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ISSUE 2.12

mas t s i r h C ide Gift Gu






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Senior Writer Emma Hilling Sales Director Alex Smith Junior Copy Editor Alice Instone-Brewer Junior Copy Editor Steve Weller Lead Designer Alina Sandu Publisher Stephen Warman

● Edifier M1380 Speaker ● Silver Cross Surf 3 ● Case Logic Snapview Tablet Case ● Go Travel Ultimate Memory Pillow ● Wocket Smart Wallet ● Fitbit Alta ● Factorylux Simple Plug-in Light Pear Shape Filament Bulb ● MindShift SidePath Camera Bag

Page 20 ● Rapha Merino Short Sleeve Base Layer ● Long Sleeve Tricolour Jersey ● Rapha Long Sleeve Pro Team Training Jersey ● Rapha Brevet Winter Tights with Pad ● Rapha Classic Bib Shorts ● Rapha Long Sleeve Classic Jersey 2 ● Rapha Merino Crew Neck Jumper ● Coleman Fyrestorm Stove

Page 40 ● Think Tank Airport Advantage Rolling Camera Bag ● Anki OVERDRIVE Family Bundle plus Freewheel Supertruck ● Case Logic Luminosity Camera Bag ● Diver Waterproof MP3 Player ● Campingaz 2 Series Compact LX Gas BBQ ● Sgt Smith Occasional Human T-Shirts ● Playmags Magnetic Building Blocks ● Crosley Collegiate Portable Turntable ● Revell Control Quadcopter Spot 2.0 ● MindShift TrailScape

Page 60 ● Go Travel RFID Wallet ● Hape UFO Wooden Toy ● Coleman Twist+ 300 LED Lantern ● Teufelberger tREX

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Edifier M1380 Home Audio Speaker The Edifier M1380 is a 2.1 speaker system that features two full-range satellites, in other words, a subwoofer with two wire attached speakers which are calibrated to match the subwoofer to form a balanced sound. Straight out of the box the Subwoofer looks good, with a glossy clean finish and nicely compact at 280mm X 164mm X 220. The two satellite speakers are equally compact (151mm X 125mm X 120mm) the whole setup doesn’t take up too much room. Getting the Edifier working is ever so simple, you just match the colorcoded leads and the entire unit plugs into your sound source through a headphone jack. Here is a little bit of technical information for anyone who can decipher it, the total power output is RMS 8W x 2 + 12W x 1, THD + N: 10%, SNR: ≥85dBA, distortion: ≤0.5%, input sensitivity- Satellites: 450mV ± 50mV Subwoofer: 70mV ± 20mV, input impedance: 10KΩ, sub/bass unit: 5 inch (131mm), Magnetically shielded, 4Ω, tweeter unit: 2¾ inch (70mm), Magnetically shielded, 4Ω, control panel: Bass trimmer, Power switch, FM

tuner. There’s a volume control panel that is hardwired into the speakers; the button is a large disc that you must physically turn with a finger. My issue with this was that even though there are rubber strips on the bottom which secure the speaker, the panel itself is too light or the dial was too stiff and the panel kept moving about when I tried to adjust the volume, this was just an unnecessary hassle. Also, this panel only has volume control and a mute button- the base control is on the sub, I would prefer all the buttons in one place rather than spread over two locations. The most important thing with any speaker is the sound quality. The M1380 produces a nice range with clear treble and mid tone and the base sound is ok, you can increase the bass but even at its fullest it still lacks a little bit of oomph so for serious bass heads this probably won’t hit the spot. I don’t like all the leads and a remote control would have been nice but overall the M1380 produce an enjoyable sound quality at a low budget price. RRP £49.99

Pros • • • •

Clear mid and high tones Aesthetically pleasing Low in price 3 speakers

Cons • • • • •

Bass isn’t that strong Volume panel is fiddly Bass dial isn’t on the volume panel No remote All components connected by wires

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Silver Cross Surf 3 The award-winning Silver Cross Surf is back with its latest version, the Surf 3, available in six fabric colours and two chassis colours. The Surf 3 pram comes with a large spare wheel so you can convert the pram from an urban four-wheel travel system into a three-wheel off-road pram using a quick release system that makes it easy to change between the two modes. The pram is suitable from birth, and from six months the seat unit can be used, with the option of either forward or rear facing positions. The pram comes with a lie-flat carrycot suitable from birth. This includes a hood and peak, and is suitable for overnight sleeping. The carrycot can be

removed from the chassis and used as a stand-alone carry cot, thanks to it’s anti rock feet. It’s fitted rain cover is easy to attach in a hurry and provides protection from the elements when you’re out and about. The chassis is made from a lightweight magnesium alloy, unique to Silver Cross, that can fold into a compact bundle, and the tyres can be removed, making it even easier to store or travel with. It is also easy to move about; its puncture-free wheels and gas sprung suspension using mountain bike technology provide a smooth ride for the passenger, whilst the adjustable handle means you can find the perfect height for the driver. The seat can be reclined into three

different positions so you can find the most suitable position for your baby. Sadly, like all the other Surf pushchairs, the seat needs to be removed before it can be folded down. I was hoping to see this problem resolved, as although pulling it apart isn’t difficult, it would make life that little bit easier if it could remain attached. As with all the Surf pushchairs, the Surf 3 is made to the highest standard. The option of three or four wheels makes it a breeze to push around, and it looks beautiful and stylish whilst providing a comfortable and practical travel system for you and your baby. RRP £795

Pros • • • • • • • • • •

Beautifully crafted and stylish Lightweight Three or four wheel options Lay flat, reclined or up right, forward or rear facing Large shopping basket Rain cover Apron and hood included 6 stylish colours available Puncture proof tyres Can be used from new-born

Cons • Big price tag • Won’t fold down with seat attached

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Case Logic Snapview Tablet Case The Rotating Folio for Case Logic is a moulded polycarbonate hard shell case that is compatible for the 9.7” iPad Pro and iPad Air 2. The cool thing about the Rotating Folio is, as the name suggests, that it rotates 360°, making it easy to use in the both portrait and landscape orientation. The case is tactile, with grip on its outer layer to keep your iPad safe, and a soft, suede-like interior to protect it from daily wear and tear. The whole case closes with a plastic snap , the magnetic wake/sleep function on the case works well, meaning you can close it and the case will switch your iPad screen off automatically. The case is helpfully designed so that when it is closed, it leaves all your iPad ports and buttons accessible. Frustratingly, it is also designed so that each part will only naturally fold one way, meaning that when it is open it feels unnatural to fold the case back on itself, and if the iPad is portrait, the case gets in the way and there is no way to fix this. Another annoying issue is that when

the iPad is stood up to watch a movie, for example, the panel that fixes onto the clasp springs up in front of the screen. Hopefully over time and repeated use, this will soften up and not be such a problem. Case Logic have absolute faith in their product, and to prove this they offer a 25-year warranty on the iPad Air Rotating Folio. This maybe a little over the top (who will still be using an iPad Air 2 in 25 years from now?) but it’s a nice gesture. RRP £29.99

Pros • • • •

Quality materials inside and out Rotates 360 degrees Protective Lightweight

Cons • Flap gets in the way of screen • Closing clasp looks cheap • Doesn’t naturally fall into a standing position • Clasp is a little hard to fasten

