Welcome to the Taunton Leisure Blog

Welcome to the Taunton Leisure Blog

How can something so small be so bright? The Petzl Bindi Headtorch

Petzl Bindi Headtorch Review How can something so small be so bright?  This is the question I'm still asking having now used the new Petzl Bindi headtorch for the past month. The Bindi has 3 white light settings, 200 Lumen max power, 100 lumen standard and 5 Lumen max autonomy, it also has 2 red [...]

Socks, pants, slippers & gloves they’ll want this Christmas

Socks, pants, slippers & gloves they’ll want this Christmas IT’S NOT naff to get socks, pants, gloves or slippers for Christmas if you’re a hiker, climber, walker or camper – they need them. Here’s a selection of some of the best available this year (2018) from us online and, also, from our stores in Taunton, [...]

Back Packing Essentials

Planning your wilderness adventure? This brief guide will run through a few of the considerations when choosing what to pack. Cooking equipment and food Lightweight cookware, cooking equipment and food provides your fuel for the trip. Carefully chosen cookware will save on space, weight and last a life time. Most of the Snow Peak range [...]

Picks of Waterproof Jackets 2018

As the wet weather is upon us, we have selected our picks of the latest waterproof jackets Whether you are looking for a jacket for climbing mountains, hiking the hills, wearing through town or watching winter sports we have selected some of our favourites below. Arc'Teryx Beta LT Jacket No matter what your adventure. A [...]

Backpack fitting guide

A well fitting back pack is one of the most important pieces of kit on any hiking trip or expedition. The packs we carry range in capacity, from tiny 11 litre day packs to huge 80 litre rucksacks, but the fitting procedure will always be the same. If you are going to be spending hours, […]

Meet author and walker at Bristol evening talk

Meet author and walker at Bristol Evening talk Author and walker Robin Tetlow will be giving a free talk about his book ‘Beyond Bristol: 24 Country Walks’ at our Bristol store in November. Robin, who will be at our store in Bedminster on Thursday, November 22 at 6.30pm, told us: “I have had an interest in walking, travel and [...]

Hilleberg Training in Sweden 2018

The Hilleberg training tour Vålådalen Naturreservat in Sweden Stuart (from our Exeter store) and Pablo (from our Bristol store) were the lucky ones selected to go on the Hilleberg training trip to the Vålådalen Naturreservat, Sweden in September. The team camped in a range of Hilleberg tents for 5 nights and hiked 10km across the [...]

Meet the experts for free at Bristol

We’d like to invite you to a special free ‘meet the experts’ and boot fitting day at our Bristol branch, which is on Bedminster Parade in Bedminster, on Saturday, October 27 during normal opening hours. We’re hoping lots of our regular visitors and new ones from the walking, hiking and climbing community join us for […]

Come along to our free meet the experts’ day in Taunton

Join us for our special free ‘meet the experts’ and boot fitting day at our Taunton store on Friday, October 26 during normal opening hours. We’re hosting free footwear fittings and care demonstrations. We’ll have an expert from boot specialists Scarpa® here on the day during normal opening hours and giving footwear demonstrations from 9.30am […]

Vote for us in The Great Outdoors Awards 2018!

  Thanks to you and all our other wonderful customers, we’ve been short-listed for The Great Outdoors Awards 2018 in the Independent Retailer of the Year category. Now we need your vote to help get us through to the next part of the process. Voting close on October 31, 2018. The awards are free to […]

Join us for our free meet the experts’ day in Exeter

This is custom heading element We’d like to invite you to our special free ‘meet the experts’ and boot fitting day for walkers, hikers and climbers at our Exeter store on Fore Street on Thursday, October 25 during normal opening hours. The event includes free footwear fittings and care demonstrations. We’ll have an expert from [...]

Beth’s trip to the Isles of Arran and Islay with the Rab Summit

  Beth, from our Bristol store is an experienced cycle tourer and loves the outdoors! She tested the Rab Summit jacket on her recent trip to the Scottish Isles. Take it away Beth! Isles of Arran and Islay I’ve been using the Microlight Summit jacket for a couple of months now, mainly during the late […]

Men’s Rab Microlight Summit Jacket Review

  Stuart from our Exeter store is experienced in wild camping and backpacking. He has recently tested the new Rab Summit and has shared his review with us below. I was recently given the chance to try out the latest Microlight jacket from Rab. The summer in the UK has not exactly been perfect testing […]

How to choose the right backpack: a Taunton Leisure guide

  Are you in the market for a new backpack? Lucky you! This means you’re about to embark on an awesome adventure. We have a huge range of backpacks in store and sometimes the information can be overwhelming. Here’s a guide to help you find the perfect pack. What capacity? Most technical packs come in […]

Osprey Hikelite Review

James, an outdoor achiever, from our Taunton store has put the Osprey Hikelite through it’s paces and provided a full review. Hikelite Features The Osprey HiteLite 18 is a light weight multi-use rucksack which features a trampoline back system. It draws several design and layout ques from the Osprey Daylite range. This gives the bag […]

Footwear care guide

Walking boots are one of the most important pieces of outdoor equipment for both comfort and safety. They are a fair investment so it makes sense to look after them to keep them performing their best. Cleaning and reproofing your footwear only takes a few minutes and these simple steps will help keep your footwear […]

What’s the difference between a down and a synthetic insulated jacket?

After a gloriously warm summer, autumn and winter will soon be upon us and of course with that comes cooler temperatures. Attention turns then to keeping warm while we continue to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle that we love. One of the best ways to do this is to use an insulated jacket, but choosing one […]

Osprey Poco AG Child Carrier

  Matt from our Taunton store has a young family and enjoys walks around the South West coast. He has tested the Osprey Poco AG carrier and can recommend the extra features are well worth the investment. Long hikes or a city stroll I think the best way to sum up the Poco AG carrier […]

Braam’s Boot Fit Guide

  Braam is our Bristol Store Manager is an expert in boot fitting and the different makes and model of boots available. This over view provides a guide to the boot fit process and the how the footwear brands differ. Boot Fitting I regularly get asked “What is the best boot you have?” and my […]

Tent care – Part 2 Maintenance

  Pitching and Ventilation Maintaining your tent starts with the initial pitching and ensuring it is on a flat surface that is clear of any rocks is a good start. All the guy lines should be pegged so the frame is rigid and not pulled out of shape. The structural integrity of the tent relies upon […]

Tent care – Part 1 Cleaning and Weatherproofing

Should I weather a Poly-cotton tent? Definitely! This process is a must before you use a poly-cotton tent for the first time. It allows the fibres to swell and knit together at entry points such as stitch holes and seams, before going out in the rain. Pitch the tent on a dry day and spray […]

Rab Alpine and Nebula Jacket Review

James from Taunton tested the Rab Alpine Jacket and the Rab Nebula Jacket while on a walking and camping trip to Sweden. He is one of our Outdoors Achievers and has completed numerous Ten Tors events, Three Peak challenges and has been presented the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. In summary, he found the Alpine is […]

The benefits of a quality, down sleeping bag

  Stu from our Exeter store is experienced in wild camping and backpacking. He has had his Mountain Hardwear sleeping bag for many years and details the benefits of investing in a good quality, down sleeping bag. When I first started working for Taunton Leisure 10 years ago I decided to invest in a high […]

MSR Pocket Rocket 2 Stove Review

  The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 Stove has been independently reviewed by our in store experts. Their thoughts on the lightweight, efficient and durable stove can be found below. Beth from Bristol Store – A Cycle Touring and Wild Camping Adventurer The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 is an ultralight, compact backpacking stove, aimed at adventurers and […]

