Places to get your travel gear - local and abroad: info and tips


petetherock

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2006
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#1
Since we have a long discussion on winter shoes and other gear, I would like to share where I got my bargains and hopefully others will to.

Local:

IMM-
We have a Timberland warehouse in IMM but if you what to get real hiking boots and gear, this place isn't the best.

Beach Rd / Army gear

You can find a healthy selection of decent gear that will be affordable and get you by for short trips. But if you want the lightest and the best (and be willing to pay for it) then these may not be right for you.

Otherwise that pair of Army Goretex boots, esp the 2nd Gen ones are pretty decent. Note the ankle protection is not great for seriously bad terrain and if you are carrying a lot of gear - 40 lbs and above.

The camou Goretex jacket is alright although a bit heavy. The new army pack is cheap at $39, but its quite heavy.

Hiking shops-
Sports Connection offers reasonably priced gear, and the bottles, packs and other items are not bad.
Camper's corner, Emmanuel etc are more costly but if you cannot travel abroad, they are not bad.

Other winter clothes chains exist and are convenient but not that cheap.

Abroad

Your options are to ask someone to get them for you, or to buy online.

There is some trial and error in sizing, for example, I am a L size locally but M in US shops. Your first purchase may be totally off, but the savings are not bad.

Online options:
Many of these do not ship directly but with the aid of Vpost, boderlinx etc you can ship items over.

NOTE: no knives are shipped


www.campmor.com does not ship directly but is quite cheap.
www.rei.com has a outlet version and both ship to SG.
http://www.sierratradingpost.com/ is pretty cheap
www.altrec.com is alright in price
even Amazon has a decent selection
Zappos.com also sells shoes

Look out for sales, as the savings are considerable.

**** I have no financial relationship with any of these shops ***
 

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petetherock

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2006
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#2
If you intend to hike or travel often, getting good gear is important.
If you have a long NS cycle left, these items can also be used for NS.

For packs:

I like Osprey - they are light, well-made and fit well.

Shoes

It depends on your budget and needs. Note that the weight matters, and different hiking shoes can bear different loads.
If you need to use crampons, the shoes must be compatible.

Salomon, La Sportiva, Scarpa, Hi-Tec etc are alternatives to those Reebok/Nike ACG/Timberland brands which are more flash than function.

Clothes:

Again weight matters and the number of pockets, accessibility etc all matter.Even the type of Goretex, the water-sheddibility, breathability vary and whether the material is stretchable all matter.

YMMV, depending on your budget.
 

petetherock

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2006
1,658
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#3
From head to toe, having the right gear will help you enjoy your time in the cold and snow more.

Get used to terms like Thinsulate, Windstopper, Goretex etc

Beanie - keep your head warm - essential but get something which also covers the ears, or get a pair of ear muffs. If skiing, make sure it fits under a helmet if you use one.

balaclava - great for skiing and wearing under the hood of your jacket



It is verstatile and can be used in various configurations. Silk or wool is nice.

Jacket:

Now there are so many it is hard to describe them all. For the best you can afford, it will be with you for many years. Get one which is waterproof, breathable and has enough accessible pockets for your purposes.

Zips should be sturdy and can be used with gloves on.

Of course the style and all matter... :)

I like those with a map pocket at the chest level, a hood with a lid so when it rains, it affords a little shelter for raindrops not to hit my face.

You can get soft shells to keep warm, but these are not usually suitable for wet weather.
 

petetherock

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2006
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#4
Pants:

Again depending on weather conditions, you can get goretex materials, with or without additional wool padding - that makes them warmer, but they will be too hot for our weather.

The key is LAYERING.

Some come with a pad in the bum area if you do a lot of snow board and fall a lot.

Soft shell pants are available too.
I like jackets and pants from Cloudveil, and they are a lot cheaper than some other brands.

What about down?

I use down in my Cloudveil Down Ski Patrol Jacket - a superb jacket which is good down to - 22 C.

But note down fill is not waterproof, but the synthetic ones are. The quality varies and so does the price. The better ones can cost more than $1000.

For long distance hiking / winter use, make sure there is enough room for long johns and for movememt.

Gloves:

I use up to 3 layers - an inner 'skin', an other Windstopper layer and an outer waterproof Ski glove, depending on weather conditions.

Windstopper models are ok if it is not too cold and you can use them with your camera.

Make sure the gloves are easy to remove and put on, esp in the cold.

Socks:

IMO this is really really important. You can use regulat waterproof shoes in winter, snow etc. but the right socks will ensure your comfort.