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Go Travel Ultimate Memory Pillow Have you ever tried to get to sleep on a long haul flight on an economy ticket? During my most recent trip, the airline company kindly supplied an inflatable pillow that wrapped around your neck, but there was a sharpedged seam than ran all the way around the inside of the of the ‘pillow’, so that when I woke up I had a red mark all around my neck that looked like someone had tried to choke me with a clothes line. With fresh memories of this type of pillow in my mind, I had already decided I wasn’t going to like the Ultimate Memory Pillow, but as they say you should never judge a book by its cover and you should never judge a travel pillow by horrifically cheap airline versions. The Ultimate Memory Pillow is, unsurprisingly, comprised of memory foam which moulds to the neck and

jawline happily. It is firm enough to provide support for your head whilst soft enough to remain comfortable. The removable soft velour cover feels nice against your skin, but twinned with the memory foam, it isn’t particularly breathable and it can get a bit warm and sweaty, especially around the back of the neck. Another downside to the Ultimate Memory pillow is that is weighs 450g, which is understandably as light as it can be given the foam, plastic and rubber elements, but it does mean we will probably be leaving it at home when we go backpacking, as it is added weight we just don’t need. Saying that, it does come with a handy bag that it can be stuffed into (with a bit of effort), which is compact and has an elasticated carry handle. There are a couple of really cool things about the Ultimate Memory

pillow. The first is the patent pending adjustable closure, which secures at the front of the pillow to create a snug 360-degree fit. Now, you do end up resembling a cabbage patch kid with your cheeks pressed together, but it stops your head falling forward and adds to the comfort. The second thing I liked was the integrated rear grip at the back of the head rest - this rubbery strip helps the pillow grip to the headrest or, as I was positioned, against the window. This stops you sliding down whilst sleeping - a small but effective feature. All in all, the Go Travel Ultimate Memory Pillow really does live up to its name; it is really comfortable and allows you to get some proper sleep whilst traveling. RRP £24.99

Pros • Secure and comfortable • Soft velour fabric • 360-degree snug fit with adjustable closure • Rear grip • Carry bag • Good value for money

Cons • Material isn’t breathable • On the heavy side

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Wocket Smart Wallet The Wocket, not to be mistaken with There’s a Wocket in my Pocket by Dr. Seuss, is a ‘smart wallet’ - the first and only of its kind. The Wocket replaces your entire wallet with a single card that can be programed to serve as any of your traditional debit and credit cards. The Wocket (I hate that name) looks a little like you left your wallet and smart phone in a bag together for too long and they created a love child, with a touch screen panel on one side and leather card slot on the other. I didn’t find it a particularly nice looking product. The Wocket does need an initial charge, but according to its user guide it won’t need to be charged again for another 12 months. It is straightforward to set up and the responsive touch screen and user guide walks you through how to load all of your bank cards (loyalty cards and any other card with a magnetic swiping strip will also be compatible.) The Wocket can also store all your passwords and can even replicate barcodes to replace e-tickets, which is rather impressive. The device can only be unlocked with a pin, and your cards and data are all encrypted, so

security shouldn’t be a problem. However, there was a deal breaker the Wocket card was so inconsistent that I couldn’t rely on it to get through a transaction. Sometimes it would work with no problem, whilst other times in the same shop it would take 4-5 swipes, at which point I was so embarrassed that I would grab the original out of my back pocket just so I could pay and leave red faced. It made me feel shady and worry that the cashier would think I’d stolen my card. Another drawback with the card is that it’s swipe only – it has no chip and pin or contactless payment. Not only did this seem like a backwards step, but it also kept catching people’s attention and made me feel the need to constantly explain myself. Lastly, the Wocket doesn’t have any room for notes or coins, meaning that it only serves some of the functions of your wallet. Instead of being a replacement, it just adds another bulky item to your pocket. All things considered, this product has a long way to go before I would let it replace my trusty, if a bit tatty, comic book wallet. Sorry Wocket, but you can stay out of my pocket. RRP $179

Pros • Easy to set up • Long battery life • Secure

Cons • • • •

Inconsistent Scratches easily Swipe only No note or coin compartments

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Fitbit Alta This time last year, it seemed as if everyone had some form of activity tracker strapped to their wrist, comparing each other’s steps, sleep quality and activity levels whilst stuffing down a McDonalds breakfast. Slowly these little fitness companions have been retired to bedside cabinets and dining room draws, so when Fitbit brought out their latest range of activity trackers we were excited to see what new features they had to offer. The first thing I noticed about the Alta was that the wrist band is difficult to fasten if you are doing it yourself; it is like the holes are just too small for the clasp, and you need to squeeze it very hard to get it to close. In the end I got my partner to fasten it. On the plus side, I like to think this adds to the security of the Alta and it won’t accidently fall off your wrist. Hopefully

with use the strap will also soften up over time. The Alta has all of the usual features we have come to expect from a Fitbit product: step counter, distance, calories burnt, sleep tracking, silent alarms and smart tracking. It also has several new features, such as a date and time display that can be synced up to your smart phone to provide notifications for calls, texts and calendar events. It also has a cool feature that reminds you to move every hour for at least 250 steps - I found this helpful and was shocked at how little I would move for long periods of time, especially in the office. With the Fitbit Flex2 retailing at £20 cheaper than the Alta, it is difficult to see why you would choose the Alta. As far as we could see, the only difference is the Alta displays calendar alerts and the clock, but the Flex2 is much lighter and swim proof. We also found the Alta is a little generous with its readings - I knocked up 158 steps whilst sat at my computer. This maybe motivating for some, but I would rather have the truth. The screen also isn’t very responsive, and the app is hit and miss when it comes to syncing - this is all the same issues we found with the Fitbit Flex three and a half years ago. If you have never owned a Fitbit before and you are looking for something you can customise with different straps, this might be suitable for you. However, if you are looking for upgrade for the Zip or Flex I would recommend saving your pennies and looking at the Fitbit Charge, Surge or Blaze. RRP £99.99

Pros • Customisable • Tracks sleep, steps and calories burnt • Silent alarms • Displays call, text and calendar notifications • 5day battery life • Automatically recognised select activities • Rain, sweat and showerproof • Movement reminders

Cons • • • • • •

Touchscreen not very responsive Difficult to fasten Not swim proof only showerproof Over-generous with step recordings App still suffers syncing problems Expensive for the features it offers

