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Misty Autumn is upon us, and a last chance to explore nature’s wilds before the harsh winter winds blow in. If you’re venturing out on an autumnal hike, trek or ramble, Travelpod.ie has some great suggestions for stylish gear to keep you protected.

Don’t go anywhere without waterproofing yourself. We suggest covering up your top half with the Sprayway Spectre II Jacket. At 608g this jacket is perfectly packable or stowable in a backpack. It folds up nicely and the extra deep wire-peaked hood rolls away for less inclement conditions. When it’s wild and wet this jacket comes into its own though, providing two-layer guaranteed Gore-Tex waterproofing and breathability. Underarm vents can be opened for when you’ve worked up a steam. Multiple large external and internal pockets allow you to carry everything you’ll need on a hike. Adjustable cuffs and a soft collar complete the picture in this very stylish and secure waterproof jacket.

Available at www.sprayway.com

 

Underneath now let’s get cosy. How about the Helly Hansen H2 Flow Jacket? This fleece jacket has a brand new concept for trapping warmth. The lining has been cut out in a polka dot effect; these holes lessen the overall weight of the jacket while trapping body warmth inside for a long period of time. So much so that we had to use the zippered vents to release warmth occasionally. We found this jacket pleasingly deceptive, and very warm for such a slim profile piece. It also dries very quickly. Attractive lines mean it can easily be worn as a stand-alone jacket, and it will look very good in the pub after a day-long hike.

 

Available at www.hellyhansen.com

Another option for something warm to wear under your waterproof comes in the form of Lowe Alpine’s Odyssey Fleece. This is a full zip fleece jacket with stretch bound hood and cuffs, as well as a drawcord hem and two handwarmer pockets.

Made with Aleutian fleece this is a super-cosy, full-zip fleece jacket that delivers a great fit and outstanding warmth. A snug hood completes this jacket which will keep out the chillest winds.

Available at www.lowealpine.com

 

What you wear closest to the skin should probably be the most comfortable piece in your outdoor wardrobe. Patagonia have teamed up with Polartec and used some of their finest innovations in wicking action to produce the Capilene 2 range of base layers. Fabric is baby soft, smooth and comfortable to the touch. After a full day’s energetic wear, the garments stay warm and dry due to a  patented silver technology which disables bacteria and odours. The material is quick drying, contains 20 UPF sun protection and is machine washable. Available in men’s and women’s long sleeved crew tops, zip necks, and bottom layers, in gorgeous colours like teal, birch and blue.

See more at www.polartec.com

 

 

 

Don’t make the mistake of neglecting your lower half. We see far too many folks out on our hills wearing the latest in protective gear on their top half while underneath they are wearing – denim jeans, perhaps the least waterproof fabric in existence.

The easy solution is to slip on a pair of Sprayway Hydrolite Trousers whose waterproof storm guard will keep you bone dry. Well-made with an elasticated waist, Velcro adjusters, zipped pocket and an included stuff sac; the ¾ length leg zips mean pulling on these over-trousers is an effortless procedure – even if you are wearing denims underneath.

Available at www.sprayway.com

 

The final item goes on your feet. You can never really pay too much for good footwear, especially when you’re planning to stomp the hills and trails. The Helly Hansen Rapide HTXP boot provides a comfortable and durable piece of kit in a very well-priced option. Waterproof membrane technology will keep your feet toasty dry, while the HellyWear toe/heel cap and premium suede upper offers the perfect combination of protection, style and comfort.

Available at www.hellyhansen.com

 

 

Just because there’s a chill in the air doesn’t mean you should abandon all thoughts of the great outdoors. The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is one of the most beautiful times to get out and explore nature with friends and family. Here are some good walking itineraries in Ireland and the rest of the world to get you started.

Because no outdoors hike is a success without the right clothing, this week on travelpod.ie we’re looking at some of the best gear you can buy for walking, hiking and trekking. Whether it’s Luggala, the Scottish highlands or your nearest park, the feel is very definitely autumnal.

To start we’re going to check out the single most important bit of kit, apart from footwear. That’s the jacket of course. Previously hikers and walkers had to decide between waterproof and warm, most often selecting a heat-insulating down under-jacket and a light waterproof to go on top.

Goose down is one of the best things in the world to keep a human warm – but get it wet and you and it are soon damp and cold. So add a waterproof? What a hassle, not to mind an extra expense! And let’s not even talk about the perils of colour coordinating your moss green down hoody with your midnight blue shiny waterproof… But never fear, the boffins have been at work and there are some great new inventions in the area of – let’s hear it – waterproof down.

Sierra Designs were one of the first off the blocks with their revolutionary DriDown™. They’ve treated regular down with a polymer to create a hydrophobic finish on each individual down plume. This finish allows DriDown™ to stay dry longer, loft better, and dry faster than untreated down. A test of the DriDown Gnar Lite proves this lightweight jacket to be warmer than many items twice the weight and volume. Plus it repelled soaking Irish rain with ease. Droplets just rested on the ripstop outer shell until they gave up and slid off to the ground. Nice styling and  colours are an added bonus, plus we love the hand-warming wrist gaiters, as well as the tiny stuff sack the entire jacket fits into.

