The biggest and best outdoor gear guide around - the Outdoors Magic 100 2018 - dropped this week, marching into our lives like a fresh-faced hiker, glowing with enthusiasm and only mild sunstroke.

This year Outdoors Magic, along with a panel comprised of some of the biggest and most respected names in the industry, came together to select, test, and review 100 pieces of the best outdoor gear on the market today.

We caught up with Outdoors Magic Editor and President of Ramblers Cymru, Will Renwick, who told us "For this year's Outdoors Magic 100 testing trip, I wanted us to go somewhere that was as atmospheric as Britain gets. The Cairngorms National Park was the first place that came to mind, and we weren't disappointed. The bogs, river crossings, steep climbs and thick woodland made for the perfect testing ground.”

Obviously, there’s tons of outdoor gear on the market these days, so how do the panel select what will be in the Outdoors Magic 100? “We try to cover plenty of bases in outdoor sports and adventure when it comes to the gear in the Outdoors Magic 100,” Renwick confirms.

"We had a tenacious team of testers this time round"

“We've certainly looked at plenty of rugged boots and jackets – expedition type stuff – but there's also a very strong 'fast & light' theme to it all this time round. This definitely seems to be a trend within the outdoor industry at the moment.”

“We had a tenacious team of testers this time round, calling upon the expertise of people like Ian Finch, who's one of the most exciting adventure photographers around at the moment, plus Brecon Beacons Mountain Guide Jake Thompsett as well as Athena Mellor, founder of Ramble Guides.”

We’re fond of an adventure or two here at Mpora as well, so since the Outdoors Magic 100 dropped earlier this week, we’ve been arguing among ourselves about our favourite gear featured this year. There have been tears, tantrums, and testers verdicts a plenty, but we’ve finally come to a conclusion.

So, without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the Mpora Top Picks from the Outdoors Magic 100 2018.

1) Filson Ultra-Light Jacket

Filson Ultra-Light Jacket

Price: £190

More info: filson.com

Some of you may not be familiar with Seattle based brand Filson, but we’re certain that’s going to change. They’ve been making outdoors gear sturdy enough to stand up to Alaskan winters for well over 100 years, and in that time, have learnt a thing or two.

The Filson Ultra-Light jacket is a modern jacket designed to keep you warm when the temperature drops. It looks effortlessly cool, but will keep you snug and warm with its PrimaLoft Gold insulation.

What Outdoors Magic Said

Classically styled, and home to some excellent insulation, this is the perfect jacket to wear on a 10-mile hike to that place you’ve read about in the Good Pub Guide but haven’t got round to visiting yet.

Read the full Filson Ultra-Light Jacket review in the Outdoors Magic 100.

What We Say

The Ultra-Light by Filson really can go anywhere, do anything. A mid-layer on the slopes, a jacket for keeping the chill away on that morning cycle, or to warm you up after a surf. Plus it looks good, so you’re not going to get shit from your mates. Well, you might, but it won’t be because of your jacket.

2) Asolo Greenwood GV Walking Boot

Asolo Greenwood GV Walking Boot

Price: £190

Weight: 680g

More info: asolo.com

Made by the giants of Italian bootmaking, Asolo, the Greenwood are a serious pair of hiking boots. They’re made with a Gore-tex lining, which not only makes them waterproof, but also means they’re breathable, which is handy given they’re a real workhorse of a boot.

Underfoot, a Megagrip compound in the Vibram sole means you should be sure-footed, whether you’re scrambling up rocks, trekking through mud, or walking Zizou - the dog you inexplicably named after headbutty footballer Zinedine Zidane - around a park.

What Outdoors Magic Said

The Greenwood is a fully waterproof walking boot designed for the optimum performance on all sorts of underfoot terrain.

Read the full Asolo Greenwood GV Walking Boot review in the Outdoors Magic 100.

What We Say

Everything you would expect and want from a walking boot is here in the Asolo Greenwoods. Waterproof? Check. Breathable? Check. Comfortable? Check. Tough enough to take a battering? Check. Grippy? Come on, you can see the pattern, surely.


