By Mark Mayne
Osprey Mutant 38L rucksack
Osprey is a perennial favourite around T3 towers due to its dedication to innovative design, technical fabrics and attention to detail. The inclusion here of the revamped Osprey Mutant climbing rucksack will come as no surprise, and given its reception by the climbing community its well deserved indeed.
Always a familiar sight on routes across Europe, the new Mutant is redesigned, lightweight and strippable but still features everything you could possibly want in a climbing/ski touring rucksack. Everything from helmet storage to side ski carry and dual ToolLock axe holders is present and correct, and getting the whole package down to 1.19kgs is frankly eerie.
£100 | Osprey
Mammut Crater jacket
If you're looking for missile-proof waterproofness, then the Mammut Crater Jacket is one to bear in mind. An athletic cut, minimalist feature set and three layer Goretex means this is an ideal high Alpine shell. The 3 layer construction means the precious Goretex waterproof membrane is sandwiched between two more robust materials, so a casual brush against several meters of granite won't leave you damp and dispirited.
Weighing in at a decent 514g, the Crater features high level waist pockets, pitzips, inside mesh pocket and a roomy, helmet-friendly hood. Three layer Goretex is never ultralight, but this is an excellent option if you need that robustness, plus it'll insulate much better than a lighter shell, so will serve higher/colder objectives well.
£180 | Mammut
Adidas Eyewear Elevation Climacool
Oldies but goodies, these Adidas sunnies are due an upgrade later this year, but are still top-notch when it comes to flexibility. With smoked lenses and arms attached, you've got standard wraparound sunnies, no embarrassment in the bar or café. Switch the arms for a headstrap, clip in the foam goggle pads and swap the lenses for cat 4 blackouts and boom – full spec glacier goggles. Snowblindness prevented.
£150 | Adidas
Asolo Eiger GV boots
The Asolo Eiger GV boots are compatible with all crampons, and their Carbon/Kevlar construction makes them superlight yet very stiff, ideal for long days of mixed climbing.
Integrated gaiters save weight and faff, which is always a good thing when blundering about in the dark on a glacier, as do the clever lace-locks that prevent you tripping over in the telepherique.
£499.68 | Asolo
The PHD Minim 400
The final stroke in a night's misery/comfortable snooze, a decent bag will make exactly that difference. PHD's down bags (and jackets) feature the finest ethical down and very high fill powers, meaning your insulation rating is as high as it can be for the weight. Basically, they be toasty warm and very light. The PHD Minim 400 weighs a mere 670g, but will be OK down to -5°C, although if you're a cold sleeper you might want something heavier. PHD bags are made to order in Stalybridge UK, so if you want long bags to accommodate gangly legs or weird zip arrangements they can accommodate.
£273 | PHD
Black Diamond Ion Headlamp
The original Black Diamond headlamp was superlight, but didn't get brilliant reviews due to a fiddly switch and a rare camera-style battery. This sequel, confusingly with exactly the same name, is a million light-years better than the original. With a Cree LED knocking out a 80 lumen beam and a smaller red LED for night-time moments you don't need a searchlight for, all wrapped into a sharp 28g rectangle it's all sorts of win. A new touch-based switch means you swipe to turn on and off, which takes practice, but once you've got it not even thin gloves will get in your way. Thicker winter gloves do confound the new setup, but that's to be expected. However, the super-long headband will fit round even the largest of helmets, ideal for that benightment moment. Final good news – just two AAA batteries. We're still testing the burn time, but it's not short.
£25.99 Out Autumn/Winter 2014 | Black Diamond
Primus ETA light stove
The ETA light is one of the lightest stove-systems on the market at 355g, incorporating a cunning heat exchanger and windscreen on the base of the pot to increase efficiency, thus increasing the time your gas will last for. The cup is built in, and an ingenious hook and loop scheme means you've got a hanging stove into the bargain, without having to improvise your own. Three tiny and fiddly screw threads convert the burner into an all-purpose stove, which is a lovely little design touch. In use the new triangular connector is much more bomb-proof than rivals, while the coffee-press addition is ideal for those lazy valley chillout days. As a faff-free option we're pretty impressed given the weight. In related news, Primus have even designed a new gas cartridge for winter, which contains a plastic insert (Vapour Mesh) to improve performance down to -22 C°. Primus claim that after 60 min, a Winter Gas cartridge is about 9% more powerful than standard, and after 120 min of use it delivers about 15% more power.
£100 | Primus
Petzl Lazer Speed Light Ice Screws
Light is always right, and these are the lightest ice screws around. Using a brand-new manufacturing process these are alloy exteriors with steel teeth and internals, giving you strength, sharpness but weighing nearly half a standard ice screw. When you're high on the Frendo Spur you'll appreciate bringing more of these as a result.
£60 (170mm) | Petzl
Black Diamond Fuel axe
The latest hydroformed axe from BD is a riff on their popular Fusions, featuring ergo grips for leashless moves and a removable, clippable spike. They're among the lightest on the market and the swappable picks mean you'll have the best tools for the job.
£199 | Black Diamond
Edelrid Beast Lite crampons
Undoubtedly one of the products of 2014, and already a popular addition to T3's 2014 Hot 100, these use alloy to keep their weight astonishingly low (310g each) but use moly steel for the technical front points. Alloy crampons have been available for years, but are significantly more delicate than their heavier moly brethren. However, Edelrid claim their new 3D hydro forming process has added far more stiffness than was possible previously. The Beast Lights have an impressive list of modularity, allowing you to swap between boot binding styles and mono or duo points (very much like the Petzl Lynx), but also offer the opportunity to sport Euro-neon foot spikes, a chance not to be missed. In use they deliver in spades, being the most featherlight 12 points around. That said, they're better for fast and light ice routes rather than biffing up the Cosmiques Arete.
£154 | Edelrid
The Alpkit Hunka
There are many bivvy bags on the market. From simple waterproof bags like this one, through to full Goretex numbers with mini tentpoles to make long stops more palatable. However, the Alpkit Hunka is as light as any (376g), very wallet friendly, and just as waterproof. Obviously, this keeps water in as well as out, so good bivvying technique is required, but this is true anyway.
£30 | Alpkit