The most important gear updates of Summer 2020

Some of our favourite kit has been updated for Spring 2020. We’ve taken a look at them for you to give overview of their key features, improvements over the previous version and why you will want them.

2020 Big Agnes Copper Spur HV Range

It’s a few years since the Copper Spur last received a significant update. The Copper Spur was already a great tent but it is now even better for 2020. Big Agnes have been mindful not to change the features that made it so popular and instead focussed on making the tent easier to use, more durable and more liveable.

Here are some of the key improvements:

  • New stronger fabric – a new proprietary ultralight nylon double rip-stop, mixed denier fabric offers extra tear strength and puncture resistance without adding weight. It also has a really cool chequered look.
  • TipLok Tent Buckle™ - a new corner construction is built around the TipLok Tent Buckle™. To simplify your tent setup Big Agnes have combined three functions into one mechanism. The secure pole-tip capture won’t release your pole tip during setup to make life easier, especially if you are setting up solo. The hinged buckle also includes the rainfly attachment and tensioner plus the stakeout loop to create a trouble-free setup!
  • Vestibule Awnings - perhaps the stand out update for 2020 are the new vestibule awnings. The vestibule door can be opened as an awning with trekking poles or accessory tent poles plus the included extra guy lines. Perfect for cooking under on a wet evening or just to sit and chill in the shade.

Exped Lightning and Thunder rucksacks

The Exped Lightning and Thunder have been amongst our bestselling packs for a number of years offering a great combination of lightweight and load carrying capability. The carry system was one that plenty of customers loved but some potential users were put off by noticeable lumbar pad. Durability could be an issue if people were rough with the packs. For 2020, Exped have given these packs a complete overhaul aimed at making them lighter, tougher and more comfortable.

Key new features are:

  • Lighter - Narrower webbing and improved construction to make the packs lighter.
  • Tougher - A new tougher, highly water and abrasion resistant nylon fabric for increased durability.
  • More Comfort – Exped have added more padding and a stronger aluminium stay for a more comfortable carry. The lumbar pad is now less pronounced and more padded so more people so they should suit more people.

Nemo Riff Sleeping Bags

For 2020, Nemo have updated their popular Riff sleeping bags. The bags have become more sustainable with the use recycled fabrics for the shell. Nemo’s ‘spoon shape’ bags have been ideal for people wanting a technical sleeping bag but with extra room for side sleepers and users who like to move around in their sleep, this however was at the expense of additional weight.

  • Reduced weight - The updated version keeps the 'spoon shape' but with an eye on trimming some weight from the bag.
  • More technical fit - It’s a slightly slimmer fit whilst still being considerably more spacious than most mummy bags. This updated fit allows the bag to be more efficient so the weight of down can be reduced whilst maintaining the same temperature rating. The 2020 Riff 30 is 132g lighter than its predecessor.
  • New Women’s version - There is also a new women’s version of the Riff for 2020 which is a little shorter. The Women’s Riff 30 is based on a Women’s comfort at a temperature of 30F. Nemo have added more down fill compared to the men’s version to make sure that the bag is significantly warmer.

Autumn/Winter 2020 Outdoor Research Helium Jacket and Pants

OR have a completely redesigned their Helium rain kit for 2020. The main update is the new Pertex Diamond Fuse technology used for the fabric.

  • What is Diamond Fuse? - Usually the yarn making up a fabric is round. Pertex Diamond Fuse uses a yarn with a diamond shape which when woven, the threads of yarn to lock together resulting in a stronger, more abrasion resistant material. The Diamond Fuse fabric has 5 times higher tear strength with no increase in weight compared to the Helium II jacket. Diamond Fuse is significantly more abrasion resistant against rips and snags so should cope better with pushing through undergrowth or climbing over rough rocks.

  • Increased Waterproofing - The 2020 Helium jacket is more waterproof that the Helium II jacket – hydrostatic head increases from 15,000mm to 20,000mm.

These changes have resulted in a more durable jacket ideal for a range of activities where you want to carry a shell but probably won’t be wearing it all the time. Lightweight and small pack size are still key features making the 2020 Helium jacket ideal for hiking, climbing, mountain biking or just going to work.