Best new adventure gear

By Aus Geo ADVENTURE 19 December 2019
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There was plenty of awesome outdoor gear released in 2019. Here are some of the standouts that’d make great additions to your gear shed.

Fjallraven Duffel No. 4
Fjallraven applies its no-nonsense approach of function, fit and durability to its Duffel No.4, the modern-day incarnation of the company’s first duffel – the famous Sailor Bag 214 – released back in 1973. The main fabric is a heavy-duty version of Fjallraven’s waxed G-1000 Eco fabric (65 per cent recycled polyester; 35 per cent cotton), with a double layer on the base for reinforcement. The leather straps are designed so you can carry it either by hand, over your shoulders or on your back. The main zip has an easy-to-grip metal pull and inside the main compartment there is an inner safety pocket. There are two outer pockets (one zip; one push-button). The capacity of the Duffel No. 4 is 30 litres, making it the ideal weekender bag or carry-on.
RRP $239.95

Primus Mimer
A tough little stove that is ideal for those after a versatile cooking system. The Mimer is lightweight (227g) and compact (55mm wide; 125mm in height). Being so light and compact, the Mimer is perfect for hikers, bikepacking, paddling, camping or a family road trip. The windshield also helps minimise the effects of a breezy day by keeping the flame going at full throttle and thus offering more efficient cooking. The stove can safely support quite large pots safely and with optimum stability as well. Compared to other ‘compact’ stoves, the Mimer is slightly heavier but that weight is well worth paying for the additional windshield (not always present on other stoves in this market segment), and the unit’s excellent stability (for its type).
RRP $49.95

Yakima KeelOver
Lugging a canoe on your vehicle can be off-putting if you haven’t got the right carry system. Thankfully, Yakima has it nailed with its KeelOver. The four clamps can be attached to round, square or aerodynamic bars via a single tightening knob – so no tools are needed (there are two bolt types to allow for whichever bar type your vehicle is fitted with). The KeelOver includes over-moulded rubber cushions to hold the canoe gunwhale stable up top, while the rubber padding on each clamp protects your crossbars. As well as the brackets, the KeelOver kit includes tie-downs for the bow and stern, and two straps for securing it across the bars. You can flip the brackets to gain an extra 75mm of width if your canoe is a bit wider than standard.
RRP $139

Ledlenser ML4 Lantern
This mini lighting powerhouse is Ledlenser’s lightest and smallest portable light source. The ML4 features micro-prism technology, which helps this unit punch out up to 300 lumens of glare-free lighting, via its nine LEDs. The ML4 has five light functions (as well as a red light option) and can be powered by a rechargeable battery or AA alkaline battery, with a claimed lighting time of 45 hours (Low Power setting). The ML4 is rated IP66 water- and dustproof.
RRP $69

Fjallraven Vidda Pro Jacket
This jacket from Fjallraven uses the company’s rugged wind- and water-resistant G-1000 Eco fabric (65 per cent recycled polyester; 35 per cent organic cotton) to ensure optimum durability in the outdoors. The jacket has an over-abundance of pockets – seven in total – and an adjustable hood as well as gear loops in the front pockets. These gear loops are super handy for attaching essential equipment close at hand (think: gloves, etc.). The large chest pockets have flaps with vertical zippered openings for ease of access. There are push-button cuffs as well, perfect for when you need to tighten them up in cases of wind and rain, and the front zip is also protected by an over-flap that features push-buttons also.
RRP $449.95

Nemo Equipment Dagger
Nemo Equipment’s Dagger has been held in high regard ever since its launch. This latest update makes an even stronger case as a two-person shelter. The Dagger’s light weight (1.75kg packed), 2.9 square metres of floor area, 1060mm interior height, and twin trapezoidal vestibules (each 1.1sq m in area) is impressive. That spacious interior means the Dagger can cater for two adults comfortably. The hubbed pole is aluminium DAC Featherlite NSL. The tent body is 30-denier PU nylon ripstop floor, the canopy includes 15D ripstop nylon and no-see-um mesh, and there’s a 15D siliconised/PU nylon 15D fly. Other features: overhead light pockets and gear pockets. Ventilation is via protected strut vents above the zip flaps.
RRP $699.95

Scarpa Vapor V
Scarpa has updated the Vapor V. Still handmade in Italy, the Vapor V is designed to provide optimum performance and comfort and is aimed at intermediate to advanced climbers looking for a shoe that offers all-day capability. The revised Vapor V includes two Velcro straps across the upper to assist in a snug fit. The light toe patch is designed to help the climber when toe hooking, while the Talyn 1.5mm midsole and stepped heal cup promote precise shoe placement. The coolest feature is the Bi-Tension tech; basically a reverse slingshot rand, designed to pull power from your toes, rather than squash them into the front of the shoe. This results in less rubber and a lighter weight shoe – always welcomed by climbers.
RRP $249.95

Fjallraven Singi backpacks (20L, 28L, 48L)
This series of packs from Fjallraven covers the full gamut of day pack through to overnight/longer treks. All three packs utilise Fjallraven’s signature G-1000 HeavyDuty Eco fabric (65 per cent polyester; 35 per cent cotton) and hard-wearing 500-denier polyamide for the base. Other shared features include days-chain webbing for attachment of extra gear, and the ability to increase capacity via Singi Side Pocket or Gear Holder accessories, as well as an inside sleeve that can carry a laptop up to 15-inch in size, or a hydration bladder. The 28 and 48 include detachable hip-belts, while the 48 also has Fjallraven’s unique European birch frame and a second zipped opening at its base. Great packs for everything; from hiking to fishing trips.