Rab Neutrino 600 Sleeping Bag Review

James Whitworth from our Taunton store tested the Rab Neutrino sleeping bag while camping in the Jämtland mountains of Northern Sweden. He would recommend the sleeping bag due to its small pack size, weight and its warmth. I used this sleeping bag for a five-day trekking trip to Northern Sweden in September and was very […]

Bristol Store Managers Tent Show Review

  Our Bristol store manager Braam recently took charge of our Tent Show at St. Katherine’s School; here he reviews his favourites from that weekend.     We recently held our annual Tent show where we displayed around 40 tents. This gave me a rare opportunity to pitch our current range of tents and also […]

Fjällräven Men’s Barents Pro Trousers

  Matt from our Taunton store is passionate about functional clothing that looks great and is a fan of the Fjällräven brand and its technical properties. He purchased the Barents Pro trousers and has tested them in Somerset and on a trip to Yosemite National Park in California. The well fitting, weatherproof trousers are now […]

Hilleberg Outdoor Academy Tour and Tent Review

  James Whitworth from our Taunton store was invited on the Hilleberg Outdoor Academy Tour in September to try out the range of Hilleberg tents in Sweden. The tour consisted of 5 days wild camping in the Jämtland mountains of Northern Sweden and James tried out one of the tents from the black, red and […]

MSR Hubba Hubba NX Review

  Beth is a self-propelled adventurer, and specialises in cycle touring and bikepacking. She has travelled far and wide with her MSR Hubba Hubba NX, and has shared her experience of the lightweight, backpacking tent. I’ve been using the MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent since April 2017. It’s been my shelter, my hotel room and […]

Osprey Tempest 9 Product Review

  This women’s lightweight day pack is an iconic pack suitable for hiking or commuting. Alice from Taunton has reviewed the rucksack and uses it on her daily commute. Tempest 9 “Stylish yet functional” I chose Osprey’s Tempest 9 because it’s stylish yet functional. It’s also super lightweight; only 0.61kg, but large enough (46 L […]

Braam’s Trip to Jamtland

Sweden Trip I’ve had a most exciting email arrive a few weeks ago; I’ve been invited to  a 5 day winter trip to Jamtland, Sweden! It involves snow shoeing and camping in a Nature reserve in Jamtland, at temperatures that would be cruel to your pets, but most welcome when you’re as passionate about the […]

Mountain Equipment Down Codex, what does it mean?

We take a look at the Mountain Equipment Codex Scheme If you've bought or wear a down jacket you will know the balance of warmth, weight and softness you get from down insulation is hard to beat. Down, however is not without controversy, sourcing large volumes for duvets, jackets, pillows, sleeping bags is big business [...]

Lakeland Walks

Catbells Catbells is a short, if not slightly steep climb around the picture-postcard setting of Derwent water in Keswick. There is a small carpark near Hawse End that gets particularly busy, and you will find people parking along the edge of the road. Get there early enough, and you should see ample space to park. [...]

Our waterproof favourites

Winter is starting to show its teeth and we wanted to share the thoughts of our Bristol store on the latest waterproof jackets. The kind of jacket that would keep you dry and comfortable on the hills and in the mountains, but also during the everyday commute Mountain Equipment Lhotse Jacket Shown here in Red. [...]

New Season Top Picks

As the mornings get darker and winter draws near, we take a look at our pick of new season arrivals FjallRaven Men's Keb Padded Hoodie - Night Sky Insulated with Fjallravens new G-Loft supreme synthetic fill that feels like down, the Keb Padded Hoddie is a stylish, practical and lightweight alternative to the more mainstream [...]

HydroFlask Product Review

HydroFlask. Changing the way we drink, one sip at a time A bottle that has a wide mouth, insulated, durable, resistant, easy to carry, easy to drink from, light, that actually keeps things hot or cold and of top of it all, has to do all of this whilst looking stylish.   Marcos from our [...]

Waterproof Buying Guide

In the UK, no matter the season, you are always guaranteed of some rain. Make sure you are well protected with this handy buying guide Along with comfortable boots, keeping dry and comfortable in all weathers is a key part of enjoying your time in the outdoors. Having an outer layer that repels water, wind, [...]

Visit Sweden for “The Nature” outdoor experience

Visit Sweden for “The Nature” outdoor experience The opportunity to take part in a fully organised trip to Sweden was something that our staff deemed too good to pass up. Superbly organised by OAS (Outdoor Academy of Sweden) and Visit Sweden. The aim of the trip was to give us a taste of Sweden and [...]

Store picks: Insulated Jackets

The expert team at our Exeter store have chosen their top 5 insulated jackets No matter what your budget is, they have reviewed the top 5 insulated jackets to hit the shelves this autumn/winter 2017. Nick from our Exeter store takes us through them... Fill power The general rule of thumb is the higher the [...]

Crampon Buying Guide

Crampons were first used by Europeans in the early 1900's. These early crampons did not have front points and therefore required the user to cut steps on all but the gentlest slopes. They were, however, an improvement over the nailed boots which they eventually superseded. In the 1930's front points were added to crampons, allowing [...]

Ice Axe Buying Guide

Ice axes or originally alpenstocks have been used since the mid nineteenth century. Mountaineers carry them as a basic safety tool. Originally used to cut steps in steeper slopes as well as a walking stick the advent of crampons means that their primary use is now for support and self-arrest. Modern ice axes are split [...]

Sleeping Bag Buying Guide

Sleeping bags come with either a synthetic filling or down filling and in different seasons for different climates and uses. It is important to match the right sleeping bag for the job you want it for Down Bags The benefits of having a down bag are: Warmer Lighter More compressible than synthetic, which makes traveling [...]

Climbing Rope Buying Guide

Your rope is probably the most important link in the climber's safety chain, because of this, care should be taken in choosing the right one and looking after it. Hopefully this guide will help… Climbing ropes have developed from the old hemp plated ones your granddad has in his attic to complicated core and mantel [...]

Climbing Protection Buying Guide

A quick guide to the different types of climbing protection. This covers all the shiny cool things that some people seem to take up climbing for; it also includes the not quite so glamorous slings. Climbing protection can first be split into passive or mechanical protection. Passive protection includes most of the basic rack, nuts, [...]

Climbing Carabiners & Quickdraws Buying Guide

Carabiners, Karabiners, crabs, snap links or any other abbreviation that you use for them are the links between practically everything that climbers and mountaineers use. They are arguably the most important invention in climbing history and we would imagine every climber in the UK has at least one. Having said that, there are lots of different types [...]

Climbing Shoes Fittings Tips

fit versus performance Performance and fit are closely linked. In general, a badly fitting boot will also perform badly, no matter how technical it may be. Conversely, a well fitting boot will probably feel like it 'climbs' well, even if it's billed as a boot for beginners or intermediates. Getting the right fit for you requires that [...]

Climbing Shoe Buying Guide

In the 1930's the first rubber-soled shoes designed specifically for climbing were made by Pierre Allain to allow him and his friends to climb harder routes at Fontainebleau and in the European Alps. These were essentially plimsolls but they began the development of the highly technical climbing shoes used today. Modern climbing shoes allow climbers [...]

Short Review: Osprey Quasar 28

Marcos has recently joined the team at Taunton Leisure but has worked within the industry for a number of years. Marcos has a passion for walking and has recently started to develop his climbing. If you commute or travel regularly and you require a rucksack that is also suitable for use on the hill, then [...]

