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Kit Focus – Review 361º Strata 5 Running Shoes

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I have been using 361 trainers for several years now, and they continue to impress me in their support, cushioning, speed, and longevity. My previous pair of 361 Strata 3 trainers lasted over 800 kilometres before being retired, and during that time they delivered a number of PBs. So, when the time came to replace them, the obvious choice was the new 361 Strata 5. Here is my review… The Strata 3 is a long-distance road running shoe. The soft upper mesh offers maximum breathability, while the new anatomically shaped tongue adapts to your foot to avoid pressure points. The lacing system has always been a highlight of 361 trainers for me; the Morphit system provides a secure and adaptable lacing system; which combined with the Ortholite insole offers impressive support against pronation. For long distance endurance running comfort, the 361 Strata 5 trainers use a Qu!kfoam midsole and a weight-optimised footbed made from Qu!kspring+ EVA foam – this combination creates a responsive r

Kit Focus – Voited CloudTouch & Fleece Blanket Review

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The Voited CloudTouch and Fleece blanket are the ultimate camp blankets—if I had one as a Scout, I would have been the envy of the entire troop. Insulating, water and stain resistant, packable, and machine washable; they are the most versatile and comfortable camp kit I have used in a long time. The Voited CloudTouch 4-in-1 PillowBlanket is a luxurious outdoor blanket that is built to last. It uses recycled 50D Ripstop REPREVE® fabric on one side, and luxurious CloudTouch™on the other. CloudTouch™ is a 100 percent recycled high-loft insulation fabric that is soft and fluffy, with the feel of real wool; yet it is eco-friendly (made from recycled plastic bottles), lighter, lower bulk and faster drying than traditional sheep's wool.  The Voited Fleece PillowBlanket™is another innovative 4-in-1 product: acting as a blanket, pillow, sleeping bag or poncho. It uses the same 100% Recycled 50D Ripstop on one side, then a soft and moisture wicking Polar Fleece fabric on the other. Both of t

Kit Focus – ENO Sub6 Ultralight Hammock

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ENO (Eagles Nest Outfitters) were the creators of the parachute hammock, and have a wide range of hammocks for the outdoor adventurer. The ENO Sub6 is the lightest hammock in their range; aimed at the minimalist ultralight explorer. The Sub6 is made from lightweight 30D ripstop nylon and super strong Dyneema line with aluminium toggles. It weighs in at just 165 grams, and packs down to a sack not much bigger than your fist (4" x 4"). Despite its ultra-lean weight, the ENO Sub6 is impressively durable and strong; rated to a holding capacity of 136 kilograms. You need to integrate it with the ENO Helios Suspension System, which of course does add a little more weight (another 160 grams), but provides a super strong connection with your chosen trees or lashing pillars. Whether trekking into the depths of the jungle or just heading down to the beach to chill out after a summer adventure; the ENO Sub6 and Helios Suspension System is a quick and easy hammock set-up, that

Kit Focus – 361 Yushan 2 Trail Running Shoes Review

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There are very few pairs of running shoes that I would run an off-road marathon in, having only worn them for 15 kilometres previously. I did just that with the 361° Yushan Trail Running Shoes, back in 2019 on the Challenge the Wight event. They were, and are still, the most comfortable off-road trail running shoes that I have worn to date. My fond association with the 361° brand came after trying their Strata 3 Road Running Shoes in early 2018; they proved to be incredibly comfortable, stable, and supportive straight out of the box. I have subsequently run over 700 kilometres in them. When I signed up for the ' Challenge the Wight ' night marathon, I was well aware that my shoe choice would not only play a part in comfort, but also whether I would even finish the event. Due to a relatively collapsed arch and a wide toe spread, I have suffered from repeat problems with cramped or blistered toes, and vulnerable ankle joints—I was the kid who had to wear boots to school (b

A Year Behind The Paddle – Sea Kayaking Adventures 2021

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Kayaking has been a passion of mine since I was a child—I spent many great summer evenings messing about in boats with the Sea Scouts. Then, after a time away dedicated to other outdoor pursuits such as rowing, sailing and (of course) cycling, in 2018 my kayaking was rekindled. A Valley Etain 17.5 RM was my first expedition level sea kayak, and the boat I used for the Round The Island Kayak marathon back in 2019; a 92-kilometre non-stop paddle around the Isle of Wight to raise funds for a local children's cancer charity. The lockdowns of 2020 saw me reaching for the paddle on a more regular basis, as I looked to add as much diversity to my life through varied outdoor sports. Honing my paddling skills during this period, combine with great memories of the 2019 Round The Island paddle got me thinking about the next sea kayaking challenge that might be on the horizon. Kayak racing has never really been on the agenda for me, but I have always enjoyed seeing how far and how fast