Stay away from cotton.

Use nylon, wool, esp Merino wool if possible.

Brands like Thor-lo, Holeproof, Wigwam, Bridgedale are good ones.

There are different thickness for various conditions and suit the fit of your shoes.
 

petetherock

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2006
1,658
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#5
There is much on the web on this already. Just search for it.

A base layer clings to your skin.
A decent one from Salomon can be had for $50 or more. It keeps you cool and wicks sweat away.
Those with a little cotton hybrid tend to more comfy.

Royal Robbins makes good tee-shirts which dry easily and can be rinsed and left to dry over night. Many brands make their own version of Nike's dri-fit, even Giodarno's has some.

The sweater - thermalplus, thermo-pro and many other brands make lightweight but warm version. Polartec comes in many degrees of warmth for your own conditions.

Zipper or not?

It depends on whether you take it off a lot, and whether the weight matters and if wind chill is an issue.
 

petetherock

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2006
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#6
The net is truly vast and infinite... so said the Major...:)

I have bought winter gear off ebay, just check the previous reviews of the seller, buying new is better and check the nett costs including delivery.
 

Jul 29, 2009
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#7
+1 for salomon and osprey.
I once hiked Mt Rinjani with a pair of salomon and it remains comfortable even after the 5 day trip. And my friend's adidas got worn out so badly, while my remains unscathed. I used it further for another few adventure races. Still wearing them.

As for osprey, I once carried it way past the suggested load capacity for a 3d2n adventure race, which involved a lot of running and bouncing. It remain almost intact, save for some user-marks.
 

Jul 29, 2009
308
0
0
#8
+1 for salomon and osprey.
I once hiked Mt Rinjani with a pair of salomon and it remains comfortable even after the 5 day trip. And my friend's adidas got worn out so badly, while my remains unscathed. I used it further for another few adventure races. Still wearing them.

As for osprey, I once carried it way past the suggested load capacity for a 3d2n adventure race, which involved a lot of running and bouncing. It remained almost intact, save for some user-marks.


As for places to buy, World of Sports offer a fine collection of outdoor gears. They carry Mountain Smith(expensive, but good quality), Salomon, Columbia, etc.
Planet Traveler is also good for bags and jackets.

Some of my experience: I feel that it is better to get a wind-proof and water-proof outer shell later on its own without any thermal insulation as we can then use it as a 'jacket' in singapore. As for thermal insulation, an additional fleece jacket can always be worn inside the outershell. It is also better to get a more loose-fitting outer shell, so it wouldnt be tight when inner layers are worn.

Hope this helps. :)
 

petetherock

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2006
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#9
Sometimes the ambient temperature is not that low when you arrive, but the extra element of wind chill can literally chill you to the bones.

EG SFO at San Frans. Always cold even in summer.

The cure? A windbreak

So it is important to have a jacket, even in summer - either as a windbreaker or as a waterproof layer.

The same goretex jacket can be used in winter as the final outer layer too.
 

petetherock

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2006
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#10
This forms an essential part of your travel gear when you venture into cold places. For many of us, it may be the first time we visit cold places and even 10 C seems icy.

If the trip is mainly sedentary, and you feel 20 C is cold for you in an air con room in Singapore, then it is best to bring some.

Basic cotton tops and bottoms can be bought locally and do ok. But if you want quick dry, ease of movement, then brands like Duofold, Ex Officio etc made from either wool, or a nylon mix is better.

Features like a slit to pee, seams on the outside etc add comfort.

If you are hiking a lot, then even down to freezing temperatures can be pretty without them.

Soft shell pants with a little amount of padding are more than enough when you hike and the heat generated will keep you warm. Just make sure the material is breathable.
 

2evans

New Member
Nov 8, 2007
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#11
Balaclava's like the one in the above photo are not the best suited for long hours out in the cold when you are breathing hard (i.e. skiing). They will tend to develop ice where you inhale/exhale after a while. If you do get a balaclava for skiing, it's better to get ones with vents or holes.
 

petetherock

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2006
1,658
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#12
The selection in Queensway is pretty decent, although for those looking for a super bargain prices are never as good as US websites make it out to be.

You get light to medium weight hiking boots but none of the serious ones which are crampon ready.