Review: Lowe Alpine Eclipse 35 Rucksack

A review of the Lowe Alpine Eclipse 35 rucksack from Paul, esteemed product blogger and Exeter store staff member. A new and improved Eclipse from Lowe Alpine, they’ve updated the looks and functionality of their multi-activity day pack and were kind enough to send me one to test out. Over the past couple of weeks it’s […]

Product Review: MSR WindBurner Stove System

Matt is one of the full-time members of staff in Taunton. Having experience from Ten Tors, Duke Of Edinburgh and his own expeditions, Matt is able to offer advice on a wide range of equipment. Known to be a bit of a kit monster, Matt is usually the first to try anything new and shiny!  […]

Product Review: Rab Vapour-Rise Guide Jacket

Marcos has recently joined the team at Taunton Leisure but has worked within the industry for a number of years. Marcos has a passion for walking and has recently started to develop his climbing.  In my opinion, it is the best jacket Rab has produced so far… Once in a while, you come across a […]

Matt’s Top 10 Tips For Ten Tors 2016!

Matt is a member of staff from our Taunton Store and is a veteran of the Ten Tors events, having completed the event five times including two 55 Mile Challenges! “Make sure you enjoy it! Dartmoor is a beautiful place and Ten Tors is an excellent event” 1. Expectation; expect it to be challenging, Ten […]

Terra Nova Southern Cross 1 (2016) – Review

We often receive feedback from our customers about new products which they’ve purchased from us. On this occasion we’ve asked our customer to put together a little review of the new Terra Nova Southern Cross 1Terra Nova say; “The Southern Cross 1 is a completely freestanding lightweight tent. suitable for 4 season backpacking. The Southern Cross […]

Vango Airbeam Tents 2016 – Preview Part 2

We continue our preview of Vango AirBeam tents for the upcoming 2016 camping season by looking at the higher-end inflatable tent models AirBeam Exclusive The AirBeam exclusive range boasts a beefed up 150D ProTex flysheet good for 5,000mm of weather protection. This thicker flysheet should yield an extended lifespan as well as enhanced durability for strength and […]

Vango Airbeam Tents 2016 – Preview Part 1

We’re pleased to reveal some of the new and exciting Vango Airbeam tent models that are on their way in to us for the 2016 camping season. Vango are the leaders in the innovation and development of inflatable tents and their AirBeam tent range is always hugely popular with customers. The strong lineup of features, comfort […]

Find Taunton and Bristol Stores on Facebook

We have let the Taunton and Bristol stores off of the leash, and given them their own Facebook pages! This means you’ll be able to connect directly with your local Taunton Leisure store, stay up to date with what the staff are up to, place sales enquiries directly to the staff, leave feedback, or join in […]

Osprey Rucksacks 2016 – What’s New

New packs from Osprey 2016 have made their way to us and there are new innovations and great features on offer. Osprey Farpoint Travel Packs The Farpoint series of travel packs has been a long-standing favourite of our customers and a best-selling pack for us. The capacity-to-weight ratio on these packs are just awesome, with a […]

If It’s Not Snowing, We’re Not Going

The forecast across South Wales was pretty dire for Sunday morning as a small group of Bristol Store staff gathered to cross the bridge. With Braam at the helm we drove north into dark clouds. The others in the car seemed to feel some trepidation about the oncoming weather, however I employed my professional napping […]

How to wash a down jacket

A good quality, lightweight, warm down jacket is an essential piece of outdoor kit that should be part of everyone’s bundle of gear. I’m sure most of you have heard stories of perfectly good jackets ending up in that the great pile of old gear in the sky because they’ve been washed incorrectly. Advancements in modern fabrics mean […]

Outwell Tents 2016 – What’s New?

It’s 2016 and our first arrival of Outwell tents is upon us! As well as being one of the top dealers of Outwell tents in Europe, we are privileged to stock the entire range of Outwell tents, what we like to call the Complete Collection. There are plenty of new innovations in line for the upcoming […]

Outwell 2016 Inflatable Tent Models Explained

2016 welcomes many new developments in Outwell Inflatable Tents, known as ‘air tents’, with more features, innovation and models than ever before. We also see the introduction of a lot of new suffixes – combinations of letters added to the end of the model name – to denote the different types of tent and inflation method […]

Dartmoor Overnighter

A wet & windy night on Dartmoor With new staff across all Taunton Leisure stores, all with varying experience in the great outdoors the Taunton Leisure head shed decided that sending us all out on Dartmoor with plenty of kit was the best way to get everyone up to scratch on the products we have […]

The Best Carry on Bags

Here’s a guide to the best carry on bag in our range, including great carry on rucksacks such as the Osprey Farpoint 40 and the Lowe Alpine AT Carry-On 45, and wheeled travel bags from The North Face. Baggage Allowance Since airlines began to charge for check-in (hold) luggage, people are increasingly looking for ways to make the […]

Meeting with Haglofs

Thanks to our Friends at Haglofs for inviting us to their headquarters in Sweden to see the new winter 2016 collection, it was fantastic to meet the team and the designers they all made us feel so welcome. Haglofs are quietly understated in the UK and a closer inspection will reveal a high quality of […]

Haglofs Essens Mimic – New for winter 2015

New for winter 2015, Haglofs have released a range of insulated jackets for men and women in hooded and hood-less varieties, known as Essens Mimic. Why ‘Mimic’? Because, despite appearances, it isn’t a down filled jacket. It mimics the properties of down while also offering the benefits of a synthetic fill. Warm Low weight High loft […]

How to avoid condensation in your tent

In certain conditions condensation can be a problem when camping. It is very alarming to wake up in the morning and find pools of water on the groundsheet of the tent. It doesn’t necessarily mean the tent is leaking! It takes just a few small changes to greatly reduce the opportunity for condensation to form inside your tent. Waking up […]

5 Reasons why you NEED Superfeet insoles in your life

For many people shoe insoles are merely volume reducers designed to improve the fit of footwear, but insoles (a.k.a ‘footbeds’) can be a really useful tool that will not only make your shoes and boots fit better, but can work wonders for your health. Whether you’re an adventurer, athlete, on your feet all day, or suffering with sore feet/back/knee/shoulder […]

Scarpa Women’s Cyclone Lady GTX Walking Boots – Customer Review

We get lots of reviews from customers on Feefo and we wanted to share this quick one with you from a customer on the Scarpa Women’s Cyclone Gore Tex Boots, which are becoming a really popular choice for those looking for a feature-packed, non-too technical boot. The Cyclone is a waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex walking boot for men and […]

Chudleigh Rocks (South Side) – Devon Climbing Review

Exeter store manager and climbing buyer, Nick Baron, takes a trip to Chudleigh Rocks and discovers one the best crags in Devon. You may or may not have heard of Chudleigh rocks in Devon. If you have but haven’t been to take a look then you are definitely missing out on one of the best […]

The North Face ThermoBall

        Uncompromising warmth in all conditions, ThermoBall by The North Face is a new alternative to down that provides several main benefits. It has been an early season hit with our customer, with sales of ThermoBall rocketing in anticipation of the cold winter ahead. Warm when wet The great thing about these […]

A Scottish five-day adventure

At the end of April, I was fortunate enough to join Ed and Nick (two of my colleagues at Taunton Leisure) and a group of about ten more people working in various other outdoor shops all over the UK, for a memorable five-day Scotland trip built around three whole days of canoeing on the river […]

Open Canoeing the Spey Descent with Haglofs

Our friends from the Swedish outdoor brand, Haglofs, invited a small group of staff from the trade to enjoy an open canoe descent of the Spey in late April this year. The river flows a little over 100 miles from it’s source in the Highlands north east to the sea on the Moray Firth. A quick flight […]

The Best Glamping Tents

Glamorous camping, or “glamping” as it’s more commonly known, is a popular form of camping that focuses on bringing a high level of luxury and comfort to the whole ‘sleeping outdoors’ experience. It’s purpose is to make life a little easier for the outdoor enthusiast whose days of roughing it in a bivvy are perhaps behind them. Glamping is for those who […]