3) Outdoor Research Interstellar Jacket

Outdoor Research Interstellar Jacket

Weight: 329g

Price: £290

More info: ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk

This is the lightest and most breathable three-layer hard-shell (read: top-layer jacket) Seattle-based Outdoor Research have ever released, which is saying something. Not only is this waterproof - kind of a necessity in the UK on most days of the week - but it’s also really stretchy.

The AscentShell fabric it’s made from allows it to stretch with the movement of your body so it doesn’t restrict your movement. This is really good for hikes, but comes into it’s own when you’re climbing, train running, Kayaking, or other activities that up the heart rate.

What Outdoors Magic Said

Good looking and as practical as it gets, the Interstellar Jacket... is out of this world.

Read the full Outdoor Research Interstellar Jacket review in the Outdoors Magic 100.

What We Say

Yes, we immediately thought of the Beastie Boys song as well, but this is different. This is a jacket. And what a jacket. It’s a solid all-rounder that’s going to keep you dry whatever activity you’re doing. Oh, and Interstellar (this jacket) and Intergalactic (that song) are different words. We’re easily confused. Sorry everybody.


4) Patagonia Nine Trails 28L Backpack

Patagonia Nine Trails 28L Backpack

Price: £130

Weight: 1000g

More info: patagonia.com

The Nine Trails pack from Patagonia is superb for a full day in the mountains. With a 28 litre capacity, there’s plenty of room to store everything you need to keep you going for 24 hours or more.

Made from something called 201D Cordura nylon, it’s super durable, so will stand up to all kinds of abuse. The long zipped opening gives you easy access to the inside of the Nine Trails, where you’ll find more compartments for keeping your gear organised. The rigid back, and passed straps mean it’s not going to become uncomfortable even after wearing it for a full day.

What Outdoors Magic Said

The Nine Trails bag from Patagonia is a daypack which does everything right, and it’s a good looking bit of kit as well.

Read the full Patagonia Nine Trails 28L Backpack review in the Outdoors Magic 100.

What We Say

This is a belter of a backpack from Patagonia if you’re looking at spending a day in the mountains. It looks good, feels good, and, unlike the German football team, is more than strong enough to take a beating.


5) Hanwag Anros ES Walking Boot

Hanwag Anros ES Walking Boot

Price: £210

Weight: 1180g

More info: hanwag.com

While it may be positively scorchio in the summer months, the winter is a different game. German outfitters Hanwag know this all too well, and have designed the Anros ES walking boot specifically for cold, winter walks. They’ve also kept one eye on sustainability as well.

The lining is made from 100 per cent recycled nylon, and the waterproof lining is made from a membrane called Edo-shell. This is free from harmful PFCs that can wash off some waterproof membranes and pollute the environment.

What Outdoors Magic Said

With its specially designed sole and warm lining, this is a boot that's made for winter walking.

Read the full Hanwag Anros ES Walking Boot review in the Outdoors Magic 100.

What We Say

This is a good looking boot with - dare we say - a slight UK garage vibe to its aesthetics ('Rewind selecta' indeed). It’s also ideal for low-level winter walks, and is made in a way that’s kind to the environment.


6) Fjallraven Greenland Wind Jacket

Fjallraven Greenland Wind Jacket

Price: £235

Weight: 750g

More info: fjallraven.co.uk

Fjallraven are swiftly becoming one of the best known outdoor brands in the world, thanks in part to their incredible gear, but also due to being this hipster outwear of choice. 2018 sees the band celebrating the 50th Anniversary of it’s Greenland jacket, and it’s released a range of clothing, including this Greenland Wind jacket to commemorate the iconic coat.

Ergonomically designed to bring it right up to date, the Greenland Wind Jacket is a recycled material called polyamide, which is then impregnated with a water repellant treatment that’s completely PFC free.

What Outdoors Magic Said

It's made of recycled polyester and organic materials; an indicator of the brand’s dedication to sustainability and environmentalism.

Read the full Fjallraven Greenland Wind Jacket review in the Outdoors Magic 100.

What We Say

This is a super stylish coat, although we’d expect little else from Fjallraven, frankly. It’s waterproofing will keep the damp at bay during a downpour, whether you’re out on the hill, or just nipping for a pint.


