Le Chameau Wellies

After many years of leak free service with Hunter Neoprene wellingtons, they finally succumbed to age and split.

As Hunter is no longer on trend and is now worn by festival goers I was looking around at the broader market.

My wellingtons need to be able to be seen in in all situations (I know you are thinking poser!), comfortable to drive in,walk distances in and be warm. Oh and be Green.

I took delivery of a pair of Seeland but was very unhappy with the top to sole finishing and so they went back. I researched reviews for Aigle and Le Chameau and both seemed to have mixed reviews, especially around quality of product in recent years. But I have decided that this criticism can be levelled at most things we buy these days and none appeared to be catastrophic.

My partner has a pair of Aigle Parcours and is very happy with them, however having had the thicker neoprene in the Hunters I knew they would be too warm for me when walking.

The top of the range Le Chameau were a bit too expensive for me right now, and so I did some research and came back to a recent addition to the Le Chameau range. I settled on a pair Traqueur as they represented a fair price and I liked the sound of the Kevlar reinforcement. They are natural rubber and reinforced on the front to protect against undergrowth, which whilst I am currently not on shoots it will be useful and sometimes on dog walks you come across paths that are overgrown.

The lining is “OnSteam” microfibre of a decent thickness and density, which so far hasn’t proved to be too hot. And when matched to a pair of Dubarry Technical Socks from Robinsons of Stamford offers a good level of comfort. The sole has all terrain grip and appears to keep me fairly stable under foot.Initially I felt they were awkward to get on and off as they have a good grip around the ankle, but I have mastered the knack of removing them now without too much drama.

On Steam lining

I have now used them in a variety of situations and weather, including the current “Beast from the East” and find the fit okay and comfortable to wear for a long time without my feet getting too hot. I’m not sure what the zip up the back does for me as its short and at the top, but its obviously been developed for some reason.

Zip

 

These boots have an RRP of £150 but I managed to secure a pair from Uttings currently with £31 off. This was my first purchase from Uttings and I can say I was impressed with the price and speed of delivery inc the quality of the packaging.

 

Solar phone charger

Having many times lately been in deepest Norfolk and suffered from a dead battery on my mobile phone(s), I decided I needed some back up.

I didn’t want to go down the obvious route of charging them from my vehicle, as that would mean they could only charge whilst i’m on the move. Also charging from a vehicle means the phone has to be left in the vehicle to charge with the ignition on. This would mean draining the battery and also not having the phone with me, and from my point of view the short journeys I make wouldn’t charge it quick enough either.

Being a gardener (Twitter@tulipservicesuk) means one thing I have lots of is daylight, hopefully a lot of sunlight too!. Therefore the obvious thing to do was to seek out a compact and affordable solar charger for recharging my phone. It would need to not take up too much space in the vehicle, and be light enough to take with me to my point of work.

As well as wanting to be “green” I also like to buy locally and so was delighted to find nearby The Solar Shed in Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen. I took a trip over and after discussing my requirements with “Solar Kev” I settled on this little Orange power pack @ £30, which is similar in size to a modern mobile phone.To give the device the maximum chance of getting light I just velcro it to the dashboard, and collect it up with my phone on exiting the vehicle if required.

It can be charged from the mains via Micro Usb or ideally solar. It has two Usb ports meaning you can charge 2 phones items at the same time if so desired, or a phone and a tablet. It is compatible with most leading makes of phone and tablet too.

So far I am suitably impressed with it and have the peace of mind of having power on tap wherever I am.