So we have a sample of the range from Regatta to review, which shows what they can bring us for our adventures. The range is branded as Adventure Tech and I took it on some to see how it got on.
I put in a request for this jacket as it has the Isotex 15,000 material, which I surmised was a hardshell which felt like a softshell. Soft feel and air permeable. The Gibb has a softshell feel and good water resistance. In a wet day out in it though it did wet out and got very heavy. It is partially lined in mesh and the rest in a polyester fabric, the whole jacket absorbed a lot of water. That said there is a lot of features in this jacket. That particular day out was extreme and only the most water resistant, less breathable fabrics would have coped. The hood is removable, there are pit zips and there is plenty of storage points.
The Gibb would be a good skiing jacket, warm breathable, plenty of space for gloves/passes etc, removable hood and has a really good fit.
Geo II Softshell Trousers
Softshell trousers, black. Standard legwear in most people’s outings, especially mine. They are cut quite square, with a mildly articulated knee. Another couple of belt loops are required as both sides dropped when I wore them.
On first inspection the material is quite thick and has a light fleece lining, when it’s warm I found myself getting a little overheated. However the day I was saturated in the Gibb jacket I did the whole day in them without covering them with over trousers. They repelled the water very well initially, when they did start to get wet what surprised me was how well they kept my lower half warm when they were saturated and pinned to my legs with a good Scottish breeze. The softshell material is very resilient and coped very well with wet and wintery weather. For £20 these are a really good option.
Andreson II Hybrid Jacket
Hybrids are a favourite of mine, so I have an interest in jackets like the Andreson. All the fabrics are Regatta’s own, including the insulation. The shape is again a square cut, the body is box shaped and the arms have a straight cut also, no articulation and not a lot of shape to it. The cuffs do have thumb loops, which is a good feature. The softshell material is the same material that the Geo Softshell trousers are made of, so it is a heavy material but it is resilient.
The body/insulation is a good weight, the outer material sheds a bit of water. The insulation does provide a decent amount of warmth. There is a ‘scuba’ type hood, for my head it’s too big, and a little too small for going over a climbing helmet, so it’s alright if there’s no wind!
Overall weight is reasonable for its warmth, it has come in handy on a couple of summits to keep me warm.
Hydra Pro X LT Trail Shoe
The Hydra has an unlined mesh upper and pull cord lace system which emulates a lot of high end trail shoes on the market. The outsole is grooved with bands of pads which is designed to improve grip. The mid sole has holes across it which is to keep the weight down and improve water drainage.
The last of the shoe is made for feet larger than mine, length was fine however my feet are a bit narrow for them. I put a volume reducing insole in to help but as you can see the drawstring laces had to be pulled in pretty tight to fit. The band around the heel did work to keep my heel in place. Although I didn’t run far in them as I wasn’t confident with the traction the outsole gave me along with my feet moving too much inside the shoe. I’ve been using them as a short distance approach shoe as the Hydra Pro is light and I can clip them to my harness at the crag.
At the moment they are selling for £30 so for someone with broad feet they could be good a financially economical option.
Blackfell 25 litre Rucksack
The Blackfell has a lot of features to it: wand pockets, front bungee system, side volume reducing straps, hydration reservoir pocket, top entry access with a storage pocket built in, walking pole attachments, rain cover in a dedicated pocket, padded hip belt and a ventilated back system.
The top entry system is quite narrow in comparison to the shape of the bottom of the pack where it opens up so I found putting stuff in it like stuff sacks were a bit of a squeeze but once it reached the bottom of the pack it sat quite nicely, maybe this is just my packing skills or lack thereof. This is a good sized 25 litre pack, plenty of room and options for additional knick-knacks with the flap and side pockets.
The hip belt is quite square so doesn’t contour well around the hips/waist and I did find it rubbed a little, not causing any great discomfort on the day trips I used it on. The good padding did assist in minimising the discomfort how this would last long term remains to be seen.
The ventilated back system is effective, noticeably on warm days in a base layer. It rivals many of the high end back systems in terms of ventilation which raises the profile of the Blackfell.
Currently the Blackfell is being sold for less than £30 on Regatta’s site and is packed with features, notably the back system and the good internal size, which would make it a good day pack option and very reasonable price.
I admit my term of reference for outdoor gear has a high expectation. Unfortunately that comes with the territory of gear testing, as we see a lot of high end brands on My Outdoors. Admittedly there is a lot of expensive gear out there that doesn’t meet the standard expected for the price that is being asked for it. So on that principal, the Regatta gear reviewed above exceeds my expectations. Like the softshell material of the Geo II’s and the back system of the Blackfell to name just two, there are features which you would pay a lot more for if there was a different brand name on it. This gear will get you through a lot of days on the hill and definitely is worth considering for short trips and day outings.