Gear

Kameng - the Mishmi Takin hiking boot by Trivik Verma

Mishmi Takin, an outdoor brand coming out of the US that designs high-performance boots & jackets, could be the next big thing for all your adventures. Their Kickstarter campaign is now live and The Outdoor Journal received an early pair to review.

Industry graded hiking shoes keep you dry, but not in all climatic conditions. Most “waterproof” boots follow the standards of something called a  ‘Wet System’ made from a Polyurethane (PU) membrane. In simple words, for your feet to remain dry, the humidity inside the shoe must increase before you actually start sweating.

 Mishmi Takin product shoot in Troutdale, OR. Photo by: Trevor Brown, Jr./Trevor Brown Photograph

Mishmi Takin product shoot in Troutdale, OR. Photo by: Trevor Brown, Jr./Trevor Brown Photograph

Mishmi Takin - an endangered species of the goat-antelope family that resides in the Indian, Myanmar and southern Chinese Himalayas - lent its name to a new brand that produces highly breathable and water repelling gear. The founder, Kapil Dev Singh, does things differently. “Our #1 difference is the use of DRY-SYSTEM membranes and fabrics that are microporous and air permeable, resulting in immediate expulsion of water vapor, some air exchange and a big difference in user comfort,” Singh said during his Kickstarter campaign launch.

The eVent membrane technology, that Mishmi Takin has tied up with, is based on millions of micropores that disperse any buildup of vapour within seconds in lieu of a slow 4-step (condensation, absorption, diffusion, evaporation) process that is present in most hiking boots designed for protection in rain. The membrane technology is also waterproof so the shoe works in a wide range of conditions. After hours of hiking through a wet, muddy and slushy forest area in the Alps, I didn’t feel the need to change to another pair of socks.

The Kameng also features a VIBRAM® Megagrip sole (Mishmi Takin has also partnered with VIBRAM) that allows for a great grip on wet and slippery surfaces. I used it for scrambling up rocks in the equatorial heat of central India. The upper Cordura fabric was easy to clean. The Rocker Sole was perhaps a surprise and reminiscent of the industry leader Dachstein’s Super Leggera DDS.

 Walking through a forest after an accidental splash in a muddy pool. Zero water permeated inside the shoe.

Walking through a forest after an accidental splash in a muddy pool. Zero water permeated inside the shoe.

Breathability and Waterproofing

Excessive hours of walking through forests in cold and wet conditions didn’t make me want to change to another pair. I found that the shoe doesn’t even emanate any foul odour that I often associate with my other hiking boots, no matter the conditions.

I have used the shoe in the warm temperate climate of India, while hiking in the Alps in Switzerland, the Black Forest region of Germany and for casual day to day activities during countless rainy days in Switzerland. The shoe has kept my feet dry and free of sweat. Of course it does get cold in there in subzero temperatures but that’s not what the shoe is for. 

Weight and Size

I wear a European 42 and most shoes go either way, 41 or 43. This one was a snug fit, and I almost never realized a heavy weight on my feet. At 630 grams, it comes very close to the Super Leggera DDS from Dachstein which is only 560 grams and poses a fair competition.

My absolute favorite thing about the shoe is its rocker sole feeling on steep terrain and the fact that I never feel its weight on slopes while pulling up a heavy pack.

Mishmi Takin’s Kameng series of hiking boots is in line with Singh’s experience in the tropical outdoors and his world class engineering (IIT, India) and management (MIT, USA) education. It has the right amount of aesthetics that bring together a wide-range of necessary features normally found in separate pairs of shoes, almost never together, and keeps you dry across many temperate climates while performing the same in colder regions. The Mishmi Takin species has great feet traction for climbing up and down steep terrain in the Eastern Himalayas and also has an oily outer skin layer that allows for rain to slide off easily. Their evolutionary advantage is what made Singh borrow the name.

Price: $125 - $230
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(As published @ The Outdoor Journal)

Top gear at Outdoor Friedrichshafen 2015 by Trivik Verma

The Outdoor Journal lists top eight gear brands to look out for, from the 20th European outdoor trade exhibition at Friedrichshafen, Germany. Lesser known brands make their mark with creative leaps in technology for longer and safer experiences

1. Versant 60L Versant Backpacking Pack

By Thule

A carefully designed technical hiking backpack, the Versant series packs are designed for long hikes and expeditions. They are gender specific and available in three sizes (50L, 60L and 70L). The bottom quarter of the pack is lined with a waterproof fabric, ideal for river crossings. Their key is customization, with numerous combinations for very different conditions in the mountains. Thule recently entered the outdoor backpacking industry and has successfully made a stand among top brands with bags ranging from bike attachments to expeditions; all designed with durable and light weight fabrics. Thule-Erik Thulin's idea to provide fishermen with transport solutions, first in 1942-is primarily known for carriers for surf boards, cycles and ski equipment.

