Jon Doran

Jon Doran has reviewed 10 products

Body Fit Tech Top

Posted: 16 November 2005
Overall: Nice winter-weight baselayer top which, while it doesn't manage moisture as well as some synthetics, is still nice and comfortable even when wet. Warm too and natural, but not cheap.

Pub Hope, Cheshire Cheese

Posted: 11 January 2005
Overall: Great pub for a mid-walk lunch stop, had a nice, traditional cosy feel and they're happy to see walkers. Unfortunately I can't remember which beers they sell :-(

Scarpa Super Trek M3

Posted: 02 April 2002
Overall: Usual Scarpa quality in a fabric - suede / Cordura - package. Comfortable, stable but not quite as stiff as the SL because the uppers are more flexible. Grip good from Vibram sole and lightness is a boon on longer walks. Gore liner makes them watertight, but can lead to sweatiness in really hot weather. Nice boots and you save weight compared to the leather equivalents.

Petzl Zoom

Posted: 29 January 2002
Overall: The bog standard issue for climbers and hill walkers since the year blog, the Zoom is starting to feel it's age compared to the latest LED wonder gizmos. Battery life is relatively limited compared to LEDs, particularly if you use the halogen bulb option, but in its favour it's reliable and robust and shrugs off abuse.

The rare square battery can be hard to find and pricey as well and in extreme conditions, the housing on the rear of the head strap means it gets cold and power output drops noticeably, so for cold climbs, the Arctic version with remote battery is better. The 3AA adaptor sidesteps some of the problems, but battery life is even shorter.

The beam is generally good and up to night time climbing, particularly if you fit a battery-eating halogen bulb and the zoom option lets you choose between a focussed beam and a wider pool of light, though as the lens ages, it scratches and the beam becomes less effective.

It's still a good buy for all round use, but for close-up stuff LEDs like the Tikka and the BD Moonlight cost about the same, but have much longer battery life as well as being much lighter and using easier-to-find battery sizes.

Petzl Ecrin Roc

Posted: 16 January 2002
Overall: Good general mountaineering helmet. The twin thumbwheel adjustment means it can be tailored easily to your head and once tightened it stays secure but comfortable. Ventilation is pretty reasonable, but you may want to tape the holes up for winter mountaineering or risk a bucket-full of spindrift on your scalp.

Chinstrap fastening is good too. It does sit quite high which means some shell jacket hoods may not fit over the top of it. Seems very tough though thankfully it's only ever had to deal with falling ice. Significantly more comfortable than the standard Roc which preceded it, but still not exactly trendy looking.

The head torch clips work well.

Berghaus Paclite 1

Posted: 12 October 2001
Overall: If you're after a top quality, small-packing, light jacket and money's no object then you should definitely check out PacLite. The Berghaus version is more of a three-season multi-activity jacket than full, year-round mountain wear and if that's what you're after, you should maybe check out either the MHW or TNF versions.

Cut is short and slightly loose, which is great for biking, the pockets open up with a mesh lining to act as great big, and very effective trunk vents, and breathability is better than previous Gore-Tex fabrics. The early PacLite inner had black dots on a white background, which looked a bit weird, but later versions are a more discreet grey on grey and more flexible too.

A very nice jacket, but expensive for a second shell.

Boreal Ace

Posted: 18 September 2001
Overall: Good all round rock boot with reasonable combination of stiffness for edging, but decent friction. Board last means that they feel clumpy compared to slippers with thinnner soles. Used to look mad with those weird 'card suit' symbols, but latest versions less atrocious.

Bought mine too tight and endured years of agony before selling them and buying some 5.10 Lynxes instead - the nearest thing to carpet slippers on rock...

MSR Fuel Bottle 975ml

Posted: 07 August 2001
Overall: Ideal fuel bottle for carrying fuel. The design of the cap means you can tighten securely using a lever and it's tough and effective. A spot on fuel bottle

Lowe Alpine Mountain Cap

Posted: 03 August 2001
Overall: If you're after a peaked mountain cap for winter use because you absolutely, positively hate wearing a hood, then this is the one for you. The design was tweaked last season so the strap sits below the nobble on the back of your head, but it's not perfect. I carry one often, but rarely wear it because not being able to hear properly irritates the hell out of me. It also needs a tweak so you can wear it as a simple cap (ie: ears exposed) without folding the ear flaps inside it and this altering the internal volume of the hat.

It is well made though and if this is what you want from a hat, go for it.

SIS PSP22 Sports Fuel - Orange

Posted: 03 July 2001
Overall: Fantastic drip feed fuel for fast movers best carried in a hydration system. I use it mainly for mountain biking and mountaineering - walking is too low intensity to justify the cost, in my opinion anyway. Don't mix it too concentrated or it will inhibit fluid absorption. Saved my butt on several Andean peaks