It’s always annoying when a bit of gear lets you down. It’s also disappointing when a piece of gear you rate highly let’s someone else down. My Salomon Fastpackers have been my favourite footwear for a while now. Unfortunately they didn’t work for James this weekend. My experience (so far) has been very positive. I’ve found the grip to be good. Perhaps I’ve not experienced the extreme conditions that James did. However, when I climbed the back wall of Coire Dhondail in 2009, I was climbing up saturated and slippery grass. The divergence of experience is difficult to explain. However, I will be taking extra care in future on wet grass.
One thing I have noticed is that on my second pair of Fastpackers, when new, they appeared to have a wax-like finish on the rubber. This wears off after a few walks (all my footwear gets road tested on dog walks!). Once the Fastpackers are worn in, the finish is a normal grippy rubber. Perhaps new boots don’t have the grip of older boots. I noticed a similar issue on my Inov-8 Roclites. However, when I used these in the Lakes in the summer, I still found them a bit slippy on wet rock (not and issue that I’ve had with the Fastpackers).
In case I find the same issue, I’ve been looking at potential alternatives, but there are precious few. Inov-8s have their Roclite 390s. Adidas do a the Terrex Fast Mid. I am not so keen on the Inov-8s in case they exhibit the same issue as the 320s on wet rock. The Adidas mids look interesting but reviews suggest they are a bit narrow.
I was also interested to read that the Paramo Velez Adventure trousers didn’t work. I have a pair of Cascadas and had a similar issue of water ingress a while ago. Although I toyed with the idea of the Adventure Light trousers, I dismissed them as being too inflexible. I would rather have a pair of walking trousers and some light overtrousers as they are more flexible and totally waterproof. Before New Year and the VAT increase, I bought a pair of RAB Drillium overtrousers as my Berghaus Paclites are a bit sweaty. Hopefully eVent will cure that.
At least James’ Scarp 1 did the business. I am very impressed with the stability of the Scarp. I like the comfort of a strong shelter when things turn nasty. Although the Laser Comp would probably survive, it would be very noisy and not give the same feeling of security.