 Versandt 60L expedition pack

Versandt 60L expedition pack


2. Polarmond ALL-IN-ONE tent

By Polarmond AG

 Polarmond All-in-One Tent

Polarmond All-in-One Tent

The Polarmand technology is a 3-in-1 tent that is designed to have assortments for a sleep shell and bivouac module. It is targeted at extreme expeditions. All components of the tent system can be used separately. The sleep shell is designed to withstand up to -30°C and is marketed as a “self-warming tent” that regulates temperature and integrates a dehumidification management system. It has a light construction of 4.1 – 4.5 kg (depend on the liner insulation thickness) and does not use down in any of its parts. Polarmond is a Swiss startup set up with the help of researchers from EMPA (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology).


 Photo: Trivik Verma | Agro – Vegan rock climbing shoe

Photo: Trivik Verma | Agro – Vegan rock climbing shoe

3. Agro V

By Evolv

The Agro is a high end bouldering shoe devoid of any leather material. Their new Tension Power System (TPS) pulls the forefoot from three different positions. It is light, breathable and exceptionally soft for a midsole-less shoe. Evolv is evolving into an eco-friendly rock climbing shoe manufacturer; Steph Davis is designing a new vegan version of the Evolv Addict.

 


4. Rind Jacket

By Klättermusen

     

 

 

Klättermusen (KM) 2016 collection is inspired by the weather in Jämtland, Sweden. A day in this town, situated at the mouth of the North Sea wind, can experience anything from a hailstorm to soaring sunlight. Their collection is a testimony to these weather conditions with gear that is waterproof and light weight, easily removable and compresses in a small backpack. Rind products have taped seams and a 2.5 layer breathable fabric that is recycled from fishing-nets. The series is free from any fluorocarbon. Other products from this brand are so versatile and durable, “customers don’t want a new range. Instead they want the old product fixed even after excessive use”, Malin Nilsson told The Outdoor Journal at the KM booth.


 Race 2.0 Ultra light sports glasses

Race 2.0 Ultra light sports glasses

5. Race 2.0

By Julbo

The Race 2.0 version has side vents for better ventilation and prevention of fog. Its temples curve to provide a snug fit on any sized skull. The nose grip enhances the fit by adjusting the rubbers attached to it according to the shape of the nose. It is extremely light weight, a huge relief for long distance runners.


6. Camalot Ultraight

By Black Diamond

This version shaves 25% weight from the Camalot camming device used for traditional climbing. A continuous loop of dyneema core replaces the steel cables in the shell of the traditional Camalot. Trigger wires are reinforced with plastic after shrinking them. Cams can add a lot of weight for long trad climbs. This is going to be a welcoming surprise for climbers around the world and perhaps allow cam manufacturers to completely revolutionise the cam industry. Black Diamond was initially called Chouinard Equipment, when climber Yvon Chouinard started selling hand-forged pitons in Yosemite.


7. Super Leggera DDS

By Dachstein

 Photo: Trivik Verma | Super Leggera hiking boot

Photo: Trivik Verma | Super Leggera hiking boot

The Super Leggera has a knitted upper body, meshed using a flexible fabric that employs an interplay of tensile and compressive tissue zones. The boot fits like socks and is incredibly light weight compared to any other similar shoe grade on the market. The sole integrates Vibram’s Motion Flex Sole technology, making walking on rocky surfaces seem effortless. The company was established in 1925 after a successful shoemaker’s workshop, getting its name from the famous Dachstein mountain region in Austria.


 Photo: Trivik Verma | Gecco Sleeping bag made from a plant-oil based nylon fabric

Photo: Trivik Verma | Gecco Sleeping bag made from a plant-oil based nylon fabric

8. Sleeping Gear

By Yeti

The sleeping tent gear set (mat, sleeping bag, tent) fits in a day backpack of 20L. Its combined weight is less than 1500 grams. Yeti is focusing on designing light weight breathable down packs for sleeping bags, tents, and camping mats. Their newest Gecko sleeping bag is eco-friendly, with a 100% recycled polyester lining and is filled with light weight down in their factory in Germany. Their unique Gecco fabric is based on renewable plant oil extracted from the non-food Ricinus plant. Yeti has renewed its brand focus in the recent years, committing to the lightest camping gear available.

 

 

 

Image courtesy : Outdoor Friedrichshafen 2015 Press Release

Feature Image : Trivik Verma

(As published @ The Outdoor Journal)