As the summer finally makes an appearance, I thought I’d do a recap of some of the cool bits of outdoor kit I’ve been testing over the last few months. I feel very lucky that I’ve had the opportunity to discover some great brands through my work as an outdoor blogger and am always on the lookout for new finds, so I hope you enjoy reading about some of faves…
Cool Hammocks Travel Hammock
Who doesn’t love the idea of relaxing in a hammock in the sunshine? Well now you can enjoy the experience wherever you go, with the ultra lightweight Travel Hammock from Cool Hammocks. It packs away into a really tiny storage pouch with plastic clips to fasten, and has integrated ropes and hooks attached, so all you need to do is unpack and wind each end of the rope around a tree or post, and chill.
I will admit I’ve only had the chance to test this out in our garden so far – sadly our last campsite was devoid of any trees – but it’s pretty great for reading in the evenings. The only thing I would say is that due to the way the ropes are attached, the hammock has a tendency to close up around you like a cocoon, rather than staying open and flat. Great for sleeping or getting cosy though!
I love these leggings! I wore them for the Milton Keynes Rocket 5k back at the beginning of May and they were so comfortable – super soft, breathable and high rise so they don’t slip down whilst running.
What’s even better is that these leggings are made from plastic water bottles! With the war on plastic raging and brands becoming more aware of the importance of eco-friendly, sustainable products it’s really refreshing to find a sports company that’s on board with this.
I’d not come across Player Layer before, but they started out creating uniforms for University sports teams before seeing a gap in the market. Their new range of Ecolayers use water bottles taken from the ocean which are chopped up to create the yarn for the leggings fabric. It takes approximately 25 water bottles to produce one pair and they are honestly just as great for running as other leggings I’ve worn. I’d love to see different colours next!
The weather has been rather unpredictable so far this summer and especially whilst we were away during half term, a bit too wet and windy for my liking! Fortunately I’ve had the Cora Jacket from Lighthouse Clothing to hand, which is a lovely lightweight waterproof.
You can throw it on over a t-shirt to keep you dry during the rain showers whilst still staying cool. I’m not usually a fan of pink women’s outdoor clothing, but I have to say I’ve been won over by this particular soft, marshmallowy colour that brightens up even the most grey, cloudy day. Plus, pockets and a hood that fits over a ponytail, what’s not to love!
I also got the chance to add to my collection of striped tops (yes, I have a few) with the Causeway Breton, perfect for a stroll along the harbour in Rye – 100% cotton and with a funky zip on the back, you know you can never have too many stripes…
Grangers Footwear Care Kit
OK, so cleaning muddy walking boots isn’t the most fun thing to talk about but at some point you realise it has to be done, if only for the smell and chunks of mud that are dropping onto your hallway carpet.
Enter the Grangers Footwear Care Kit, an all-in-one kit which is designed to take care of all the footwear needs you never knew you had. Plus, for me, the best bit about this is how quick everything was to use – clean boots in a matter of about five minutes.
The stiff-bristled brush was the best tool, removing all the dried-on dirt (there was a fair bit) before a quick spray with the Footwear+ Gear Cleaner to remove any remaining dirt and grime. I wiped my boots over with a damp cloth, before finishing up with the Performance Repel spray that waterproofs and protects shoes.
There was also a little tube of leather conditioner which I didn’t get around to using this time, but will be very useful going forward to make sure my boots stay in tip-top condition and a little less neglected as we head into the colder, wetter months.
Have you discovered any great outdoor kit gems recently?