The Craghoppers Website sells ‘World Travel Clothing’ and currently have their January sale going on. The spectrum of choice is excellent and even includes the ‘Bear Grylls’ range- clothes designed alongside the tv celeb and adventurer to deal with the extreme conditions faced on his expeditions. All the gear is designed for the active traveler and there truly is something for everyone- no matter where your destination or the climate once you arrive! After finding a 25% discount code ON TOP of the sale discounts via good ol’ twitter, we decided to take a sneak peek and see if we could kit ourselves out with some gear ahead of the trip. At present, I’m cycling in a pair of jogging bottoms and my running jacket; likewise, Matt has his lycra shorts under a pair of tracksuit bottoms and his cycling jacket, whilst purpose-made, isn’t aptly designed to deal with the ever-changing weather conditions in Britain, let alone Canada!
Craghoppers came up trumps for us and the gear arrived today. Our bargains included:
Pika winter lined trousers; were £50, now £25 (50% off)
Kruxx Jacket; was £70, now £21 (70% off)
NosiLife Atoll Long-Sleeved Zip Top was £40, now £14 (65% off)
Viewfield jacket; was £100, now £30 (70% off)
Kiwi Long-Sleeved Shirt; was £30, now £15 (50% off)
Bear Winter Lined Survivor Trousers; were £75, now £52.50 (30% off)
With the additional discount code found online, our big shop set us back just £125- instead of £365!!
Can’t argue with that, can you?
I took my top and jacket for a test run on an 8 mile ride this afternoon and they certainly lived up to expectations. The top was breathable, light and fitted well without clinging- kept me warm at the beginning of my ride but cool as I started to warm up. The jacket was flexible and well-fitted, excellent wind protection and I found it really comfortable to wear- didn’t ride up at all, stretchy and moved with you without chaffing or rubbing- the material is soft and avoids that ‘swish swish swish’ as your arms move- always a bonus! Odd as it sounds, the neck was also comfortable (a problem with my running jacket- I find that if I learn forward whilst wearing it, the front of the neck starts to rub!) however, despite being ‘water resistant’, even the light Welsh drizzle was noticeable by the end of an hours ride and as such, I doubt would stand up to the harsher weather conditions of the Canadian Rockies. Will be referring back to the site for a lightweight waterproof jacket (that I hope won’t cling to me as soon as I start to sweat!) as a replacement. Didn’t dare test-run my trousers which are silver-y in colour and no doubt, would attract my oily chain within seconds of mounting my bike. Will be looking for some bike clips…!
At the back of my mind, though, I’m continually thinking about the space availability when we travel- and the rather scary prospect of having only 2 changes of clothes. You only have to look at my wardrobe to realise I’m not really a ‘minimalist’ when it comes to clothing. However, a part of me is actually eagerly anticipating that also. Imagine the freedom and liberation of not worrying about what to wear- when you simply have no choice. Clothes will be selected for their practicality, their capacity to endure the challenges presented by our adventure, rather than their asethetic value or their relevance to current fashion. We wanted to get back to basics on this trip- and this small, but seemingly significant factor is just one of the many ways in which we hope to achieve that. Living out of a pannier- there simply won’t be room for luxuries.
Will be putting the rest of the gear (Matts included) through it’s paces this weekend- and will update accordingly. But for now, Craghoppers gets a resounding 4.8/5.0 from me (not quite the full hog as diappointingly, they don’t do children’s clothing- do they not realise that families travel and adventure too??) but would definitely highly reccomend.