Hilleberg Soulo Review

When Emily Chappell contacted us about her planned three-month solo snow bike expedition in Alaska, Yukon and British Columbia, we were suitably impressed. When we saw a history of her previous adventures, we were blown away! Emily is a cyclist and award-winning travel blogger. For a day job, she is a cycle courier. In her own words: “I […]

Free-standing tents

Recently I have been asked for free-standing tents quite a few time from customers. The reasons from which have generally all come down to one reason…..pitch flexibility! I myself am a big fan of free-standing tents – as a keen kayaker/canoeist you sometimes don’t have the pitch choice that hikers and mountaineers have…..sometimes a rocky […]

Winter Camping Tips

When Emily Chappell contacted us about her planned three-month solo snow bike expedition in Alaska, Yukon and British Columbia, we were suitably impressed. When we saw a history of her previous adventures, we were blown away! Emily is a cyclist and award-winning travel blogger. For a day job, she is a cycle courier. In her own words: “I […]

How to look after your family tent: 6 tips

Buying a new tent is an exciting thing. Aside from that little rush we get from a bit of retail therapy, you’ve chosen the best family tent for you and now you’ve just got to plan the trip away. A new tent signifies the prospect of plenty of wholesome, happy camping trips in the future! Once the […]

Why you should promote physical activity in your workplace

A guest blog from our friends at Bristol Nordic Walking: Formed in Sept 2012, Bristol Nordic Walking run classes every day, including Sundays, with early and evening walks available. Classes take place in various parts of Bristol and surrounding areas, walks further afield are also run in locations such as Chew Magna and the Mendip Hills. Last week I gave […]

New Gore-Tex Surround Technology

There’s a new membrane in town from Gore-Tex, known as ‘SURROUND’. Not being the sort to rush out new technology with no good reason, we’re pretty excited about the new Surround technology that customers will be able to see in new Meindl X SO 70 GTX walking boot. What is Surround? According to the press release, it is ‘…the […]

Want to live longer and with better health? Go walking

A guest blog from our friends at Bristol Nordic Walking: Formed in Sept 2012, Bristol Nordic Walking run classes every day, including Sundays, with early and evening walks available. Classes take place in various parts of Bristol and surrounding areas, walks further afield are also run in locations such as Chew Magna and the Mendip Hills. This week three health […]

Snow brings out the best of Exmoor & Dartmoor

And it’s photographers. Some beautiful images have been shared on Facebook & Twitter recently of the snowfall that has fallen across the country. We’d like to share some of these wonderful images with you. Call it inspiration to get out walking and see the beauty of what the South West has to offer. Dunkery Beacon The highest point on Exmoor […]

Meindl Bhutan Review – Long Term Boot Test

Here’s my Meindl Bhutan review of the boots that I’ve had on test for the last 6 months. Fitting As soon as I received them they went straight on. The fit is not overtly wide, but definitely not narrow, so they should fit the majority of peoples feet in the UK. I went up half a size […]

Don’t let the weather stop you walking

A guest blog from our friends at Bristol Nordic Walking: Formed in Sept 2012, Bristol Nordic Walking run classes every day, including Sundays, with early and evening walks available. Classes take place in various parts of Bristol and surrounding areas, walks further afield are also run in locations such as Chew Magna and the Mendip Hills. Have you been tempted […]

Up Close: Rab Aeon Tee

Ideal as a base layer in a layering system for all activities or as a technical T-shirt for trek and travel use, the Aeon is the ultimate “do anything” tee. A simple, unassuming garment that is an essential item for every outdoorsy type, suitable for loads of different activities, the Aeon Tee can be all things to […]

A Trip with Joe & Hilleberg to Sweden

So about two months ago I get an email from Taunton Leisure head office saying that I’ve been selected to go to Sweden in September… AMAZING! Joe is, in fact, not a person as such but the Jämtland Outdoor Experience – a collection of outdoor companies from Ostersund, Sweden who think it is very important to give […]

OASE Visit – Outwell Tents 2015

As the camping season has drawn to a close we have already turned our attention toward what’s going to be new in tents and accessories for 2015. It seems crazy to think that only a few months ago we were setting up at our Puxton Park tent show for the first time in it’s new […]

Water-to-Go – Delivering Safe Drinking Water Anywhere

Everyone is familiar with the miracle of turning water into wine – well here is a modern day miracle designed with the outdoor enthusiast in mind – instantly turning foul water into drinking water. No catch, just proven NASA technology. Water-to-Go is an easy-to-use, pocket water purification bottle you can use anywhere to turn one […]

Deep Water Solo ’14 at the Quay – Gallery

We were delighted to be involved in the UK’s first Deep Water Solo climbing event, organised by The Quay Climbing Centre. Deep Water Soloing is essentially bouldering on an overhanging wall set a pontoon over open water. No gear to support the climbers – if they fall, they get wet! This made for some spectacular action across the weekend. […]

Jamtland Outdoor Experience with Hilleberg

Bill and I were lucky enough to be invited to Sweden to take part in a product training experience. It was a huge privilege to travel to Jamtland to meet the team, which provides the Jamtland Outdoor Experience (JOE). JOE is a product-training and testing opportunity for retail staff from around Europe. Local Swedish manufacturers […]

I Got 99 Problems But Jellyfish Ain’t One!

I just did our staff training on Lifeventure products and we discussed a particular product we haven’t really looked into before… As the seas warm up, we experience the annual Jellyfish “bloom” – huge numbers of jellyfish just drifting around our watery play ground, intent on spoiling our fun! Here at Taunton Leisure we have […]

Tentipi Zirkon 9 Customer Review: A very big thumbs up!

On Tuesday we received a lovely email from Odette, a customer who visited our Exeter store and purchased a Tentipi Zirkon 9 Tipi Tent. She’s sent us her review of the tipi with a great insight into what it is like as a young family to make the investment into Tentipi tent ownership and the commitment […]

The 8 Wonders of Somerset

It’s not just Glastonbury Festival that draws people into Somerset each year. There are plenty of beautiful wonders in the county that inspire thousands of people each year to strap on their walking boots and tread the path often trodden to take in some magnificent scenery, wildlife and breathe in that clean West Country air! Hear are […]

Gear Review – Keen Clearwater CNX Sandal

As one of the buyers I was keen (no pun intended!) to test out a pair of the Clearwater CNX sandals from Keen for my recent trip to Morocco. I already have a pair of Newport leather sandals so I knew the fit was good but I wanted to try out the lower profile of […]

Introducing Marmot NanoPro

2014 has seen the release of new NanoPro waterproof technologies from Marmot that have proven to be a revelation in the waterproof technology category. The level of performance on offer here belies it’s entry-level categorization – Marmot NanoPro offers exceptional value and cutting edge performance. NanoPro is available in two forms. Marmot NanoPro – A coating […]

Salewa Mountain Trainer Review

Salewa are, I think, better known in Europe than in the UK having previously really only come across them in the Alps, the Tatras and the Pyrenees. On the basis of trying these shoes however they will soon be equally well known and loved here as well. The card describes them as Alpine Fit and […]

Retrofitting an extension to a different tent

This is one of the most common questions we get asked here at Taunton Leisure. Most camping brands/tent manufacturers have purpose-made canopies, extensions and awnings for each model, or a universal tent canopy that fits a range of tents. Unfortunately, there are times when that option just isn’t viable.   You’ve bought your tent but didn’t […]

Out on the Lake District

With a few days free and the arrival of the Force 10 MTN 2 tent, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for a flying visit to the Lakes. The weather was forecast as you’d expect for early April, patchy sunshine with showers and wind. The perfect conditions in order to trial Force 10’s new mountain […]

Salomon Speedcross Review – Trail Tour on Dartmoor

A bonus of working in Taunton Leisure is that we get the occasional day out with companies testing and demonstrating their kit. Which means I get to give you my verdict – I’ll be doing that today in my Salomon Speedcross review, as well as looking at some lovely XA Pro 3D Ultras. I was […]

