Backpacking

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The Robens Primavapour 40 is an incredibly small and lightweight camping mat that performs really well.
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Value for Money
8.5
Practicality
9.5
PROS:
  • Packs down small
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable for a small mat
  • Insulated
CONS:
  • A bit pricey, but that's what you expect for a high-end lightweight mat.
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The Robens Fire Moth System should be great for backpacking or bike packing. It's lightweight, strong, and has a good cooking capacity. However, the one I reviewed, didn't go so well.  Read on to find out more.
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£73.99
An excellent system, but the one I was reviewing let me down when I needed it.
Quality
5
Features
7
Value for Money
5
Reliability
0
PROS:
  • Good capacity
  • Packs down small
  • Lightweight
CONS:
  • No piezo ignition.
  • I had difficulty getting the gas flowing.
  • The gas control knob came off the one I was testing.
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The Robens Spur 250 is a two-sleeping down-filled sleeping bag that packs down small, ideal for backpacking or bike-packing adventures.
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£160.00
This is comfortable and warm. The 2-season sleeping bag temperature rating will help see you through colder spells while backpacking or bike-packing.
Value for Money
7
Pack Size
8.5
Comfort
8.5
Quality
8.5
PROS:
  • Packs Small
  • Lightweight
  • Good 2-season temperature range
CONS:
  • Very expensive, as you would expect from a technical bag like this.
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The Robens Morain I is an ideal lightweight summer sleeping bag for backpacking or bike-packing.
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£79.99
Pack Size
9.5
Comfort
8
Value for Money
7.5
PROS:
  • Small Pack Size
  • Lightweight
CONS:
  • Only 1-Season temperature range. If you want something the same but warmer, look at the Robens Moraine II.
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The Robens Air Impact 25 is a surprisingly large and comfortable sleeping mat for such a small and lightweight pack size.
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£55.00 £39.97
Value for Money
9
Comfort
8
Quality
9
Practicality
9.5
PROS:
  • Very small pack size
  • Lightweight
  • Good size when inflated (not a 3/4 size mat)
  • Good comfort for depth of mat
CONS:
  • None found so far
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8.7/10

