grail of Kit Selection

By David Love

Choosing the right kit for any outdoor adventure can be a really daunting prospect.  We often find ourselves having to navigate through the latest sales hype of unnecessary technical features, mind-bendingly light materials and eye-wateringly high prices to boot!  For me, I try to boil it down to three simple factors, what I like to call the holy trinity of kit selection: quality, weight & price.

As a quick rule of thumb, if something is well made and durable, as well as being lightweight, then expect to blow a large portion of your bank balance.  If something is cheap and lightweight, then don’t expect it to last very long. Ultimately, a compromise will need to be made in at least one of these areas, as it’s not that often a product comes along that strikes a good balance between them all.

However, the new Craghoppers Expolite Hooded Jacket is one such product – the holy grail of insulated jackets if you will!

Having been using mine for well over a month now since release, it’s clear to see that much of its design evolution came from the Compresslite III Hooded Jacket, which had been my absolute go-to mid-layer for the past two years.  So when I heard that Craghoppers was ramping it up a notch for AW19 I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it’s bigger, gnarlier brother!

The result … a lighter, warmer, more durable, more compressible and exceptionally well designed insulated jacket that doesn’t break the bank.

For me, the killer features are exactly what I look for when I’m packing for a solo or remote adventure where I know that every gram counts!  The new ThermoPro insulation not only has higher loft properties but it’s considerably lighter and warmer too. And, for the conservation-conscious like me, it’s a viable synthetic alternative to natural down delivering comparable heat retention properties.

The fact that it’s also quick-drying gives it that additional edge over down in wetter climates like the UK too. There’s also the added bonus that it stuffs down exceptionally small, filling the otherwise empty voids in your daysack between your water bottle and valuable pork-pie stash!

The new SmartDry Eco water-repellent outer fabric coating makes the Expolite far more durable to the elements.  If you’re anything like me and often find yourself off the beaten track, scrambling up grubby crags or rock-hopping along water-logged ravines, then you’ll appreciate the added protection.

As Craghoppers kit is guarenteed for life (that’s right, you did hear me correctly), all Craghoppers garments come with a lifetime, like-for-like replacement guarantee against faults and defects.  So there really is no need to compromise on your kit selection ever again. 

To find our more about the Craghoppers Expolite Hooded Jacket, please click here.


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