Vango Force 10 MTN 2 Review

On a recent trip to the Lakes, James – member of staff at our Taunton Shop – took Force 10’s new mountain specific tent for a trial run. Here’s what he made of it: Lightweight & sturdy Geodesic design with 4 pole construction Premium quality siliconised nylon flysheet Two large porches – space for your gear […]

Rab Stretch Neo Jacket Review

One of the many benefits of working in the outdoor industry is the access the latest kit; being about to test it outdoors and give our feedback to the manufacturers. You know that when you talk to a member of our staff at Taunton Leisure about a bit of kit it’s likely that they’ve either […]

Taunton Leisure Nominated for TGO Award

All of us at Taunton Leisure are over the moon to have been nominated for the ‘Independent Retailer of the Year’ award at this year’s The Great Outdoors (TGO) Magazine Awards. Vote for us! The awards, in their second year, cover various aspects of the outdoor world. There are nine outdoor themed awards in total including […]

Icebreaker: Pioneers of Merino Wool Products

Since Icebreaker pioneered the use of merino wool fabrics in 1994 they have become synonymous not only their use in base layers, but also their sustainable and ethical philosophy. Read what sets Icebreaker apart from the rest… Among the trees by rivers and streams, on the hills, fells and mountains you’ll find walkers, ramblers and other […]

How to Choose a Base Layer

Brrr it’s getting cold! If you find yourself relating to the chap above at this time of year, consider some thermal clothing – an insulated jacket or a base layer to keep you warm this winter. But what makes a base layer so important? How do you choose one? Why not just wear an extra […]

TL Test New Gore-Tex Pro at Glenmore Lodge

Stu, Liam and James had the opportunity to test two pieces from the TNF Summit Series range at Glenmore Lodge on a recent training trip with The North Face. The Jacket review is by James, the trip report is from Stu and Liam provided photos and words on Gore-Tex Pro. TNF Summit Series A range designed […]

Hydrophobic Down – What is it?

Developed by Nikwax, Hydrophobic down insulation a.k.a water resistant down, is the game changing new technology in outdoor apparel that has taken the industry and consumers by storm (no pun intended). Even today in the days of outdoor fabric and equipment technology getting more and more advanced, nothing can match the superior performance of down – a […]

Give ’em enough rope…

We’ve just been asked an interesting climbing related question on Twitter from Rich Matthews. One which I must confess I didn’t know the answer to myself – not a climber you see! @tauntonleisure Thinking about buying a mountaineering rope. Which is better Dynamic or Static? — Richard Matthews (@RichJMatthews) September 16, 2013 I asked around […]

Top 10 festival items

Check out our top 10 festival items for those useful bits of kit you should take to enhance your festival experience that little bit more! It’s not long until V-Festival kicks off in Essex and Staffordshire – So you’ve got your ticket and you’ve got your tent, but what other things will you need? I’ve […]

Top 5 Family Tents

Following on from our recent Top 5 Camping Gadgets, our latest top 5 is on family tents. Tents are for camping in. They’re for living in, temporarily or even permanently. At times they are your only barrier between yourself and the elements – the worst storm you’ve ever seen, high winds, teeming rain… They can […]

Top 5: Camping Gadgets

It’s the little things that make the difference in life – this is also the case when it comes to camping. What would your trip be without those little camping gadgets that come in so useful? The peg extractor, hand held torches, portable speakers and the like? Those items that make your camping journey that little […]

Some nice customer feedback

We always appreciate receiving customer feedback, it’s invaluable as it gives us a boost when we do things right and it helps us learn when things don’t go as well. We store all of the nice bits of feedback we get in their own email folder that we take a look at from time to […]

We’re part of Exeter Trails

We’re delighted to be part of Exeter Trails It’s an initiative formed by a group of Exeter’s independent business owners who want independent shops to be more visible, successful and celebrated. This is how it works – Exeter Trails is a series of illustrated maps – five in total – each depicting a route through […]

The Top 10 Family Festival Camping Essentials

Festival season is upon us! From the giants like Glastonbury, Reading and Latitude festivals to the many more smaller, niche and local events – millions will be attending a festival of some form this summer and, of course, there is one thing that goes hand in hand with festivals – camping. Take a look at our […]

Off width protection

The new Wild Country Tech Friend Number 5. Perfect for when your Assistant Manager won’t let you use his head to protect your latest Offwidth project !!!

Awesome climbing blog from Chris Horobin

Stumbled across a great (and very detailed) climbing blog from Chris Horobin. Well worth a read. This post documents climbing with our very own Tom from the Bristol store in Pembroke as well as a brush with Bear Grylls! http://chrishorobin.wordpress.com/climbing-2013/ “Driving down into Cheddar Gorge at the start of the month we found the road […]

Rab Vapour Rise Lite Jacket Review

Over the last 2 months I have been using my new Vapour Rise Lite Jacket for just about everything. I’ve walked in it, ran in it, cycled in it, ate in it and even slept in it. The first time I wore it, I used it as a mid layer for a walk and overnight […]

Snow Peak Fireplace: The Life & Adventures of…

We invested in the complete Snow Peak Fireplace L Set in the Summer of 2003 with money very kindly gifted to us as a wedding present. Not a cheap investment even then, but almost 10 years of marriage and 3 children later I can honestly say with my hand on heart – WHAT AN INVESTMENT! It […]

In Pictures: Hilleberg Expert Day

Thanks to all who popped in to our Sanders tent show for our Hilleberg ‘Meet the Expert’ day on Sunday. It wasn’t the busiest we’ve been at the tent show, I think the double lane closure on the M5 put paid to that, but those who did make it were enthusiastic and impressed by the […]

Tom & Tony visit Sweden (Part 1)

Tony and Tom from our Bristol store recently embarked upon a week of training with the Outdoor Academy of Scandinavia (OAS). They tackled some of Sweden’s most beautiful yet demanding terrain in order to learn about the latest equipment from outdoor manufacturers including Hilleberg, Silva, Haglöfs, and Optimus. Have a read of the first of a three part […]

Gear Review: Osprey Aether 70 Rucksack

We’re always grateful to receive feedback on the gear we sell from customers – It gives us another perspective on a product’s pros and cons (plus it keeps the buyers on their toes!) Recently we were tweeted a link to a nice review of the Osprey Aether 70 from Paul Rickard:  @ospreypacks Aether 70 review […]

My take on the Tentipi Sweden trip

Nervous as anything I start my snowmobile. Through the layers of helmet beanie and buff I can just about make out the engine revving up. My heart is pounding and I am still getting use to the restricted movement from wearing 4 layers of clothing. I am in this dream state were everything is new […]

The most influential outdoor gear of all time

There’s a really informative, deeply researched article on outsideonline at the moment that outlines what is, in their opinion, the top 100 or so most influential pieces of outdoor gear ever. It’s a compelling read that stretches it’s reach way back to 860 BC, where it documents anything from the first instance of the personal […]

Petra and Wadi Rum in Jordan

Amanda from our Taunton store recently returned from an inspiring trip to Jordon for autumn adventures with her husband that included some trekking and scrambling, sounds fun!   This was the destination for myself and my husband’s autumn adventure walking. In some the most spectacular desert scenery in the world it provides an ideal albeit […]

Trail Running With Salomon

I was fortunate to attend a Salomon test day on Dartmoor based at Bellever youth hostel, where we had the opportunity to do some real world testing of their shoes and kit. Suunto were also on hand with the Quest HRM and Ambit GPS Watch for us to play with. It was a glorious morning […]