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Factorylux Simple Plug-in Light Pear Shape Filament Bulb Factorylux is a leading British lighting brand that allows you to create unique and original lighting by offering online configurability, sort of like a pic ‘n’ mix but instead of choosing flying saucers and jelly bears you pick plugs and light bulbs. Products are manufactured within the UK to ensure 100% compliance with British and international standards and a guaranteed next working day delivery. Factorylux has loads of beautiful vintage and industrial lighting available on their website but it’s the Factorylux Made for your option, the first and only next day bespoke lighting service, we will be taking a closer look at. First off you select your plug, with a choice of white or black Bakelite, white, black or orange heavy duty plug or a red hospital plug, next is to choose from 58 different cords in either a round cord or a 3-cord twist. Next, you pick your lamp holder (the bracket the bulb fits into) there are 15 lamp holders in total, in 5 different styles and 6 different colours including, gold, silver, bronze, brass, black or white. Lastly you get to choose your bulb, these aren’t

your bog standard 2 for a fiver supermarket specials, although it would be compatible it wouldn’t look half as handsome as a Factorylux bulb, there are 7 to choose from, including the ECO LED bulbs but these aren’t nearly as cool as the traditional SWISS-made since 1906 filament bulbs. We were supplied the Pear E27 40watt bulb, with a lumen output of 250 this bulb is dimmable (as are all the Factorylux bulbs), these bulbs have an impressive average lifespan of 4,000 hours, that means if you have it switched on 5hours a day everyday it will last you just under 2.25 years. The squirrel cage filament is formed by 20 helical tungsten loops arranged on support wires, it produces a warm colour temperature (2,700K) and colour render of CRI 100, technical jargon aside its simply striking. With endless design possibilities and gorgeous craftsmanship Factorylux lights are a wonder to behold, combining quality with style that will light up your room in more ways than one. RRP £59

Pros • • • • • • •

Bespoke Next day delivery High quality craftsmanship Beautiful bulbs Dimmable bulbs 4,000 average bulb lifespan Next day delivery

Cons • Maybe too expensive for some

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MindShift SidePath Camera Bag The SidePath, from Mindshift (a ThinkTank company), is an extremely lightweight backpack at only 1.6 lbs, its small, compact and can be used for day trips or commuting, The 8.3” W x 9.8” H x 0.6” D pocket will hold up to a 10” tablet and the camera compartment (9.1” W x 6.7” H x 5.5” D) will hold 1 large (nongripped) mirrorless body with 1–2 standard zoom lenses or primes or 1 compact DSLR (Rebel, 3300 or 5300 series) with 1–2 lenses or 1 DSLR (5DMIII or D750) with 1 standard zoom or 2 primes and has a maximum lens size for DSLR of 24-70mm f/2.8 attached to a D750 or 6D. The SidePath has a cool rear access panel which makes it easy to gain

access to your gear at the top and bottom of your bag without pulling everything out whilst also keeping your valuables safe from opportunistic pickpockets. The dividers inside the camera compartment are completely customizable, there are two oversized water bottle pockets that along with the compression straps can be used to hold a tripod of even hiking poles. The SidePath also comes with a seamsealed rain cover, YKK zippers, 420D high-density nylon with reinforced stress points and a zippered interior pocket to organize small items. The bag itself is really cool, just enough pockets and space to get you through the day. What I didn’t like so much was the straps, the entire bag seems

Pros to have been designed for someone much larger than myself. There’s an extra 21inchs to play with on both shoulder straps and the sternum strap will extend to approximately 11.5inchs which are fine for a larger person but when I tried to tighten the sternum straps it made the shoulder straps bend in an uncomfortable way due to the design. At 5’3 and 9 and a bit stone I’m an average size for a UK woman so I’m not sure why this bag seems to consider me too small, however, other than that it is a great little day bag, it just might be worth trying on before you buy if you have a smaller frame. RRP £99

• Rear access panel • 10” laptop pocket • Discrete-doesn’t look like a camera bag • Seam sealed rain cover • Two oversized stretch water bottle pockets

Cons • Shoulder straps seem too big for a smaller frame

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Rapha Cycling Clothes

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Rapha Merino Short Sleeve Base Layer Unless you are into your sports, you could be forgiven for thinking a base layer is only there to keep you warm, but any serious cyclist will know that a decent base layer is there to regulate your temperature whether you are performing in the heat of August or bitter colds of February. The Rapha Base Layer is made from 100% merino wool, which is a supple, soft and light fabric that only weights 150g. It feels wonderful against your skin and performed admirably in our tests. Many brands of sports clothing claim to wick away moisture to keep you dry, only to fail to keep those sweat patches at bay, but the Rapha Merino Base Layer genuinely works hard and keeps you comfortable throughout. The other great thing about the Merino material is that it is naturally

anti-bacterial and odour resistant; there is nothing worse than smashing your personal best and then stinking out your mates whilst you brag about your results. We tested out the Short Sleeve Navy Base Layer, which also cones in eight other colours as well as coming in long sleeved and sleeveless. All the seams use flatlock stitching so they won’t rub or irritate the skin, and are cunningly positioned behind the shoulders to avoid bag or bib straps rubbing. The base layers are close fitting and cut long at the back so there is no creeping up your back and exposing skin whilst you are out on the bike. In summary, the Merino Short Sleeve Base Layer is a high performing base layer that will look after you throughout the year. RRP £60

Pros • • • • • •

Merino wool Wicking keeps you dry Regulates temperature well Long cut Flatlock stitching Seams positioned behind shoulders • Available in long, short and sleeveless

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Long Sleeve Tricolour Jersey The Long Sleeve Tricolour Jersey is a classic jersey design with Rapha’s high performance technology., The Tricolour Jersey is available in 3 colours; Navy, Purple and Black, all in the Tricolour design to symbolise the Tricolore flag, like the very earliest of competitive cycling jerseys before they became adorned with advertising logos This Jersey is also made from a tactile Merino wool blend (52% wool and 48% polyester), which allows your skin to breath whilst keeping you dry and comfortable. It features a traditional twin needle stitching, a technique used to create a precise hem in stretch fabric. The cut is fitted with a long back to keep everything covered whilst you are bent over the bike, and features three stretchy pockets that can be used to stow water bottles, gels or energy bars.

The cuffs and hem use a traditional rib knit which stops the jersey from riding up while cycling, whilst at the same time stopping any drafts from sneaking in, keeping you warm and streamlined. The zip has a guard to keep the cold metal from touching your neck when full fastened, and there is a concealed zip pocket for extra essential storage. Another cool touch is the cord holes on the back of the neck which you can pull your headphones through, keeping the wires out of the way and allowing you to take them out of your ears without the fear of them falling into your wheels. The Long Sleeve Tricolour Jersey is such a pleasure to wear that you won’t want to take it off. Everything about it screams quality and ingenuity - a great cycling companion. RRP £130

Pros • • • • • • • •

Stylish design Three colours available Three large pockets on the back Concealed zip pocket Zip guard Merino wool blend Cord holes for headphones Long back and fitted cut

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Rapha Long Sleeve Pro Team Training Jersey The Long Sleeve Pro Team Training Jersey has been designed for training in mild to cool conditions, ideal for spring and autumn. It is available in three colours: Dark Grey, Black and Chartreuse - a bright, stand out from the crowd yellow. Made from 83% polyester and 17% elastane, the Training Jersey is super stretchy. It is a slightly thicker fabric than the Pro Team Short Sleeve Training Jersey, but has the same Pro Team fit. For extra safety in the low light, there is reflective detailing on the arm, back and front. Three open pockets on the back make it easy to remove and replace the essentials you may need on the road, whilst a zipped pocket keeps your more valuable items safe.

