The Vault Regulars

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Reed windpoof cagoule

 My first view of this windproof or windshirt happened in July 2010. I posted on my blog about its presence in the market when other similar products were costing 2 or 3 times more.
I had bought the Montane lite speed windshirt only a few weeks earlier so I was a bit miffed at the time. The Reed cost only £25 in 2010.
Currently I own 3 windproof s, the Rab Boreas Pull On, the BlackDiamond Alpine Start and the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Jacket. However. Having lost my Montane, I wanted a new Pertex one.
Then I remembered that I had posted about one many years ago. I wondered if it was still available. I was amazed to find it still going and better still it was great value for money at £33.
I have now worn it long enough to give you my review of it.
The Reed Windcheater Jacket. 
Material. Pertex Quantum
It does look like an old crisp packet when you first take it out of its stuff sack but it doesn't take long for the creases to go.

Weight. 80 grams. Including the stuff sack.
The stuff sack is permanently attached to the inside seam and when stashed the jacket takes up no more room than a tennis ball.
There is no hood.
There are no pockets.
The sleeves and bottom hem are elasticated.
The style of the jacket is Pull On, like a cagoule.
The zip is a non waterproof YKK. With an attached zip pull.
The sizing is generous, allowing for layering.
The length is also generous and the rear tail easily covers your bottom.
The Pertex has a DWR. (Direct Water Repelency.)
For its weight the material is strong.
This top suits me and gives me what I was looking for. A lightweight compact windproof with the capability of withstanding a shower. It won't suit everyone as I know some folk want only a windproof that isn't water resistant because of the reduced breathability. It can get warm wearing it but in its defence the current weather in UK is very warm. I have not suffered any condensation though.
I was very surprised at how good it performed in the wet. You can get away without reverting to a waterproof shell jacket for quite some time. And it dries very quickly.
What I would change.
 - it would be better to incorporate a hood, but I knew it didn't have one when I ordered it.
The neck is a little loose for me (size 16.5"). As is shown in the image above. Elasticated neck would be better. I will probably add a strip of elastic myself.
I am not keen on the storage bag being attached to the inner seam. It can drop below the hem and become vulnerable to getting caught. I will try and remove it without damaging the jacket.
I would have preferred a choice of colour. There is only black.
That's about it. A simple, affordable, lightweight, well made wind proof with water resistant capabilities. Not perfect, but I would have to pay a lot more to get one that's better.

Since posting this I have now removed the stuff sack but it cannot be removed from the jacket seam without causing damage to the sack or the seam. Considering I have the original stuff sack from my Montane Lite Speed I decided to discard the Reed stuff sack and leave the jacket seam in good condition. An easy decision.

Similar product.

Just a test post

 Test pic.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

A bit of a washout!

The Walk that I had planned for our last day here in Conder Green turned out badly but not a complete waste of time. 
First thing the rain was lashing our window and visibility was poor so we waited hoping it would clear up. The weather forecast was promising for later in the day but not the morning. 
I decided that I wanted a short walk along the coast so drove to the car park at Lane End Amenity Area near Pilling. It’s a few ponds enclosed by a man made dyke that stretches from Cocker Bridge to near Knott End. 

Waterproofs back on we walked to our right from the car park along the dyke only to be thwarted after a couple of hundred yards at a fence with a sign “ no public access”. Why not? I have no idea. 

So we retreated and walked along the dyke left. Met a few dog walkers but the mist was rolling in and out across the estuary. Some times you had a good view as on the photo above and others just the grass on the flood plain. A butterfly was spotted but it wouldn't open its wings in the rain and also wild oregano was plentiful.
Gatekeeper Butterfly

We saw a solitary Sandpiper, a couple of Egrets and thousands of Mallard. Probably where all the local duck comes from in the restaurants. 

We were quite enjoying our walk until we came to another barbed wire fence with no access. Looking at the map we were only a very short distance away from another car park just near Fluke Hall. I thought that there must be a local path through here somewhere but alas not. We had to turn back again. 

