Hiking Outdoor Gear Reviews
Torres del Paine national Park, Patagonia © Rudolf Abraham

Gear Reviews by Rudolf Abraham – Hiking & Outdoor Clothing & Equipment

Over the years I’ve tested, owned, carried, worn or used a wide range of travel, photography and outdoor gear from a number of manufacturers including AKU, Berghaus, Darn Tough, Garmin, Keela, Keen, Leki, LifeStraw, Lightwave, Macpac, MindShift Gear, Montane, Nemo, Osprey, Páramo, Peak Design, Rab, Sawyer, Sub Zero, Suunto and Think Tank Photo. Here, in no particular order, are reviews of some of my favourite pieces of hiking and outdoor kit. (Coming soon – reviews for the Páramo Ostro Fleece, Darn Tough Socks, Páramo Torres Gilet, AKU Pilgrim boots and Osprey Sojourn Porter.)

Hiking the Juliana Trail in Slovenia - Travel Writer and Photographer Rudolf AbrahamPáramo Velez Adventure Smock Review

My real conversion to Páramo gear came with this much-more-than-just-a-waterproof jacket back in 2014, when I was hiking on Rumija – a mountain in Montenegro, wedged between the vast sprawl of watery wilderness that is Lake Skadar National Park, and the two-millennia-old olive groves of Stari Bar on the Adriatic coast. Read more >>>

LifeStraw Peak Series Water Filter ReviewLifeStraw Peak Series Collapsible Squeeze Filter Review

An essential piece of outdoor kit for any outdoor adventures where access to safe drinking water isn’t a given, is an effective, dependable water filter. LifeStraw makes some very good filters, including the excellent Peak Series Collapsible Squeeze Filter. Read more >>>

Osprey-Exos-55-Pro-Rucksack-Backpack-Hiking-Review-High-Scardus-Trail Osprey Exos Pro 55 Backpack Review

The Osprey Exos Pro 55 is unquestionably the most comfortable pack I’ve ever used, and is almost ridiculously light, without any loss in stability. I’ve now been using it for around 6 months, and in that time have taken it on the High Scardus Trail and the Tour des Combins. Read more >>>

Nemo-Hornet-OSMO-Tent-Lightweight-Hiking-Review-Vercors-FranceNemo Hornet OSMO Tent Review

The Nemo Hornet OSMO is an ultra lightweight three-season tent – an excellent shelter which is easy to pitch, roomy inside, packs down small, is packed with nifty design features, and (the really important part) holds up well against the elements. Read more >>>

Osprey Dry Stuff Pack ReviewOsprey-Dry-Stuff-Pack-lightweight-packable-rucksack-Review

The Osprey Dry Stuff Pack is a featherlight 20l roll-top pack, which weighs under 200g, is made from 100% recycled fabric, is waterproof (rated IPX5) and packs away into an integrated pouch. Read more >>>

Rudolf Abraham Slovenia Juliana Trail Paramo Montero TrousersPáramo Montero Trousers Review

Páramo’s Montero Trousers are a lightweight, jeans-inspired pair of hiking or cycling trousers, which are intended to look and feel equally at home when worn around town as they are on a mountain trail or on two wheels. I first tried wearing them on some stages of the Juliana Trail in Slovenia’s Julian Alps, which I hiked in late September/early October while working on a new guidebook. Read more >>>

LifeStraw Go Water Filter Reviewwater filter lifestraw review 

LifeStraw’s Go is an effective, convenient and reliable water filter which I’ve now been using for around two years. It’s easy to use, and little different from carrying a flask – except that it will provide you with safe drinking water, whether collecting from a stream, a lake or a tap. Read more >>>

Rab Xenon Gloves Review

For a long time, I’d been looking for an ultra lightweight pair of gloves which would provide good warmth for everything except winter use – mostly in the Alps and southeast Europe – while having enough dexterity that I’d be able to use them with fiddly cameras and tripods without necessarily having to remove them. Read more >>>

peak design leash camera strap nikon z6Peak Design Leash Review

I’ve been using a Peak Design Leash as the camera strap for my Nikon Z6 for several months now – this having replaced the original Nikon straps which I’ve used on a long succession of bodies – and have found it infinitely more comfortable and adaptable, while still feeling every bit as strong and secure. Read more >>>

Leki-Hiking-Poles-Review-Croatia-Istria-UckaLeki Black Series MVC Hiking Poles Review

I got a pair of Leki’s Black Series MVC (Micro Vario Carbon) folding hiking poles towards the end of 2021, and have found them to be the perfect balance between folded size, weight and rigidity. Read More >>>

Travel Writer Photographer Rudolf AbrahamPáramo Tempro Zip Neck Review

Páramo’s Tempro Zip-Neck is a fantastic and versatile base layer. It’s well cut, with a decent length that stays tucked in when you want it to and long sleeves which don’t ride up but are roomy enough to push/roll up if it’s hot, and a deep, asymmetrical zip (good for ventilation when needed). The Parameta T fabric…. Read more >>>

paramo grid technic base layer long sleeved top reviewPáramo Grid Technic Base Layer Review

The Páramo Grid Technic long-sleeved top is the warmest, most luxurious-feeling base layer I’ve ever owned. The length is good (it stays tucked in), and the thumb loops keep the sleeves down over the back of the hands nicely (even when not using the thumb loops, I didn’t find the sleeves rode up at all). Read more >>>

paramo-manu-shorts-hiking-walking-cycling-review Páramo Manu Shorts Review

From the time I first tried Páramo’s Manu Shorts on a 17 day hiking trip in Salzkammergut, back in the summer of 2019, I’ve never really wanted to wear any other hiking shorts…. Read more >>>

Montane Minimus Grand Tour Jacket ReviewMontane Minimus Grand Tour Jacket

I began using Montane’s Minimus Grand Tour jacket when I hiked the Alpe Alpe Trail – 750km through the mountains of Austria, Slovenia and Italy, from the foot of the Grossglockner to the Adriatic coast. Without any doubt one of the most outstanding pieces of kit I carried was the Minimus Grand Tour. Read more >>>

Paramo Maui Hiking TrousersPáramo Maui Trousers Review

Páramo’s Maui hiking trousers are hands down the best hiking/travelling trousers I’ve ever owned – lightweight, comfortable, quick drying and supremely hardwearing, with roomy cargo pockets (including a useful pocket-in-a-pocket, the right size for a phone in a waterproof case). The material, Nikwax Cotton+…. Read more >>>

Montane Ultra Tour 40 Backpack ReviewMontane Ultra Tour 40 Backpack Review

I’ve had the Montane Ultra Tour 40 since around 2016, and it’s still the pack I reach for on trips when I need something relatively small, simple and very lightweight, over my usual Lightwave Fastpack. Despite the fabric being quite thin, it’s stood up well over time, having been on trips to Austria, Croatia, France…. Read More >>>

Páramo Halcon Traveller Jacket Review by Rudolf AbrahamPáramo Halcon Traveller Jacket Review

The Páramo Halcon Traveller Jacket is, quite simply, the perfect jacket, both for travel and photography – certainly the most frequently used, and best designed, of any I’ve ever worn. Lightweight, quick drying, silent and low-key, it’s roomy enough not to restrict movement, even wearing something like a Torres Gilet…. Read more >>>

Europe by Rail GuidebookEurope by Rail – The Definitive Guide

I was recently sent a copy of the latest (15th) edition of the book Europe by Rail – The Definitive Guide, by its Berlin-based authors (who are also the lovely people behind hidden europe magazine). It’s a wonderful book – I love the idea of arranging a travel guide around rail journeys, rather than rail journeys merely being…. Read more >>>