The jersey’s collar is cut low for comfort, and the zip features a zip guard to stop any chafing whilst cycling. The Training Jersey is, after all, just that - suitable for training. However, we found the fit was a little off when comparing it to the other items; although it was snug around the torso and long at the back to keep everything covered up, the sleeves seemed a bit too long, meaning that when you push the cuffs into place the sleeves wrinkle up. Even so, the Long Sleeve Pro Team Training Jersey is a good mid-season training top; it just may be worth trying it on before purchase, to see if the sleeves are a deal breaker for you. RRP £110

Pros • • • • •

Reflective detailing Three colours available Low cut collar with zip guard Three spacious pockets Zipped pocket

Cons • Sleeves seem to be a little long

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Rapha Brevet Winter Tights with Pad The Brevet Winter Tights are designed for winter riding, offering maximum comfort and insulation in cold conditions. The upper is made from a lightweight 92% polyester and 8% elastane, and the legs are made from 85% nylon and 15% elastane, with a soft brushed fleece lining that traps warm air to insulate your legs against cold days and wind chill. The Brevet has a DWR (durable water repellent) coating that helps you to stay dry for longer in light showers, and the chamois dries much more quickly than a standard pad for comfort on multi-day adventures. There are reflective Brevet stripes at the ankle and reflective inserts in the rear seams to increase visibility in low light, and they feature the same flatlock stitching we have seen in the

other Rapha products to prevent chafing. If, like us, you haven’t worn something like this before, strapping yourself in can seem a little daunting, but they are so comfortable for both men and women that nothing rides up somewhere or squashes anything it shouldn’t. Trust me, you won’t look back, and that extra padding on the bum is a dream for long sessions. These are practical, comfortable and high-performing winter tights that will keep you warm and dry in the nasty British winter, leaving zero excuses to keep your butt from the saddle. RRP £200

Pros • • • • •

Soft and warm Flatlock seams Quick drying chamois pad Reflective detailing DWR (durable water repellent) and antibacterial treated • Comfortable

Cons • Legs run a little long

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Rapha Classic Bib Shorts A comfortable and reliable pair of cycling shorts are a staple item for any cyclist, and you would be hard pushed to find better than the award winning Classic Bib Shorts - a bold statement, but one I will stick by. In fact, Rapha are so sure you will love these shorts that they state on their website; “Test ride any of Rapha’s Classic products to destruction, and if you are not 100% satisfied within 30-days you can return them for a full refund”. The Classic Bib Shorts are constructed from a soft but strong, stretchy Lycra with a stylish matte finish, available in two colours; classic black, or a black bottom with a white upper (you won’t find gimmicky, flashy colours here.) Surely the most important part of cycling shorts is the part that sits between that rock-hard seat and your

glutes, and Rapha shorts use a top of the range pad from the specialists at Cytech, with slim, body-contoured padding and a soft, chamois finish. The upper part of the Bib is made from mesh material, with a large cutaway section in the back to prevent you from getting too hot, and they also feature the anti-chafing flatlock stitching in the legs. A handy feature that the boys will appreciate (and maybe some flexible girls) is that the front of the Bib is low cut, making everything accessible when nature calls. Overall, we were impressed with the Classic Bib; they were comfortable to wear and provided excellent bum protection, which is the most important thing when it comes to cycling shorts. What more could you want? RRP £160

Pros • • • • • •

Deluxe pad by Cytech Comfortable Low cut front Highly breathable back Soft gripper and flat lock stitching Rear key pocket

Cons • Price could put people off

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Rapha The Long Sleeve Classic Jersey 2 As you would expect, the Long Sleeve Classic Jersey 2 is a reboot of the original Classic Jersey that first hit the market in 2004 and became Rapha’s first ever official product. Bicycling Magazine’s Editor Bill Strickland declared the Classic Jersey the ‘best bike jersey the world has ever seen’. So, how have Rapha improved on perfection? Well, by improving the streamlined cut and fit for a better on-bike comfort, creating new construction techniques for a cleaner finish and reduced overall weight and by reworking their pocket construction for a more stable storage on long rides. that’s how! Made from 52% wool and 48% polyester with a stylish clean finish, the Classic Jersey 2 is available in Dark Purple, Navy, Black and a funky Dark Orange (we were testing the Dark

Orange.) The Jersey 2 can be worn on top of a base layer for off-season training rides, or with a windproof shell for tough winter cycling. It is soft against the skin and a delight to wear, both insulating and breathable thanks to the merino blend. This helps make the Classic Jersey 2 a versatile piece of cycling apparel. The jersey has three large stretchy pockets on the back, as well as a small zip pocket which is high-lighted with a white trim on the Dark Orange version. This seamed an odd detail which jars with the overall clean finish of the jersey. However, all things considered, this is another excellent product; it performs well, looks good, feels great and is super versatile - well worth the investment. RRP £130

Pros • • • • • •

Brushed back Sportwool Zip guard Four colours Aerodynamic Durable Versatile

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Rapha Merino Crew Neck Jumper Yes, it’s the word Merino again, but that’s usually a good sign, because you know when you bring Merino and Rapha together you are going to end up with an awesome garment. The Merino Crew Neck Jumper is a beautiful jumper designed for city cycling in milder conditions, but wouldn’t look out of place in the coffee shop. 90% wool, 7% nylon and 3% elastane, this top is so, so soft and smooth you need to keep touching it. The natural breathability and odour-free properties of Merino make it great for regulating temperature, and coupled with a mesh stitch back you don’t have to worry about overheating. The jumper’s sleeves have doublelayered ‘signalcuffs’ that can be turned up to reveal hi-vis reflective yarns to provide added visibility when riding

in low light, then simply turned back again when you are off the bike. The Jumper also features a zipped pocket with a mini ring pull on the rear suitable for storing keys or loose change whilst you ride, available in Grey Marl, Dark Purple, Dark Navy or Black. The Merino Crew is a great cycling jumper that looks fashionable as well as providing a practical, technical performance. RRP £120

Pros • • • • •

90% Merino wool Soft Breathable Discrete zip pocket Fashionable high street appearance • “Signalcuff” feature- reflective roll back cuffs

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One last word about Rapha If high performance and quality wasn’t enough, the company also offer a Downsize discount: if you have purchased a jersey this year and lose weight through riding, Rapha would like to offer you a 50% discount on your new size jersey. All the Classic products also come with a 30-day trial, and if you aren’t 100% satisfied within 30 days of riding in these products, you can send them back for a full refund or credit. Finally, there is the Rapha Repair Service, which offers a free repair service where a crash or accident has damaged a garment or a failure has occurred, even after significant usage. All these services put Rapha amongst the best cycling clothing companies out there.

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Sur f 3 Inspired by mountain bike technology Why choose between a four-wheel urban pushchair or a three-wheel trekking pushchair. With Surf 3 you can have both, uniquely adaptable it can switch between city and trekking modes with ease. Whether you’re in the town or country the unique suspension ensures a smooth ride.