Available in men’s and women’s sizes at www.sierradesigns.com

But what to wear under that jacket you’ve wisely researched and invested in? The very stylish women’s Dash Hoody from Sprayway is made with Becagli Italian stretch fleece and performs fantastically as a mid or outer layer. It won’t look out of place on the mountain or in the pub after a good days hike.

Meanwhile the Aurora fleece is stormproof enough to wear under a light waterproof, like the Gore-Tex Sprayway Eos, which weighs only 500g and packs away into an internal pocket. The snuggly Sprayway Theia is definitely the one to wear when gathering firewood at you weekend rental.

Sprayway products for men and women available at www.sprayway.com

Jackets and mid-layers sorted you’re going to be thinking about what to put on your feet. If you want quality and build but don’t want to sacrifice style you could check out Zamberlan, the Italian family company who have been making boots by hand since World War 1. Their Trekker Boot is lightweight but robust. It has a full grain waxed leather upper with a Vibram rubber sole, and soft calf leather lining around the back and ankle. The inner lining is anti-bacterial and quick drying. Zamberlan boots come with removable washable footbeds.

Zamberlan boots in men’s and women’s sizes available at www.zamberlan.com

Meanwhile the always reputable Brasher have come up with a new version of their acclaimed Supalite II GTX walking boot. Now featuring Pittards full-grain leather these are some of the lightest yet durable boots we’ve encountered, with all the comfort of the customary broad Brasher fit. Comes with a Supalite sole unit offering excellent grip, full leather lining, Memory Foam padded ankle cuff and GORE-TEX waterproof liner. Brasher is an unshowy contender for a quality hiking boot with classically traditional good looks.

Available in men’s and women’s full and half sizes at www.brasher.co.uk

Last but not least what about what about your extremities? Your feet will take the brunt of every mile of your hike or walk. Even if the rest of you is properly kitted out don’t ignore your toes.

The new Brasher’s men’s and women’s specific sock range cleverly not only incorporates the latest fibres, but also uses technologies that have been scientifically proven to offer gender specific benefits. Existing scientific reports show that men’s feet don’t get as cold as women but do produce more moisture, hence the use of Coolmax fibres to keep the feet dry.  Women, however, are more likely to feel the cold and therefore Thermo Cool Technology has been used to regulate the body’s natural temperature and act as a thermal buffer.

The range comprises of 4 Season and 3 Season styles, designed to complement Brasher’s range of walking and hiking footwear, including the new Fellmaster GTX and best selling boot Supalite GTX.

Available at www.brasher.co.uk

Another option for quality socks are those from Smartwool which combine the best Merino wool and the latest advanced technology. Unbelievably soft to the touch and never itchy, SmartWool socks regulate temperature and wick moisture away to keep you dry and comfortable. These socks won’t shrink like the old wool socks or harbour odors like synthetics. Complete the outfit with a Smartwool cuffed beanie to keep your noggin warm and happy.

Available at www.smartwool.com

 

Now you’re kitted out you’re all set to pore over the maps, prepare the sandwiches and flasks, and head to the great outdoors. It’s out there waiting for you!

 In 1978, Brasher’s founder Chris Brasher walked the Roof of Wales, a route of approximately 180 miles over some of the most challenging peaks in Britain. His traditional walking boots gave him such agonising blisters that he ended up walking the final part in trainers. This experience led to the design of the first ever walking boot as comfortable as a running shoe.Brasher have come a long way since then and yet they still remain true to the same lightweight comfort philosophy.
The new Brasher Travel collection provides a balance of performance and comfort for tourists and travelers alike. Featuring understated designs these shoes are perfect for travel holidays and country walks, and smart enough for city tours. Whether hiking through a museum or a National Park, the Brasher shoe or boot will not let you down.

The Journeyer GTX travel boot feels robust and comfortable with an EVA midsole and Nubuck leather uppers. Gore-Tex Performance Comfort ensures waterproof performance whilst remaining breathable to keep your foot comfortable and dry at all times. The good-looking Journeyer boot is unbelievably light so will ease the strain both on your legs and on your baggage allowance.
Here at Travelpod we love the feminine look and feel of the Brasher Seeker Women’s GTX Travel Shoe in gorgeous brown/raisin colour, with a soft Nubuck upper and full grain leather padded panels.  A unique shock absorbing EVA footbed with anatomically positioned gel inserts this provides an incredibly high level of cushioning and comfort. Memory foam in the collar and tongue moulds to the shape of the foot for a personalised footbed feel. And of course a breathable Gore-Tex layer keeps your feet cosy and dry.

Brasher footwear is high quality, high performance and highly conducive to exploring the great outdoors.
Buy the Seeker here
Buy the Journeyer here