Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Regatta Freebase Insulated Jacket

This Jacket has been supplied by Go Outdoors on a review and keep basis.

If money was no object then I guess I would buy the best and lightest equipment available but as it is , sometimes I have to look at the lower end of the equipment scale; to manufacturers like Peter Strom, Craghoppers and Regatta.

So when I was asked if I would like to review insulated jackets for Go Outdoors I chose the Regatta Freebase insulated jacket.

This jacket is a synthetic insulated jacket which is also waterproof.  The swing-tags have this to say about the insulating and outer materials:-

Insulation - Thermo-Guard

Thermo-Guard insulation is made up of advanced synthetic fibres, trapping air to keep you warm in cold or snowy conditions.
  • Soft & Light
  • High loft, giving excellent insulation 
  • Quick drying, easy to care for

     Outer Material - Isolite 5000

    Isolite 5000 is Regatta's waterproof and breathable lightweight fabric to keep you dry and comfortable outdoors.
    • Waterproof hydrostatic head of 5000mm
    • Hydrophillic breathable system allow inner moisture vapour to escape
    • Durable water repellent outer fabric treatment to help water run off
    • Superior windproof performance to eliminate windchill 

    Having looked at the Go Outdoors website's size chart, I guessed that a XXL would probably be the size I would need.  This proved to be pretty much spot on, as the jacket fits really well.

    The jacket is only available in one colour, which is a seal grey with a lime green inner, it has four pockets, two on the hips, one small one on the outside around the chest and one inside.  The side one is situated near the bottom of the jacket and although fairly large, its position is a little awkward as you have to unzip the jacket to reach into it. 

    The jacket also has a fixed hood and although this fits quite well there is no way to cinch the hood in, as there are no cord or toggles on it.

    It also has taped seams, as the jacket is also waterproof, although it doesn't have a storm flap across the zip, also missing is a beard guard.

    I have worn the jacket over the last few weeks, with temperatures around 5-12c  and it has kept me warm, there have been times when walking in it that I have been too warm.

    The waterproofness of the jacket has worked well to, I have been caught out in the rain a couple of times and although there isn't a storm flap across the zip and water haven't as yet, got in.

    Although this is a synthetic jacket it weighs in at a reasonable 1.5kg and folds up fairly small.

    Jacket and ETA Pot
     Pro's & Con's


    • Synthetic and Waterproof
    • Fairly lightweight and packed fairly small
    • Has a hood 

    • No storm flap over main zip
    • No beard guard
    • Hood can't be cinched down

    The Regatta Freebase Insulated Jacket is currently available at Go Outdoors for £49.99

    Monday, 5 December 2011

    Not my annus horribilis, that's probably next year.

    Over the last six months, I have been thinking where is blog has been and where it is going, and whether I should continue with it.

    I have always stated that it was primarily for me to write up trip reports and have photographs from these trips available for Peter & Keith to see; up until 2009 I spent eight years backpacking with these guys.

    Keith, Peter and me somewhere in the peaks
    Gradually others found it and started following or subscribing and slowly it built up a reasonable number over the years.

    I wouldn't say I was a prolific blogger with rough 350+ posts over six years and the grammar and spelling at times have been pretty bad, there are reasons for this but I won't go into them.

    Not surprisingly the most viewed posts are either trip or gear reviews, but then I guess we're all interested in when people have been or what gear they are using.

    The last eighteen months have seen no backpacking trip reports posted; the main reason for this, is that after finishing TGO2010 and going back to work, I found that I had to take a fairly substantial pay cut.  It also seems that public transport has become quite expensive especially travel in the South, the cost of a trip to somewhere like Dorset is almost as much as a trip to Scotland but a trip Scotland means at least a week away which then only adds to the expense.  Even local campsites that use to change a couple of pounds a night are now asking £8-12 even for a backpacking tent.

    I had hoped to enter the TGO2012 as a present for my fiftieth or failing that do something similar but neither are now looking possibly; although I didn't apply for the TGO as I knew I wouldn't be able to afford to do it.

    The only thing at present keeping the blog alive are the equipment reviews and I'm not sure how much longer they will be appearing.

    I did try to get out for a couple of trips in the past year but both times they were scuppered due to illnesses in the family.  So for the first time in near ten years, I haven't managed to spend any time in the outdoors.

    I honesty can't see next year being any better and the chances of getting out are going to be even more limiting.

    There will be at least one more post before the end of the year but after that who know.

    If I do manage to do something, I'm sure it will appear here at some point.