4 wheels for urban use

Trekking wheel for multi terrain use

Coleman Fyrestorm Stove and Xtreme Gas The Fyrestorm Stove by Coleman is an ultra-compact backpacking stove designed to withstand the kind of nasty weather we are oh so used to in the UK. Due to the Wind Block system, a metal windbreak that wraps 360 degrees around the down-step burner, the Fyrestorm is one of the few backpacking stoves on the market that can still work at 6m/s wind speed and provide you with a hot meal right when you need it. Not only is the Fyrestorm capable of performing in some horrible weather, but with the use of Coleman’s Xtreme Gas it is also incredibly fast and efficient. I’m not going to lie, it scared the living daylights out of me (and my cat) when I lit the stove for the first time - for the sake of your eyebrows make sure you only have it opened a little way when you light it! The Xtreme gas is cable of boiling water even in temperatures of -27 degrees; I’m not sure what you would be doing outside in this sort or temperature but it’s good to know you could make a cup of tea if you wanted. It also has

an excellent boil time of 4min 10sec at 0m/s wind speed and 8min 50sec at 3m/s wind speed - that’s 1L in less than 9 minutes. The Fyrestorm is highly backpack friendly - it even comes with a little carry case. It is also compact: the umbrella-like pan supports fold and tuck away when the stove isn’t in use, and it weighs just 136g (351g with the gas). With its heavy duty, rust resistant stainless steel burners, the Fyrestorm is a durable piece of kit, and the perfect choice for those with limited bag space, who are hiking in extreme conditions or who just like their water boiled at incredible speeds. RRP £49.99

Pros • • • • •

w2 hour runtime Lightweight Carry case included Windblock windshield Durable

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Think Tank Airport Advantage Rolling Camera Bag This rolling suit case has been designed specifically with smaller aircraft flights in mind, such as domestic flights. Weighing in at just 2.7kg, Think Tank have deliberately tried to cut away the bag’s weight wherever they can, leaving you as much weight as possible to play with. The Airport Advantage has closed-cell foam dividers to support heavy gear and keep everything in place whilst on the move, with interior dimensions 12” W x 18” H x 4.9–6.4” D. It will hold either one gripped DSLR with a lens attached, one standard size DSLR with lens attached plus three to four additional lenses, or 2 gripped DSLRs with lenses detached plus 3–4 lenses. As well as this, the Advantage features a padded laptop pocket (11.6” x

16.4” x 2.9”) that fits up to a 15” laptop or tablet, a tripod mount and water bottle pocket on its side, and additional straps included for larger tripods and lockable zipper sliders. One of my favourite things about the Advantage is the quality of the wheels: these custom-designed, highperformance, 80mm wheels have sealed ABEC grade 5 bearings which makes them glide along beautifully and quietly, making it discrete to use about the city as well as travelling around the airport. The retractable handle extends easily, but its lightweight aluminium material makes it feel flimsy; although it stood up well during testing, I’m not sure it could take a lot of pressure before bending. Like on many bags with this sort of handle, I found the handle a little temperamental at retraction; sometimes it would slide smoothly back in place, whilst other times it needed a little wiggle. Both the handle and wheels are replaceable, which is a nice touch that gives this bag an extended life span. There is even an attached seam-sealed rain cover in its base in case of bad weather. The Airport Advantage is a strongly constructed, lightweight camera bag with loads of space for all your gear and lots of practical features to make your travels as stress-free as possible. RRP £229.99

Pros • Lightweight • Lots of space for gear • Wheels provide a quiet and smooth ride • Replaceable handle and wheels • Padded laptop sleeve • Lockable zippers • Handles on three sides • Seam-sealed rain cover

Cons • Handle is sometimes fiddly to detract • High price tag

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Anki OVERDRIVE Family Bundle plus Freewheel Supertruck Christmas came early for GadgetHead this year with another Anki OVERDRIVE product arriving in the office, this time it was the Family Bundle with a cheeky Supertruck thrown in for good measure.

The Family Bundle comes with the Starter Kit-4 straight pieces, 6 corner pieces, 2 cars- GroundShock and Skull, 3 accessories. The Corner Kit- 2 corner pieces, the Speed Kit- 2 straight pieces, the awesome Launch Kit as well as two extra cars Thermo and Nuke. As with all the Anki OVERDRIVE it is so quick and easy to construct, the track snaps together with magnet connectors and can be assembled in any way possible, the cars will learn the track so you can make it as easy or as difficult as you like. Each car has its own unique powers (thankfully they are only virtual powers), Thermo has a Flame Thrower, Nuke has UltraHigh Energy Blasts, GroundShock has its Electropulse, Skull has a Plasma Cannon whilst the new Supertruck

(Freewheel) boasts a Gravity Trap. The Great thing about the Anki OVERDRIVE is how it will keep you entertained whether you play against your friends or against the AI, in Open Play there are 5 modes to choose from- Battle, Race, King of the Hill, Time Trial and the new Takeover mode (Supertruck needed for this mode) which can be played with or against up to 3 friends, you can even level the playing field by setting all the cars back to the default mode making it fair for new or younger players! It is equally as entertaining to play on your own against the AI which slowly increases in difficulty and tests you in different challenges whether it’s beating your opponent by speed, time or with the weapons it is all quite addictive. The OVERDRIVE’s magic resides in Infra-red encoding patterns embedded in the track and an IR transparent ink top coat for traction and protection, these codes serve as markers of lane position (there are 16 possible lanes),


and track piece type and orientation. The Supercars and Supertrucks are equipped with a tiny 50Mhz computer and infrared cameras then translates this data to determine where they are in relation to the overall track, how fast they’re moving, and which direction they’re headed. Bluetooth Low Energy communication with the phone makes the car react quickly to controller inputs. Before a race or battle beings, the Supercars collectively scan the track using Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms to discover the user-built track configuration, as well as localise all the cars and evaluates thousands of possible future states and actions every second. The OVERDRIVE transforms your smart phone into a remote control so it is best to check the website for compatibility, the minimum requirements are an iOS 8 or higher, Bluetooth 4.00 (with full BLE support) and Android 4.4. We absolutely love this starter kit, there is something so satisfying about watching the cars fly over the launch pad. The Bundle has everything you need for hours of endless fun without needing to save up for expansion packs and the

• Fun and addictive • Easy to assemble (and disassemble to store away) • Suitable for young and old • App is easy to use • Game updates • New supertruck and takeover game mode • Quick charge time

Cons • Costly

new Takeover game play is thrilling (think Fast and Furious on a miniature scale). The Supertruck brings a whole new driving experience to the game, it starts off a lot slower than the cars but the speed soon builds up until you reach “Rage” level when the special powers become even more damaging. Sadly, the charge time is still quite short, you can get about 4 races out of each charge but thankfully it only takes 20minutes to recharge, due to the clever technology that’s being used here the Family Bundle. Expansion kits and Supertrucks are costly but for loads of different game modes that is constantly being updating we believe that Anki OVERDRIVE is a worthwhile investment. RRP £299.99

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Case Logic Luminosity Camera Bag The Luminosity is a medium-sized DSLR camera bag suitable for day trips, with a gear profile of up to four lenses or flashes plus accessories, as well as room for lunch, a raincoat or any other essentials. The main compartment is lined with a soft interior that has reinforced customisable Velcro panels, and there is also a snake divider that can be used as either a wall or hammock. The dividing walls also have soft flaps that protect your gear from dust or drizzle when the bag is open. The Luminosity’s top compartment is a sturdy area where you can safely store your packed lunch without fear of it getting smushed (the technical term for flattened sandwiches), whilst providing two zip pockets for smaller

necessities. There are several other additional pockets, though many of these are very tight, perfect for spare memory cards or batteries but not much else. To access the camera section, the bag splits in two, keeping the camera gear upright and the back panel off the ground at all times. Similarly helpful, a tripod attachment point on the outside of the bag allows you to open it and access all the pockets without ever having to remove the tripod. There are also carry handles on both the top and bottom of the bag, making it easier to grab from every direction. The Luminosity’s back panel is generously padded and feels comfortable against your back, with

fully adjustable shoulder straps, and sternum and waist straps that can be tucked out the way when not needed. I found some of the bag’s zips a bit sticky, especially the main compartment and the front panel compartment zips - these often got stuck around the corners and required some serious wiggling before they would free up. The Luminosity has some good technical features but is let down in places by the quality of the zips, and could do with either a few more medium sized pockets or stretch in the small pockets to make them more versatile. These little improvements would make it worth the retail price. RRP £89.99