7) Grangers ActiveWear Care Kit And Down Care Kit

What Outdoors Magic Said

It’s even formulated to reduce drying times and improve sweat wicking properties.

Read the full Grangers ActiveWear Care Kit And Down Care Kit review in the Outdoors Magic 100.

What We Say

Anybody with even a slightly active lifestyle would benefit from having Grangers Activewear Care under their sink. Chuck some in with our gym kit, football shirt, ski thermals… whatever gets sweaty and stinky, get your grangers on it.

 

8) Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown RDS Jacket

Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown RDS Jacket

Price: £220

Weight: 539g

More info: mountainhardwear.com

The Stretchdown RDS Jacket from Mountain Hardwear certainly stands out from the croud. This is due, in no small part, to what the company call its “groundbreaking stretch-welded channel construction” which is what makes that rather nice cross-box design.

But this isn’t just form over function. Quite the opposite, in fact. This staggered design traps more warm air than standard layers baffles (which is the fancy name for insulation bumps) keeping you warming. It also works to stop said insulation from moving around too much, ensuring your whole toso remains just toasty.

What Outdoors Magic Said

This is one of the warmest and most comfortable outdoor jackets on the market right now.

Read the full Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown RDS Jacket review in the Outdoors Magic 100.

What We Say

Visually, it looks like it belongs in the Guggenheim, and it performs like it should be in your backpack ready for when the temperature drops. Every day, we fall for this jacket all over again.


9) Land Rover Explore Phone With ViewRanger

Land Rover Explore Phone With ViewRanger

Price: £599

Weight: 232 grams

More info: landroverexplore.co.uk

When it was launched at the start of 2018, the Land Rover Explore phone immediately picked up a prestigious ISPO award, and it’s easy to see why. When Mpora tested the Land Rover Explore in Germany earlier this year, we found it not only easy and intuitive to use, but also that it lives up to the hype.

The battery outlasts every phone we’ve managed to compare it to, it’s virtually indestructible, can survive the extreme heat and extreme cold with more ease that a donna kebab, and the GPS is outstanding. And should you run out of signal out in the wilds, ViewRanger has offline maps, so you’ll still be able to navigate your way back to the pub.

What Outdoors Magic Said

The Land Rover Explore Phone is tested to be drop proof onto anything from concrete to steel from almost two metres.

Read the full Land Rover Explore Phone review in the Outdoors Magic 100.

What We Say

The Smartphone market is a tough old nut to crack, but the Land Rover Explorer is tough enough to do it. Probably literally. With the ViewRanger app pre-loaded, this is an ideal phone for the outdoors, but also ticks all the boxes for everyday use as well.


10) Terra Nova Laser Pulse 1 Tent

Terra Nova Laser Pulse 1 Tent

Price: £580

Weight: 545g

More info: terra-nova.co.uk

Tents are getting lighter and lighter these days. The Laser Pulse 1 tent from Tera Nova, however really ups the ante. Or, should that be reduced the ante? What we’re saying it, is light. Really light. At just over 500 grams (which we’re reliably told is less than a regular sized loaf of bread) and just 30cm x 10 when packed down, it’s smaller than Birmingham City’s footballing ambitions.

Now, if you’re expecting this tiny package to fold out into a palace then you’re sadly mistaken. It’s a compact, one-man tent that’s ideal for trail runners or people who’re trying to shave off every single gram from their pack. It erects (snigger if you must) in around ten minutes, and it’s single pole design is really easy to get your head around, which is handy given you’ll probably be on your own when you put it up.

What Outdoors Magic Said

The Laser Pulse 1’s estimated pitch time of just 10 minutes, when put alongside its size and weight, means you’re left with the absolutely ideal one person tent for wild camping.

Read the full Terra Nova Laser Pulse 1 Tent review in the Outdoors Magic 100.

What We Say

This is a brilliant little tent if you’re wild camping, or backpacking solo and want to be sure of having somewhere to get your head down without adding too much weight. And if you’re heading to a festival or going on a prolonged road-trip with friends, it’s make an ideal get away if you wanted some time alone. You know... For whatever you’d want time alone for.


If this has whetted your appetite, why not have a look an the complete Outdoors Magic 100 2018?

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