Buying Guides

In the mountains, what you wear makes a big difference. To help you pick the right products for your chosen discipline we've created our guides, to help you stay protected from all the mountains can throw at you.

Sleeping bags

A fitful night’s sleep is no preparation for the big day ahead. Sleeping bags can make the difference between a comfortable sleep and suffering through the night.

 

Sleeping mats

Sleeping out without a mat is a good way to remind you of their importance. Getting cold and waking up with a stiff back and bruised hips is unpleasant, and will make you wish you’d brought something, anything, to sleep on. The best sleeping mats are warm, comfortable, lightweight, pack down small, and are reliable: they are every bit as essential as a good sleeping bag.

 

Waterproofs

Waterproof clothing is deceptively complex: while it’s easy to make something waterproof it isn’t so easy to make it comfortable to wear. With terms like hydrostatic head, breathability, MVTR, RET, PFCs and DWRs there is a whole host of unhelpful jargon about waterproofs. This guide will cut through that and tell you what you really need to know.

 

Soft shell

Soft shell clothing is more windproof than fleece clothing and more breathable than waterproof clothing. Its windproofness, stretch and durability makes soft shell ideal for use in the mountains but ‘soft shell’ is a broad term, covering everything from featherweight fabrics to burly and butch ones so it can be a bit confusing.

 

Gloves

Some people love shoes, some people collect stamps, but we climbers and mountaineers hoard gloves. Gloves are vital because cold hands quickly become useless, and if you can’t use zips, get to food, or operate a lighter then you could soon find yourself in difficulty.

 

Packs

Packs are one of the icons of mountaineering. A climber heading for the summit, their world on their back. There’s a huge difference between the various packs out there, though, and this guide will help work out what you do - and don’t - need.

 

Synthetic insulation

Synthetic insulation works best when you need it the most. It thrives in bad conditions, where its superior water resistance and real-life durability are most important.

 

Down clothing

Owning a down jacket used to mean that you were a climber or mountaineer, but what was once a niche and specialist product has become a global icon. Not all down jackets are made equal, though: there’s a huge difference between a down jacket designed for strutting down a catwalk and a down jacket that will really work on the hill.

 

Fleece

The fleece is an outdoor wardrobe staple, being longer lasting, easier to care for, and more breathable than practically any other midlayer option. Incredibly versatile, whether you are climbing hard routes in the Greater Ranges or recovering from a tough day out, your favourite fleece can go with you anywhere. But there’s more to a fleece than just the fluff it’s made from, and here we’ll show you what to look out for.

 

Layering Guides

The traditional layering system comprises several layers which can be worn separately or in combination to allow you to regulate your comfort when the weather or how hard you’re working changes.

 

Scottish Winter Layering Guide

Layering clothing for Scottish winter climbing is really difficult. Very changeable weather and stop/start activities like climbing and belaying mean that clothing has a really hard job to keep you warm and comfortable.

 

Ski Touring Layering Guide

Dressing for ski touring is best approached with the same mind-set as mountaineering, where lightweight, comfortable, and adaptable layering systems trump the very protective but heavy and cumbersome clothing usually used for piste skiing.

 

Help & Advice

Size Guides

Product Care & Repair