Pros • • • • •

Split bag design Rain cover Lens wipe Tripod attachment Customisable camera compartment layout

Cons • Zips get caught on corners • Small tight pockets provide limited storage • High price tag

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Diver Waterproof MP3 Player The Diver is a fully waterproof MP3 player with waterproof sports headphones and LCD display. The Diver will play MP3 & WMA format files and has a built-in FM radio. Furthermore, the device can track your swimming stroke and will work as a pedometer when you are back on dry land. At first glance the Diver is a neat piece of kit, it is very light weighing only 21grams and features a curved clip which allows you to attach the player to your swimming cap or goggles. It has a big responsive button with raised symbols on though these aren’t quite distinct enough to distinguish without looking (tricky when attached to goggles). The sound quality you get from the Diver headphones is quite impressive for the price tag and they’re 7 different equalizer options to ensure

you get the best sound yet and you can find the shuffle option by going to music mode, pressing the M button, selecting repeat and then shuffle. The music itself is easy to play, simply drag and drop- no extra software needed. The pedometer is very accurate but I found the swim stroke function such a hassle to set up, you need to put in far too much detail for an accurate record (if you are relying on this function I would recommend looking elsewhere). However, my biggest gripe with the entire device is menu navigation. Although it appears simple enough to use I kept finding myself forgetting which button meant “enter” and which meant “back” and continuously getting lost in the endless menus. There are lots of different symbols on the LCD representing lots of different options, it feels like Diver have brought out

their LCD version and feel the need to fill the screen with needless stuff. Another issue was the headphones, there were no instructions on which way you need to fit them other than the picture on the box. Once they are in they are comfortable although they could be a little more streamlined as they popped out a couple of times after pushing off from the wall. The Diver left me sort of baffled, I loved the sound quality but hated trying to get the headphones on, I liked the pedometer but didn’t like the stroke tracker, I appreciated the simplicity of loading the songs but found the menus frustrating, but I think the impressive battery life (5-6 hours) and low cost just about tip the scales in favour of the Driver. RRP $59.95

Pros • • • • • • • •

Waterproof up to 10ft Easy to load up music 30hours of music (4GB) Good sound quality Long battery life (5-6 hours) Accurate pedometer Lightweight Low cost

Cons • Too many menus-not intuitive • Fiddle headphones • Setting up stroke tracker is complicated • Slow to turn on (9 seconds) • Buttons get in the way when you clip it on goggles • Headphones come out during wall push offs

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Campingaz 2 Series Compact LX Gas BBQ Gas barbecues take all the hassle out of outdoor cooking but you either love them or hate them. Personally, I love them. It’s the fact you can get cooking straight away and how easy it is to adjust the heat to prevent burning your dinner. This Compact LX model has two independently adjustable burners and an enameled cast iron cooking surface. Retractable tables slide out providing a convenient place to store utensils or condiments and handy ignition means lighting is easy. The BBQ has more than enough cooking space for a large family. There’s lots of cheap BBQ’s on the market to choose from but the Campingaz 2 Series Compact LX is well-built, robust and has a fold up option for easy storage. The main killer of the BBQ is that they are

cumbersome to store so are left out in all weathers throughout the years so having a BBQ that folds up and can be rolled and stored vertically in the smallest of spaces will prolong the life of the unit. It is so easy to assemble and clean and even opens the possibilities of winter BBQ’s with its cover available to buy online. This BBQ is so easily transported, so no problem bringing it along on your long weekend camping trips or safely storing away for next time. RRP: £219.99 Pros • • • •

Transportable Compact Versatile Spacious

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Sgt Smith Occasional Human T-Shirts If you’re anything like me, buying Christmas gifts for your dad and older brothers is always a hassle; anything they need, they get for themselves, and the things they desire are usually either way out of my budget or simply non-existent. So, imagine my delight when I stumbled across a world of vintage British comedy t-shirts, aka Dad Joke tops. ‘Occasional Human’ is a collection by Sgt Smith that is inspired by classic British comedy episodes and characters. The Two Ronnies’ ‘Four Candles’, Monty Python’s ‘Dead Parrot’ or ‘Ministry of Silly Walks’, Morecambe and Wise’s ‘Sunshine’, Father Ted, Porridge and Dad’s

Army are all featured. Sgt Smith was founded in 2006 and produce everything from t-shirts to baby grows and even art prints, all featuring iconic movies, sporting moments and comedy sketches. Their business began at a kitchen table, expanded and now occupies a previously disused Victorian textile mill in Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire, and they claim to only use manufacturers that implement fair working practises. The ‘Occasional Human’ shirts are 100% cotton and manufactured in Portugal, then hand-printed in a factory in Slaithwaite. All designs are unique to Sgt Smith. The t-shirts have a nice quality to them, although there were a few loose threads here and there, but nothing too noticeable. The graphics also have a quality about them, not feeling too stiff or plastic. However, the sizing of the shirts seems a bit off, with a Large measuring 45.25inch across the chest - you may want to try a size smaller than your normal size. The graphic designs are very simple, but that’s what makes them look cool; just four white candle silhouettes can bring an entire sketch flooding back. Looking at the shirts soon had us doing impressions of Father Jack, Basil Fawlty and Tommy Cooper - that’s Dad’s birthday and Christmas covered! RRP £23

Pros • • • • •

Soft 100% cotton Printed in Britain Work with ethical manufacturers Simple but effective graphics Lots to choose from

Cons • Sizes run on the large size • Some loose threads

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Playmags Magnetic Building Blocks (60 piece set) Playmags are flat, transparent and colourful plastic building blocks. Each block is framed with built-in magnets that will connect with any other block to form colourful structures. The 60-piece set contains 1 x Connecting Car, 2 x Large Square (6” x 6”), 31 x Small Square (3” x 3”), 4 x Window (3” x 3”), 10 x Small Triangle (3” x 3”), 4 x Medium Triangle (3” x 4”), 8 x Tall Triangle (3” x 5.5”) and 2 x Large Square (6” x 6”), in a selection of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.. Playmags shapes and patterns provide a good use of motor skills and encourages imaginative and creative play whilst enhancing math, geometry, and science skills without

your children realising they are learning. The magnets are strong enough to hold a structure, but you still need to be gentle when moving them about or creating taller structures as they will fall apart. I quite liked this, as it encouraged our little test subject to concentrate when he was building with them. However, this could become a source of frustration for some children (and some adults). Once the model is assembled there isn’t much you can do with it other than look at it, smash it down and start again. It would be good if there


were more accessories to make it more of a plaything. Due to the simplicity of the shapes and assembly, this could be too limiting to hold some children’s attention for long, but it fascinated our subject group of three-six year olds, as well as encouraging group play with other children and adults alike. RRP £67.99