We drove to the oh so near car park to check out if there was a path from that end but there wasn’t, just more barbed wire. I think this is really stupid. For the sake of a few hundred yards of coastal grass why does the owner have to restrict the empty land so that it causes long detours for people doing the coast path. Surely the council should do something here. 
No Access across the dyke.

Pilling Old Wind Mill.

Anyway the rain was lashing down and we just sat in the car, had a coffee and went back to base.
Lo and behold at 2.00pm it cleared up into a lovely afternoon.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Lune estuary and Lancaster canal

We had a nice meal in the Hotel last night although we waited almost an hour for it to arrive. It was very busy with people taking advantage of the 50% off deal being supported by Boris and co.
The morning started very wet, waterproofs donned and stayed on all day.


Unlike yesterday there was nobody about. The rain keeping people inside.
We headed down the Glasson branch of the canal again hoping to get a bacon butty from the caravan kitchen there but it was still closed, we were too early.

The sea end of Glasson is off limit to public which thwarted my idea of going to the lighthouse. We retraced back passed the closed and run down Victoria Inn pub and started walking along the disused railway line. Visibility was not great and with the rain i didn't take many photos.

When we got to Conder Green picnic area the cafe was also closed as were the toilets. The walk along the old train is ok but nothing to write home about. Maybe it was just the weather.

Electrical powerlines come into view and just before we reached them we turned off east on a track not shown on the os map as a footpath but it is in reality. The track leads to the entrance to Lancaster water treatment works and a minor road. We followed this a short distance before taking a right fork leading through Stodday village. This is a lovely spot and well cared for.

Leaving the village at the T junction, a very tall stone stile is negotiated leading up hill through fields before exiting onto the busy Ashton road.
We turned right and with care as there is no footpath did the few hundred metres to the turn off to Burrow Rd. A few minutes walk brought us to the Lancaster canal.

Its a lovely walk along the tow path even in the rain with lots of plants to identify. The bridges are also very nicely made and very photogenic. We stopped for a coffee at bridge 91a which doesn't span the canal but culverts Burrow Beck. A quite unusual structure.

A fellow walker stopped for a chat and he was walking Derby to Morecombe. Impressive, and then next week was off to do the West Highland Way.

There are many very nice properties as we approached Galgate with splendid canal side gardens. The large marina also looked in good order with all ammenities. No wonder we had seen lots of narrow boats en route.

Another mile and we were at the junction where the Glasson branch splits. We stopped here for lunch just beside lock 1. It had finally stopped raining.
Setting off again a canal trust workman was weeding the canal with a very clever piece of kit. We stopped to watch the operation for a while. I wanted to have a go.

The spire of the church at Thurnham came into view and stayed with us some way. All too soon we were back at base. 

Even though this walk was done mainly in the rain we enjoyed it. It was good to be out.

Route length 15.11km. All photos taken with iphone8

Monday, August 3, 2020

Around Glasson, coast and canal

Having missed so much this year we needed a short break before we both went even more barmy than we already are. We didn't want to go far and after checking the Internet we decided on Glasson. Well Conder Green to be precise. 
I checked out our friend and fellow blogger Sir Hugh for ideas on walks in the area and found a few. Today's walk was mainly his route. Here.
Today's route

Walking down the Glasson branch of the Lancaster canal was as straight as a dye. It wasn't far before we reached the large lagoon and the last of the lock gates. A lovely day with lots of folk about. 
We passed over a revolving bridge and called in at a cafe that was open for coffee.
A short road walk brought us to good views across the bay to Sunderland point, the Lune estuary and Heysham.


We joined a queue of folk on Marsh lane all heading like us to the coastal footpath at Crook Farm. Plenty of birds about and lots of Sea Campion.
We turned off the coast path at Cockersand abbey. The abbey was founded in 1184 as the hospital of St Mary. The chapter house being the only structure standing.

From the abbey our route passed through a now deserted farm to the c roads which led us almost back to the Lancaster canal but we diverted across Thurnham moss where the path was well over grown, especially at tge gutter bridges to the A588 main road.
From there it was a short distance back to the car.


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