Helvellyn 300

The Vango Helvellyn 300 is a 3-person backpacking tent.
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£180.00 £159.00
We've based our review on our experience with the Vango Mirage 300 but adjusted for the specifications of the Helvellyn 300, which is slightly smaller and has a lower hydrostatic head. Despite a lower HH, this is a great tent for the money.
Value for Money
10
Quality
9
Practicality
8.5
Ease of Pitching
8
Features
8
Reviewed
1
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The Robens Pioneer 3EX is a lightweight tent that's ideal for backpacking or bikepacking.
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£224.99 £209.95
Value for Money
10
Quality
8
Practicality
9
Ease of Pitching
9
Features
7
PROS:
  • LIghtweight and not too big when packed. Could be separated to pack smaller.
  • Very easy to pitch.
  • A really good sized porch area.
CONS:
  • Better as a two-person than a three-person.
  • Pitch the bedroom section well to keep the sides off the inner tent.
  • No groundsheet for porch area.
Discontinued
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The Vango Banshee XD 300 is a great little backpacking tent. Better for two people than three!
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Value for Money
10
Quality
9
Practicality
8.5
PROS:
  • Lightweight and fits into a backpack
  • Good quality materials
  • Easy to pitch
CONS:
  • Three people would be cramped. Better with two.
  • The porch is only on one side.
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The Vango Dreamer is a lightweigth self-inflating camping mat.
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£27.50
Value for Money
9
Quality
8
Practicality
7.5
PROS:
  • Lightweight
  • Despite just 3cm thick, not bad to sleep on
  • Includes insulation
  • Can be bought for a good price
CONS:
  • The mat is quite long when packed
  • No R-Value to compare insulation levels
  • Doesn't self-inflate fully (which is to be expected)
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The Vango Ultralite Pro 100 is a small lightweight 2-season sleeping bag that's ideal for backpacking.
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Practicality
10
Comfort
8.5
Value for Money
9
PROS:
  • Small and lightweight summer bag
  • Not bad price for this sort of sleeping bag
CONS:
  • Legroom is tight, which is to be expected on a smaller bag
Reviewed
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The Wayfayrer meals are pre-cooked meals in a bag that you can simply re-heat by boiling in the bag.
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Value for Money
7.5
Quality
9.5
Practicality
9
PROS:
  • An easy way for you (or your child) to cook a meal.
  • The ones we tried tasted great.
CONS:
  • Can get expensive if buying many meals.
  • If boiling in water, bring a pot large enough.
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A handy spray to remove any smells from your hiking and walking boots or shoes.
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The Robens Telescopic Tripod is a great addition to your camping toolkit, especially if you like cooking over a campfire!
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Quality
8
Practicality
9
PROS:
  • Folds down small and is lightweight.
  • Strong enough to hold a full pot over the campfire.
  • Has spiked feet for extra stability.
CONS:
  • Securing the chain can be fiddly. Make sure you do it right so you don't spill the contents of a hot pan over anyone! This is the only reason I marked quality down, otherwise, this is a quality bit of kit.
Discontinued
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The Vango Mirage 300 is a three-person backpacking tent.
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Value for Money
10
Quality
9.5
Practicality
8.5
Ease of Pitching
8
Features
8
Reviewed
2
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We test out the Vango Fuel Gel, which is an eco-friendly and safer alternative to meths. But how well does it perform?
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The Vango Fuel Gel is much safer to have around kids than liquid fuels.
Value for Money
7.5
Quality
8
Family Friendly
10
PROS:
  • There's no doubt that this is much safer than meths. And it's good for the environment too.
CONS:
  • It's not going to cook as quick as a gas burner.
Discontinued
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We've been using the Robens X3 HT Tent. A great little tent for quick weekend getaways or outdoor activities.
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Value for Money
9.5
Quality
10
PROS:
  • A great little tent that's ideal for quick weekend camps or activities, such as the D of E.
CONS:
  • None found so far.
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We test out Vango's folding stove, which is small enough for you to throw in a backpack and enjoy warm food on your next picnic.
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£30.00 £22.50
This is a handy little stove. There are a few niggles we found with it, but it does the job just fine.
Value for Money
9
Quality
8
PROS:
  • A small lightweight stove easy to fit in your backpack for some warm food when hiking out on the hills.
CONS:
  • The piezo ignition needs a few pushes to work, and the orange box it comes in isn't very good. Although it says on the box it comes with a windshield, for any wind more than a breeze, we recommend you take a separate folding windshield.
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We test out a couple of Thermos flasks designed to keep food warm: the Thermos Stainless King and the FUNtainer.
£32.99 £24.99
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We put the En Route 65 backpack to the test, both in outdoor use and for travelling.
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Value for Money
10
Features
10
Quality
10
PROS:
  • A great 65L backpack from a brand you wouldn't expect.
  • Lots of storage pockets.
  • Rain Cover.
  • Adjustable back.
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The Eco Vessel Boulder claims to keep liquids cold for 36 hours or hot for 8. We've been testing it out for the last few months.
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Value for Money
6.5
Quality
10
PROS:
  • We found the Eco Vessel Boulder flask kept to its promises of keeping liquids warm and cold. And it didn't leak.
CONS:
  • You need to shop around to find one at a good price. The cheapest we found was £9-10 but we did also find someone selling one for £68!
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We test out the Water to Go filtration system. A water bottle with a built-in filter that's supposed to even filter out bacteria and viruses, but does it?
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Value for Money
6
Quality
5
PROS:
  • In theory, a way to top up water from streams.
CONS:
  • We found the black bottle hard to squeeze.
  • The filter won't remove 100%.
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Looking to extend your family camping season? This winter sleeping bag from Snugpak won't disappoint.
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Quality
10
Comfort
10
Value for Money
10
PROS:
  • We've been really impressed with this winter sleeping bag from Snugpak. It certainly keeps you warm and is now my go-to sleeping bag for the colder months.
CONS:
  • Although it does pack down relatively small compared to some other four-season sleepings bags used with car camping, you can fit this one into your backpack, but it will take up a lot of room. If you want to go backpacking, look at some of the more expensive Snugpak sleeping bags.
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Garmin's handled held GPS series, from the eTrex 10 starter to the eTrex 20 and 30 with mapping capabilities are great for Geocaching. We gave the eTrex 10 a try.
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PROS:
  • Rugged. These are more likely to survive if your kids drop it than your phone.
CONS:
  • The basic model is very basic. The more expensive version with colour maps is more useful.
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