• • • • •

Colourful Durable pieces Good sized pieces for little hands Packs away easily Easy to assemble

Cons • Structures created aren’t very strong • Might to too simple for some children • Structures aren’t very interactive

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Crosley Collegiate Portable Turntable The Collegiate is a vintage inspired portable turntable, the speaker, set at the front of the turntable, and the Carrera style font is supposedly meant to resemble the grill of a sports car, without reading this on their website I wouldn’t have made the connection but that doesn’t detract from the Collegiate classic good looks. The Collegiate is very simple to use, it doesn’t matter if you have never had your hands on a vinyl record before, there are 3 speeds, 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM and it can play 7”, 10” & 12” records, the volume button doubles as the on/off switch and there is a tone adjustment button to control bass and treble. One of the coolest things about the Collegiate is the USB connection port, you can use this with the included software to rip music onto your computer straight from the turntable, allowing you to preserve treasured albums forever. The 5-watt drivers kick out enough noise to fill

a small room (bedroom, living room for example) but for a larger space, there is a jack for external speakers. The Collegiate isn’t here to replace your Hifi and it doesn’t pretend to be but I was still disappointed with the sound quality, the bass is muffled with an annoying ambient hum when it is turned down low and when you push the tone up into the high notes the sound becomes quite tinny and flat. The Tone adjustment button doesn’t provide a smooth increase and decrease of tones, at the 11 o’clock point the bass drops significantly however if you find the sweet spot in the middle of the tone dial and with the right amount of volume it produces an adequate sound that would be acceptable to a less critical ear. My other issue with the Collegiate is the build quality, the whole turntable has a cheap plastic feel, the speed switch moves the entire plastic

panel its built into and the arm just feels flimsy. I would worry about the durability of this product over time, especially as one of its key selling points is that its portable I wouldn’t trust that it won’t fall apart after time. The Collegiate is an ok product but is certainly not suitable for audiophiles or sound snobs, the build quality should be improved for its price tag. It’s more of a gimmicky product suitable for someone who would like to hear their old vinyl that’s been in the attic for the last 30years or perhaps more a decorative item than a serious piece of audio equipment. RRP $149.95

Pros • • • •

Portable Built in speaker USB Enabled (software included) Headphone jack (can be used for external speakers)

Cons • Cheap plastic build quality • Not very loud • Only adequate sound quality

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Revell Control Quadcopter Spot 2.0 It doesn’t look like the Drone/ Quadrocopter craze is going to slow down anytime soon, and as it continues they are getting smaller and more technically advanced. The Revell Control Spot 2.0 is the big brother of the popular Spot and features a High-Quality HD camera, suitable for children aged 14+. Spot 2.0 uses a modern 6-axis gyro that aims to provide quiet and precise flying with very good recording quality. It also features switchable speed stages that offer additional support and flight style. It is small and light at 140mm X 140mm X 40mm, with a flight range of 50m. The Spot 2.0 requires two x 1.5V AAA batteries to get started, which are not included, and recommends one hour

charge time through the included USB charger (though it actually only took 30 minutes.) There is a red indicator light that flashes whilst you charge, but this kept going off and meaning that I had to remove the plug and plug it back in again for it to resume charging. This charge would then give you 5-10mins play time. The quad’s controls are small, making them perfect for little hands, and they are also easy to use, making the Spot 2.0 perfect for first time flyers. I was also impressed at how durable it was - I was smashing it into the wall and ceiling at full speed and it didn’t let me down., and if you do manage to bust a propeller, there are spares included in the box. The only real let down, as is so often the case with these types of products, was the HD camera. The images were grainy and the positioning of the camera, which can’t be moved, isn’t wide angle and is hard to frame a shot. The video function was also a bit hit and miss; again, the image quality wasn’t great, and would only record about 50% of the time. That said, if you are looking for a reliable and user-friendly starter quad and not a serious piece of camera gear, then this could be perfect for you. RRP £44.99

Pros • • • • • •

Simple controls Easy to fly Quick charge 6 Axis Gyro Durable Switchable speed stages

Cons • • • •

Poor quality images Record function doesn’t always work Hard to frame images Batteries not included

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MindShift TrailScape Along with the new SidePath, MindShift have also recently released the new TrailScape. Unlike the minimalistic SidePath, the TrailScape aims to let you bring an embarrassing amount of gear with you in a slim package. Designed with the outdoor photographer in mind, there is plenty of room in the SidePath to stow your gear both inside and out, with handy lash points on the front of the bag and allocated pockets to store a a Laptop (8.9” W x 14.2” H x 1.2” D), tablet (8.5” W x 9.8” H x 0.8” D), and even room for a light jacket or lunch. I Inside the main compartment there are ten reinforced dividers that can customise the storage to suit your needs, as well as two mesh zipper pockets to organise your spare cards, filters and so on. The gear profile is rather impressive, able to hold a standard-size DSLR with four–six standard zoom lenses, including a 70200mm f/2.8 attached with the hood in the shooting position, or two large mirrorless bodies with five-seven lenses plus a flash, and will take up to a

300mm f/2.8 lens. The TrailScape’s exterior is made from a durable water-repellent coated material, with a seam-sealed rain cover in case of serious downpours. On the outside, there is a soft lined scratchproof pocket to store your smart phone or sunglasses and two massive water bottle pockets with draw string closure that can double up as tripod/monopod/hiking pole mounting area, with compression cords at the top. The only downside to these pockets being so deep is that you can’t access your water bottle without taking the bag at least partly off your shoulders. However, it does have lovely big zippers, making it easy to open even with the thickest of gloves on. The shoulder-straps are generously padded and very comfortable even when the bag is fully loaded, and there is sternum strap and removable waist belt for added support. The padded back also helps to keep things comfortable but sadly makes you sweat like a pig. Due to the huge capacity of this


bag, it would be nice if there was a secondary access point, as you need to lay it down to safely access the gear at the bottom of the bag. If you are predominately shooting outside, there isn’t always a dry patch to lay your bag down, and the last thing your want is to get the back panel wet and then throw it on your back. Aside from some picky issues, the TrailScape is a superb camera bag that is wonderfully comfortable (apart from the sweaty bits), with a huge capacity for both your camera gear and day trip essentials whilst maintaining a slim and discrete profile. RRP £165

• 18L capacity- large gear profile • Water resistant coating and rain cover • Large zipper pulls • Thick padded shoulder straps • Removeable waist strap • Scratch proof pocket • Deep side pockets for tripods, poles or drinks bottle • Lash points • Good value for money

Cons • Back panel doesn’t breathe well • Only one access point to main compartment • Need to remove bag to access water bottle

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Go Travel RFID Wallet As the world becomes more and more reliant on digital payments cash pickpockets have had to invent new ways to steal our hard-earned cash. With the rise of contactless bank cards, there is now a fear that the baddies of the world have the same card machines as your local pub and are hanging around on street corners stealing your money and personal information as you unknowingly walk by. Whether this is a legitimate scam or just another urban legend it has promoted the rise of RFID Blocking products to help keep your bank cards extra safe and this is exactly what Go Travel RFID Wallet strives to do. Made from black leather the Go Travel RFID Wallet is a slimline wallet with 8 card slots and 2 banknote slots at the back. It’s well made with a discrete Go branding embossed on the front, lightweight at only 40g and pocket-friendly with dimensions W

110 x H 95 x D 13. We tested the wallet out on a 4week trip to china, it was well used and thrown about from trouser pocket to backpack and still looks brand new. One problem we did find was that on 3 occasions at 3 different hotels the hotel key card stopped working and we had to get it reset at the reception. This may have been a fault with the hotels but when we started keeping the key cards in my bag we didn’t have this problem again which seems a big coincidence. We also tested it by putting our contactless payment card in the wallet and holding it up to the card machine and it didn’t read it, win, but then we did the same with a normal wallet stuffed full of recipes and old loyalty cards for shops that don’t exist anymore and it didn’t register either.