In-depth review of Osprey Talon 22 Day Pack

If you’re ever researching into your next purchase of outdoor gear you could do a lot worse than read reviews from the folks over at Outdoor Gear Lab. Their reviews are incredibly in-depth and based upon rigorous field testing, empirical experience. Products are tested in use throughout a variety of activities. Take a look at […]

Outwell Tent Training at Huish Woods

Recently, a few of our staff had the opportunity to meet up with Ian and John from Outwell for some staff training. We took to Huish Woods Scout Campsite to set up a few choice models, get some expert pointers from the reps and enjoy a spot of barbecue food, some good conversation and the opportunity to […]

Ten Tors on the Horizon…

We’re going to be on Dartmoor this May 11 & 12 to support and advise Ten Tors – the UK’s premier hiking event for young people which is being held for the 53rd time. We can’t wait! The Ten Tors Challenge offers schools, colleges, cadets and scout groups the opportunity to test themselves against up […]

Rock Boots: Fitting Tips & Buying Guide

It’s that time of year again. The light is on our side in the evening, the weather will hopefully be kind to us over the coming months and getting out to the local crag is becoming a much more viable alternative to the indoor wall. A beautiful march morning at Bosigran in Cornwall with Commando Ridge, an […]

Taunton Leisure visit Tentipi® in Sweden

There was certainly a buzz of excitement leading up to our trip as none of the team had been exposed to quite such cold temperatures, the weather forecast indicated minus 18-20 before we left with a brisk Easterly wind. Being outside in these temperatures knowing that you can head indoors is one thing but we […]

Rab Vapour-Rise Lite Pullon Review

As part of the launch for the new range of 2013 Vapour-rise products, Rab kindly gave some of our staff a couple of Vapour Rise Lite Pullons to test out in their various outdoor adventures.  Here are the views of Tom and Liam from the Bristol store on how the test went and their respective […]

The Joy of Fell Running

Bristol Store Assistant Manager Braam is a recent convert to the outdoor pursuit of fell running. Here, he talks about how he got into fell running and what it means to him.  In June this year I lined up for my first fell race called the Beacon Batch. It is a 5-mile race on the […]

Tom & Tony Visit Sweden (Part 3)

Tony and Tom from our Bristol store recently embarked upon a week of training with the Outdoor Academy of Scandinavia (OAS). They tackled some of Sweden’s most beautiful yet demanding terrain in order to learn about the latest equipment from outdoor manufacturers including Hilleberg, Silva, Haglöfs, and Optimus. In the final part of our trilogy […]

Tom & Tony visit Sweden (Part 2)

Tony and Tom from our Bristol store recently embarked upon a week of training with the Outdoor Academy of Scandinavia (OAS). They tackled some of Sweden’s most beautiful yet demanding terrain in order to learn about the latest equipment from outdoor manufacturers including Hilleberg, Silva, Haglöfs, and Optimus. After battling some extreme conditions in part 1, the guys […]

One man, one bike. 5,500 miles corner to corner of USA completed!

Huge congratulations to Richard Boxhall Corner to Corner (on a bike) who completed his solo 5,000+ mile cycle from one side of the USA to the other, all in the name of adventure and raising money for ShelterBox UK & Ireland. Over the last 90 days or so Richard, his Easton Mountain Products Kilo tent and his trusty bike, Holly, […]

Exeter to Everest – The inspiring and terrifying world of high altitude climbing

Mountaineer Ian Ridley prepares to deliver his first-hand experiences of death defying Himalayan expedition to members of the public at Exeter University this November 8. At 7:30pm, the Exeter-based adventurer will be sharing the ups and downs of expeditions from the last three years at the Newman A Lecture Theatre, Peter Chalk Centre, Exeter University. A lavishly illustrated […]

The Good, the Bad and the Prettiest Pictures!

OK, so I still have a little way to go, but I have now visited all of the 14 states I will enter during my ride across the USA. So I thought it was time to hold a little Kangaroo Court. The idea of Rich’s Kangaroo Court is that each state gets an award for […]

The Sweet Smell of the Ocean

Today was a historic day for me; I reached the Atlantic Ocean. I can now put ‘cycled coast to coast of the USA’ on my CV! Of course, the plan is to cycle the ‘corners’ of the USA, but it is nice to have a tick in the box! I surprised myself how emotional I […]

‘We Are Sherpa’ – Introducing Sherpa Adventure Gear

‘The outdoor apparel manufacturer honouring the heritage and high altitude prowess of the Sherpa people’. At Taunton Leisure we’re very pleased to welcome an upcoming brand whose products are ethically produced, tested by the most elite mountaineers and have an undoubted aunthenticity… Ascents of Mount Everest are becoming increasingly frequent. Year on year, more people […]


If you had told me a few days ago I would have spent the night on a boat during this trip, I would have laughed. To be honest, it still seems surreal that I have spent the night on a boat whilst on a camping trip, but that’s what happened. Let me explain……….. I pulled […]

Welcome To My Home

For the duration of my journey, my home will be a tent. I thought you might like to have a look around my new mobile home! After 30 days on the road, I have found a layout that works for me and thought I would share it with you. The tent is an Easton Kilo 2P tent. […]

Yellowstone / Teton National Park

Our friend Richard Boxhall (@richardonabike) is currently cycling 5,000 miles across the USA to raise money for ShelterBox UK and is currently blogging about life on the road, the places he sees and the people he meets .  You can read a full account of his travels at http://richardonabike.blogspot.co.uk I have just passed from Montana […]

A Lowa sponsored visit for two Taunton Leisure staff

Two Taunton Leisure Assistant Managers, Ken from Taunton and Braam from Bristol, recently took a trip to Germany to meet the guys from German boot makers, Lowa. Read Ken’s account of their time with Lowa and their experience of roads with no speed limits… After an early start from Bristol (6am) Braam and I made our way […]

The North Face Triclimate Jacket: A Buyer’s Guide

Looking for a winter jacket? Our latest buyer’s guide outlines features of the versatile The North Face Triclimate range. With 3-in-1 compatibility, plenty of pockets and hard wearing HyVent fabric, these jackets are not only technical but stylish too… As the weather gets cooler and sunshine is replaced with rain clouds, gusty winds and typically […]


Our friend Richard Boxhall (@richardonabike) is currently cycling 5,000 miles across the USA to raise money for ShelterBox UK and is currently blogging about life on the road, the places he sees and the people he meets . You can read a full account of his travels at http://richardonabike.blogspot.co.uk Today I arrived in Lowell ID as […]

Put a fork in me, I’m toast!

Our friend Richard Boxhall (@richardonabike) is currently cycling 5,000 miles across the USA to raise money for ShelterBox UK and is currently blogging about life on the road, the places he sees and the people he meets . You can read a full account of his travels at http://richardonabike.blogspot.co.uk Today I have endured the toughest […]

East to Miami!!

Our friend Richard Boxhall (@richardonabike) is currently cycling 5,000 miles across the USA to raise money for ShelterBox UK. You can read a full account of his travels on his blog http://richardonabike.blogspot.co.uk Having cycled from Vancouver to Florence along the Pacific coastline it is now time to turn left and head inland. The Pacific Coast was […]

Corner to Corner: Washington… done.