Sea To Summit Sigma cookset 2.1
Part of Sea to Summit’s SigmaPot range, this two-person setup offers excellent efficiency, durability and function thanks to the pots’ marine-grade stainless steel construction. The Sigma Pot patent-pending PIVOT-LOCK handle rotates horizontally to lock in place when needed and then folds away when not. The 2.1 cookset includes a 1.9-litre SigmaPot, two DeltaLight Insul mugs and two DeltaLight bowls, both of which are microwave-safe, BPA-free and light in weight. The DeltaLight Insul mugs include removable insulated sleeves and silicone sipper lids. The premium-grade stainless steel surface on the pot includes a FluxTherm treatment for even heat distribution on the base, while the LID Keep strainer lid makes pouring hot liquid a doddle.
RRP $90

Osprey Farpoint/Fairview
Osprey’s new Farpoint (men’s) and Fairview (women’s) packs combine the best of the company’s experience designing trek and travel packs. Features include the easily accessed – and adjusted – ventilated AirSpeed back panel. The LightWire frame keeps the load weight on the hip-belt, while internal compression straps keep everything contained. The zipped section up top, along with hip belt pockets, allows essential items to be close to hand. There’s a laptop/tablet sleeve and separate compartment down at the bottom. An AirCover protects the pack when checking in and can be used as a rain cover.
RRP $289.95 (Farpoint 75/Fairview 70); RRP $249.95 (Farpoint 55/Fairview 50); RRP $99.95 (Daylite Travel Pack)

Norco Torrent
There’s been a resurgence in steel frame MTBs in the past five years and Norco’s 2020 Torrent is one of the latest examples. The Torrent’s 4130 double-butted CroMoly steel frame features the latest geometry – think: longer reach, slacker head tube angle (62 degrees) and a steep (but short) seat tube angle – along with a longer wheelbase to offer excellent handling. The impressive spec list includes a beefy 150mm RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2 fork, SRAM 1×12 drivetrain and four-piston Code R brakes, dropper post and e-thirteen rims wrapped with Maxxis Assegai 29×2.5 tyres. In short, the Torrent is built for rowdy – and fun – riding. You can even buy the frame only, and build your dream steel rig.
RRP $3799 (HT S1); RRP $2799 (HT S2); RRP $999 (HT S frame-only)

Canon EOS M6 MkII
Canon’s latest compact camera offers plenty for the adventurous traveller. With a 32.5-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, 14 frames-per-second shooting speed, optional electronic viewfinder, 4K video (at 30 frames per second; it also supports Full HD video at 120/100 frames per second), Eye-Detection auto-focus and a nice big 3.0-inch ClearView II touchscreen, it’s ideal for capturing anything from that magic landscape to that high-speed action sport. The Mark II’s Dual Pixel CMS auto-focus means excellent tracking ability of a moving subject. Integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth make it easy to share images to your smartphone (or view them on it). The magnesium alloy and electrolytic zinc-coated steel body is plenty tough, too.

Arc’teryx Proton LT Hoody
Arc’teryx has revised the Proton LT Hoody. The Proton LT features Arc’teryx’s Coreloft Compact 80 synthetic insulation, with its excellent breathability and quick-drying for those times you’re really going for that next pitch of your climb or get caught in a downpour. The Fortius Air 20 outer fabric is claimed to be 60 times more durable than the industry standard in abrasion tests. The revised Proton LT’s new Dope Dyeing yarn interior means a more efficient use of resources, UV stability and heightened abrasion and tear strength compared to the previous incarnation. The No Slip Zip solves a semi-common problem of zips self-opening, while the insulated hood can fit a climbing helmet underneath. The shell is light (375g) and has a trim, hip-length fit. 
RRP $390

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite
Years ago Therm-a-Rest shook up the sleeping mat category with the original light and compact NeoAir. Now, it has released the lightest insulated air mattress ever: the NeoAir UberLite, with 64mm of mattress thickness with an R-value (a measure of insulation/warmth) of 2.0 – the most of any sub-285g mat. The UberLite has garnered awards around the world due to its comfort and light weight (Regular weighs 250g). The NeoAir UberLite is available in three sizes: the Small (510mm wide and 1190mm long; the Regular is 510mm wide and 1830mm long; and the Large is 630mm wide and 1960mm long. The top and bottom fabrics are 15-denier ripstop nylon, so these mats are plenty tough too.
RRP $410

Mountain Designs Tee
The iconic Aussie adventure brand is celebrating its heritage – and 45th anniversary – with this range of tees. These tees are part of Fair Share, where a portion of sales proceeds go back to the garment workers in India. There are seven tees, showcasing milestones in the company’s adventure history, including: company founder Rick White pictured halfway up El Capitan during the first Aussie ascent of the famous US location in 1973; the Acid tee that pays tribute to the company’s original Acid logo (included on products through the late 70s-early 80s), inspired by the first Aussie expedition to Patagonia’s Fitz Roy in 1974 (Rick White was, again, a part of) and five others. The tees are 100 per cent organic cotton.
RRP $50 (Club price: $40)