Pros For the price this is a nice little wallet that could help give the security conscious extra piece of mind but whether you need RFID protection is down to individual preference. RRP £19.99

• • • •

Low price tag Real leather RFID protection Slimline

Cons • No compartment for lose change

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DriveStation™ Quad Direct Attached Storage USB 3.0


Huge Capacity Direct Attached Storage Huge Capacity Direct Attached Storage

Buffalo Technology’s DriveStation™ Quad (HD-QHU3 series) is a 4-bay Direct Attached Storage device perfect for demanding SMB. The HD-QHU3 comes fully populated with high-reliability Buffalo Technology’s DriveStation™ WD Red™ drives in total capacities of up to 24TB.

Quad (HD-QHU3 series) is a 4-bay

™ The DriveStation Quad is RAID-enabled customised Direct Attached Storage deviceforperfect redundancy and capacity depending on your specific needs for demanding SMB. The HD-QHU3 and also comes with 10 licenses of NovaStor NovaBACKUP comes Essentials fully populated Business software. with high-

reliability WD Red™ drives in total

The DriveStation™ Quad features the capacity, redundancy, capacities of required up to 24TB. and performance for any demanding user – the perfect solution for backing up large servers, multimedia files, or databases. The HD-QHU3 series is sold fully populated with WD Red drives and total capacities of 8, 12, 16, or 24TB. HD-QHU3/R5

Features and Benefits • 4 bay Direct Attached Storage fully populated with WD Red™ hard drives - Available with 8, 12, 16, or 24TB capacities

• RAID-enabled for performance and reliability - Supports RAID 0/1/5/10/Spanning/JBOD

• Perfect for Server, PC, and/or Database Backup

Features and Benefits

- Also includes 10 free licenses of NovaStor NovaBackup Business Essentials

• Power Saving – Auto Power feature turns on and off automatically with your computer

4-bay Direct Attached Storage •• SuperSpeed connectivity with USB 3.0

fully populated with WD Red™ hard drives with 8, 12, 16, or 24TB capacities • RAID-enabled for performance and reliability - Supports RAID 0/1/5/10/Spanning/JBOD • Perfect for ™Server, PC, and/or Database Backup - Also includes 10 free licenses of NovaStor NovaBACKUP® Business Essentials • Power Saving – Auto Power feature turns on and off automatically with your computer ched Storage • SuperSpeed connectivity with USB 3.0 • 3 year warranty - Available • 3 year warranty

tation Quad

Hape UFO Wooden Toy Hape was established in 1986 by Peter Handstein in central Germany and from there it has grown into the world’s largest manufacturers of wooden toys and the company has considered everything from packaging to surface treatment to minimizing the environmental impact of their products. We were given Hape’s UFO suitable for ages 3 and up, this wooden space ship comes with its very own green alien pilot and removable control pad. The UFO is beautifully painted with bold and colorful details and all corners and edges are nicely rounded off, there’s also a cool little door that unfolds from the edge of the spacecraft and folds neatly down into a set of steps to allow the alien to disembark. The alien is a bright green smiling character with bendy arms, legs and hands that allow it to hold onto the steering controls (along with his hands the only plastic part of the entire toy) and it can stand up without assistance. There is a little


bit of transparent glue around one of the wooden components that detracts from the clean finish of the rest of the toy but this may have just been the model we had. We had hit and miss results from this toy, one reaction was that it invoked imaginative play and entertained our test subject for a good couple of hours, the other being the product was too limited to hold their attention for long periods. For £30 it’s a bit of a gamble if it ends up sitting on the shelf collecting dust.

Pros • Colorful • Durable wooden structure • Invokes imagination

Cons • Expensive • Limit interactive components

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Coleman Twist+ 300 LED Lantern The Coleman Twist+ 300 LED Lantern is a multipurpose camping lantern with a light output of 300 lumens when used on its high setting and 50 lumens when used on low. It has a runtime of 5 hours on high capacity, with a whopping 300 hours - that’s 12.5 days of constant use – on its lower setting The Twist works off of a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery that can also be used as an external charging unit. Now, if you think you can have your light on and recharge your smartphone at the same time, it hasn’t quite got the power to do that. Even with the light off, it isn’t that strong

a charger - as I write, my mobile has been plugged in for 45 minutes (on flight mode) and it is still sitting at 3%. However, if you are in a real pickle it can at least get your phone switched on again. The Twist+ also features Coleman’s patent-pending BatteryLock™ technology (the same as we have seen in the Coleman’s Divide+ torch). This system allows you to twist the bottom and disconnect the batteries from the metal connectors, making it ready to store safe in the knowledge that when you go to use it again, the batteries won’t be dead. RRP £69.99

Pros • Good visibility • Long battery run time on low-light • Battery-saving BatteryLock™ technology • Cab revive phone in an emergency

Cons • Weak charger – this feature isn’t useful except in an emergency

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Teufelberger tREX Teufelberger was born in 1790 as the Teufelberger Hemp Ropery at Bad Wimsbach, Austria. 226 years later, they employ just shy of 1000 people and have seven different production sites that make everything from recreational climbing rope to cable car ropes. The tREX is a new addition to Teufelberger’s ever growing collection of products. It is a low-stretch, 12-strand, hollow braid polyester rope that has been specifically designed for use as a standard rigging line, soft eye sling or loopie. The tREX comes neon orange with a choice of 6 hivis colours: grey, blue, yellow, green, white or red. This helps it stand out from the background wherever it is used, and each strand is solution-dyed to prevent loss of colour from wear, sunlight and water damage. The tREX has a wax coating that makes it abrasion resistat whilst giving it a lovely silky feel and helps keep it from snagging during use. The coat also increases the rope’s life expectancy by reducing its amount of wear and tear. However, this wax

coating does leave a slight residue on your hands after periods of use, which feels rather unpleasant but soon wears off. Available in sizes 9.5mm, 11.5mm, 12.7mm, 15.9mm, 19.1mm and 22.2 mm, the tREX is very flexible as an entire rope and the individual strands are equally as supple, making splicing no trouble at all. The tREX is a durable yet soft, strong yet supple rigging line that will keep providing you with reliable usage time and time again.

Pros • • • • •

Wax coating Soft and supple Abrasion resistant Hi-vis Colourfast treatment

Cons • Leave a residue on you hand (although it wears off quickly)

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