Kit and Caboodle: New gear reviews October 2018
Gear up for autumn and winter with this cooler weather kit because we all know, touring doesn't stop just because it's not summer anymore.
Tilley Tec-Wool Hat
Sorry Volkswagen, but if only everything in life was as reliable as a Tilley hat, the headwear that comes with a lifetime guarantee. Ideal for autumn, through winter and into spring, there’s a danger you won’t want to take off this Tec-Wool hat – sparking memories of childhood Christmases when you insisted on wearing your new cowboy hat to bed (or was that just us?). The Tec bit of the hat’s name references its ‘Schoeller c_change’ windproof and waterproof membrane, which reacts to changes in temperature – when it’s warm, the fabric expands to let heat escape, and when it’s cold, it contracts to trap in warmth and keep your head toasty. Clever features include an internal size adjustment system for a snug fit, and ‘tuck-away’ ear warmer flaps for when Jack Frost really comes nipping.
Price: £80 tilley.com
Oboz Hyalite Shoe
Caravanning is a wholeheartedly outdoorsy activity, but not everyone wants to dress as if they’re heading for a hike in the Dales. These shoes bridge the gap perfectly between outdoor ruggedness and sightseeing style. The grip and cushioning can cope with the stoniest of paths, while the beefy rubber overlay at the toe and heel provide protection from rocky scuffs. The stitched suede-leather upper, however, avoids a utilitarian look and creates a shoe that could happily stroll down a high street. The fit is close at the heel and wider across the toes.
Getting towels dry in a caravan can be quite a chore… especially in Britain… especially outside peak season.
And there’s not much pleasure in drying yourself on a slightly damp, increasingly smelly towel over a week or two’s holiday. Fluffy, domestic-style towels are the worst culprits for slow drying. Man-made microfibre ones are much better, so we’d just transferred to those when we heard about Hammam towels.
Not only will these comfy, lightweight, compact, absorbent and fast-drying towels work wonders in your tourer, but they’ll also raise your cool quotient, too. They’re all the rage among those ‘London types’! Hammam towels come in extra-large sizes, yet fold down to about a third of the size of the equivalent domestic towel. These 100%-cotton towels are pre-washed, measure 160x90cm and are washable at 30 degrees.
Quecha NH100 10-litre Daypack
O.M.G. as blasphemous screenagers say on Instagram and Snapchat. Have you seen the price of this neat, little rucksack? If you were going for a fortnight’s walking holiday in the Lake District we’d suggest a bigger, more technical pack, but sometimes you just want to sling a couple of things in a bag, lock up the caravan and set off.
This bargain-priced pack will happily swallow your sarnies, a bottle of water and an extra layer in case the wind gets up, and it doesn’t need to do any more than that.
In fact, it’s far better than it needs to be at this price, with a foam-filled back and straps, and a zipped pocket. .
Price: £2.49 decathlon.co.uk
Lifeventure Thermal Mug
There’s little better way to start the day on a caravanning tour than a piping hot mug of tea or coffee, and little worse than the drink turning tepid within seconds as the dawn chill exerts its cooling power. These thermal mugs retain heat brilliantly.
They’re tough, leakproof and far more environmentally friendly than the disposable takeaway beakers you might pick up at a coffee franchise. The only downside is that the superb insulation means you can’t cup your hands around a warm mug if your fingers are cold.