The Timberland outlet at IMM is ridiculously expensive...
 

petetherock

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2006
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#13
Addidas at Novena is having 30% on top of whatever discount they have now, and there are some good walking shoes.
 

ed9119

Moderator
Staff member
Mar 11, 2002
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Singapore
www.walkeast.com
#14
surprisingly, Daiso (yes THAT $2 shop) has a pretty ok selection of gloves, mittens, neck/leg/arm warmers and beanies
 

yrh0413

New Member
Oct 21, 2004
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Singapore
www.danielyee.net
#15
guys, for backpacking what kind of towel do you bring? My friend suggest me to get microfiber-type but I can't seem to find them in SG
 

iBishop

New Member
Feb 17, 2010
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#16
guys, for backpacking what kind of towel do you bring? My friend suggest me to get microfiber-type but I can't seem to find them in SG
camper's corner and the planet traveller should have what u're looking
 

vaxvms

Senior Member
Dec 21, 2005
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16
BEHIND YOU!!!!!!
#17
+1 for osprey...me using aether series
super light + suspension behind it even lighter :)

hiking shoe me just get hi-tec brand, cheap and good ...survive for last few yrs of winter travelling
 

petetherock

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2006
1,658
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#18
Layering For Winter

How to dress smart and stay warm when Old Man Winter blows in.
by: Steve Howe
Winter clothing keeps you warm primarily by trapping warm air next to your body (insulation). But when being active in winter and spending multiple days in the same clothes, insulation alone is not enough. It has to stay dry, not just from the outside in, but from the inside out. This is where specialized outdoor clothing is literally a lifesaver. Wearing cotton or other moisture-retaining fabrics puts you at risk for serious heat loss.
Any moisture that remains in your clothing quickly conducts body heat straight to the atmosphere. This means your active clothing (as opposed to the super-warm down jacket that you only wear in camp) must not retain perspiration; instead it must quickly transfer body moisture to your outermost layer, where it can evaporate. The key is to wear layers made of synthetic, quick-drying material that helps evaporate your sweat. That way, your clothes aren't wet enough to transfer a significant amount of heat away from your body.
The advantage to layering, of course, is that when working hard and starting to overheat, you can simply take off an insulating layer (usually a fleece jacket or vest), replace your windproof shell, and you're on your way. When inactive and cooling down, you can replace the insulating layer.
From bottom to top, here are the layers you should include in any cold-weather travel:
Underlayer:
  • Two pairs liner socks (thin, quick-drying)
  • liner gloves
  • Synthetic underpants
  • Synthetic long underwear tops and bottoms
Insulating layer 1:

  • Thick insulating socks (one pair per day)
  • Synthetic pants
  • Synthetic shirt
Insulating layer 2:

  • heavy gloves or mittens (mittens conserve heat better); plus extra pair in case one is lost
  • Fleece pants
  • Fleece vest
Outer layer:


  • Down jacket, preferably with waterproof/breathable outer material
  • Shell pants, waterproof/breathable
  • Shell jacket with hood, waterproof/breathable
  • neck gaiter or scarf
  • shell mittens of waterproof/breathable material
  • hat (fleece or wool)
  • brimmed cap for warm, sunny days
  • boots, waterproof and roomy enough for thick socks and toe-wiggling to prevent frostbite
  • gaiters
  • goggles (for wind and snow)
  • sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm with sunblock



Fleece offers more warmth for the weight than wool, but some still prefer good old wool. Goose-down is the warmest for the weight, and should be included for rest stops and while hanging around camp, so that you can maintain a constant body temperature between exercising and resting. It also compresses easily for stuffing into a pack. But don't break a sweat while wearing it; it dries poorly and won't keep you warm when it's wet the way fleece or other synthetics do.
With today's synthetic clothing, socks are the only thing you need to change in the backcountry (dry feet are absolutely essential to preventing frostbite). Bring a pair of insulating socks for each day, ideally with a plastic bag for storing each separately.
 

krishna91

New Member
Oct 14, 2009
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Asia
#19
South Asia Trekking Gear
_____________________


Boots wise - I would recommend a pair of Vasque Sundowners - they are legendary among hikers.

Apart from that, if you're stuck in India without hiking gear, try www.wildcraft.com ... They are a cheaper and almost-as-good-as alternative to North Face/Osprey/Mammut.

There are also alot of shops in the hill stations and metropolitan cities which sell duplicated goods of decent quality, and if you manage to go to Kathmandu in Nepal or any other city in Nepal you'll be able to find lots of duplicate North Face goods for really good prices.
 

petetherock

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2006
1,658
4
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#20
I recommended the Camlbak BFM (USD 173) for those who want a tough no nonsense bag which you can use for reservist, as well as for trips.

It has numerous pockets and space for 2 Three litre hydration bags.

Available from overseas sites like Amazon etc.
 

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