Terry Fuizion

Terry has beaten me to the punch on reviewing Fuizion Food’s offerings. Fair enough, he spotted them first. There’s an interesting section on how Fuizion Food came about. I can’t wait to tuck into some!  I’ll give you my assessment next week.


More Paramo and Montane

I’m hoping to be in the Lake District this weekend, depending on health issues (not mine). Apart from the Ultrahike and Fuizion Food, I will be trying out a couple of other new items.

As you know I like Paramo. I’ve been following with interest the introduction of lighter Paramo garments, but have resisted buying one. Last week I took the plunge and bought a Velez Adventure Light. I would have prefered a Vasco light. The Vista and Quito are not quite right. So it was the Velez.

I think I prefer the fixed hood to the detachable hood of the standard Velez. The lighter outer material is noticeably thinner than the standard outer. It is also shinier and seems to be a denser weave, which may make it more water-resistant. It’s a shame the sleeves are not slightly longer.

The other new bit of gear is the Montane Bionic Long Sleeve Zip Neck. Compared with the earlier versions of their Sportwool garments, it has a smooth rather than waffle face. Although quite close-fitting, it doesn’t cling quite as tightly as the Icebreaker Chase LS, which is quite similar. I like Sportwool. I think it combines the best of wool and synthetic fabrics.

I’ll give a fuller report on these after I used them for a few days (hopefully this weekend).

Fuizion Food

Good food is a must in the hills. At the end of the day, nothing revives the spirits like a good hot meal. Real Turmat has been the gold standard for freeze-dried meals, but they are not cheap. Terry has highlighted a new kid on the block: Fuizion Food made in the good old UK (RT is Norwegian, in case you didn’t know).

As I’m off on another jaunt next week, I thought it would be a good idea to get some to try out. I ordered four meals on Thursday and they arrived on Saturday. There are nineteen main courses to choose from, although a number are not in stock. I selected Savoury Minced Beef, Savoury Minced Lamb, Coq au Vin with Rice and Chicken and Bacon Pasta.

The packs are a similar size to Real Turmat, but not vacuumed packed. Below is a comparison of the Fuizion packs with a Real Turmat meal and my Outdoors Grub pouch snug. Sorry the photo is not as arty as Terry’s 😉  .

You’ll have to wait for a review until the week after next. However, I thought it would be interesting to make a quick comparison between the Real Turmat Beef and Potato Casserole and  the Fuizion Savoury Minced Beef (with Potato).

Price: RT £8.95, FZ £6.50
Net weight: RT 114g, FZ 110g
Water required: RT 390ml, FZ 310ml.
Calories: RT 555kcal, FZ 590kcal.
Salt: RT 4.6g, FZ 0.8g

The Fuizion Food meal is quite similar to the Real Turmat one but cheaper. Although the reconstituted volume is smaller, the calorific value is slightly higher. Also the salt content is a lot lower.  The other difference is the best before date on the Real Turmat is 2014, whereas it is 2012 on the Fuizion, presumably because the RT is vacuum packed.

If Fuizion lives up to its claims, then it should be a viable and cheaper alternative to Real Turmat, which would be welcome, especially as the range of dishes is greater.


Salomon Quest update

I’ve been wearing these for morning dog walks this week. While this is not an onerous test, it does usually alert me to potential problems. I’m happy to say that there are no issues at the moment. They have been very comfortable. After a few days I replaced the footbed with a pair of green Superfeet footbeds and noticed some improvement in overall comfort and stability.

I have prominent ankle bones, so most boots cause some initial tenderness. However, the Quests have been fine. For a pair of boots where the cuff is quite high, they are remarkably flexible and the lacing system is very good. I’m not sure whether I will use them on my next trip, a long weekend in the Lakes starting next Thursday. Yes the weather forecast doesn’t look good!

PHD Minimus Jacket

Recently, I bought a PHD Minimus jacket in their sale. I paid £131 (with hood), compared with a list price of £189, so it was a bit of a bargain. PHD seem to do non-standard colours in their sales. Instead of the standard black or red, my jacket is a rather nice navy blue.

The material is M1, which is very soft, making the jacket very compressible. The weight is 362g for the jacket and 54g for the hood. It comes with a nice little stuff sack (22g). The inside of the collar is fleece, giving it a lovely snuggly feel. Overall it is very warm and I was too hot after wearing it for a couple of minutes.

My only niggle is the hood. Instead of a draw cord, it is elasticated. This may save weight but it doesn’t feel quite right. Apart from that, it is superb. The quality of workmanship and down is very high. It should be ideal for the colder months.