Our friend Richard Boxhall is currently cycling 5,000 miles across the USA to raise money for ShelterBox UK. You can read a full account of his travels on his blog http://richardonabike.blogspot.co.uk Tomorrow I will leave Washington and enter Oregon, a big moment for me as it will be my first state completed. The first week […]

Planes, trains and automobiles (and a ferry) By Nick B. Exeter shop

A trip to the outdoor trade show in Friedrichshafen. This year I got the opportunity to go to Friedrichshafen, one of the biggest outdoor trade shows in the world. As you can imagine it was quite busy and, with that much ground to cover in slightly less than 2 days, I was hard pushed to […]

Corner to Corner USA: Prologue (UK Leg)

@richardonabike has made it to North America and has began his ‘Corner to Corner’ challenge. We were delighted to welcome Rich to our Taunton shop recently to pop in and say hello and so we could give him a good send off! Corner to corner USA: Prologue (UK Leg): I decided to start the journey at […]

Corner to Corner Challenge – Fundraising

I may have been a little bit quiet on the blogging of late, but I have been busy. In the past couple of weeks I have arranged two fundraising static cycles, a quiz night and a raffle. Add to that all the planning required for living on a bike for three months and also trying […]

My Favourite Crag – Hound Tor, Dartmoor (part 4)

“Hound Tor is one of my favourite places to climb, and it’s popular with climbers of all abilities due to the good spread of grades and styles available.” In the final part of this guide, Nick takes a look at some more routes and also gives us his top five routes from Hound Tor. You […]

My Favourite Crag – Hound Tor, Dartmoor (part 3)

“Hound Tor is one of my favourite places to hone my skills, and it’s popular with climbers of all abilities due to the good spread of grades and styles available.” This time out we’re taking a look at some more bouldering and climbing routes on Hound Tor. Remember, climbing routes are in  red, bouldering problems are in  green. You […]

Corner to Corner on a bike – Key Date Schedule

Our friend, Richard Boxhall, is preparing to cycle 5,000 miles across the USA to raise money for ShelterBox UK. Read the latest in his series of blogs for us, as he outlines his kit list for the trip. Don’t forget anything! With my departure rapidly approaching, my plans are becoming concrete. So here are a […]

My Favourite Crag – Hound Tor, Dartmoor (part 2)

Exeter store Manager and resident climbing expert, Nick B, has nominated Hound Tor on Dartmoor as his favourite crag. Hound Tor is one of my favourite places to hone my skills, and it’s popular with climbers of all abilities due to the good spread of grades and styles available. This time out we’re taking a […]

My Favourite Crag – Hound Tor, Dartmoor (part 1)

Exeter store Manager and resident climbing expert, Nick B, has nominated Hound Tor in Devon as his favourite crag. Here’s Nick Hound Tor is one of my favourite places to hone my skills, and it’s popular with climbers of all abilities due to the good spread of grades and styles available. A big thank you […]

Everybody has their baggage

Our friend, Richard Boxhall, is preparing to cycle 5,000 miles across the USA to raise money for ShelterBox UK. Read the latest in his series of blogs for us, as he outlines his kit list for the trip. Don’t forget anything!  With six weeks to go, I have virtually all the kit I intend to […]

The Biggest Challenge of My Life

Our new guest blogger, Richard Boxhall, is preparing to cycle 5,000 miles across the USA to raise money for ShelterBox UK. Read the first of a series of blogs from Rich in the lead up to his challenge.  In August, I will set off on the biggest challenge of my life, cycling 5,000 miles solo […]

Corner to Corner – 5000 miles for Charity

Richard Boxhall has been a keen cyclist for many years. His first major cycle was from Lands End to John ‘O Groats in 2008. He’s also completed an end to end tour of Ireland, and his first solo tour was from Geneva to Brussels, which he completed in a week. This summer, Richard will take […]

Gear Review: The North Face Havoc GTX XCR

The North Face have challenged themselves to produce the most versatile outdoor shoe on the market. Ambitious?  Recently some of our staff were kindly given a few pairs of a new hiking and trail shoe from The North Face to test, the Havoc GTX XCR shoe. The roots of the Havoc GTX are based on […]

How to pitch a tent: a Step by Step Guide

Pitching the family tent can seem like a bit of a daunting task. There’s a whole lot of material, poles, pegs and problems to negotiate. While there are some families who have their own pitching method honed down to a drill, there are some who find this is a problem which can cause stress, anguish, […]

Hilleberg 3 Season Tents

Quick and easy to pitch, highly durable, expertly designed and manufactured – Hilleberg 3 season tents offer the explorer maximum performance for ultimate adventure. Although Hilleberg 3 season tents are their latest development, the Swedish tent making company has a long line in tent innovation. Hilleberg Rogen available from Taunton Leisure (Image courtesy of Hilleberg) Founded by Bo & […]

Gore Tex Active Shell – Tested

Time of year tested: Late autumn 2011 through to late January 2012   Intended use: Faster paced activity, running, walking, cycling and mountain biking.   I was lucky enough to be given a Berghaus Gore Tex Active Shell jacket to test after questioning how breathable this new Gore Tex fabric actually was. My test jacket […]

Tentipi – A Buyer’s Guide

For those who want a simple, traditional, communal camping experience in a shelter that can be pitched in 5 minutes (really!) that you can even have a fire inside – a Tentipi® Nordic Tipi is the ideal solution. A favourite of Ray Mears, this kind of shelter has even been used by Will and Kate! Taunton […]

Tenaya Rock Boots – A Quick Look

Tenaya is a small rock shoe manufacturing company based in Barcelona. The company was founded by Jose Gallego, a big wall climber based in Yosemite. Tenaya is actually the name of the valley that ‘El Capitan’ (the most famous big wall in the world) is in. They have been making rock boots for over 15 years […]

Gore Tex Jackets – A Buyer’s Guide

If you’ve ever been into any of our shops or other outdoor stores, then you’ve probably seen this logo attached to many waterproof jackets, trousers, gloves; it’s even sewn into boots! You might not have noticed it, but take a look next time you’re shopping for outdoor gear – that Gore Tex logo is everywhere… That reason […]

A Few Climbing Pictures

UNDERSTATEMENT ALERT: Bristol Senior Sales Assistant Tom is a passionate climber. If he’s not climbing you’ll find him in store talking about about some E6 HVS with all kinds chocks, crimpers and coldshuts (or something).  On location climbing the Verdon Gorge He’s had his picture featured in Climb Magazine and if he’s not in store […]

Our New Look, In-Store and Online

We’ve introduced our new look to the website. Those of you who read the blog regularly (and I hope there are some of you out there!) will be used to the changes as they’ve been here for a short while. To those of you who are seeing it for the first time, don’t worry! We’re […]

Arcteryx Phase Base Layer Review

Over the last few weeks several members of Taunton Leisure staff have been putting the Arc’teryx Phase base layer through its paces on walks, runs and climbs in the wintry conditions of the English outdoors.  It’s a thermal base layer designed for high output activity in cool and cold weather conditions, such as climbing, hiking, trekking, skiing, […]

Johnny Dawes Visits The Quay

We’ve got some special offers available exclusively to the members of the Quay Climbing Centre! Click here to find out more! Saturday the 3rd of December saw the eagerly awaited arrival of the legend that is Johnny Dawes. As 11.00 am rolled around in strolled the man himself. Having ordered a triple espresso to back […]

Ladies – Stay Warm, Dry & Stylish This Winter…

WARNING: The following blog contains usage of the word coat/jacket interchangeably. I’m aware that a jacket is slightly different to a coat, but when something you’d describe as a ‘coat’ is named as a ‘jacket’ (and vice versa) by the manufacturer you start to get confused and give up 😉 We’re all familiar with the […]

Welcome to the ‘new look’ Taunton Leisure.

Our team have been passionately exploring the great outdoors since 1977, and in that time both our business and our expertise have grown and developed. As a result we’re always right up to date with the latest products and equipment, and we felt it was time to move the look of our brand on to […]

Osprey Variant 37 – An Alpine Essential

No matter what you’re doing outdoors, a rucksack or backpack is an essential piece of kit for storing all sorts of different gear and depending on the type of activity you’re going to need a different pack depending on what you’re going to be using it for! I popped into the Exeter Store recently and got […]

How much do we recycle?

