Welcome to our picks of the new clothing for Spring 2020. Each new Spring season brings new fabrics, new designs and new interpretations of existing gear, often an updated design is better than a brand new one, building on a few years of hard use and feedback.
In this section we've highlighted the best from the new crop of products, both brand new and updated - these are our favourites.
Updated for 2020 Mountain Equipment's Comici Pants have a new belt with metal buckle, new flaps to the pockets and a general upstyling. The Comici pants use tough Exolite 125 softshell fabric with good stretch to provide a comfy fit, the pants are also shaped around the knees to give you a more comfortable fit, this is really beneficial when going uphill, climbing or scrambling. The integrated belt is easy-to-use and is a good addition to the pants, it's also fully removable if you prefer to use your own.
The four pockets are all a useful size and they all have zip closures, something you don't always get on trekking trousers. These are a staff favourite here due to the durability for such lightweight pants. They have worked well for all activities we've used them for.
The Comici Shorts have all the close fitting stretch benefits but loose the legs for summer hiking, choose the Comici Trail Shorts if you want a shorter 'short' with open hand pockets.
Montane introduced us to their 'Via Trail Series' a few years ago aimed at mountain and trail runners and its developed into an impressive range. 2020 sees the introduction of the Podium super lightweight waterproof pull-on and overtrousers made from their own Aqualite fabric. It comes in with respectable hydrostatic head and breathability figures and a combined weight of just 210grams for the medium sizes. Don't get me started on the pack size - its ridiculous.
The other stand out piece from Montane this year is the Dyno Stretch Cap, stretch fit softshell fabric with a decent peak at just 48grams, we love the retro 'Mercury' colourway.
RAB's Spark Jackets are all about versatility. When we recommend shell jackets to our customers we are careful to ask what they will be used for, many of the super-lightweight shells are too light for sustained use while carrying a rucksack. A medium Spark comes in at 250grams and is made from 40d fabric - that means it will perform even with rucksack straps pressing down on the shoulders, and that its durable enough to survive long treks. Its a great balance between keeping things light but ensuring the garment will do its job for a sustained period.
With a pocket configuration that avoids entrapment by a rucksack hipbelt this is a great ultralight backpacking option at a decent price
RAB's Torque Pants have also had a tweak with a low profile zip pull and logo changes. We weren't surprised that the changes were so small as the Torque Pants have become a classic, but RAB have produced a lighter version called the Torque Light Pants - these are made from a lighter weight version of the Matrix fabric which is more breathable (if a little less durable) than the standard pants. With open hand pockets and two zipped pockets the Torque Light's have an elasticated waistband rather than belt loops -smooth under a hipbelt or climbing harness.
We've singled out the Haglofs LIM Barrier Insulated Jacket as one of our Top Picks this season due to its innovate features. Using the lightest solid material available, Primaloft Aerogel, this jacket provides stunning protection against the elements despite its low weight.
The L.I.M Barrier has had a huge overhaul with an upgrade in insulation to the cutting edge Primaloft Aerogel and a change in style to a more subtle outer. Still super lightweight, packable and warm it's a great piece of kit.
Haglofs have also completed an upgrade to the LIM Essens Jacket, an ultralight insulation layer that combines 800+ Fill Power down with quilted construction and minimalist approach to features. It has been updated with a more effective and more eco friendly DWR.
We all love Haglofs LIM Fuse Shorts because they are very lightweight but still manage to deliver on length and features. The waist band is very comfortable though don't put anything heavy in the pockets! Upgraded this year with a new, more eco-friendly fabric.
We've picked a few of our favourites, but there are 260 new clothing pieces in our NEW IN section of the website, so our choices may not be yours - you will find the rest of the new gear by following the links below: