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Kit Focus – VE Water Shoes for Open Water Swimming

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My local beach is a deserted pebble strewn strip of coast; whilst it is a pleasure to swim at, it can be a little rough on your feet. Open water swimming socks don't quite cut it for sole protection, but wetsuit boots seem a little overkill; so, I recently went searching for a compromise between the two, and discovered VE Water Shoes. Made to be super lightweight and flexible, VE Water Shoes have a quick-drying breathable upper, with a flexible rubber sole that provides protection and grip on many surfaces. They are easy to get on and off, but they also have a snug fit, so they don't fall off when you are swimming. The flexibility and lightweight materials make the VE Shoes super packable, and you can easily stash them into a bag or pocket when you head to the beach. I have also used them as lightweight shoes on camping trips, sailing adventures and sea kayaking expeditions. Founded by Victoria and Emma, just down the coast from the Isle of Wight in Dorset, this great local bra

Kit Focus – VOITED Change Robe Dry Coat V2

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The VOITED Outdoor Changing Robe & Dry Coat lives in my car (or bike pannier) and comes with me on almost every adventure. Perfect for when you need to warm up after a cold water swim, stay comfortable as you unload a sea kayak, discreetly change out of your kit after a muddy trail run, or just keep cosy when you start a drive in freezing conditions – the VOITED Outdoor Change Robe is a versatile and indispensable insulating layer that shields you from the elements, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor adventures.  I have used many weatherproof changing robes, but the new V2 VOITED Change Robe sits on its own pedestal thanks to unique features that allow it to perform exceptionally well. Three-Layer Fabric Design The outer fabric of the VOITED Change Robe is a 100 percent recycled 50D durable Ripstop Repreve® material that sheds water thanks to an eco-friendly DWR coating. A quilted mid-layer of 3D Synthetic Featherlight recycled fibre insulation then keeps the warmth in and the cold

Kit Focus – 361 KAIROS 2 Stability Running Shoes

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361 Degrees has consistently been my preferred brand for running shoes, and the latest addition to their lineup, the Kairos 2, lives up to the high standards I've come to expect. This new model introduces a fresh platform for 361, incorporating innovative technologies, sustainable fabrics, and the impressive Engage foam cushioning system. Progressive Upper Design The Kairos 2 features a progressive upper fabric design that enhances breathability, comfort, and overall durability. Another standout feature is the 'pressure-free tongue,' a signature element in many 361 shoes, providing a super-soft nylon gusset that eliminates pressure points on the upper foot.  Inside the uppers, the tried-and-tested Otholite® X-40 insole ensures excellent moisture management and breathability. Additionally, new supportive medial and lateral quarter heel welds at the rear of the shoes enhance ankle support upon impact. Exciting Platform Design The platform design takes an exciting step

Kit Focus – SOAR Winter Running Apparel

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There is some kit that blows the nearest competition out of the water — that works better, feels better and allows you to perform better than anything you have used before. For winter trail running, the selection of kit from SOAR Running does exactly that. For the last few weeks, I have been testing the SOAR Running WoolTech Winter Running Tights, the SOAR Nano Rain Jacket and the SOAR Long Sleeve Merino/Silk Base Layer. They have all proven themselves to be exceptional apparel, worth featuring here on The Expedition Journals. Review – SOAR WoolTech Running Tights A pair of winter running tights is more than just two tubes of stretch material – done right, they can keep you warm, supported, and keep blood flowing to your muscles and feet to help you go that further distance. The SOAR WoolTech tights mix naturally thermo-regulating merino against the skin with a weather-resistant exterior to deliver a winter staple that insulates, breathes and protects in cold running conditions. With a

Kit Focus – Rab Veil 1L Lightweight Run Belt Pack

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The Rab Veil 1L is a lightweight belt pack designed for trail running, hiking and general outdoor sports adventures. The breathable fabric, secure and comfortable design, and neat storage features make this a versatile and indispensable companion for your everyday adventures. Made from strong yet highly breathable Ripstop Mono Mesh, this ultralight minimalist mountain running belt pack is perfect for carrying your necessities on your fast-paced adventures.  The Ripstop Mono Mesh provides a strong yet breathable framework, which is 50% lighter and retains 70% less water than spacer mesh normally used in backpacks and hip-packs. Weight has further been kept to an absolute minimum, and breathability maximised; with details such as mesh pockets, laser-cut holes on the waist belt, and a low profile design. Storage comes in the form of one main zipped lumbar pocket (1 litre), with an internal zipped security pocket; this set-up is perfect for snacks, gels, a phone and house keys. Then, there