Being a company that receives many deliveries of new stock and items from our suppliers we see more than our fair share of plastic containers, cardboard boxes and other bits and pieces that keep our items safe and secure in transit. We’re looking for ways to help reduce our carbon footprint. Every week our delivery […]

Week 10 – The final tor bash, happy 100th :-)

Wow, this is exciting! Writing the final tor-baggin blog. When I write again I will have (hopefully) succeeded in my climb of Mount Kilimanjaro! Today’s walk from Dartmeet is extra special for me, being my final training walk on Dartmoor of course, but also it was on this walk so many months ago that I […]

A Wordle…

This is a Wordle taken from all of the Trust Pilot reviews of our website between October 25 and November 4. It seems like we’ve been doing a pretty good job! Well done folks! You can make a Wordle of your very own right here. Click below to see our Wordle in full…

Walk for Health with our Bristol store

Braam, Assistant Manager at our Bristol store, is going to be taking part in an initiative to get more people walking in and around Bristol. Walking for Health is a health walks programme, which provides the community with the opportunity to take part in short, safe, sociable walks within local communities, and is part of […]

Week 9 – Oh no, not more evil grass! … And bogs!

After last week’s nice easy going walk devised by Cecilia, this week it was my turn to pick the route. Pablo suggested one close to home so we elected to look around the Chagford Fernworthy forest and reservoir area (only about 30 mins from home). If you fancy a nice easy stroll around a pretty […]

Down or Synthetic? A Buyer’s Guide to Rab Jackets

At Taunton Leisure, we get many questions about many different things, usually about outdoor equipment funnily enough! One thing we’re asked about frequently are Rab jackets. Whether you’re a walker, climber, mountaineer, or just want to stay warm this winter, you’re going to need something that will keep the cold at bay and stop those teeth from chattering! A […]

Week 8 – Are these really hills? Lake District versus Dartmoor.

I had been really excited about today’s training walk, getting out and about on the beautiful Dartmoor for the first time since getting back from the Lake District. In the car on the way up to Wast Water in the Lakes, I thought to myself how well I’d been doing with my training walks and […]

Week 7 – How many tors can we fit in one days walking?

Now then, last week’s blog title about gorse might have been a little misleading but rest assured I am very justified in calling todays walk ‘How many tors can we fit into one day’s walking?’ the answer is 17 – yes 17! Today’s training walk was all around Merrivale and took in many (yes I’m […]

Week 6 – Gorse, Gorse, a Kingdom for my Gorse.

Ok this title might be a little misleading – implying that we had a lot of gorse. It really wasn’t actually that much and it was pretty much at the end of our walk but look here, it’s a cool title ok? 🙂 This week we were heading around Belstone, just outside Okehampton (or Soak-hampton […]

How much?- Why a Hilleberg tent is an ‘investment’ not just a new tent!

For lightweight but durable backpacking, wild camping and multi day trips a Hilleberg tent is a fantastic shelter that’s worth considering investment in.  I say ‘investment’ as Hilleberg are built to last and whilst the initial cost is higher than a lesser model, not only is the likely life expectancy is considerably longer, the performance is superb too. Hilleberg […]

Week 5 – Where’s the emergency shelter?!

Now, remember I said back on week 2 that Dartmoor had its own weather system?  That it was a little changeable up on the moor?  This week, Dartmoor proved this more than ever! Today’s training walk was from the Dartmoor Inn, Lydford.  We made a nice early start – heading off from the car at […]

My how tents have changed!

Having had a large Vango family tent for over 10 years (a Vista 800 DLX since you ask) I was looking forward to spending a few days in a new Maritsa 700 tent, also from Vango. This would be an ideal chance to see how the equivalent tents have changed, and for the family, some […]

Week 4 – Sunshine Tors

This week I got to choose the route – so, as Pablo pointed out to me, I wasn’t allowed to moan about any of the terrain I encountered!   As it turned out, the route was great but the unexpected gorse was not good It was hard not to complain!  The best bit of today was […]

Week 3 – Grizzly in the Mist

Remember I said last week how the weather on Dartmoor can be changeable?   Well it isn’t always.  Sometimes the weather just stays and today Dartmoor was misty all day!  Again we were very grateful to have a compass and a GPS to help with navigation. This week we were joined by some friends of ours […]

Week 2 – ‘Mizzle? What on earth is mizzle?

Now I had heard that weather on Dartmoor can be changeable.   This is an understatement; Dartmoor has its own weather.   Today I experienced how quickly the weather can go from sunshine to rain.   Training walk 2 involved tackling the ‘roof of Dartmoor’ – High Willhays and Yes Tor – the highest points of the moor. It […]

Week 1 – ‘So, I need what kit exactly?’

The cub scout motto is ‘Be Prepared’. I’m not a Scout, never have been. Or a Girl Guide for that matter.   But everyone knows the motto. Be Prepared. There must be something in that. Having just found out I had been successful in getting a place on the charity trek to Mount Kilimanjaro, I felt sure that the most important […]

Introducing Kate our new guest blogger

Welcome to Kate our intrepid new contributor to the Taunton Leisure blog as she tackles a fantastic challenge to  climb Kilimanjaro in aid of Save The Children. Over the weeks we will be following the planning, training and kit choices as the preparations for the trek in October gather pace. Now it’s over to Kate…….. Introduction – […]

Fits like a glove

Being a big fan of the barefoot running concept, I was intrigued when the Merrell Trail Glove came into our stores, mainly due to the fact I have never seen a running shoe from Merrell before. First I wore them around the shop for a day and found them very comfortable, being a very well […]

Wild Exmoor Coast,

This walk is based on the hills between Porlock and Minehead: Bossington Hill, Selworthy Beacon and North Hill. Myself and seven walkers started on this adventure; within half a mile we were down to six as Clive’s gout was very painful, so he and Jane decided to return to the people carrier and return home […]

Thanks to all Staff & Customers!

A big thanks to all our staff and customers for getting into the spirit and helping Taunton Leisure raise over £500 for Comic Relief.

Northern lights caught by a cigarette break

TenTipi Sweden trip. We are at the beginning of the season and I find myself selling one of our most prestigious tents that I find a joy and fun to sell .It seems that anybody interested in buying a tipi has a good sense of humour and an enthusiasm for the outdoors. I can relate […]

Tantalizing Tavy Cleave

“A fabulous walk on Dartmoor over some rather interesting terrain, shame about the weather but of course we didn’t let a little bit of horizontal hail dampen our spirits! Thank you so much for skillfully leading us. Best wishes,Gill.”   February’s walk intended to follow the Tavy, the steepest river in the England, up into […]

The Dartmoor Gathering

Every few months the staff at Taunton Leisure enjoy having a get together to see the people we spend quite a lot of time talking to on the phone, but rarely ever see. These gatherings usually give us an opportunity to catch up with friends, swap stories about our climbing or walking activities, discuss all […]

More Bosigran Adventures

Exeter’s recent post on Bosigran reminded me of a wonderful day trip in Feb 2008 to climb Commando Ridge, more correctly known as Bosigran Ridge; but named Commando Ridge after its use By the Cliff Assault Wing of the Royal Marines for training in WW2. My companions were Mark, who at that time worked for […]

eVent vs Gore Tex, which is better?

That perennial conundrum – Event vs Gore Tex. Lots of customers use the ‘Questions’ feature which appears on every product and we had an interesting one from Chris for the Rab Latok Alpine Jacket the other day… ‘is ‘Event’ better than gore-tex ?’ Now that’s one that can’t be answered in a few lines! A simple question, […]

Welcome to the new TL blog

Hi there and welcome, here at Taunton Leisure we have been happily selling lots of outdoor gear on-line and in our shops for years but we want to be able to connect to our customers in a more friendly way, just like popping into one of our stores. A quick look at the blog when […]